- Aircraft History, Specification and Information -
Piper PA-28 Cherokee
Piper PA-28-161 Warrior II - HB-PGN
1982 Piper PA-28-161 Warrior II
HB-PGN (sn 28-8216134)
Owner: Société d'Aviation de la Gruyère SA
Biel-Kappelen Airfield, Switzerland (LSZP)
Photo © AirplaneMart.com
Piper PA-28-151 Cherokee Warrior - N56860
1973 Piper PA28-151
Cherokee Warrior
N56860 (sn 28-7415019)
Photo taken at Sun 'n Fun 2007
Lakeland Airport, FL USA (KLAL)
Photo © AirplaneMart.com

The Piper PA-28 Cherokee is a family of light aircraft designed for flight training, air taxi and personal use, built by Piper Aircraft.

All members of the PA-28 family are all-metal, unpressurized, four-seat, single-engine piston-powered airplanes with low-mounted wings and tricycle landing gear. All PA-28 aircraft have a single door on the co-pilot side, which is entered by stepping on the wing.

The first PA-28 received its type certificate from the FAA in 1960 and the series remains in production in 2009. Current models are the Arrow and Warrior III. The Archer was discontinued in 2009, but with investment from new Piper owners Imprimis, will be revived in 2010.

Competition for the PA-28 series include the Cessna 172, the Grumman American AA-5 series and the Beechcraft Musketeer.

Piper has created variations within the Cherokee family by installing engines ranging from 140 to 300 hp (105-220 kW), providing turbocharging, offering fixed or retractable landing gear, fixed-pitch or constant speed propellers, and stretching the fuselage to accommodate 6 people. The larger, six-seat variant of the PA-28 is generally the PA-32; earlier versions were known as the "Cherokee Six," and a PA-32 version is still in production today under the model name Saratoga.

Development

At the time of the Cherokee's introduction, Piper's primary single-engine, all-metal aircraft was the Piper PA-24 Comanche, a larger, faster aircraft with retractable landing gear and a constant-speed propeller. Karl Bergey, Fred Weick and John Thorp designed the Cherokee as a less expensive alternative to the Comanche, with lower manufacturing and parts costs to compete with the Cessna 172, although some later Cherokees also featured retractable gear and constant-speed propellers.

The Cherokee and Comanche lines continued in parallel production serving different market segments for over a decade, until Comanche production was ended in 1972, to be replaced by the Piper PA-32R family.

PA-28 Cherokee
The original Cherokees were the Cherokee 150 and Cherokee 160 (PA-28-150 and PA-28-160), which started production in 1961 (unless otherwise mentioned, the model number always refers to horsepower).

In 1962, Piper added the Cherokee 180 (PA-28-180) powered by a 180 horsepower (134 kW) Lycoming O-360 engine. The extra power made it practical to fly with all four seats filled (depending on passenger weight and fuel loading), and the model remains popular on the used-airplane market. In 1968, the cockpit was modified to replace the "push-pull" style engine controls with levers. In addition, a third window was added to each side, giving the fuselage the more modern look seen in current production.

Piper continued to expand the line rapidly. In 1963, the company introduced the even more powerful Cherokee 235 (PA-28-235), which competed favorably with the Cessna 182 for load-carrying capability. The Cherokee 235 featured a Lycoming O-540 engine derated to 235 horsepower (175 kW) and a longer wing which would eventually be used for the Cherokee Six. It included tip tanks of 17 gallon capacity each, bringing the total fuel capacity of the Cherokee 235 to 84 gallons. The aircraft had its fuselage stretched in 1973 giving much more leg room in the rear. The stabilator area was increased as well. In 1973 the marketing name was changed from "235" to the Charger. In 1974 it was changed again to Pathfinder. Production of the Pathfinder continued until 1977. There was no 1978 model year. In 1979 the aircraft was given the Piper tapered wing and was again renamed the Dakota.

