YouTube – Piper Cherokee
1960 US$ Cost:
Max. Speed (VNE):
23 ft. 10 in.
35 ft. 0 in.
Piper Cherokee aircraft have been flying since 1960 and are still going strong today with the Cherokee Arrow model.
The Piper Cherokee began life as an all metal upgrade in the Piper line of aircraft. It was designated the PA-28. The number represented the 28th Piper aircraft model.
The idea of the Piper Cherokee is of a low cost, low maintenance, easy to fly aircraft that can transport four people comfortably at reasonably quick speeds. The low wing design enabled an undercarriage with a wider wheel spread, enhancing ease of maneuverability while taxiing, particularly while encountering strong cross winds.
The Piper Cherokee was well received, with a basic price of under $10,000. A total of 1,000 aircraft were purchased by early 1963.
Through the years the Piper Cherokee line of aircraft have been updated with larger, more powerful engines, improved controls and avionics, and a different wing planform.
Pilots flying the Piper Cherokee appreciate the gentile stall characteristics, especially when it is lightly loaded. Stalls are generally signaled by the rocking motion of the aircraft, rather than a sharp break. Although the wing planform was changed from straight to tapered with the 1978 models, its gentle stall characteristics remain unchanged. However, newer aircraft do tend to float more when landing at the higher speeds older Cherokee’s preferred.
Newer Piper Cherokee models also have a larger stabilitor than older aircraft. It provides far greater control when flying at low speeds. Older, straight wing Cherokee models struggled to get the nose up at slower speeds, especially with a forward center of gravity. The tapered wing of the newer models also enhances aileron response at lower speeds.
When fuel is burned, the center of gravity moves toward the rear of the aircraft. Older aircraft with smaller stabilitors tended to fly nose high and use significantly more fuel. Low speeds are to be avoided with a rearward center gravity. Stalls during those conditions can become abrupt.
The carbureted engine of the Piper Cherokee can experience icing during faster descents. Many pilots automatically apply carburetor heating before reducing power as an added safety measure.
The Piper Cherokee model PA-28 has aileron/rudder linking. It helps keep turns coordinated, but may spoil pilots when transitioning to other aircraft. It is possible that they may under control the rudder during turns.
While flying, the nose wheel of the Piper Cherokee turns along with the rudder. During landings in crosswinds, the wheel will be turned into the wind. It is important that the rudder be centered just before touchdown or the position of the nose wheel may induce a ground loop.
A total of over 32,780 Piper Cherokee aircraft of all types have been produced to date.
RC Piper Cherokee
That’s Adam Santana with his scratch built RC Piper Cherokee. It has a wingspan of 10 ft. 2 in. and is powered by a 3W-60 engine.
The RC Piper Cherokee from Eureka Aircraft Co. comes as a short kit. Wingspan is 10 ft. and length is 6 ft. 7 in.
The Great Planes RC Piper Cherokee ARF has a 60 in. wingspan and 46 in. length. Power can come from a 42 to 50 size 800 kV motor, a .40 to .46 two cycle or .52 to .56 four cycle engine.