M350: Pressurization without the pressure
Many of our customers stepping up into a pressurized aircraft for the first time are relieved to realize that it isn't that big of a step after all in regards to pilot workload associated with the pressurization system (the real "step up" is in mission capability and overall comfort). Below are some of our most frequently asked questions. If you have more questions, or would like to get into the finer details of the system, please give us a call. As the world’s oldest Piper dealer, we pride ourselves on our product knowledge.
What are the basics of the M350 pressurization system?
The process of pressurization begins as soon as the gear is relieved of the aircraft’s weight. Air is compressed by the Lycoming’s dual turbochargers; some of that compressed air is used for the engine itself, but a portion of the air is directed towards the cabin. Prior to entering the cabin the compressed air is cooled, then is routed in via ducts near the floor, supplying pilots and passengers a comfortably oxygenated environment. An outflow valve located in the rear of the aircraft automatically controls the intake to outflow of air inside the cabin.
What do I need to set the system up?
It's as simple as this: You set up the pressurization system before takeoff by simply adjusting the pressurization control to the expected cruise altitude. Before landing, you'll input the expected field elevation. That's it.
What do my in-flight indicators look like?
The pressurization system display features one screen, with three different indicators: your cabin altitude, your climb / descend rate, and the differential pressure of the aircraft (comparing the air pressure inside the cabin to the air pressure outside of the cabin).
In summary -
With the Piper M350, the only current production pressurized single-engine piston aircraft, pilots experience expanded range, performance and improved comfort over other high-performance piston aircraft. Although piloting a pressurized cabin may seem intimidating, the pressurization system aboard the Piper M350 is an automatic, self-sustaining system that requires very minimal attention from the pilot. Although you may be climbing or descending at a high rate, you and your passengers only feel a minimal percent of the actual change in altitude.