The Piper Cherokee family is a class of planes that began production in 1960. It was designed specially for flight training, air taxi, and most importantly personal use. It is a small class of plane, belonging nowadays in the recreational category of aircraft.
All the models of the Cherokee family are unpressurized, single piston powered. They all have low mounted wings and come with tricycle landing gear. “Tricycle gear” describes the undercarriage, in that the landing gear is arranged in a triangular fashion, much like a tricycle. This aids in manoeuvring the aircraft when it’s on the ground, and is very common.
Before you purchase one of these early planes, make sure you know what your flight objective is! For example if your going to be using it for transporting goods, you might want to think again. It is an extremely small plane, with just enough elbow room for a spouse or friend.
The Piper series all have one door for entrance and exit, and you get through it by stepping on the wing of the plane. Like i said, it is a very small class of plane, and if your going to be using it for long travel trips, ones where you’ll need to carry a lot of baggage as well as people you might want to reconsider.
It’s an excellent plane for aerial photography though. Visibility is standard, but the handling and stability make it easy to take your hands off the wheel for a few moments to get a few snapshots of the ground. Also, you can easily equip it with floats, so you can take a friend up fishing at a hard to reach lake.
There are Pros and Cons to owning an aircraft like the Cherokee, but if you know exactly what you mission statement is you should be able to figure out whether it meets your needs fairly quickly. How fast do you need to get to your destination of choice? How many passengers will you be carrying typically? What kind of airstrips will you be landing on?
Be sure to look at the long term uses also, if your needs are going to change over the next 3 to 5 years. Remember that a parked plane is costing money, and it’s not always as easy as they say to rent it out.
In summary, before you make a purchasing decision for your Piper Cherokee, be sure that you have a solid flight objective in mind. Knowing how many hours a year you’ll be using it will also help you figure into the picture your budget. There is no point in buying the perfect airplane if your going to be financially ruined as a result.