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Get to Know Piper Aircraft

Posted on Thu, Sep 20, 2012

The Early Days...
Piper Aircraft

Piper Aircraft was founded in Rochester, New York, by brothers Gilbert and Gordon Taylor in 1926.  Originally known as North Star Aerial Service, the company was renamed Taylor Brothers Aircraft Manufacturing Company in 1927.  The brothers formed their company to bring to market their original high-winged, two-seat monoplane design, known as the ‘Chummy’.

But the company was only to produce a small number of planes before Gordon Taylor died tragically in an aircraft exhibition plane crash.  While Gilbert continued his work, the 1929 stock market crash and depression pushed the struggling company into bankruptcy, and it was then purchased by William T. Piper in 1930.  Piper, an oil man and one of the company’s original investors, had a keen business sense and a saavy eye for opportunity...

Often referred to as the “Henry Ford of Aviation”, Piper kept Taylor as President and set the company on a mission to produce an economical, easy-to-operate private aircraft.  His vision was to develop a low-cost model that would provide the operational simplicity and the stability to make it easy - and affordable - for anyone to learn to fly.  These efforts led to the ensuing refinement of the E-2 Cub, one of Taylor's original designs.

Following a numbePiper J-3 Cubr of derivatives throughout the early 1930’s, the eventual introduction of the iconic Piper J-3 Cub in 1937, was the right aircraft at the right time, eclipsing the company’s previous models -- in both performance and commercial success -- and becoming one of the most well-known aircraft of all time.  The triumph of the J-3 Cub earned Piper Aircraft a place in general aviation history and catapulted the company as a force to be reckoned with into the future.

Today’s Piper Aircraft

Today, Piper Aircraft is an established market leader and considered one of the ‘Big Three’ in general aviation aircraft manufacturing, alongside competitors Cessna and Beechcraft.  The company remains squarely focused on the general aviation market and has a firm commitment to producing both training aircraft and more advanced models intended for experienced pilots, for both personal and business use.  Indeed today’s Piper Aircraft offers a robust line-up that includes something for most any pilot.

The company has also remained true to William Piper’s original vision and is known for providing outstanding value at prices that stay true to the philosophy that ‘flying is for everyone’.

Piper Trainers

Learning to fly in today’s Piper training aircraft is an enviable experience. With standard features across models, Piper trainers provide a desireable familiarity from one aircraft to the next that strengthens the learning experience, boosts confidence and provides a natural progression as student pilots advance their skills.

Piper’s training aircraft line-up is built to address the needs of student pilots at each stage of the learning process - from fixed gear piston singles to multi-engines with retractable gear.  With state-of-the-art technology, including the latest in avionics, Piper trainers offer superior situational awareness, outstanding safety, and a world-class training experience that leads the market.

Equipped with Garmin 500 WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) certified GPS - with high resolution moving map displays that provide signal corrections in the blink of an eye - Piper trainers deliver superior situational awareness for the safest possible learning environment, and ensure students are more than ready to meet FAA TSO C146a standards for WAAS “sole means” navigation.

...And Piper hasn’t left comfort out of the equation. Ergonomic cockpits with tinted glass, advanced sound proofing, and seating designed for comfort all add up to a quieter cockpit -- and exceptionally enjoyable ride.

Trainers include the single engine Archer TX (and Archer LX upgrade), the single engine piston Arrow, the multi-engine Seminole piston twin, and the multi-engine Seneca V:

Archer TX (PA-28-181) – Piper Archer TX PA 28 181Unpressurized Piston Single - Fixed Gear 

The Archer TX is a member of Piper’s venerable PA-28 Cherokee family of aircraft. First introduced in 1961, the Cherokee has stayed true its original design - with low mounted wings and all-metal construction - and is arguably the most recognized piston single trainer in use today.

Lauded for its stability and ease of use, the Archer TX model offers simple and forgiving flight operation, including easy take-off and landing.  Fully IFR equipped, the Archer TX is an excellent option for students looking to log cross-country miles and obtain an instrument rating.

With its 180 hp Lycoming engine and advanced G500 Garmin avionics, the Archer TX takes the Cherokee archetype to new heights.  And all this in addition to offering an economical 9 gph fuel burn at training speeds (at 65% power)!

Given that costs to own and operate an Archer TX are among the lowest in the industry, there is simply no better choice for students and training facilities alike.

