The Piper 6XT was derived from the popular Saratoga series. The 6XT is a turbocharged fixed landing gear aircraft. The aircraft seats six in a double club arrangement and has plenty of available payload to use those seats.
The PA-32 line includes the fixed-gear Cherokee Six, the retractable-gear Lance and current Saratoga retractables. The PA-32-260 Cherokee Six was first delivered in 1965. The retractable Lance/Saratoga was actually a byproduct of a devastating flood that destroyed much of the Piper assembly plant in Lock Haven, PA, during the early 1970s. Rather than rebuild the destroyed tooling for the six-seat Comanche, Piper decided to make a new, six-seat retractable, the Lance. Piper already had the Seneca light twin, based on the Cherokee Six, so all it had to do was adapt the retractable-gear to the 300 hp version of the Cherokee Six. The Lance was introduced in 1976 and the Saratoga in 1980.
The 6X was first flown in April 2003 and was aircraft was certified by the end of July 2003. The 6XT received its certification in September 2003.
The 6XT is a good four-person full-fuel plane. Removing all the seats and operating the aircraft as a freighter can expand the carrying capacity of the airplane. While it cannot compete on speed with the A36 Bonanza, it made up for that in load capacity. The cabin is quite comfortable for four, and adequate for six. While the turbocharged 6XT out performs the normally aspirated version, you lose some payload with the turbo.
The turbocharged 6XT has a 300 hp TIO-540 and cruises at up to 165 knots. The 6X is powered by a 300 hp Lycoming IO-540 and has cruise speeds up to 153 knots.
Fans of the Piper Cherokee Six should be pleased with the performance and payload of the New Piper 6XT.
The Avidyne Entegra large LCD panel displays became available as an option from 2005.