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Piper Cherokee

Related articles  Piper PA-32 Series   The New Piper Aircraft

The Cherokee is the common name for the Piper's PA-28 family of aircraft models, which received its type certificate from the FAA in 1960 and is still under production by The New Piper Aircraft Company today.

Piper Cherokee PA-28-181
(Archer II).

Piper PA-28 Cherokee 180E.

The Cherokee is an all-metal, unpressurized, four-seat, single-engine, piston-powered plane with low wings and tricycle (nosewheel) gear; its main competitors have been the Cessna 172 and the Beechcraft Musketeer. All Cherokees have a single door on the co-pilot side, which you enter by walking on the wing. The low-end Cherokees are popular trainers.

Piper has created many variations on the Cherokee by installing engines ranging from 140 to 235 horsepower, fixed or retractable landing gear, fixed-pitch or constant-speed propellers, and even turbo-charging. Earlier Cherokees had rectangular wings popularly referred to as "Hershey Bar wings"; later Cherokees (from the late 1970s on) have wings with a tapered outboard section.

Currently, Piper produces three Cherokee variants: the 160 horsepower Warrior III (PA-28-161) and the 180 horsepower Archer III (PA-28-181), both with fixed gear and a fixed-pitch prop, and the 200 horsepower Arrow (PA-28R-201), with a constant-speed prop and retractable gear for better performance (the Arrow is also available in a turbo-charged version, the PA-28R-201T, for better operation at high altitude). The older entry-level Cherokee 140 (most are 150 horsepower) is still extremely popular because of its reliability and low purchase price on the used aircraft market.