In 1964, the company filled in the bottom end of the line with the Cherokee 140 (PA-28-140), which was designed for training and initially shipped with only two seats. One source of confusion is the fact that the PA-28-140 engine was slightly modified shortly after its introduction to produce 150 horsepower (112 kW), but kept the -140 name.

In 1967, Piper introduced the PA-28R-180 Cherokee Arrow. This aircraft featured a constant-speed propeller, retractable landing gear and was powered by a 180 horsepower (134 kW) Lycoming IO-360-B1E engine. A 200-hp (149 kW) version powered by a Lycoming IO-360-C1C was offered as an option beginning in 1969 and designated the PA-28R-200; the 180-hp model was dropped after 1971. At the time the Arrow was introduced, Piper removed the Cherokee 150 and Cherokee 160 from production.

The Arrow II came out in 1972, featuring a five-inch fuselage stretch to increase legroom for the rear-seat passengers. In 1977, Piper introduced the Arrow III (PA-28R-201), which featured a semi-tapered wing and longer stabilator, a design feature that had previously been introduced successfully on the PA-28-181 and provided better low-speed handling. It also featured larger fuel tanks, increasing capacity from 50 to 77 gallons.

The first turbocharged model, the PA-28R-201T was also offered in 1977, powered by a six-cylinder Continental TSIO-360-F engine equipped with a Rajay turbocharger. A three-bladed propeller was optional.

In 1979, the Arrow was re-styled again as the PA-28RT-201 Arrow IV, featuring a "T" tail that resembled the other aircraft in the Piper line at the time.

In 1971, Piper released a Cherokee 140 variant called the Cherokee Cruiser 2+2. Although the plane kept the 140 designation, it was, in fact, a 150 horsepower (110 kW) plane (112 kW), and shipped mainly as a four-seat version. In 1973, the Cherokee 180 was named the Cherokee Challenger, and had its fuselage lengthened slightly and its wings widened, and the Cherokee 235 was named the Charger with similar airframe modifications. In 1974, Piper changed the marketing names of some of the Cherokee models again, renaming the Cruiser 2+2 (140) simply the Cruiser, the Challenger the Archer (model PA-28-181) and the Charger (235) to Pathfinder.

Piper reintroduced the Cherokee 150 in 1974, renaming it the Cherokee Warrior (PA-28-151) and giving it the Archer's stretched body and a new, semi-tapered wing.

In 1977, Piper stopped producing the Cruiser (140) and Pathfinder (235), but introduced a new 235 horsepower (175 kW) plane, the Dakota (PA-28-236), based on the Cherokee 235, Charger, Pathfinder models but with the new semi-tapered wing.

The PA-28-201T Turbo Dakota followed the introduction of the PA-28-236 Dakota in 1979. The airframe was essentially the same as a fixed gear Arrow III and was powered by a turbo-charged Continental TSIO-360-FB engine producing 200 hp (149 kW). The aircraft did not sell well and production ended in 1980.

In 1978, Piper upgraded the Warrior to 160 horsepower (119 kW) PA-28-161, changing its name to Cherokee Warrior II. This aircraft had slightly improved aerodynamic wheel fairings. Later models of the Warrior II, manufactured after July 1982, incorporate a gross weight increase to 2,440 pounds, giving a useful load over 900 pounds. This same aircraft, now available with a glass cockpit, is available as the Warrior III, and is marketed as a training aircraft.

PA-32
In 1965, Piper developed the Piper Cherokee Six, designated the PA-32, by stretching the PA-28 design. It featured a lengthened fuselage and seating for one pilot and five passengers.

Brazilian and Argentinian production
PA-28s were built under licence in Brazil as the Embraer EMB-711A and EMB-711C Corisco (PA-28R-200), EMB-711B (PA-28R-201), EMB-711T (PA-28RT-201) and EMB-711ST Corisco Turbo (PA-28RT-201T) and the EMB-712 Tupi (PA-28-181). Argentinian production was carried out by Chincul SA of San Juan, Argentina. Chincul SA built 960 airplanes between 1972 and 1995, including the Cherokee Archer, Dakota, Arrow, Turbo Arrow.

