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The 10 Fastest Single Engine Airplanes Today

111 views | By Hangar.Flights | Last updated on May 09, 2022

The need for speed has always been a defining human character. Humans have been racing horses and chariots since the dawn of time. And right after the Wright brothers invented the airplane, barnstormers of the era took the passion for speed to the skies.

The 10 Fastest Single Engine Airplanes Today

Photo by Mooney Aircraft

Single-engine turboprop military trainers and fighter airplanes like the Pilatus PC-21, Beechcraft T-6 Texan II, and the Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano are among the fastest single-engine planes today. But the problem is that few mortals have access to those airplanes, and even fewer people are cleared to fly those machines. We will exclude them from our list.

We are talking about the fastest general aviation single-engine piston and turboprop aircraft civilians are permitted to own – and fly. Our list excludes all purpose-built single-engine aerobatic airplanes because they are unavailable to the average aviation Joe. And, yes, we acknowledge the official piston-engine speed record of 528.315 mph (850.241 km/h) set by “Rare Bear,” a highly modified Grumman F8F Bearcat airplane.

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Why don’t you fasten your seatbelts and settle down for a whirlwind ride as we explore our impressive list of the ten fastest single-engine airplanes in today’s era.

The Fastest Single Piston Engine Airplanes

#5. Piper M350

#5. Piper M350 - The 10 Fastest Single Engine Airplanes Today

  • Speed: 244 mph (394 kph, 212 knots)
  • Price: From $1,150,000
  • Country of Production: United States
  • Manufacturer: Piper Aircraft
  • Year of Introduction: 2015
  • Crew: One
  • Passenger capacity: Five passengers
  • Engine: 1 × Lycoming TIO-540-AE2A air-cooled, 6-cylinder, piston engine, 350 hp (261 kW)
  • Max payload: 1,969 kg (4,240 lb)
  • Range: 1,545 mi (2,487 km, 1,343 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 25,000 ft (7,620 m)

Our first entry, the Piper M350, is odd because it is the only business class single-engine piston airplane on the list. It is built to carry five passengers in a spacious pressurized cabin featuring hand-stitched leather seats with foldable backrests, ambient reading lights, USB ports, and individual cup holders. It is safe to say the Piper M350 is not your average single-engine piston plane.

All that luxury requires a formidable power plant, and the M350 does not disappoint. Its turbocharged Lycoming TIO-540-AE2A engine packs enough muscle to propel the airplane at speeds of 213 knots without shedding a drop of performance at 25,000 feet. Equipped with a state-of-art Garmin GFC-700 Autopilot, including Garmin Electronic Stability Protection(ESP), envelope-protection, and anti-hypoxia safety systems that help stabilize the airplane, including performing emergency landings in case of pilot incapacitation. The Piper M350 is a gift that keeps on giving.

#4. Cirrus SR22T

#4. Cirrus SR22T - The 10 Fastest Single Engine Airplanes Today

Photo by AOPA

  • Speed: 246 mph (396 kph, 213.7 knots)
  • Price: From $779,500
  • Country of Production: United States
  • Manufacturer: Cirrus Aircraft
  • Year of Introduction: 2010
  • Crew: One
  • Passenger capacity: Three passengers
  • Engine: 1 × Continental TSIO-550-K air-cooled, 6-cylinder, piston engine, 315 hp (235 kW)
  • Max payload: 372 kg (820  lb)
  • Range: 855 mi (1,375 km, 743 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 25,000 ft (7,600 m)

Let’s let you in on a secret, the “T” in the SR22T badge means “turbocharged,” announcing the Cirrus SR22T hot-rodding pedigree. Cirrus airplanes are renowned for their industry-leading safety features. But with the introduction of the SR22T model in 2010, the company has raised the benchmark for combining performance and safety in an exhilarating single-piston engine package.

Cirrus engineers installed a 315 hp turbocharged Continental TSIO-550-K 6 cylinder piston engine in the SR22T to release additional airspeed and better high altitude performance. Although the SR22T’s higher performance means it has a lower payload and range than other SR22 variants, it more than compensates with its crisper handling and acceleration.

