New Piper Aircraft has introduced fixed-gear versions of its Saratoga high-performance piston single, in response to a hike in insurance premiums. The normally aspirated Piper 6X first flew on 24 February and was unveiled at last week's Sun 'n' Fun show in Lakeland, Florida.

Deliveries of the six-seat Piper 6X and turbocharged 6XT will begin in August. Powered by a 225kW (300hp) Lycoming IO-540, the 6X sells for $336,000 and has a 153kt (285km/h) maximum speed and 1,540km (830nm) range. The $356,000, TIO-540-powered 6XT is capable of 165kt and 1,570km. Piper says the 6X has a 655kg (1,440lb) useful load and 375kg payload with full fuel.

New Piper says its European dealers are interested in the turbocharged 6XT, which achieves 225kW at a lower, 2,500rpm propeller speed, and complies with Europe's stringent noise regulations.

Also at Sun 'n' Fun, Mooney Airplane introduced improved DX models of its Ovation 2 and turbocharged Bravo piston singles. Refinements include Garmin-supplied weather datalink and Mode S transponder and three-year warranty. Lancair debuted a fixed-gear version of its Legacy high-performance kitplane, with a glassfibre airframe and 150kW Lycoming IO-360 to reduce cost, now starting at $33,000.

Source: Flight International