Piper's M600 single-engine turbo-prop (SETP) is currently on a demonstration tour of Australia, and is leaving a string of very impressed pilots in its slipstream.
Because when you're looking to pay nearly $US3 million for an aeroplane, you expect a fantastic buy and a lot for your money, which probably explains why the M600 has turned out to be a sales superstar for the US manufacturer.
With only six seats, and a 600-shp PT6A turbine out the front, the M600 is unashamedly out to attract owners looking to upgrade their ride from Bonanzas and Cirrus SR22s, and in doing so is throwing down a very heavy gauntlet to Daher's TBM 900 series and Cirrus' own upgrade offering, the SF50 Vision jet.
The evidence of that is seen in the appointment book of local agent, Airflite's Nick Jones, who seems to be adding more stopovers to the tour as new inquiries come in.
And you can see why people want to look over the M600 simply by running your eyes over the stats sheet.
- MTOW: 2722 kg
- Standard Useful Load: 1089 kg
- Max Cruise: 274 KTAS
- Seats: one plus five
- Ceiling 30,000 feet (28,000 for RVSM)
- Range with NBAA reserves @ 257 KTAS: 1242 nm
- Range with NBAA reserves @ 184 KTAS: 1484 nm
- Avionics: Garmin 3000
Australian Flying met the M600 at Essendon this week and watched as a potential new owner, a confirmed Bonanza pilot, handled Piper's flagship with ease under the instruction of demo pilot, Tom. From start-up to shut-down, the pilot was never overwhelmed by the aircraft, supported by the technology underpinning the G3000 avionics.
In the cabin, the passengers enjoyed a comfortable ride in plush leather seats, spoiled by noise-canceling headsets, heaps of leg room, an air conditioner and large side windows to give fantastic views of the world below.
It was clear the the M600 performs the job of upmarket transport very well, and obviously is not too much of a leap for any aeroplane driver wanting to expand their horizons and skills beyond piston engines. It is a very attractive option if the price tag is not too high to leap over.
When the M600 left Essendon, it was on its way to Griffith, and from there to Scone, Sydney, Albion Park, Archerifield and the Sunshine Coast. Somewhere in all that there was also a side-trip to Canberra on the cards ... and all the other locations that end-up in Nick Jones appointment book in the next couple of days.
Australian Flying will catch up with the M600 again in Archerfield, where our test pilot John Absolon will put it through its paces and present a full test and evaluation for the July-August print issue.
For more information on the M600 or inspection inquiries, contact Nick Jones at Airflite on 0416 335 800 firstname.lastname@example.org.