Written for longtime Groom Aviation client, Muncie Aviation.
Great news from our friends and partners in Vero Beach - the Piper M600 is certified! We're excited to meet this aircraft that so far has exceeded everyone's expectations of projected performance. We're expecting a 274 ktas aircraft that can go over 1,400 nm (thanks to its generous 260 gal fuel tanks).
So what makes the M600 different from its predecessor - the Meridian M500? Below is a very brief overview of the main differences (the avionics section alone could span multiple pages). To learn more, call us today, and we'll walk you through the even finer details.
From the ramp -
The M600 has an entirely new wing, a clean sheet design. It holds considerably more fuel (90 more gallons) than it's predecessor, and helped in achieving an increased useful load of 702 pounds (M600 - 2400 lbs, M500 - 1,698 lbs). Both aircraft have on-board radar (Garmin), but the M600's radar pod is mounted into the wing for reduced drag, whereas the M500 radar pod hangs just below the wing.
Sitting inside -
The M500 and M600 share the same fuselage, so climbing into the aircraft via the long-coveted airstair door remains the same. While both aircraft feature beautiful leather executive interiors, the M600 comes with four color and finishing options, while the M500 is limited to two. Both feature modern conveniences, including USB charging ports (the M600 has six!), LED lighting and hardwired Bose cockpit headsets.
Sitting upfront -
Both aircraft feature modern avionics by Garmin - the M500 has a G1000, the M600 a G3000. The G3000 is Garmin's latest and greatest for small turbine aircraft; it features touchscreen controls and is extremely intuitive to use. The M500 and the M600 alike feature Enhanced AFCS (Automated Flight Control Systems) including Level Mode, Underspeed Protection, Coupled Go-Arounds and ESP (Electronic Stability Protection). Each of these systems add an incredible safety net to the operator. The M600 also has Hypoxia Recognition and Auto-Descent, a feature that automatically will reduce the aircraft's altitude to a breathable one in the event that the pilot becomes unresponsive.
To keep it simple, we've created this chart covering the basic performance differences between the two aircraft. All data and figures are sourced directly from Piper Aircraft's website and print collateral.
Signing the check -
The M500 barely squeaks in at under $2 million with a 2016 base price of $1,998,900; the M600 starts at $2,853,000. Both aircraft are well equipped at the base price, but the typical owner specs about $50-75k of additional options.
In the end -
To make a long story short, both the M500 and M600 are incredibly capable aircraft, stemming from a long-line of Malibu successes in the marketplace. Their cost, both acquisition and operation, make them a highly compelling offer to owners and operators alike, placed firmly under the cost of the nearest competitors.