The Piper Aerostar or Ted Smith Aerostar is an American twin-engined propeller-driven executive or light transport aircraft, designed by Ted R. Smith. It was originally built by Ted Smith Aircraft Company, which after 1978 became part of the Piper Aircraft Corporation.
|1979 Piper PA-60-600
C-GLVG (sn 60 0695 7961217)
Conair "Bird Dog"
Photo taken Aug. 2009
Penticton Airport, BC Canada
(YYF / CYYF)
|Photo © AirplaneMart.com
Ted Smith flew the first Aerostar 600 in October 1967. It was a mid-wing cantilever monoplane powered by two wing-mounted Avco Lycoming piston engines, with a tricycle landing gear. It was fitted with luxury accommodation for six. Also flown was a version with a turbocharged engine, the Aerostar 601.
The aircraft were being built at Van Nuys in California, when in 1968 the company was bought by the American Cement Company. The acquisition was not a success and in 1969 the company was sold again to Butler Aviation, owners of Mooney Airplane Company. The new company was named Aerostar Aircraft Corporation and it was intended to move production to a Mooney plant at Kerrville. In 1972 Ted Smith bought back all the rights to the aircraft, so that he could continue to manufacture Aerostars; he also introduced the Aerostar 601P. The 601P had engines with higher-rate turbochargers to feed a cabin pressurisation system. Another variant was the stretched Aerostar 700 Superstar. In 1976 the company name was changed to the Ted Smith Aerostar Corporation.
In 1978 the company was taken over by the Piper Aircraft Corporation. It continued to build three variants (600A, 601B and 600P) and then re-introduced the 601P and 602P (sometimes known as the Sequoya). After discontinuing production of the non-pressurised models, Piper moved production to Vero Beach. The last Aerostar was produced in 1984.
1010 Aerostars built, including 491 by Ted Smith and 519 by Piper.
Initial production model with two 290hp Lycoming IO-540-K engines, 282 produced under four different company names.
Model 600 with some minor detail changes.
Designation used for aircraft sold in Europe.
601 later PA-61 (This aircraft still holds the land closed speed record for a production piston twin)
Model 600 with turbocharged engines, 117 built.
601B (later PA-61)
Model 601 with increased wingspan, 44 built.
601P (later PA-61P)
Pressurised version of the 601 with increased gross weight, 492 built
602P (later PA-60)
Piper developed version of the 601P with the 290 hp Lycoming TIO-540-AA1A5 engines, 124 built, originally named Sequoya.
A pressurised Aerostar with 310 hp TIO-540 engines, one built.
Prototype of stretched fuselage variant with two IO-540M engines.
602P with counter-rotating Lycoming TIO-540-U2A engines, 26 built, also designated the PA-60
New modification of 700P with a reinforced nose gear allowing for higher takeoff weight
601P with stretched fuselage, enlarged tail and two 400 hp Lycoming engines, one built.
Specifications (Aerostar 700P)
Capacity: Six seats
Length: 34 ft 10 in (10.62 m)
Wingspan: 36 ft 8 in (11.18 m)
Height: 12 ft 2 in (3.71 m)
Empty weight: 4275 lb (1939 kg)
Gross weight: 5356 lb (2429 kg)
Powerplant: 2 × Avco Lycoming TIO-540-U2A flat six counter-rotating piston, 350 hp (260 kW) each
Maximum speed: 315 mph (507 km/h)
Range: 622 miles (1001 km)
Service ceiling: 25,000 ft ( m)