Piper Cherokee

::"This article refers to Piper's PA-28 series of two- and four-seat aircraft. For the PA-32 six-seat series, see the Piper Cherokee Six article." Infobox Aircraft
name=PA-28 Series

caption=Piper PA-28-236
type= Civil utility aircraft
manufacturer= Piper Aircraft
first flight=
primary user=
more users=
number built=32778+
unit cost=
variants with their own articles=
developed from=

The Piper PA-28 Cherokee is a family of light aircraft designed for flight training, air taxi and personal use, built by Piper Aircraft.Plane and Pilot: "1978 Aircraft Directory", pages 62-64. Werner & Werner Corp, Santa Monica CA, 1977. ISBN 0-918312-00-0]

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. cite web|url = http://flighttraining.aopa.org/learntofly/articles/2988.cfm|title = Training Aircraft Review: The Piper Warrior III|accessdate = 2008-02-06|last = Twombly|first = Mark R.|authorlink = |year = undated]

The first PA-28 received its type certificate from the FAA in 1960 and the series remains in production in 2008. Current models are the Arrow cite web|url = http://www.newpiper.com/aircraft/arrow/default.asp|title = Welcome to the Arrow|accessdate = 2008-02-06|last = New Piper Aircraft|authorlink = |year = undated] , Archer III cite web|url = http://www.newpiper.com/aircraft/archer~iii/default.asp|title = Welcome to the Archer III|accessdate = 2008-02-06|last = New Piper Aircraft|authorlink = |year = undated] , and Warrior III. cite web|url = http://www.newpiper.com/aircraft/warrior~iii/default.asp|title = Welcome to the Warrior III|accessdate = 2008-02-05|last = New Piper Aircraft|authorlink = |year = undated]

Competition for the PA-28 series include the Cessna 172, the Grumman American AA-5 series and the Beechcraft Musketeer. cite web|url = http://www.flyingmag.com/article.asp?section_id=13&article_id=552|title = Flying Four By Fours|accessdate = 2008-02-06|last = Collins|first = Richard L.|authorlink = |year = 2005|month = May] 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. cite web|url = http://www.newpiper.com/aircraft/saratoga~tc/ |title = Welcome to the Saratoga II TC|accessdate = 2008-02-06|last = New Piper Aircraft|authorlink = |year = undated]


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 [cite web
url = http://www.bergey.com/About_BWC.htm#Key%20Personnel
title = Karl Bergey, Chairman & CEO
date = September 25, 2007
accessdate = 2007-09-25
] , 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.

The first PA-28 Cherokees

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).

The current "Warrior" model is the descendant of the Cherokee 160.

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.Fact|date=March 2008

The current "Archer" model is the descendant of the Cherokee 180.


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 convert|235|hp and a longer wing which would eventually be used for the upcoming Cherokee Six. It included tip tanks having 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 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 to the Dakota.Fact|date=February 2008

PA-28-140 Cherokee 140

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 1965, Piper developed the Piper Cherokee Six, designated the PA-32 from the PA-28. It which featured a stretched fuselage and seating for one pilot and five passengers. cite web|url = http://www.airliners.net/info/stats.main?id=304|title = The Piper PA-28 Cherokee Series|accessdate = 2008-02-06|last = Airliners.net|authorlink = |year = undated]

PA-28R-180 and PA-28R-200 Arrow

In 1967, Piper introduced the PA-28R-180 Cherokee Arrow. This aircraft featured a constant-speed propeller and retractable landing gear and was powered by a 180 horsepower (134 kW) Lycoming O-360 engine. The engine was upgraded to 200 horsepower (149 kW) in 1969 and the designation was changed to PA-28R-200. At the time the Arrow was introduced, Piper removed the Cherokee 150 and Cherokee 160 from production.

The Arrow IV was re-styled with a "T" tail and resembled the other aircraft in the Piper line at the time.

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.

PA-28-140 Cherokee Cruiser 2+2

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 convert|150|hp 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 names again, renaming the "Cruiser 2+2" (140) to simply "Cruiser", the "Challenger" to "Archer" (PA-28-181), and the "Charger" (235) to "Pathfinder".

PA-28-151 Cherokee Warrior

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.

PA-28-236 Dakota

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.

PA-28-201T Turbo Dakota

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 Motors TSIO-360-FB engine producing 200 hp (149 kW). The aircraft did not sell well and production ended in 1980.Taylor, John W.R.: "Jane's Pocket Book Light Aircraft Revised Edition", page 171. Jane's Publishing Company Ltd, 1982. ISBN 0 7106 0195 6]

PA-28-161 Cherokee Warrior II

In 1978, Piper upgraded the Warrior to 160 horsepower (119 kW) PA-28-161, changing its name to "Cherokee Warrior II". This same aircraft, now available with a glass cockpit, is available as the Warrior III, and is marketed as a training aircraft.