Archer LX - Piper Archer LX PA 280 181PA-280-181 

Archer LX is an upgraded version of the Archer TX, offering a more comfortable, luxury interior with natural leather seats standard as well as inflatable lumbar support.  Archer LX also offers the option for factory installed air conditioning for complete travel comfort in warmer seasons and warmer climates.  Exterior upgrades include wheel fairings ('wheel pants') for reduced drag.

Like the TX, Archer LX comes fully IFR equipped, making it an equally good fit  for new pilots seeking to gain flying experience and obtain an instrument rating.  Archer LX also includes the Garmin G500 glass cockpit system, providing a mix of state of the art technology – and low workload.  The Archer LX takes new pilots through the experience of learning to fly and beyond!

Arrow - PA-28R – Piper Arrow PA 28RUnpressurized, Piston Single Trainer – Retractable Gear

Also a derivative of the Cherokee, The Piper Arrow shares the Archer’s track record for reliable, trusted performance – delivered at an outstanding value.

For student pilots who are ready to step up to more performance -- or for those in need of the added complexity required for a CFI or commercial rating -- the Piper Arrow offers the ideal ‘classroom in the sky’.  The only complex single engine trainer available for purchase direct from an OEM, the Piper Arrow delivers a roomy 4-seat interior, 137 ktas cruise speed (at 75% power) and an 880 nm range.

A logical step-up for pilots ready to advance from the fixed gear Archer, the Arrow will feel immediately familiar, from avionics and gauge placements to general handling and procedures. And with a proven service history -- and thousands in operation around the world -- the Piper Arrow offers safe, reliable complex training at an affordable price.

Seminole - PA-44 - Piper Seminole PA44Piston Twin Multi-Engine Trainer

Piper’s twin-engine Seminole is a yet another derivative of Piper’s original Cherokee aircraft, but built to accommodate two counter rotating Lycoming L/O-360 engines, and characterized by a more tapered wing and distinctive T-tail design.

In service for more than 20 years and with hundreds of thousands of hours in flight training logged, the Seminole is a proven and in-demand twin engine trainer, trusted by flight schools around the world for teaching advanced maneuvers.

With its low cost of operation and competitive pricing, the Seminole is also an economical choice, delivering both high value and high performance to instructors and flight schools alike.

Boasting a 15,000-foot service ceiling, 700 nm range, and cruising speed of 162 knots (at 75% power), the Seminole is also often found serving the needs of business and personal flyers alike.

Seneca V - PA-34 – 220T -Piper Seneca V PA 34 – 220T Unpressurized Piston Twin

The Seneca V also shares Cherokee PA-28 roots (Cherokee 6), though as a twin engine model it is a significant departure from the original Cherokee design. And the most recent edition - the Seneca V, introduced in the late 90s – is generations ahead of earlier models in terms of improvements and upgrades since first entering the market in the early 70’s.

With a higher service ceiling and widened wing span among the benefits of its evolution, today’s Seneca V also boasts the stepped up performance of two Continental TSIO-360-RB engines, propelling it at a generous 197 ktas cruise speed that easily maneuvers above inclement weather and difficult terrain.

For missions that call for the redundancy and reliability of a twin engine plane, the Seneca V delivers. Offering plenty of baggage space and a cabin class interior that meets business and personal demands alike, the Seneca V is in demand as a proven performer that offers comfort and style.

The Seneca V has long been known as one of the lowest cost piston twin engine aircraft to own and operate, and remains as such today.

Piper Business and Personal Aircraft – The ‘M-Class’ Malibu Family of Aircraft

After mastering your flying skills, Piper makes it easy to step up to more power, more features and the greater comfort provided by it’s all-star line-up of M-Class aircraft: Matrix, Mirage and Meridian. 

Descendents of Piper’s original ground-breaking Malibu PA-46 design - first introduced in the late 70’s and among the first pressurized single engine piston aircraft to appear on the market - today’s derivatives offer modern updates with some of the most advanced features in their class.

Sharing a time-tested fuselage and airframe design, each of Piper’s M-Class aircraft offer an effortless step-up from one model to the next.  And all three deliver the renowned performance and value the aviation community has come to expect from the model’s long-standing track-record.

Both Matrix and Mirage offer ample 213 ktas max. cruising speed and 1,343 nm range (with 45 minute reserve) making these aircraft ideal for longer missions.  Mirage adds tremendous capability with the addition of pressurization, which allows for the effortless flight above inclement weather other piston singles often struggle to circumnavigate. 

