Review: Piper PA-46 500TP Meridian
By Bill Stack
Screen shots by WSSimulation
Piper's PA-46 Meridian is the turboprop member of Piper's Malibu family of single-engine general aviation aircraft. It holds a pilot and five passengers. One passenger sits in the right cockpit seat, and the other four sit in the cabin. With its pressurized cabin, its service ceiling is 30,000 feet (9,150 meters). The Malibu family began in the 1970s, and the Malibu Meridian began service in 2000. Piper advertises "strong takeoff and landing performance, especially in hot and high conditions," and "the ability to climb to altitude quickly and efficiently topping most weather and turbulence."
The following table details the Meridian's physical and performance specifications and compares them to the FSX Cessna Grand Caravan, which is also a single-engine turboprop. Basically, the Meridian is smaller, lighter, faster, and higher than the Grand Caravan.
|MERIDIAN VERSUS GRAND CARAVAN|
|Maximum Take-off Weight||5,092 LBS||8,785 LBS|
|Useful Load||1,700 LBS||4,210 LBS|
|Empty Weight||3,392 LBS||4,575 LBS|
|Maximum speed||260 KIAS||175 KIAS|
|Cruising speed||188 KIAS||164 KIAS|
|Ceiling||30,000 FT||22,800 FT|
|Range||1,178 NM||1,260 NM|
|Length||26 FT||42 FT|
|Wingspan||43 FT||52 FT|
|Power||500 HP||675 HP|
WSSimulation offers these and other features in its Piper Meridian:
- Three real liveries
- User manual with real information
- Realistic 3D cockpit
- Sound pack
- Many animations
WSSimulation says its high-definition textures and normal map make its Meridian "one of the most realistic aircraft in Flight Simulator X."
The rendition of Piper's PA-46 Malibu Meridian for FSX by WSSimulation is realistic compared with photos I found on the Internet, inside and outside. All sizes, shapes, and details are true to the real-world photos. I also found real-world photos of the three liveries included with the product.
Screen shots by Bill Stack