Learning About the Piper Archer
Do you remember the first car you ever drove? Was it the Driver’s Ed Crown Vic? Your dad’s old pick up? Whether it was a BMW or your sister’s Geo Metro, you always remember your first, and none of them can fly. This time on the AeroGuard blog, we are taking another look at our fleet with a deep dive into the Piper Archer, the world’s training plane. Like our entry on the Cessna 152, we’ll begin by looking at the history of Piper Aircraft, the Specs of the plane, who flies them and more.
The Piper Archer
Like so many of the great aircraft manufacturers, the tale of Piper Aircraft begins back in the early 20th century when two brothers formed Taylor Brothers Aircraft Manufacturing Company in Rochester, New York. Also, like so many businesses, they hit turbulence during the 20s and 30s, when William T. Piper bought out the rest of the company. Piper and one of the original Taylor Brothers (C.G. Taylor, to be precise) ran the company until 1937 when they split. A fire demolished the factory and Piper built another facility elsewhere and reopened as Piper Aircraft.
Over the next 80+ years, Piper Aircraft has been dedicated to creating affordable, quality aircraft. They’ve done just that, producing planes numbering in the six figures, including the apple of our eye, the P-28, or Piper Archer.
The plane that we know as the Piper Archer is just one member of the Piper PA-28 Cherokee family of aircraft. It received its type certificate from the FAA in 1960 and it hasn’t stopped being produced since!
Over 30,000 PA-28’s have been produced in the almost six decades since they first rolled out of the factory, and that’s for a few great reasons. It was designed as a lower cost competitor to the Cessna 172. In their Cessna competitor, Piper built a plane that would become the Swiss Army Knife of their fleet.
It would act as a framework for them to create a wide range of models with tweaks to fulfill the exact need in their aircraft. Nowadays, there are the Warrior, Arrow, and the Archer TX and LX.
Piper Archer TX
The Cherokee fuselage is put to work in the Archer TX to make one of the finest training aircraft seen today.
Let’s take a look under the hood of the Piper Archer.
Crew – One Pilot
Capacity – Three Passengers
Length – 24 ft, or 7.3m
Wingspan – 35 ft 6 in, or 10.8m
Height – 7 ft 3 in, or 2.2m
Wing Area – 160ft² or 14.9 m²
Standard Equipped Weight – 1,688 lbs, or 766 kg
Maximum Takeoff Weight – 2,550 lbs, or 1557 kg
Engine – 1 Lycoming O-360-A4M, 180 hp, driving a 74-inch two-blade, fixed pitch propeller.
Cruising Speed – 128 knots, 237 km/h
Takeoff Roll – 1135 ft, or 346m
Range – 522 nm, or 967 km (with a 45 min. reserve)
Fuel Capacity – 48 US gal.
Extended range (with long-range tanks) – 795 mi, or 1,280 km
Service Ceiling – 14,100 ft or 4,298 m
This is of course, the specs for a stock 2019 Archer TX. Depending on the year and the modifications equipped to it these numbers can vary. Some of the more popular upgrades and modifications include the Garmin G1000 NXi Avionics Suite. This is standard on the newer models, though not all of our Archer’s use the Garmin. We also utilize Archers with the ‘six-pack’ instrumentation so that our cadets get hands on flight time and experience with a variety of instrumentation and skills.
Who Flies the Archer?
Aside from us at AeroGuard, the Piper Archer and the PA-28 family is used by flying groups and private owners around the world. Some militaries even use the aircraft in their Air Force including Argentina, Chile, Qatar, and Honduras all use them for various purposes.
The Piper Archer is one of the finest crafts on the market, for training or personal use and we are proud to have so many in our fleet for our cadets to learn in.