Piper PA-46-500 TP Malibu Meridian / Build Journey

Hi All

Whilst working on the G36 Bonanza Improvement Project I’ve started to think about developing my own aircraft from the ground up. After a long search and looking at what’s out there and in development I thought a competitor to the TBM might be a good place to start.

To that end I’ve started collecting reference materials, pictures, videos, and as much info on the the Piper PA-46-500 TP Malibu Meridian

My ultimate aim, as with the G36 is to make the aircraft as real as it gets! I know a lot of you enjoy following projects as they progress and I thought this might be a great place to do it.

This will be my first complete aircraft from scratch and I think I have probably bitten off more than I can chew but I’m looking forward to sharing the journey with you all.



The first steps with any project! Here is my progress after a few days.

It took me days to find a good three view!

Everything starts with a cylinder

Kinda like a fuselage

Trying to get the window shape right!

Smoothing things out

A tailplane!

And attempt number 2



Awesome! Really interested in following along. I’ve always been curious about the process, but never brave enough to jump into a project. Good luck and keep us updated.


@xdragonfly, thank you!

I was very much the same, I’ve always wanted to have a go - MSFS is the push I needed!

Working on the main wing at the moment. I had never used Blender until a few days ago!


I enthusiastically and strongly encourage you in this project! The Meridian is a lovely aircraft. (And the original Malibu was great as well, although you gotta love the turbo engine…) Or you could just go hog wild and do the M600 and… um… you’d have a TBM 930 with Piper stickers?

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This is going to be fun to watch! Thanks for including us from the very start. It’s fascinating to watch what all is involved with the process.

Heck, I’m going to buy the FGS Porter even though I already have Milviz and Asobo because I’ve so appreciated their development logs and the insights its given me into how these things are created!

Looking forward to watching your progress.

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Very nice plane you chose. Especially since turboprop planes are in short supply.

Have you already decided whether it will have a glass cockpit or steam gauges?

Thanks All!!

A steep learning curve but I’m really enjoying it right now. My biggest worry is in making mistakes at this point which will cause issues down the line. This is my first time in Blender and first time 3d modelling so I am very away that I am at the conscious incompetence stage!

If anyone has any tips, tricks, things to look out for at this stage I would greatly receive any!

I spent a few hours yesterday trying to find the NACA airfoil shapes for the wing so I can get the shape 100% correct. This is the NACA 23009 foil which is at the very tip of the wing.

@Archer374 The M500 has a G1000 suite so probably that as I want to be as true to the real aircraft as possible.


Just finished adding the reference NACA foils onto the wing, now to get shaping!


Many thanks for sharing your development steps!

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Makes sense. Wasn’t aware the 500 only came with the Garmin. Was kind of hoping for a high-speed TP or jet GA with steam gauges. That’s something we’re still missing.


I was tempted to work on the Malibu 350 with the piston engine and steam gauges but I do like all the functionality of the 1000.

I’m also very aware that I want to produce something, rather than get discouraged and giving up. This is my first attempt at 3d modelling so I figured I had enough to learn already. :slight_smile:

Orders Blender for Dummies from Amazon lol!


How will you create the wing profiles?

Loft them individually using the profile as a spline?

Poly model them by moving vertices?

Do them individually or split the model in half and use symmetry?

Best wishes.


I started by adding a cube mesh, then using each vertices to match the NACA foil shape at key parts then blending that across the whole wing. I’m working on one wing whilst using the mirroring modifier.

Ah yes I understand, thanks.

It’s different terminology to 3DS Max but I see your methodology now.

I look forward to seeing your efforts unfold!

Good luck.

BTW what is your ultimate poly count goal?

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I have no idea! I know it is something that I should be aware off but no idea what is good or bad

Me neither but there’ll be a point where too many polys will start hitting FPS. Maybe one of the other developers can offer some guidance, or someone may know roughly how many one of the standard Asobo aeroplanes have.

I have noticed one or two 3rd party aircraft makers try and get away with less “blending” to keep poly count low, but they get called out on it by certain reviewers who then say the model could be better!

My tip at this stage is to make sure all vertices are welded, faces are co-planar where necessary, and maps are used to fake geometry in less obvious areas such as rivets etc.

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I have a LOT of learning to do :slight_smile: All those terms are lost on me at the moment - thank god for forums, youtube and skillshare!

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Yet another reason someone needs to make a Misubishi MU-2B for MSFS :slight_smile:


Or an early Piaggio P.180 Avanti

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