Piper Aircraft Matrix

    The Matrix is basically the same as Piper’s 1980s-era Malibu Mirage, but with an unpressurized cabin and a smaller price tag. This offering initially seemed unlikely to wow buyers, but in 2008, its first year of production, the Matrix nearly outsold the rest of Piper’s piston aircraft line combined. Buyers saw the airplane not as a step down from more expensive models but as a step up from a basic four-seat piston aircraft. The six-seat Matrix offers a cabin-class experience with an airstair door, a central aisle, and club seating. Eliminating pressurization translated to a lighter weight and, thus, added fuel capacity for an extra hour of flight.

    Illustration by Jean-François Martin
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