Piper Aircraft delivered the first M600 single-engine turboprop yesterday, handing over the keys to the airplane to its new owners a day after Flying had a chance to put the model through its paces, which was closely followed by the FAA’s final validation flight before signing off on the production certificate.
The first M600, painted in a striking black, silver and red scheme (the colors of the University of Georgia) was delivered to brothers and business partners Jerry and Jack Wardlaw and will be based in southern Georgia.
The Wardlaw’s have been Piper owners for many years. They started out with a Piper Archer, then stepped up to a Saratoga, followed by a Meridian, and most recently bought an M500. The M600 that they took delivery of today will be used for both business and personal travel. The milestone follows final type certification from the FAA, which Piper Aircraft received on June 17.
“Today’s delivery marks another significant achievement in the M600 program and our journey to bring new value to the single-engine turboprop market,” said Piper President and CEO Simon Caldecott. “We are excited to begin deliveries of the M600 less than one month after receiving type certification from the FAA, fulfilling Piper’s commitment to developing and manufacturing premium aircraft of exceptional value which consistently exceed our customer’s expectations.”
The M600 is a major refresh of the M500 featuring an all-new wing, more power from its Pratt & Whitney PT6A-42A engine (flat rated at 600 shp vs 500 shp in the M500), a much improved interior and Garmin G3000 avionics with touch-screen controls.
The airplane has a maximum speed of 274 ktas at maximum power and a max range of 1,484 nm at intermediate cruise settings. The 2016 M600 is priced at $2.853 million. Look for our full flight report in an upcoming issue of Flying.