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.