Piper Aircraft has a rich history dating back to 1927. Initially established by two brothers, Clarence and Gordon Taylor, Piper used to be known as Taylor Aircraft Manufacturing Company. The dream was to create and build aircraft for consumers to enjoy. However, Gordon Taylor was in a fatal accident demonstrating one of their prototype planes in 1928. Clarence was then convinced by wealthy oil professional, William Piper, to move to Pennsylvania to continue growing the business. Piper became an initial investor in the aircraft company, and he and Clarence would continue to work together until Piper eventually bought Clarence out of his share of the company in 1936.
Once the Great Depression hit in 1929, Taylor Aircraft went under, and Piper was there to buy the entire company for just under $800. One of Taylor’s designs, Piper’s Cub, became well-known and a best seller. It was a fabric-covered plane that was easy to fly and affordable to operate and own. Then the onset of World War II brought the demand back for reliable aircraft – so much so that the Cub became the training aircraft for 80% of all WWII pilots. Once U.S. war pilots returned to civilian life, they became the primary audience interested in flying their own aircraft. Piper would go on to create the successful Apache, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Comanche, and more. Piper Aircraft remains a huge manufacturer of modern aircraft, competing against Textron and its branches of companies, including Beechcraft, Cessna, Bell, and a few others.
Country of Origin: America
Piper Saratoga SP PA32R 301 (2006) Statistics
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Piper Saratoga SP PA32R 301 (2006) Details
Below includes descriptions for the 2006 Piper Saratoga II TC.
Also called the “sport utility vehicles of the skies,” the 2006 Saratoga offers a luxurious interior complete with premium leather club seating with lumbar support and vertically adjustable pilot and copilot seats. Added amenities include overhead passenger reading lamps, a refreshment console with cup holders, a folding table, and forward and rear bag storage. Passengers also have control over the heat and cooling systems with controls at each passenger seat. The soundproof cabin makes the Piper Saratoga an ideal aircraft in case you need to conduct business on the go.
This 300-horsepower aircraft is an all-metal, seven-place, low wing, single-engine airplane. It has a tricycle landing gear and is often shown in the paint shade Snow White with bold color accents like gold, teal, turquoise, red, and dark blue. Piper even offers its own signature look with a wavy paint scheme.
- Avidyne Entegra PFD and MFD
- Dual 10” Display with Flight Director
- Emax Engine Monitor
- Dual Garmin 430W NAV/COMM/GPS
- GMA 340 Audio Panel
- STEC-55X Autopilot with GPS and Altitude Preselect
- Garmin GTX-330ES Transponder
- ADS-B Compliant
- Artex ELT
- Standby Alternator
- Take Off Run: 1,183 ft.
- Landing Roll: 732 ft.
- Wing Span: 36 ft. 2 in.
- Length: 28 ft. 4 in.
- Height: 9 ft. 6 in.
- Take Off (50 ft.): 1,573 ft.
- Configuration: Single Engine, Piston, Retractable Gear
- Max Seats: 7
- Max Take-Off Weight: 3,600 lbs.
- Cruise: 159 kts
- Range: 784 nm
Piper Saratoga SP PA32R 301 Models
The following are variations of the Piper Saratoga.
It’s important to know that Saratoga is actually a brand that applies across four different aircraft: Saratoga, Saratoga SP, Turbo Saratoga, and Turbo Saratoga SP. The differences between them include in-flight feet tucking away between the first and second variations. Then, you have a stiff-legged turbocharged version following the second variation. And finally, the last variation, the Turbo Saratoga SP, features a retractable gear.
The Piper Saratoga was initially marketed as the Piper Cherokee Lance, which essentially was a retractable PA-32 line but with a standard tail and tapered wings rather than its signature “Hershey bar” wings. Changing from a T-tail style to a regular tail was marketed as a design improvement because the Saratoga was so aerodynamic on its own that it didn’t need the T-tail’s help. Realistically for Piper Aircraft, the T-tail style is more expensive to produce and had no significant use for this variation.
This variation is also referred to as the “Lance”. Its initial design featured a T-tail, but pilots did not like the tail’s lack of authority at low speeds. After two years of production with the T-tail style, Piper decided to switch up its design. Also, marketing dropped the Cherokee name and simply referred to this aircraft as the Lance II.
Piper produced a turbocharged version of the Lance II and introduced it to the world in 1978. It has a service ceiling of 20,000 feet with a rate of climb of 1,050 ft/min and cruises at 10,000 ft. at 175 kn true airspeed at 75% with power burning 20 gal/h. Its fuel capacity holds 94 gallons of usable fuel. This aircraft was the first to showcase a distinctive large oval, single air intake below the propeller hub.
After its introduction in 1980, the PA-32R-301 variation replaced the Cherokee Six and Lance models. Eliminating further controversy over its T-tail design, Piper gave the Saratoga a standard tail and tapered wings. Those that had this design were called the Saratoga SP. This version would see more cosmetic changes and system updates in 1993, giving it the name of the Saratoga II HP.
The turbocharged Saratoga made its appearance in 1980, better known as the Turbo Saratoga SP. TC didn’t appear in the Saratoga name until 1997, when it featured a brand new Lycoming TIO-540-AH1A engine.
