Entry Level Turboprop
Specs, operating costs & information
Piper is not new to building cabin class singles, in fact they have been building the Meridian (then called the Piper Malibu) since 1983. Piper has several airplanes that utilize the same or similar air-frame, they have dubbed their lineup of cabin-class aircraft the “M-Class”. Under this class Piper has the M350, M500, and M600. The M350 is identical to the M500 but it is a piston engine – you can read about the M350 in our Piston section.
The M500 was originally introduced as the Piper Malibu Meridian in 2000 as a turboprop version of the popular cabin-class piston – the Piper Malibu. The Meridian was powered by the robust Pratt and Whitney PT6 engine and featured 6 seats in pressurized comfort. The original variants had Avidyne Entegra avionics but those were replaced with a Garmin G1000 panel in 2009. The Meridian was rebranded as the M500 with few changes, namely in updates to the G1000 system.
Piper launched the M600 in 2015 as their flagship turboprop model. Although it shares a striking resemblance with the M500 the M600 has a redesigned wing that offers nearly a 1,000 lbs. useful load increase, 500mile range increase, and features the Garmin G3000 flight deck. The M600 competes much more directly with the TBM 900, its closest competitor while offering a substantial price savings. Overall, the Piper M-Class serves as a great entry point to the turboprop market, offering a great operational history and great value compared to its costlier competitors.