Brazilian production

The PA-28 was also built under licence in Brazil as the Embraer EMB-711 Corisco (PA-28R-200), EMB-711T Corisco Turbo (PA-28R-200T), and the EMB-712 Tupi (PA-28-181).Fact|date=January 2008

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 produces three PA-28 Cherokee variants: the 160 horsepower (119 kW) Warrior III (PA-28-161), the 180 horsepower (134 kW) Archer III (PA-28-181), and the 200 horsepower (149 kW) retractable Arrow (PA-28R-201). All are now available with Avidyne Entegra glass cockpits.

Design Features

Wing design

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." cite web|url = http://www.flyingmag.com/article.asp?section_id=12&article_id=170&print_page=y|title = Rectangular Wings|accessdate = 2008-02-06|last = Garrison|first = Peter|authorlink = |year = 2003|month = January]

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.Piper Aircraft: "Cherokee 140 PA-28-140 Owner's Handbook". Piper Aircraft Corporation publication 753 584, February 1964, Revised May 27, 1977]

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.


On 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. [http://members.aol.com/jaydeebee1/crash80s.html 1980s: Notable California Aviation Disasters] ]

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

aircraft specifications
plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=prop
ref=Piper Aircraft Owner's Handbook
crew=one pilot
capacity=three passengers
payload main=
payload alt=
length main=23.3 feet
length alt=7.16 m
span main=30.0 feet
span alt=9.2 m
height main=7.3 feet
height alt=2.25 m
area main=160 sq ft
area alt=15.14 m²
airfoil=NACA 652-415
empty weight main= 1201 lb
empty weight alt= 544 kg
loaded weight main= 2150 lb
loaded weight alt= 975 kg
useful load main= 949 lb
useful load alt= 430 kg
max takeoff weight main= 2150 lb
max takeoff weight alt= 975 kg
more general=
engine (jet)=
type of jet=
number of jets=
thrust main=
thrust alt=
thrust original=
afterburning thrust main=
afterburning thrust alt=
engine (prop)=Lycoming O-320-E2A
type of prop=Sensenich M74DM
number of props=1
power main= 150 hp
power alt=113 kW
power original=
propeller or rotor?=propeller
number of propellers per engine=
propeller diameter main=74 inches
propeller diameter alt= 1.9 m
max speed main= 123 knots
max speed alt= 142 mph, 230 km/h
cruise speed main= 108 knots
cruise speed alt= convert|124|mi/h|km/h|abbr=on, 201 km/h
stall speed main= 47 knots
stall speed alt= 54 mph, 87 km/h
never exceed speed main=
never exceed speed alt=
range main= 465 nm
range alt= 535 sm, 867 km
range more=
combat radius main=
combat radius alt=
combat radius more=
ferry range main=
ferry range alt=
ferry range more=
ceiling main= 14,300 feet
ceiling alt= 4400 m
climb rate main= 660 fpm
climb rate alt= 3.4 m/s
loading main=13.4 lb/sq ft
loading alt=64.4 kg/sq m
power/mass main=14.3 lb/hp
power/mass alt=0.116 kW/kg
more performance=
hardpoint capacity=
avionics=factory standard 1964, none

ee also

*Piper Cherokee Six
*Piper PA-44 Seminole
*EMB-712 Tupi
similar aircraft=
*Beechcraft Musketeer
*Cessna 172 Skyhawk
*Cessna 177 Cardinal
*Cessna 182 Skylane
*Diamond DA40
*Socata TB
*Grumman AA-5 Traveller, Cheetah, and Tiger
*List of airliners
*List of civil aircraft
see also=


External links

* [http://www.aircraft.co.za/Encyclopedia/P/413.php Aircraft.co.za - Piper PA-28 family]
* [http://www.aircraft-info.net/aircraft/propellor_aircraft/piper/PA-28/ Aircraft-Info.net - Piper PA-28 Cherokee series]
* [http://www.newpiper.com/ New Piper Aircraft home page]
* [http://www.piperowner.com/ Cherokee Pilots Association] Includes performance statistics for most PA-28 and PA-32 models
* [http://www.aopa.org/asf/publications/piper_cherokee.pdf Piper Cherokee and Arrow Safety Highlights] Report by [http://www.aopa.org AOPA] on safety and accidents for PA-28 and PA-28R
* [http://www.check-six.com/Crash_Sites/PlaneInATree-N6487J.htm Check-Six.com - The story of the "Plane in a Tree" photo crash] - the plane in the photo is a Piper Archer

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