- Aircraft History, Specification and Information -
Piper PA-32R Lance / Saratoga
Piper PA-32R-301 Saratoga II HP - N63PV
1994 Piper PA-32R-301 Saratoga II HP
N63PV (sn 3213087)
Photo taken @ the Sun 'n Fun 2007 Fly-in - Lakeland Linder Airport, FL - USA (LAL / KLAL)
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler

The Piper PA-32R is a six-seat, high-performance, single engine, all-metal fixed-wing aircraft produced by Piper Aircraft. The design began life as the Piper Lance, a retractable gear version of the Piper Cherokee Six. Later models are known as Saratogas. The primary difference between the Lance and early Saratoga is the development of a tapered wing on the Saratoga replacing the "hershey bar" wing on the Lance that was a carryover from the Cherokee Six. Later Saratoga models provided updated/improved avionics, engine and interior touches but retained the same airframe design.

Production of the Saratoga was discontinued in 2009.

The Saratoga competed for sales with the Beechcraft Bonanza, Mooney Ovation, Cirrus SR22, Cessna 206 Stationair, and Cessna 350.


Until 1972, when the assembly line was destroyed in a flood, the Comanche was Piper's luxury high-performance single. Afterwards, Piper began modifying its heavy lifting single engine PA-32 Cherokee Six, adding retractable landing gear and designating the type as the "PA-32R".

The PA-32R was built under license by Embraer in Brazil as the Embraer EMB-721 Sertanejo.

Kits for the PA-32R-300 (Six supplied), PA-32RT-300 (16) and PA-32RT-300T (Two) were supplied to Chincul in Argentina for completion. They were designated the PA-A-32R and PA-A-32RT.


Piper PA-32R-300 (1976-1978) - called the Piper Cherokee Lance. Initial version of the retractable PA-32 line, with a standard tail in the 1976 model. The 1977 and 1978 models featured a tail modified to a "T" design with the stabilator (horizontal stabilizer/elevator) moved to the top of the vertical tail. This design placed the stabilator outside of the prop wash compared to the low tail design.

Piper PA-32RT-300 (1978-1979) - Beginning with this model, the Cherokee name was officially dropped and the model was designated the Lance II. The "T" tail arrangement was continued on the Lance II.

Piper PA-32RT-300T (1978-1979) - Also in 1978 a turbocharged version, designated the Turbo Lance II, was introduced. The Turbo Lance II has a service ceiling of 20,000 ft with a rate of climb of 1050 ft/min. It can cruise at 10,000 ft at 175kts true airspeed at 75% power burning 20 g/h. Fuel capacity is 94 usable gallons.

Piper PA-32R-301 (1980-2007) - The 1980 models reverted back to a standard tail design, and were designated as the Saratoga SP. In 1993 the airplane received several cosmetic and systems updates and was redesignated as the Saratoga II HP.

Piper PA-32R-301T (1980-2009) - The 1980 Turbocharged model was given the name Turbo Saratoga SP. The name and model designation stayed the same through the 1996 model year, despite several updates to the airplane during that time. Starting with the 1997 model year the airplane received a new designation, the Saratoga II TC, and a new Lycoming TIO-540-AH1A engine. Externally the biggest difference was the new LoPresti-designed cowl, with much smaller, round air inlets. 1997-1998 Saratoga II TC's featured a King avionics suite, which was switched to dual Garmin GNS-430's and a GTX-320 transponder with the 1999 models. In mid-2000 model year the avionics were again updated, with one Garmin GNS-430 and one GNS-530 and a GTX-327 transponder as standard equipment. Beginning in 2004 the Saratoga models were available with an Avidyne Entegra "Glass Panel" avionics system, which was replaced by the Garmin G1000 in 2007.

For the 2008 model year, the Saratoga II HP (normally aspirated) model was eliminated, along with the 6X and 6XT (fixed-gear versions of the Saratoga), leaving the turbocharged Saratoga II TC as the only current production model in the PA-32 line.

Production ended in 2009.

Embraer EMB-721C Sertanejo
License built variant of the PA-32R-300 and PA-32RT-300, 150 built.

Embraer EMB-721D Sertanejo
License built variant of the PA-32-301, 55 built.


  • John F. Kennedy, Jr., his wife, and sister-in-law were killed on July 16, 1999, when the Saratoga Kennedy was flying crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, just seven miles off the coast of Martha's Vineyard.
  • Michael Connell, founder of New Media Communications, Govtech and Connell Donatelli Inc and the primary Republican Party Information Technology (IT) expert for Karl Rove, George W. Bush and John McCain among others, was killed on 19 December 2008 when the Saratoga he was flying crashed while attempting an approach for landing into Akron-Canton Airport in Ohio. Connell was an instrument rated pilot with over 500 hours.
  • On August 8, 2009, a Eurocopter AS350 and a Piper PA-32R-300 collided in midair over the Hudson River near Hoboken, New Jersey, killing all on board both aircraft.

Specifications (1972 model PA-32RT-300)

General characteristics
Crew: One
Capacity: five passengers (optional additional seat on some)
Length: 27 ft 9 in (8.44 m)
Wingspan: 32 ft 10 in (9.99 m)
Height: 9 ft 6 in (2.9 m)
Wing area: 174.5 ft² (16.2 m²)
Wing profile: NACA 65-415
Empty weight: 2011 lb (912 kg)
Gross weight: 3600 lb (1633 kg)
Powerplant: One × Lycoming IO-540-K1G5, 300 hp (225 kW) each

Maximum speed: 190 mph (306 km/h)
Cruise speed: 160 mph (258 km/h)
Range: 1000 miles (1600 km)
Service ceiling: 14600 ft (4450 m)
Rate of climb: 1050 ft/min (5.3 m/s)

Last updated March 14, 2010
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Piper PA-32R".
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