On the outside, the cowl of this model is noticeably different, with much smaller round air inlets. Avionics in the 1997-1998 Saratoga II TCs featured a King avionics suite, later switched to dual Garmin GNS-430s and a GTX-320 transponder with the 1999 models.
By the mid-2000s, standard avionics were again updated with one Garmin GNS-430, one GNS-530, and a GTX-327 transponder. At the start of 2004, Saratoga models now came with an Avidyne Entegra “glass panel” avionics system, later replaced by the Garmin G1000 in 2007.
License-built variants of the PA-32R-300 and PA-32RT-300, where a total of 150 were built.
License-built variants of the PA-32R-301, where a total of 55 were built.
Top Piper Saratoga Questions
The following are answers to FAQs about the Piper Saratoga.
How Much Does A Piper Saratoga Cost?
The answer to this question depends greatly on the model’s year you’re looking to purchase. Production years for these aircraft ranges from 1980 to 2007, which leaves a ton of room for changes in pricing. For example, the average cost of a 1980 PA-32R-301 Saratoga SP is $195,786. A 2006 model has an average cost of $397,019.
How Fast Is A Piper Saratoga?
The Piper Saratoga can travel as fast as up to 163 knots.
How Easy Is It To Fly A Piper Saratoga?
Pilots like flying the Saratoga because it can be more flexible when it comes to the room, space, and payload capacity. It’s a durable aircraft with sea-level power available for any reasonable high and or hot departures.
Furthermore, pilots like its Piper Inadvertent Icing Protection System (PIIPS). It’s a safety enhancement that allows pilots to stop or remove small ice formations. This is particularly important as ice can alter the airflow as the plane flies. It can also change the aircraft’s structure slightly as ice builds up on its airframe. If icy conditions are severe enough, the plane’s lift force is compromised and weakened. This means the technology used to keep the aircraft in the air is not working properly, which can ultimately cause the pilot to lose control of the aircraft completely. This enhanced safety feature is based on a technology developed by Aerospace Systems and Technologies, Inc. called the “weeping wing”. It’s truly a beneficial feature for pilots, passengers, and others, as many fatal crashes have been caused by ice.
Why Is The Saratoga Called The Sport Utility Vehicle Of The Sky?
Part of Saratoga’s marketing in the mid-90s included calling it “the sport utility vehicle of the sky.” The phrase was meant to attract travelers of all types. Whether you imagine a mountain lodge vacation with your family or sightseeing in a new city, the idea behind this marketing effort eluded that Saratoga could take you wherever you wanted to go, across various terrain much like another actual popular sport utility vehicle that’s still in production and owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
What Engine Does A Piper Saratoga Have?
This depends on which variation you’re interested in buying. Saratoga began using a 260-horsepower Lycoming engine, eventually making the change to a 300-horsepower Textron Lycoming TIO-540 engine.
Does Piper Still Make The Saratoga?
After 34 years of production, Piper discontinued the manufacturing of Saratoga in 2009. One of the reasons for this move by Piper was caused by their competition with Beechcraft’s Bonanza, Mooney’s Ovation, Cirrus’s SR22, Cessna’s 210, and 350. At the same time, Piper moved to stop production on the Arrow as well.
What Does A New Piper Saratoga Cost?
Since the Saratoga is no longer in production, the newest version of this aircraft is the 2008 version of the Piper Saratoga II TC. The cost for one of these is anywhere between $512,500 and $595,000. Of course, this range can and will change over time depending on demand and market conditions.
How Is The Piper Saratoga’s Safety Record?
Pilots and representatives from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association said the plane is “extremely safe”. Others refer to the Saratoga as reliable, comfortable, and sturdy. An AOPA spokesman said, “It’s considered a high-performance airplane, but among the ranks of high-performance aircraft, it’s one of the easiest to fly.”
However, the main issues pilots have with the Saratoga include trouble when flying at night or in hazy conditions.
Did JFK Own A Saratoga?
John F. Kennedy, the former President of the United States, did not own a Saratoga. However, his son John F. Kennedy Jr. did. JFK Junior received his pilot’s license in the spring of 1998 and bought a 1995 Saratoga for about $325,000 to $350,000. By the next spring, this aircraft was registered with the FAA and ready to fly.
On July 16, 1999, JFK Junior brought his wife Carolyn Bessette and sister-in-law Lauren Bessette onboard for a Connecticut coastline ride through Rhode Island Sound to Martha’s Vineyard Airport. However, the Saratoga would never make it to the airport and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, killing all three people on board.
An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) revealed that JFK Junior became disoriented while flying over the ocean at night, likely because of poor visibility. For advanced pilots, flying in these conditions might have been okay. But JFK Junior was only certified to fly under visual flight rules (VFR). And as conditions were less clear, he lost control of the plane.
What Are The Operating Costs For A Piper Saratoga?
Estimated costs for operating a Saratoga has a fuel cost of $5.47 per gallon; the Piper Saratoga II TC can cost about $120,937.50 with a total fixed cost of $23,635.00. This means you need an annual budget of $144,572.50 to maintain operations. With these conditions, operating costs come to about $321.27 per hour.
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