Highlighting the differences between the Piper M500 and the new Piper M600.
During Aero Friedrichshafen where the new M600 was on display, one of the most frequently asked questions was: “Besides the extra 100 shp in the engine, what is the difference?” Even M500 pilots couldn’t spot the difference at first glance; so let us explain that million-dollar difference.
As the title above mentions, the major difference between the M500 and the M600 lies in its new clean sheet wing design.
The M600 wing holds 90 gallons more fuel than the M500, thereby increasing useful load by 702 Pounds and the range by 484 nm. In Europe those extra 484 nm mean you can fly non-stop from Copenhagen to Malaga with two to three passengers.
The new more straight wing design also allows a higher VMo, increasing the maximum operating speed from 188 kcas to 250 kcas and allowing for a quicker descend on landing.
The new wing also has the radar pod integrated, whereas the radar pod is mounted under the wing on the M500. Besides looking more streamlined, it also reduces drag and contributes to speed, VMO and range.
A less obvious improvement to the wing is the leading edge cuffs under the de-ice boots that are removable, which will come in handy for those unanticipated brushes with a fuel truck, post, or hangar door.
The M600’s de-ice boots are completely new to the Piper line and eliminate use of vacuum pumps and traditional control switches. Further wing examination reveals a few more access bays and inspection points, making repairs and inspections easier and less labor-intensive.
The M600 landing gear under the wings is placed a few inches further to the aft, making the aircraft more stable to enter, when on the ground. Besides its slightly changed position, It features a much sturdier strut and gear actuator structure than the M500 with bigger tires that makes the rolling on the ground much easier. Also when looking closer at the brakes it will reveal a larger braking system ready to handle the nearly 1,000 additional pounds of moving mass on landing.
Flying capabilities have also been radically improved with the new wing. Many pilots feel the aircraft is much more stable and say it feels like flying a little big aircraft.
So it is not just the increased speed, range and payload you get, but a lot of small thought through enhancements that makes this wing such a big deal. But that is not the only difference between the M500 and the M600, writing about the avionics and all the built-in safety features or the re-designed interior in the M600 would each take up an entire article itself. Perhaps that will be our next project?
Below is a small comparison of key specifications between the two models.
Do call us if you are interested in knowing more about the Piper M600, or if you are still deciding which model would suit your flying needs.
All the best – from the European Aircraft Sales Team.