New Piper Aircraft
The original Piper Aircraft company declared bankruptcy in 1991. In 1995, The New Piper Aircraft company was created. It was renamed Piper Aircraft once again in 2006. The company currently produces two PA-28 Cherokee variants: the 160 horsepower (119 kW) Warrior III (PA-28-161) and the 200 horsepower (149 kW) retractable Arrow (PA-28R-201). All are now available with Avidyne Entegra glass cockpits.

Design

Wing
Originally, all Cherokees had a constant-chord rectangular planform wing, popularly called the Hershey Bar wing because of its resemblance to the flat candy bar.

Beginning with the Warrior in 1974, Piper switched to a tapered wing with the NACA 652-415 profile and a two foot longer wingspan. Both Cherokee wing variants have an angled wing root; i.e., the wing leading edge is swept forward as it nears the fuselage body, rather than meeting the body at a perpendicular angle.

The documented takeoff distance, cruise speed, and landing distance of Cherokees of the same horsepower with different wing types is very similar and some of the differences that do exist in later taper-wing models can be attributed to better fairings and seals rather than the different wing design. The Hershey Bar wing design is not markedly inferior to the tapered design, and in some ways is quite advantageous. As Piper Cherokee designer John Thorp says: "Tapered wings tend to stall outboard, reducing aileron effectiveness and increasing the likelihood of a rolloff into a spin."

As Peter Garrison further explains: "To prevent tip stall, designers have resorted to providing the outboard portions of tapered wings with more cambered airfoil sections, drooped or enlarged leading edges, fixed or automatic leading edge slots or slats, and, most commonly, wing twist or "washout." The trouble with these fixes is that they all increase the drag, canceling whatever benefit the tapered wing was supposed to deliver in the first place."

Flight controls
For the Cherokee family Piper used their traditional flight control configuration. The horizontal tail is a stabilator with an anti-servo tab (sometimes termed an anti-balance tab). The anti-servo tab moves in the same direction of the stabilator movement, making pitch control "heavier" as the stabilator moves out of the trimmed position. Flaps can extend up to 40º, but are considerably smaller, and arguably less effective, than the flaps on a Cessna 172. Normally, 25º flaps are used for a short- or soft-field takeoff. The ailerons, flaps, stabilator, and stabilator trim are all controlled using cables and pulleys.

In the cockpit, all Cherokees use control yokes rather than sticks, together with rudder pedals. The pilot operates the flaps manually using a Johnson bar located between the front seats: for zero degrees the lever is flat against the floor and is pulled up to select the detent positions of 10°, 25° and 40°.

Older Cherokees use an overhead crank for stabilator trim (correctly called an anti servo-tab), while later ones use a trim wheel on the floor between the front seats, immediately behind the flap bar.

All Cherokees have a brake lever under the pilot side of the instrument panel. Differential toe brakes on the rudder pedals were an optional add-on for earlier Cherokees, and became standard with later models.

Some earlier Cherokees used control knobs for the throttle, mixture, and propeller advance (where applicable), while later Cherokees use a collection of two or three control levers in a throttle quadrant.

Cherokees normally include a rudder trim knob, which actually controls a set of springs acting on the rudder pedals rather than an external trim tab on the rudder — in other words, the surface is trimmed by control tension rather than aerodynamically.

Variants

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee Cruiser
Two place, fixed landing gear landplane, Lycoming O-320-E2A engine of 150 hp (112 kW), gross weight 1,950 lb (885 kg). First certified on 14 February 1964. Approved as a 2,150 lb (975 kg) gross weight four place aircraft on 17 June 1965.

Piper PA-28-150 Cherokee
Four place, fixed landing gear landplane, Lycoming O-320-A2B or O-320-E2A engine of 150 hp (112 kW), gross weight 2,150 lb (975 kg). First certified on 2 June 1961.