With Meridian, a more powerful engine provides considerably more speed (260 ktas), though range more limited at 1,000 nm (with 45 minute reserve), making it an ideal match for somewhat shorter missions where speed counts.

Matrix – PA-46-R350T - Piper Matrix PA 46 R350T Unpressurized Piston Single

As the entry-level aircraft in the M-Class line-up, the Piper Matrix combines a powerful 350 hp dual turbocharged Lycoming TIO-540-AE2A engine with the luxury of cabin-class comfort – and generous 6-seat capacity.  And as the newest member of the M-Class family – and the lowest price-point ($903,800 including Garmin g-1000 Avionics Suite at press time) – the Matrix puts high performance within reach.

Boasting the largest cabin in its class, the Matrix also receives accolades for its aft airstair door entrance, central cabin aisle, and generous internal and external baggage storage.  Along with its other features – including a workstation with individual reading lights and laptop power supply – the Matrix is sure to impress and delight personal and business travelers alike.

Mirage – PA-46-350P – Piper Mirage PA 46 350PPressurized Turbo Piston Single

Like the Matrix, Mirage is a derivative of the original Malibu PA-46 design, with spacious cabin, aft airstair door entrance, and generous central cabin aisle.  Most notably, Piper’s Mirage Aircraft is the only current production pressurized 6-seat piston single on the market today.

With pressurization comes the ability to climb to higher altitudes without the addition of supplemental oxygen (required by unpressurized aircraft at altitudes above 12,500 feet, as dictated by the FAA).

Climbing up to 25,000 feet to avoid inclement weather or threatening terrain - in the comfort of pressurization -- lets you tackle the missions you want, without the hassles and discomfort that can come from breathing with the aid of oxygen apparatus…and the related up-keep it entails.

If bad weather appears at 17,000 feet, you simply climb above it – rather than navigate around it which can add miles to your journey. You can also dodge high altitude tail winds at lower altitudes – without increasing fuel burn!

When you experience the comfort, safety and increased flexibility of cabin pressurization along with the luxury of Mirage’s spacious interior, plush seating and other amenities, you’ll know you have arrived – even before you leave the ground!

Meridian – PA-46-500TP – Piper Meridian PA 46 500TPPressurized Turboprop Single

When you’re ready for more speed, you’re ready for Meridian!

Like the Matrix and Mirage, Meridian comes equipped with the G1000 Avionics Suite, the most advanced Garmin avionics available today. But Meridian packs an even more powerful punch, with a Pratt and Whitney PT6A-42A turboprop engine: powerful, reliable -- and fast!

With an enviable max. cruise speed of 260 ktas, Meridian is built to take on the rigors of business and personal use – meeting both the demands of the scheduled business traveler as well as the private pilot with a need for speed.

All travelers will also enjoy the low noise and vibration of Meridian’s turboprop engine in addition to its air-conditioned cabin and luxury seating.

And with a fuel burn of just 37 gph at normal cruise speed, the Merdian is the most fuel efficient 6-seat turboprop on the market. Given that the cost to purchase a Meridian is about a million dollars less than its closest single engine turbo prop competitor – and 30% less to operate -- choosing the Meridian is an easy decision!

In addition to offering a 'step-up' for those who have learned to fly in a Piper Trainer, the M-Class line-up of aircraft also provides a comfortable and rewarding choice for owners of Cessna 182T, 206T and 400 aircraft as well as Cirrus SR22 owners to 'step in' to the Piper line.

Shoreline Aviation is proud to be a sales and service affiliate of the Piper Aircraft Distributor for New England, New York and New Jersey. 

For more details on the Piper aircraft described in this article click here. 

View current used Piper Aircraft for Sale.

Learn about our Piper Aircraft Maintenance Services here.

If you'd like to learn more about our Piper Aircraft for sale, please contact Ann Pollard to discuss your needs at 781-834-4928.


Shoreline Aviation takes great care to include accurate and complete, current information on this web site, however the information in this web site is provided 'as is' without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. Shoreline Aviation does not represent or warrant that the content included in this web site is free of errors or ommissions and shall have no responsibility for any errors or ommisions in the content presented on this web site.  For the most current information regarding Piper aircraft models and specifications, please speak with a Shoreline Aviation representative.

Piper Aircraft Model Comparison Guide

Tags: Piper Aircraft, Piper Archer TX, Piper Archer LX, Piper Arrow, Piper Seminole, Piper Seneca V, Piper Matrix, Piper Mirage, Piper Meridian

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