Piper Aircraft publicly unveiled its new M600 turboprop single today at Sun ’n’ Fun 2016 in Lakeland, Fla. Its new $2.853 million flagship model received FAA Type Inspection Authorization (TIA) on March 18 and is on track for certification and first deliveries in the third quarter. M600 S/N 001 is on display at the show, while S/Ns 002 and 003 continue flight testing. S/N 003 will be outfitted with a full interior by the end of next month in time to start function and reliability testing in June.
To date, the three flight-test M600s have logged nearly 1,500 hours during the course of some 900 flights. The aircraft have demonstrated a top speed of 274 ktas, 14 knots faster than original projections, and a max range of 1,441 nm, up from the guaranteed 1,200-nm range.
“The M600 test articles have performed flawlessly and have exceeded our expectations. The additional 14 knots of speed and 241 nm of range is a huge bonus for our customers and further enhances the overall value proposition of the product," said Piper president and CEO Simon Caldecott.
The aircraft’s new optimized, aluminum-bonded wing is the key factor behind the performance enhancements. Internally, it has machined spars to support the higher mtow of the M600. On the outside is a clean wing—devoid of the vortex generators found on the other M-class airplanes—with extended swept-back leading edges at the roots and new wingtips twisted up into mini-winglets.
Powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-42A flat-rated to 600 shp, the M600 can carry up to six people. Its maximum takeoff weight is 6,000 pounds with a useful load of 2,320 pounds..
Meanwhile, the flight deck sports a triple-screen Garmin 3000 suite paired with dual GTC 570 touchscreen controllers, backed up by the Aspen Standby 1000EFD. The additional performance provided by the wing and engine, combined with the safety features of the GFC 700 autopilot with enhanced automatic flight control system (AFCS), hypoxia prevention and EDM, ADS-B in/out and onboard radar, make the M600 a capable aircraft.
The freshly redesigned interior features newly styled, ergonomic seats with integrated lumbar support and some adjustability of the recline angle. Side panels hide retractable lightweight, laminated woodwork tables and brushed-aluminum cup holders.