The aircraft embodies speed, safety, and the mainstream luxury typical of all Cirrus airplanes. The four-seat cabin boasts a long list of standard equipment, including premium leather seating and surfaces, air conditioning, USB charging points, a glass cockpit featuring Electronic Stability and Protection system for improved handling in bad weather, and the famous Cirrus CAPS airframe parachute system.

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#3. Extra 330SC

#3. Extra 330SC - The 10 Fastest Single Engine Airplanes Today

Photo by Chris Rose (source: AOPA)

  • Speed: 253 mph (407 kph, 220 knots)
  • Price: From $425,000
  • Country of Production: Germany
  • Manufacturer: Extra Aircraft
  • Year of Introduction: 2007
  • Crew: One
  • Engine: 1 × Lycoming AEIO-580-B1A air-cooled, 6-cylinder horizontally-opposed piston engine, 315 hp (235 kW)
  • Max payload: 195 kg (430 lb)
  • Range: 477.8 mi (769 km, 415 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 16,000 ft (4,876.8 m)

EXTRAordinary is hardly the appropriate word for this low-wing single-piston engine aerobatic airplane. Yes, folks, the Extra 330SC is a championship-winning stunt plane highly desired by championship-winning pilots. And one of the two aerobatic planes to make our list of the ten fastest single-engine airplanes.

Although earlier Extra 230 and 260 airplanes were reigning championship birds during most of the 80s and 90s. The desire to create a highly maneuverable new generation aerobatic airplane with improved pilot control resulted in extensive modifications of the wing structure and ailerons using composite materials to achieve vital weight reduction while improving rigidity and strength.

The best part about the Extra 330SC is the responsive Lycoming Thunderbolt engine. Producing over 300 brute horsepower gives the aircraft the additional thrust required to reach the proper speeds for maneuvers during competitions. However, exploring the limits of the Extra 330SC can be dangerous due to the airplane’s ability to achieve high Gs, and pilots have reported experiencing over 20 Gs during high-speed stunts.

#2. Zivko Edge 540

#2. Zivko Edge 540 - The 10 Fastest Single Engine Airplanes Today

  • Speed: 264 mph ( 426 kph, 230 knots)
  • Price: From $320,000
  • Country of Production: United States
  • Manufacturer: Zivko Aeronautics
  • Year of Introduction: 1996
  • Crew: One
  • Engine: 1 × Lycoming AEIO-540-EXP 6-cylinder air-cooled horizontally-opposed piston engine, 310 hp (230 kW)
  • Max payload: 285 kg (630 lbs)
  • Range: 518 mi (833 km, 450 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 12,500 ft (3810 m)

The Zivko Edge 540 is our list’s second aerobatic aircraft and one of today’s fastest single-engine piston airplanes. It combines Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) capabilities with high airspeed in a highly maneuverable airframe package. The Edge 540 features remarkable flight characteristics suitable for high-speed aerobatic displays and newbie pilots seeking flight training on a certified general aviation aircraft.

Production of the Zivko Edge 540 is a serious affair involving high-end CAD technology and liberal use of composite materials throughout the fuselage and the tail boom. The outcome is a lightweight airplane of exceptional strength, a global favorite of stunt pilots, and a common feature in airshows and championships worldwide.

#1. Mooney M20V Acclaim Ultra

#1. Mooney M20V Acclaim Ultra - The 10 Fastest Single Engine Airplanes Today

Photo by Mooney Aircraft

  • Speed: 278 mph (448 kph, 242 knots)
  • Price: From $769,000
  • Country of Production: United States of America
  • Manufacturer: Mooney International Corporation
  • Year of Introduction: 2016
  • Crew: One
  • Passenger capacity: Three passengers
  • Engine: 1 × Continental TSIO-550-G air-cooled, 6-cylinder, piston engine, 280 hp (209 kW)
  • Max payload: 454 kg (1,000 lb)
  • Range: 1,300 mi (2,000 km, 1,100 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 25,000 ft (7,600 m)

“There’s no fixing’ what ain’t broke” is a maxim that has worked well for Mooney’s airplanes. And there is sure to be an epitaph with those words up on a wall somewhere within the company’s offices. The M20V Acclaim is the company’s most recent incarnation of the long-running Mooney M20 series, a tube, and sheet airframe design first introduced in 1959.

