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  Aircraft History, Specification and Information
Piper PA-15 Vagabond
N4307H Piper PA-15 Vagabond
1948 Piper PA-15 Vagabond - N4307H (sn 15-90)
Photo taken July 08, 2006 @ the Arlington Northwest EAA Fly-In July 2006 Arlington, WA USA (KAWO)
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler

The Piper PA-15 Vagabond and PA-17 Vagabond are both two seat, high wing, conventional gear light aircraft that were designed for personal use and for flight training and built by Piper Aircraft starting in 1948.


The PA-15 was the first post-World War II Piper aircraft design. It utilized much of the same production tooling that created the famous Piper Cub, as well as many of the Cub structural components (tail surfaces, landing gear, most of the wing parts). The Vagabond has a wing that is one bay shorter (30 ft (9.1 m) versus 36 ft (11.0 m)) than that on the Cub, which lead to the unofficial term describing the type: Short-wing Piper. This allowed the aircraft to be built with minimal material, design and development costs, and is credited with saving Piper Aircraft from bankruptcy after the war.

Vagabonds used a new fuselage with side-by-side seating for two instead of the Cubs' tandem (fore and aft) seating.

The PA-17 Vagabond version features dual controls, enabling it to be used for pilot training. It has a bungee cord shock-absorbed undercarriage (solid gear on the PA-15), and a 65 hp (48 kW) Continental A-65 engine.

The Vagabond was followed by the Clipper, which is essentially a Vagabond with a 17 in (43 cm) longer fuselage, Lycoming O-235 engine of 108 hp (81 kW), extra wing fuel tank, and four seats, the Pacer, Tri-Pacer and Colt, which are all variations of the Vagabond design and thus all Shortwing Pipers.

Operational history

In March 2010 there were still 224 PA-15s and 125 PA-17s registered in the USA.

There were 13 PA-15s and 12 PA-17s registered in Canada in March 2010.


  • PA-15 Vagabond
    Side-by-side two-seater powered by one 65hp Lycoming O-145 engine, 387 built.
  • PA-17 Vagabond
    Also known as the Vagabond Trainer a variant of the PA-15 with dual-controls, shock-cord suspension and powered by one 65hp Continental A-65-8 engine, 214 built.

Specifications (PA-15)

General characteristics
Crew: two in side-by-side seating
Length: 18 ft 8 in (5.69 m)
Wingspan: 29 ft 3 in (8.92 m)
Empty weight: 620 lb (281 kg)
Gross weight: 1100 lb (498 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × Lycoming O-145, 65 hp (49 kW)

Maximum speed: 100 mph (163 km/h)
Cruise speed: 90 mph (146 km/h)
Range: 250 miles (405 km)
Service ceiling: 10,000 ft (3077 m)
Rate of climb: 510 ft/min (2.6 m/s)

Last updated May 21, 2012
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Piper PA-15 Vagabond".
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