Piper PA-28-151 Cherokee Warrior
Four place, fixed landing gear landplane, Lycoming O-320-E3D engine of 150 hp (112 kW), gross weight 2,325 lb (1,055 kg). First certified on 9 August 1973. Changes from the PA-28-150 include a tapered wing.

Piper PA-28-160 Cherokee
Four place, fixed landing gear landplane, Lycoming O-320-B2B or O-320-D2A engine of 160 hp (119 kW), gross weight 2,200 lb (998 kg). First certified on 31 October 1960.

Piper PA-28-161 Warrior II
Four place, fixed landing gear landplane, Lycoming O-320-D3G or O-320-D2A engine of 160 hp (119 kW), gross weight 2,325 lb (1,055 kg). First certified on 2 November 1976. Changes from the PA-28-160 include a tapered wing. Certified on 1 July 1982 for gross weight of 2,440 lb (1,107 kg).

Piper PA-28-161 Warrior III
Four place, fixed landing gear landplane, Lycoming O-320-D3G engine of 160 hp (119 kW), gross weight 2,440 lb (1,107 kg). First certified on 1 July 1994.

Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee
Four place, fixed landing gear landplane, Lycoming O-360-A3A or O-360-A4A engine of 180 hp (134 kW), gross weight 2,400 lb (1,089 kg). First certified on 3 August 1962.

Piper PA-28-180 Archer
Four place, fixed landing gear landplane, Lycoming O-360-A4A or O-360-A4M engine of 180 hp (134 kW), gross weight 2,450 lb (1,111 kg). First certified on 22 May 1972. Changes from the PA-28-180 Cherokee include a five inch fuselage extension, wing span increase, larger horizontal tail, gross weight increase and other minor changes.

Piper PA-28-181 Archer II
Four place, fixed landing gear landplane, Lycoming O-360-A4M or O-360-A4A engine of 180 hp (134 kW), gross weight 2,550 lb (1,157 kg). First certified on 8 July 1975. Changes from the PA-28-180 include a tapered wing.

Piper PA-28-181 Archer III
Four place, fixed landing gear landplane, Lycoming O-360-A4M engine of 180 hp (134 kW), gross weight 2,550 lb (1,157 kg). First certified on 30 August 1994.

Piper PA-28-201T Turbo Dakota
Four place, fixed landing gear landplane, turbocharged Continental TSIO-360-FB, engine of 200 hp (149 kW), gross weight 2,900 lb (1,315 kg). First certified on 14 December 1978.

Piper PA-28-235 Cherokee Pathfinder
Four place, fixed landing gear landplane, Lycoming O-540-B2B5, O-540-B1B5, or O-540-B4B5 engine of 235 hp (175 kW), gross weight 2,900 lb (1,315 kg). First certified on 15 July 1963.

Piper PA-28-235 Cherokee Pathfinder
Four place, fixed landing gear landplane, Lycoming O-540-B4B5 engine of 235 hp (175 kW), gross weight 3,000 lb (1,361 kg). First certified on 9 June 1972. Changes from the 1963 certified PA-28-235 Cherokee Pathfinder include a five inch fuselage extension, wing span increase, larger horizontal tail, gross weight increase and other minor changes.

Piper PA-28-236 Dakota
Four place, fixed landing gear landplane, Lycoming O-540-J3A5D engine of 235 hp (175 kW), gross weight 3,000 lb (1,361 kg). First certified on 1 June 1978. Changes from the 1972 certified PA-28-235 Cherokee Pathfinder include tapered wing.

Piper PA-28S-160 Cherokee
Four place, fixed landing gear seaplane, Lycoming O-320-D2A engine of 160 hp (119 kW), gross weight 2,140 lb (971 kg). First certified on 25 February 1963.

Piper PA-28S-180 Cherokee
Four place, fixed landing gear seaplane, Lycoming O-360-A3A or O-360-A4A engine of 180 hp (134 kW), gross weight 2,222 lb (1,008 kg). First certified on 10 May 1963.

