The Piper Cherokee PA-28-180 Archer is one of several single-engine aircraft that is a member of the PA-28 family still in production today. All models within this family have signature features:
- Piston-powered aircraft
- Tricycle landing gear
- Low-set wings
At one point, all Cherokee models (including the Archer) were known for having a “Hershey bar wing”. This is because the rectangular platform wings of earlier models resembled the popular candy bar. Later models feature a more modern, tapered wing – giving it a more rounded and sleek look.
The Archer is one of the most popular single-engine aircraft ever built and is still widely used in flight schools to train up-and-coming pilots. Created in Florida in 1974, the Archer’s models include I, II, and III versions and are widely known as one of the most abundantly produced models in aircraft history. It tends to stay at the top of buyers’ lists because of its affordability and classic design.
Manufacturer: Piper Aircraft
Piper Aircraft was initially known as Taylor Brothers Aircraft Manufacturing Company, established in September 1927. After the death of one of the Taylor brothers, the aviation company eventually moved on from its Rochester, New York location and into the hands of local oil industry engineer William T. Piper in 1937.
Even throughout the Great Depression, Piper Aircraft was called the “Henry Ford of Aviation” for believing in a low-cost and easy-to-operate private aircraft. Piper produced its first twin-engine aircraft in 1954 after several years of sales and expansion. Later, in 1957, Piper Aircraft landed in Vero Beach, Florida – where its headquarters and manufacturing division remains operating today.
Many worldwide military operators have flown a Cherokee model as its series is well-known with private owners and flying clubs alike. With over 32,000 delivered, the Cherokee family has been used in military operations in:
- Argentine Coast Guard
- Chilean Air Force
- Honduran Air Force
- Indonesian Navy
- Qatar Emiri Air Force
- Colombian Navy
- Finnish Air Force
Piper Aircraft is considered one of the “big three” major general aviation manufacturing companies. The trio also consists of Cessna and Beechcraft, owned by Textron Aviation. Many of Piper’s models are a favorite for young and learning pilots as they are simple to use, compact, and can withstand landing even on shorter runways.
Country of Origin: America
Piper Cherokee PA-28-180 Archer Statistics
Below are average statistics for the 1974 Piper Cherokee PA-28-180 Archer model. Get additional information on all Archer models through VREF Online.
Range Of Years Manufactured
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Current Operational Aircraft
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Piper Cherokee PA-28-180 Archer Details (1974)
The cabin’s interior features adjustable seating for all four seats. Also included are a pilot storm window, two sun visors, map pockets, and pockets on the back of both front seats. However, the back two seats are completely removable. The baggage area is contained within 24 square feet and has a maximum capacity of 200 lbs.
The 174 Archer does not have the “Hershey bar” wings of its predecessors and instead features a tapered wing. It has a tricycle landing gear and is constructed of an all-metal body. Wingtips, cowling, and tail surfaces are all made of fiberglass. This aircraft has a fixed-pitch propeller made from alloy, and the remaining areas of the aircraft are primed with an etching primer and finished with acrylic lacquer.
The Piper Cherokee PA-28-180 Archer may contain the following factory avionics:
Garmin G1000 avionics suite
- Configuration: Single Engine, Piston, Fixed Gear
- Max Seats: 4
- Max Take-Off Weight: 2,450 lbs
- Cruise: 122 Kts
- Range: 615 Nm
- Take Off Run: 720 ft
- Landing Roll: 635 ft
- Wing Span: 32 ft
- Length: 24 ft 8 in
- Height: 8 ft
- Take Off (50ft): 1,625 ft
Piper Cherokee (1964–Present)
Several Piper Cherokee variants have been made over the years. The Cherokee has seen many notable changes over time, including altered and improved wing design and flight controls.
PA-28-140 Cherokee Cruiser
Although first certified in 1963, the Cherokee Cruiser didn’t receive its certification until the following year in 1964. This original Cherokee had only two seats, a fixed landing gear, and a Lycoming O-320-E2A engine with a gross weight of 1,950 lbs.
