Piper Cherokee – 56 Years Old Today

It’s amazing to think about this but, 56 years ago today (January 14, 1960), the very first flight of the Piper PA-28 Cherokee took place!

Piper Cherokee

Picture – courtesy San Diego Air and Space Archive

In my world, the Cherokee is as ubiquitous as the lovable Volkswagen bug.

The Cherokee has been in production since 1961 and more than 32,000 aircraft have been built during those years. WOW!

The Cherokee, and its many variants, is a four seat (three passengers and a pilot), single-engine, light aircraft normally weighing about 2,100 lbs at maximum takeoff weight. It will normally fly anywhere between 3,000′ – 8,000′ at a cruise speed of about 120 mph.

The Cherokee is typically used by many local flight schools for pilot training purposes. I taught may prospective young pilots in many versions of the Cherokee during my days as a flight instructor in Arizona.

I’ve always loved the airplane, very reliable, easy to fly and maintain and a joy to spend an afternoon flying a cross-country flight with students anywhere in AZ.

Always one of my fave single-engine airplanes!

Happy Birthday to a classic!

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