Piper upgrades Meridian with Garmin G1000

April 21, 2009

Garmin G1000 Look for a complete pilot report on the G1000 Meridian in an upcoming issue of AOPA Pilot.

The seemingly ubiquitous Garmin G1000 integrated cockpit has found another home—in the Piper Meridian single-engine turboprop. Piper announced the optional new cockpit at the Sun ’n Fun Fly-In on April 21. Customers choosing the G1000 cockpit over the standard Avidyne Entegra cockpit will pay a $50,000 premium, bringing the price of the typically equipped six-seat airplane to $2.154 million. Among the enhancements the G1000 brings to the Meridian is synthetic vision, which Garmin announced a year ago at Sun ’n Fun, and a fully integrated and very capable autopilot in the GFC 700.

“The G1000 makes flying the Meridian a completely different experience,” said Bob Kromer, Piper’s vice president of sales. “This is a marvelous upgrade. It’s like we’ve done brain surgery on our airplane. It has a brand new personality.”

The change also includes Garmin’s GWX68 weather radar, replacing the Honeywell RDR 2000 radar. The synthetic vision system gives the pilot a three-dimensional view of the world on the primary flight display (PFD), showing terrain and obstacles along the flight path. In addition, flying boxes depict the selected course and altitude. The pilot maneuvers the airplane inside the boxes to stay on the flight path.

The three-screen Garmin system is an impressive upgrade to the Meridian. Two 10.4-inch PFDs flank a15-inch multifunction display. A keypad just below the power quadrant can be used to control MFD functions, as can soft keys around the screen bezels. The autopilot controller is located just below the MFD. Dual audio panels outboard of each PFD allow either pilot to transmit and monitor separate ATC frequencies. A stack of three standby instruments is located just to the left of the pilot’s PFD. Engine and other system information is anchored on the left third of the MFD. A crew alerting system (CAS), a first for the Meridian, dominates the bottom left corner of the MFD. The CAS alerts the pilot to system anomalies in various phases of flight.

Piper already has delivered a G1000 Meridian to its first customer.

Look for a complete pilot report on the G1000 Meridian in an upcoming issue of AOPA Pilot.

Thomas B. Haines

Thomas B Haines | Editor in Chief, AOPA

AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines joined AOPA in 1988. He owns and flies a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza. Since soloing at 16 and earning a private pilot certificate at 17, he has flown more than 100 models of general aviation airplanes.