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Piper PA-28 Cherokee - Warrior - Archer:

The history, photos, facts and figures about the Piper PA-28 Cherokee, Warrior & Archer airplanes:

In 1960 the Piper Aircraft company of Vero Beach, Florida, first introduced the Piper PA-28 Cherokee , which is a popular family of all-metal, unpressurized, two and four seat, single-engine, piston-powered light aircraft designed primarily for flight training and personal use.

(Piper Cherokee cockpit video: takeoff & landing in the PA-28 Cherokee)

The general characteristics of the Cherokee 140 model include a length of 23.3 feet (7.16 m), a wingspan of 30.0 feet (9.2 m), and a height of 7.3 feet (2.25 m). Piper PA-28 Cherokee aircraft also feature low-mounted wings and tricycle landing gear. The aircraft cabin is typically accessed by a single door on the co-pilot's side, which is utilized by stepping on the wing.

  Piper Cherokee cockpit door entrance
(In this photo: Piper Arrow cockpit door entrance)

The first Cherokee prototype flew for the first time on 14 January 1960, and these earlier models were powered by either 110kW (150hp) or 120kW (160hp) engines. The first four-place aircraft released on the market were the Cherokee 150 and Cherokee 160, which entered production in 1961, and were closely followed in 1962 by the Cherokee 180, a model which continues to be very popular on the used aircraft market today.

The extra power of the 180 horsepower model finally made it practical to fly with all four seats occupied (which is obviously dependent on the passenger's weight and fuel loading). After 1962 a 135kW (180hp) version was added to the Piper lineup, followed by the 127kW (235hp) flat six Lycoming O-540 powered Cherokee 235, introduced in 1963, and the two seat trainer optimized Colt replacement PA-28-140, which came around in 1964. Needless to say the early sixties were a highly active period of production and development for Piper Aircraft.

(Piper Cherokee cockpit video: filmed from the cockpit of the Piper 28 Cherokee 140)

The PA-28-151 Cherokee Warrior, which was first certified on 9 August 1973, introduced a tapered wing which would soon become a feature of subsequent PA-28 models. Following in it's footsteps came the PA-28-161 Warrior II , fitted with a Lycoming O-320-D3G or O-320-D2A engine, which was certified on 1 July 1982 (for a gross weight of 2,440 lb) with a max speed of 235 km/h and a service ceiling of 11,000 ft. The four-place PA-28-161 Warrior III entered the market on 1 July 1994.

(Piper Warrior cockpit video: cloud surfing in the cockpit of the Piper Warrior III)

In contrast to the previously released PA-28-180 Cherokee, the PA-28-180 Archer featured a five inch long fuselage extension, a wing span increase, a larger horizontal tail, and a gross weight increase. The first Archer was certified on 22 May 1972. In 1975 Piper Aircraft released the PA-28-181 Archer II, with a tapered wing. The PA-28-181 Archer III first arrived on the market in 1994, with a max speed of 246 km/h and a service ceiling of 14,100 ft.

Over the years Piper Aircraft has developed variations within the Cherokee family by installing engines which range between 140 to 300 hp (105-220 kW). Some models offer turbo charging, fixed or retractable landing gear, and fixed-pitch or constant speed propellers. Piper has even stretched the fuselage to accommodate up to six people.

Despite a change in company ownership over 32,000 Cherokee's have been delivered since 1960, and Piper Aircraft continues to maintain a strong presence as one of the "Big Three" in the field of general aviation construction. Their primary competitors are Beechcraft and Cessna.

Check out our special Piper Aircraft video page too! There you can find many interesting videos filmed from different Pa-28 airplanes.