Piper’s Gentler, Simpler Matrix Hits a Sweet Spot

When Piper introduced the Matrix, a big six-seat piston single-engine airplane, just over a year ago, it was greeted with plenty of skepticism?or at best, yawns, from the aviation press. Essentially an unpressurized, less-expensive version of the popular Piper Malibu, it seemed unlikely to ignite any excitement. But buyers quickly saw that it was not a step down from the Malibu, but a step up for owners of four-seat airplanes, at just the right price and easy to transition into. The weight savings translate to an extra hour of flying range, and the roomy club seating for four passengers provides a big-airplane feel at a small-airplane price. Typically equipped, the Matrix goes for about $819,000. (772.978.6592, www.newpiper.com)

Mary Grady

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