Piper's New Matrix: A Deflated Mirage

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Does the world really need an unpressurized Piper Mirage? Piper thinks it does and at the AOPA Expo show in Hartford this week, it announced the new Matrix which, although technically a new type certificate, is really a variant of the well-established Malibu/Mirage series. Piper CEO Jim Bass told AVweb this week that it believes the Matrix will find a sweet spot in the market because it will sell for an equipped price of $757,000, more that $300,000 less that the price of a new Mirage. Because the airplane lacks a pressure hull, it's less expensive to manufacture and has an empty weight of around 150 pounds less than the Mirage. Bass says this will offer owners high cruise speeds and payloads well into the teens and if an owner wants to venture to the airplane's certificated 25,000-foot ceiling, the Matrix will have an onboard oxygen system.

Bass says the Matrix will compete directly with four-place products from Mooney, Columbia and Cirrus, offering six-place capability and greater range. If you think there's no demand for a $757,000 non-pressurized single, Piper has an answer: it already has 100 firm orders.

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Additional comments from Piper's Bass in our exclusive podcast