Piper Aircraft delivered the 550th Meridian turboprop single yesterday to a Swedish customer, Håkan Svensson, the CEO of Öckerö-based Aston Harald. This also marked the first new Meridian to enter service in Sweden. Svensson, who is pursuing his pilot license, plans to use the aircraft in his maritime and transportation consultancy business. The Meridian will be operated by a professional pilot until he achieves sufficient ratings and experience to fly as pilot-in-command in European airspace.
Piper’s aircraft deliveries and revenues “trended up” for three consecutive quarters, continuing an improving trend in a challenging economy for general aviation aircraft. During the third quarter, Piper delivered 41 aircraft, including eight Meridian turboprop singles, worth $37.2 million. In the first nine months, the Vero Beach, Fla. aircraft manufacturer shipped 127 aircraft, including 20 Meridians, and revenue from new aircraft sales grew to $113.9 million, compared with $106.9 million during the same period last year.
Piper Aircraft is launching a new initiative here at NBAA to promote its flagship Meridian single-engine turboprop as a business aircraft. The six-seat, $2.176 million M-Class Meridian features a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-42A 500 shp engine and Garmin G1000 glass panel avionics. Top cruise speed is 260 knots and maximum range is 1,000 nm.
Canada’s Mechtronix has been selected to build a full flight trainer (FFT) for the Piper Meridian at its Montreal facility. The FFT is being acquired by OK Business Aircraft, which acts as the Piper dealer for central-eastern Europe. The contract was signed on the wing of the Meridian in the static park at EBACE 2013.
Piper Aircraft named Piper Summit Aircraft China Beijing as its authorized dealer in China for sales of new Meridian turboprop singles. According to Piper Summit CEO Jack Chan, the annual growth rate for piston and turboprop aircraft operating in China is nearly 40 percent, with this fleet expected to expand from 1,700 aircraft earlier this year to about 7,700 by 2015. The new Piper dealer conducted Meridian demonstrations for potential customers as the airplane flew en route to Airshow China 2012 earlier this month in Zhuhai.
Meridian Air Charter, based in Teterboro, N.J., is expanding its operations to the West Coast as part of a long-term plan to serve existing clients better, while developing its charter and aircraft management services in the San Francisco area. The two-phase expansion involves opening California sales offices in San Jose and at Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa. The San Jose office opened in September and the Santa Rose office is scheduled to open in November. In the second phase of its West Coast expansion, Meridian Air Charter (Booth No.
Piper Aircraft delivered its 500th Meridian turboprop single last week. The milestone aircraft was handed over to SouthEast Piper for delivery to the aircraft’s undisclosed Florida-based owner. “The delivery of the 500th Piper Meridian, since first delivery in 2000, emphasizes its enduring value proposition even during recent periods of economic uncertainty around the world,” said Piper president and CEO Simon Caldecott. “Single-engine Piper turboprops are growing in popularity as replacements for less economical twin-engine jets and turboprops.”
Cadorath Group and Meridian Aviation Consulting have joined forces to establish Meridian Helicopters. The company will focus on providing reworked parts distribution support as well as consulting, brokering and technical support for the global Bell Helicopter network.
Meridian Jet Center was recently presented with two PAMA aviation achievement awards, the Carl Krajewski Award and the Maintenance Department of the Year Award. The association’s Carl Krajewski Award was presented to Robert “Bob” Kennedy, a 45-year aircraft maintenance veteran who has been with Meridian for the last five years. The second award was presented to Meridian Jet Center for Maintenance Department of the Year.
Piper Aircraft introduced improved versions of its M-Class single-engine business aircraft, which include the turboprop Meridian, the pressurized piston Mirage and the unpressurized piston Matrix. The biggest design changes result in greater pilot comfort, thanks to such enhancements as a cockpit assist handle to aid access; a fold-down copilot seat that converts to a work surface; and more elbow and hip room.
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