This 1961 model made the switch to a four-seater with a Lycoming O-320-A2B or O-320-E2A engine.
PA-28-151 Cherokee Warrior
This 1973 certified model and all future variants, excluding the PA-28-161 Cadet, Pilot 100, and Pilot i100, have four seats rather than the original two seen in the Cherokee Cruiser. While the Warrior didn’t necessarily increase in horsepower, it did change engines to the Lycoming O-320-E3D. The Warrior is also where the signature “Hershey bar” wing was swapped out for a modern tapered wing.
Certified in 1960, the PA-28-160 Cherokee features a Lycoming O-320-B2B or O-320-D2A, increasing its original horsepower from 150 to 160.
PA-28-161 Warrior II
First certified in 1976, the Warrior II features a Lycoming O-320-D3G or O-320-D2A engine. It was certified again in 1982 for a gross weight of 2,440 lbs.
PA-28-161 Warrior III
Warrior II received its first certification in 1994 has a Lycoming O-320-D3G engine of 160 horsepower and a gross weight of 2,440 lbs.
Certified in 1962, the PA-28-180 Cherokee kicks up the horsepower to 180 and features a Lycoming O-360-A3A or O-360-A4A engine.
The Archer received its certification in 1972 and has a Lycoming O-360-A4A or O-360-A4M engine of 180 horsepower. It also offers several changes from its 180 Cherokee predecessor, including an increase in wingspan, five-inch fuselage extension, larger horizontal tail, gross weight increase, and other more minor changes. It’s also important to note that 1973 introduced the Challenger, while 1974 officially welcomed the first Archer as a result of marketing changes.
PA-28-181 Archer II
This model received its certification in 1975 and has a Lycoming O-360-A4M or O-360-A4A engine.
PA-28-181 Archer III
The final version of the Archer family got its certification in 1994, keeping with the same engine as its predecessors, the Lycoming O-360-A4M or O-360-A4A.
PA-28-201T Turbo Dakota
Increasing in power once again, the Turbo Dakota has a turbocharged Continental TSIO-360-FB engine of 200 horsepower. This model received its certification in 1978. It also saw an increase in gross weight from the Archer model going from 2,550 lbs. to 2,900 lbs.
PA-28-235 Cherokee Pathfinder
First certified in 1963, the Pathfinder has a Lycoming O-540-B2B5, O-540-B1B5, or O-540-B4B5 engine of 235 horsepower.
PA-28-235 Cherokee Pathfinder
This 1972-certified Pathfinder variation has a Lycoming O-540-B4B5 engine and increased its gross weight from 2,900 lbs. to 3,000 lbs. It also received some improvements throughout compared to the previous Pathfinder model, including an increase in wingspan, five-inch fuselage extension, and other smaller modifications.
Keeping with the same horsepower as the PA-28-235 Pathfinder, the 1978-certified Dakota has a Lycoming O-540-J3A5D engine and gross weight of 3,000 lbs.
This Cherokee model certified in 1963 has a Lycoming O-320-D2A engine and gross weight of 2,140 lbs.
This 1963-certified Cherokee model has a Lycoming O-360-A3A or O-360-A4A engine and a gross weight of 2,222 lbs. Additionally, it increased horsepower from the PA-28S-160 model from 160 to 180, as reflected in the name.
The Arrow family of models first appeared with its certification in 1967. It has a Lycoming IO-360-B1E engine of 180 horsepower and a gross weight of 2,500 lbs.
This 1969 Arrow advanced in both weight and horsepower, making the switch to a Lycoming IO-360-C1C engine of 200 horsepower and increasing to a gross weight of 2,600 lbs.
PA-28R-200 Arrow II
The 1971 Arrow II has a Lycoming IO-360-C1C or C1C6 and slightly increased gross weight from 2,600 lbs. to 2,650 lbs.
