Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Piper Archer: 50 Years & Counting

The Piper Archer soldiers on into a new generation

Closer to Earth, this translates to predictable manners in the pattern and among the easiest landings of any general aviation airplane I know of. With full flaps deployed, Archers can fly final at 60 knots without violating the 1.3 Vso rule. It's easy to recognize flare height, and pitch sensitivity at low speed is just right to help ease the airplane down to the runway.

Though Skyhawk advocates may disagree, the Archer is an airplane for most, if not all, reasons. It's a perfect example of Piper's philosophy of building airplanes that span most of the market. The Archer LX is one of eight Piper models that include a single-engine turboprop, two twins and four certified piston singles. At this writing, Piper has perhaps the most comprehensive lineup in the industry, though the company doesn't yet offer a jet. (A single-engine jet is currently in flight test.)
The archer's noise and vibration levels at cruise, which are major fatigue factors for pilots and passengers, are surprisingly low.
Piper's recent acquisition by the Asian Pacific conglomerate Imprimis may not have totally immunized it from a weak sales market, but the company now seems primed to endure for the long term. Piper sales were up 75% last year, a distinction few other manufacturers can claim.

The Vero Beach company's general aviation product line is the most diverse in the industry, and the Piper Archer LX may be the closest anyone has come to that ideal—an everyman's airplane.

Ready, Set, Fly!

Piper is offering new Archer LX customers their own private pilot training in just three weeks at Vero Beach Municipal Airport. The custom program created for Piper Archer LX students will take them from zero time to their private pilot, and each student pilot will get a personal dedicated instructor pilot for the accelerated training. If already a qualified private pilot, an Archer LX customer can apply their Ready, Set, Fly privileges toward another FAA certification. Customers may also elect to conduct the training at another location with the training provider of their choice.

Labels: Piston Singles


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