Considered by aviation experts worldwide as a worthy rebirth of the venerable M20 family. Mooney’s M20V Acclaim Ultra is a faster, sleeker, and more practical airplane than its forebears due to an engine capable of delivering promised speeds, the addition of a pilot side door, and swanky leather-clad interior, and a high-tech Garmin G1000 NXi avionic system.

The powerful 280 hp Continental TSIO-550-G is the secret sauce behind the Mooney M20V’s exceptional airspeed. It boasts two Garrett turbochargers, each feeding a bank of cylinders with compressed air at a maximum pressure of 33 inches, allowing the engine to unleash its full power at altitudes of up to 20,000 feet.

The Fastest Single-Engine Turboprop Airplanes

#5. Piper M600

#5. Piper M600 - The 10 Fastest Single Engine Airplanes Today

  • Speed: 315 mph (507 kph, 274 knots)
  • Price: From $2,853,000
  • Country of Production: United States
  • Manufacturer: Piper Aircraft
  • Year of Introduction: 2015
  • Crew: Two
  • Passenger capacity: Four passengers
  • Engine: Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-A-42A turbine engine 600 hp (450 kW)
  • Max payload: 1,088.6 kg (2,400 lb)
  • Range: 1,707 mi (2,747 km, 1,484 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 30,000 ft (9,144 m)

Many aviation buffs regard Piper Aircraft’s M Class range of airplanes as dependable general aviation workhorses. However, their high airspeed is why we have two models from the range on our list of the fastest single-engine planes. The 2016 edition of the Piper M600, an upgrade of the reliable Piper M500, adds more flexibility, power, and efficiency to an already perfect single-engine airplane range.

Owners of the Piper M600 get redesigned wings, new avionics (Garmin G3000), and more range due to increased fuel capacity. The ultra-reliable Pratt &Whitney Canada debuted in the M500 and returned with more power in the M600, producing a hundred more horsepower to deliver 275 knots top speed. The Piper M600 also gets cool toys like Garmin’s emergency autoland system dubbed “HALO” by Piper. This system allows the airplane to land if it detects the pilot is incapacitated.

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#4. Pilatus PC-12 NG

#4. Pilatus PC-12 NG - The 10 Fastest Single Engine Airplanes Today

  • Speed: 322 mph (519 kph, 280 knots)
  • Price: From $4,900,000
  • Country of Production: Switzerland
  • Manufacturer: Pilatus Aircraft
  • Year of Introduction: 2006
  • Crew: Two
  • Passenger capacity: Six to nine passengers
  • Engine: 1× Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67P turboprop engine, 1,200 hp (890 kW)
  • Max payload: 1,013.7 kg (2,235 lb)
  • Range: 2,123 mi (3,417 km, 1,485 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 30,000 ft (9,144 m)

Sheep in wolf’s clothing aptly describes the Pilatus PC-12 NG  single-engine turboprop aircraft. It has been described as an “easy handling” pressurized passenger and cargo plane with “excellent STOL performance and slow take-off and landing speeds.” Do not be fooled.

The Pilatus PC-12 Ng packs a powerful punch in the form of a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67P turboprop engine producing over a thousand horsepower. The engine provides the PC-12 NG with a higher airspeed of 280, improved climb rate, and better high altitude performance. Where the PC-12 Ng amazes is its luxurious cabin, which offers Business Jet class amenities while flying passengers into the most rugged terrains on earth.

Simply put, the PC-12 NG is among the rare class of pressurized single-turbine engine airplanes with the performance of a twin-engine aircraft and the functionality of a bush plane, a corporate transport, regional commuter, and utility aircraft.