Piper PA-28R-180 Arrow
Four place, retractable landing gear landplane, Lycoming IO-360-B1E engine of 180 hp (134 kW), gross weight 2,500 lb (1,134 kg). First certified on 8 June 1967.

Piper PA-28R-200 Arrow
Four place, retractable landing gear landplane, Lycoming IO-360-C1C engine of 200 hp (149 kW), gross weight 2,600 lb (1,179 kg). First certified on 16 January 1969.

Piper PA-28R-200 Arrow II
Four place, retractable landing gear landplane, Lycoming IO-360-C1C or C1C6 engine of 200 hp (149 kW), gross weight 2,650 lb (1,202 kg). First certified on 2 December 1971. Changes from the 1969 certified PA-28R-200 Arrow include a five inch fuselage extension, wing span increase, larger horizontal tail, gross weight increase and other minor changes.

Piper PA-28R-201 Arrow III
Four place, retractable landing gear landplane, Lycoming IO-360-C1C6 engine of 200 hp (149 kW), gross weight 2,750 lb (1,247 kg). First certified on 2 November 1976.

Piper PA-28R-201T Turbo Arrow III
Four place, retractable landing gear landplane, turbocharged Continental TSIO-360-F or TSIO-360-FB engine of 200 hp (149 kW), gross weight 2,900 lb (1,315 kg). First certified on 2 November 1976.

Piper PA-28RT-201 Arrow IV
Four place, retractable landing gear landplane, Lycoming IO-360-C1C6 engine of 200 hp (149 kW), gross weight 2,750 lb (1,247 kg). First certified on 13 November 1978. Features a T tail.

Piper PA-28RT-201T Turbo Arrow IV
Four place, retractable landing gear landplane, turbocharged Continental TSIO-360-FB engine of 200 hp (149 kW), gross weight 2,900 lb (1,315 kg). First certified on 13 November 1978. Features a T tail.

Operators

Military operators
Chile - Chilean Air Force
Finland - Finnish Air Force

Accidents and incidents

September 9, 1969, Allegheny Airlines Flight 853 collided with a Piper PA-28-181 Archer over the city of Fairland, Indiana, killing all aboard both planes.

August 31, 1986, Aeroméxico Flight 498 collided with a Piper PA-28-181 Archer over the city of Cerritos, California, killing all aboard both planes and 15 people on the ground. It was the worst air disaster in the history of Los Angeles.

February 18, 2010, Andrew Joseph Stack III deliberately flew his Piper PA-28-236 Dakota into Building 1 of the Echelon office complex in Austin, Texas, in an apparent revenge attack on the Internal Revenue Service office located there.

Specifications (1964 model PA-28-140 Cherokee 140)

General characteristics
Crew: one pilot
Capacity: three passengers
Length: 23.3 feet (7.16 m)
Wingspan: 30.0 feet (9.2 m)
Height: 7.3 feet (2.25 m)
Wing area: 160 sq ft (15.14 m²)
Airfoil: NACA 652-415
Empty weight: 1201 lb (544 kg)
Loaded weight: 2150 lb (975 kg)
Useful load: 949 lb (430 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 2150 lb (975 kg)
Powerplant: 1× Lycoming O-320-E2A Sensenich M74DM, 150 hp (113 kW)
Propeller diameter: 74 inches (1.9 m)

Performance
Maximum speed: 123 knots (142 mph, 230 km/h)
Cruise speed: 108 knots (124 mph (200 km/h), 201 km/h)
Stall speed: 47 knots (54 mph, 87 km/h)
Range: 465 nm (535 sm, 867 km)
Service ceiling: 14,300 feet (4400 m)
Rate of climb: 660 ft/min (3.4 m/s)
Wing loading: 13.4 lb/sq ft (64.4 kg/sq m)
Power/mass: 14.3 lb/hp (0.116 kW/kg)

Last updated March 13, 2010
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Piper Cherokee".
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