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Fri, Sep 13, 2002

Piper Meridian Lifts More

Meridian Gets 235 Pound GW Increase

Turning the fast Meridian into a more-useful family hauler, New Piper announced at the NBAA convention that its flagship is now able to lift your kids or a business associate, and still have enough fuel to make the trip. with a hard-won 235 extra pounds of gross weight, the Meridian moves farther from the category of "classy curiosity" and towards "classy useful airplane."

The roughly 15% increase in useful load required some additional engineering, and that engineering paid off in other ways. For instance, the stall speed has actually been lowered, thanks to added vortex generators. Cruise speed remains unchanged, as MTOW rises from 4850 to 5092 pounds.

New Piper President and CEO, Chuck Suma, told us at the NBAA convention that there is "a structural suite of changes" responsible for the overall effect. In layman's terms, that's "fifteen to twenty parts."

Although 45% of Piper's market is still trainers, the company plans to deliver 315 aircraft this year, for a total revenue of about $174 million. That won't be padded any by the 'new' Meridian -- there is no price increase, for the increased capability and usefulness.

Did you want to upgrade your existing Meridian? Sorry -- it's a new-airplane-only weight, due to the internal work required.

FMI: www.newpiper.com

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