#3. Epic LT

#3. Epic LT - The 10 Fastest Single Engine Airplanes Today

  • Speed: 374 mph (601 kph, 324 knots)
  • Price: From $1,950,000
  • Country of Production: United States
  • Manufacturer: Epic Aircraft
  • Year of Introduction: 2004
  • Crew: One
  • Passenger capacity: Five passengers
  • Engine: 1 × Pratt & Whitney PT6-67A turboprop, 1,200 hp (890 kW)
  • Max payload: 1,015 kg (2,238 lb)
  • Range: 2,157 mi (3,471 km, 1,874 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 31,000 ft (9,400 m)

Epic Air’s LT is the only kit-built airplane on our list of the fastest single-engine airplanes. However, it would be a mistake to downgrade this carbon fiber airplane as another garage hobbyist project.

The high-performance numbers produced by the Epic LT are truly savage when compared with finished airplanes from industry-leading brands. The LT’s single Pratt & Whitney Pratt PT6-67A turboprop produces an incredible 1,200 horsepower providing this lightweight carbon fiber airplane with a 3,000 feet per minute climb rate, eventually topping out at 31,000 feet in less than fifteen minutes.

The top speed is an impressive 324 knots with a range of over 3,000 miles which isn’t bad for what is essentially a DIY assembly airplane.

#2. SOCATA TBM 900

#2. SOCATA TBM 900  - The 10 Fastest Single Engine Airplanes Today

  • Speed: 379 mph (611 kph, 329.3 knots)
  • Price: From $3,900,000
  • Country of Production: France
  • Manufacturer: SOCATA/ DAHER
  • Year of Introduction: 1990
  • Crew: Two
  • Passenger capacity: Four to six passengers
  • Engine: 1 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66D turboprop, 850 hp (630 kW)
  • Max payload: 636 kg (1,402 lb)
  • Range: 2,053 mi (3,304 km, 1,784 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 31,000 ft (9,449 m)

SOCATA (now DAHER) TBM 900, the second-fastest single-engine airplane on our list, is an offspring of the TBM 700, a joint venture product between Mooney international Corporation and SOCATA (a division of French aircraft production giant Aerospatiale). It was the fastest general aviation single-engine airplane for a while until the EPIC E1000 GX dethroned it in 2015. Pilots sit in a modern but simple cockpit with  The TBM 900 is not all about speed.,

The TBM 900 has a metal airframe with composite surface parts in the wing and tail area. Thrust is supplied by a single Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66D turboprop power plant tuned to produce 850 horsepower at a top speed of 330 knots. Standard avionic systems installed on the TBM 900 include dual Garmin GNS 530 navigation and communication systems, electronic flight instrument system EFIS, weather radar systems, traffic collision avoidance system TCAS, and terrain awareness and warning system TAWS.

#1. Epic E1000 GX

#1. Epic E1000 GX - The 10 Fastest Single Engine Airplanes Today

  • Speed: 383 mph ( 617 kph, 333 knots)
  • Price: From $2,250,000
  • Country of Production: United States
  • Manufacturer: Epic Aircraft
  • Year of Introduction: 2020
  • Crew: One
  • Passenger capacity: Five passengers
  • Engine: 1 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67 turboprop, 1,200 hp (890 kW)
  • Max payload: 1,015 kg (2,238 lb)
  • Range: 1,795 mi (2,890 km, 1,560 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 34,000 ft (10,363 m)
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The Epic E1000 GX, our fastest single-engine airplane, has its humble origins in the Epic LS kit plane featured earlier. However, the big brother was destined for a bigger role. During the development of the E1000 project, Epic Aircraft stated its goal was to produce the fastest single-engine civil aircraft.

They achieved this feat by merging a carbon fiber composite airframe with one of the most powerful turboprop engines ever installed in a light airplane. The Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67 turboprop produces over a thousand horsepower propelling the Epic E1000 to a top speed of 333 knots.

Inside the spacious cabin is seating for six people, including the pilots. The Epic E1000 GX cockpit is equipped with a Garmin G1000 NXi avionics system featuring goodies like a synthetic vision system and a long list of safety equipment. Owners can order their Epic E1000 with the club seating arrangement and passenger accessories like storage pockets, USB charging ports, adjustable tray tables, cup holders, and ambient lighting.