PA-28R-201 Arrow III
This 1976-certified Arrow II has a Lycoming IO-360-C1C6 engine and increased gross weight from the Arrow II from 2,650 lbs. to 2,750 lbs.
PA-28R-201T Turbo Arrow III
The Turbo Arrow III has a turbocharged Continental TSIO-360-F or TSIO-360-FB engine and increased gross weight from the Arrow III at 2,750 lbs. to 2,900 lbs.
PA-28RT-201 Arrow IV
The 1978 Arrow IV decreased in weight from its turbocharged counterpart from 2,900 lbs. to 2,750 lbs. It has a Lycoming IO-360-C1C6 engine and features a unique v-tail design.
PA-28RT-201T Turbo Arrow IV
The 1978 Turbo Arrow IV also features a v-tail design with a turbocharged Continental TSIO-360-FB engine and a gross weight of 2,900 lbs.
One of three exceptions to the typical four-seater feature, the Cadet has two seats and a Lycoming O-320-D2A or -D3G engine. It has a gross weight of 2,325 lbs., tapered wing, and replaced the PA-38 Tomahawk in the late 1980s.
Introduced at AERO Friedrichshafen in 2014, the Archer DX has a turbocharged Continental CD-155 diesel engine. Its compression-ignition engine is easier to operate, while its liquid cooling does not suffer shock cooling during a fast-moving descent.
Pilot 100 and Pilot i100
Introduced in 2019, the Pilot 100 and Pilot i100 are intended for flight training, offering a low-cost aircraft with a Continental Prime IO-370-D3A and Garmin G3X Touch Certified avionics. It is a two-seater aircraft with an optional third observer’s seat in the back.
Top Piper Cherokee FAQs
Is A Piper Cherokee Easy To Fly?
Yes! The Piper Cherokee remains an ever-popular aircraft for a few reasons. One of those reasons is that it’s a great aircraft for flight training. Student pilots favor its simple, yet reliable, easy-to-fly design. In addition to flight training, the Piper PA-28-180 is also well-liked for personal use.
How Much Does A Piper Cherokee Cost?
The price of a Piper Cherokee will largely depend on a few factors. However, you’re likely looking at a range of $47,000 to $65,000. Keep in mind that this range doesn’t include operating costs such as fuel, maintenance, and storage. But with the right budget, a pre-owned Piper Cherokee is an ideal fit for someone who doesn’t mind a simple and easy-to-use single-engine aircraft.
How Fast Does A Piper Cherokee 180 Fly?
The top speed for a Piper Cherokee 180 is 150 mph. Its cruise speed at 75% is 118 kts. Therefore, the Piper Cherokee isn’t the fastest aircraft on the market, but it’s still a prime choice for flight training and is a safe and stable option when it comes to single-engine aircraft.
Is The Archer Still In Production Today?
There are three modern-day models of the Archer in production. These models include two personal and one trainer aircraft. Those Archer models are the:
- Personal Archer LX
- Personal Archer DLX
- Trainer Archer DX
Each one is packed with luxurious features and maintains its tricycle-gear design. They are elegant, reliable, and each has upgraded packages available to suit the flyer’s needs.
Are There Any Notable Accidents And Incidents Involving The Piper Cherokee?
The Piper has had a few notable accidents over the years but is overall a very safe aircraft. A few incidents worth mentioning include the fatal Piper Cherokee Arrow air race that took place in England, killing Prince William of Gloucester in 1972.
While not accidental, a Piper PA-28-236 Dakota was deliberately flown into Building 1 of the Echelon office complex in Austin, Texas by Andrew Joseph Stack III in 2010. It is believed that Andrew sought revenge on the Internal Revenue Service office located there.
Brazilian singer Gabriel Diniz was killed in a crash involving a Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee Archer in 2019 in Estância, Brazil.
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