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Piper Aircraft

history and gallery
PA-31-310 Turbo Navajo
PA-31-310 Turbo Navajo B, C
PA-31-325Navajo C/R
PA31 P Press Navajo post 1977
PA31 P Press Navajo to 1977
PA-31-350 Chieftain
PA-31P-350 Mojave
PA-31T IA Cheyenne IA
PA-31T-500-I Cheyenne I
PA-31T-620 Cheyenne II
PA-31T-620 XL Cheyenne II XL
PA-42-1000 Cheyenne 400LS
PA-42-720 Cheyenne III to 1982
PA-42-720 Cheyenne III A
PA-42-720 Cheyenne III post '82



Piper Pa31 / Pa42 Navaho Chieftain Cheyenne performance and specifications

On April 17th 1967 Piper started to deliver the first Navajos, its new 6-9 seat, twin-engined aircraft which was the largest so far manufactured by them. Piper was obviously targeting the emerging market of private planes for businessmen ; initial tests were performed by the prototype which flew on September 30th 1964. It was powered by two Avco Lycoming IO-540-M 300hp engines, and was named Piper PA-31-300 Navajo.

Three versions were offered : a 8 seat liaison aircraft, a 6 seat standard aircraft and a 6 seat luxury aircraft. At the same time Piper also started production of the PA-31-310 Turbo Navajo B fitted with two 310hp engines. Later in March 1970 the PA-31P Pressurized Navajo made its first flight with two 425hp engines, and a pressurized cabin that allowed it to reach 8,000 meters. The next version was the PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain characterised by two 350hp engines and especially a fuselage 61cm longer. But the most advanced version, the PA-31T Cheyenne, certified in 1973, had a pressurized cabin and two Pratt&Whitney Canada PTA-28 620hp engines. In 1974 the PA-31-325 Turbo Navajo C/R was offered, with the Chieftain's engines.
In 1977 the PA-31T with two 325hp engines became the PA-31T Cheyenne II, after the production of the ill powered PA-31T1 Cheyenne I (2xPTA-11 of 500hp). Then, in 1981, Piper produced the PA-31T2 Cheyenne IIXL with a lengthened fuselage and two 750hp PTA-132 engines. By 1986 only the PA-31-350, PA-31T1 and PA-31T2 were still on the production line, and Piper decided to roll out the PA-31P-350 Mojave, a Cheyenne with 350 hp engines.

The Navajo six/eight seat cabin class twin has been adapted to a number of commuter, charter, air taxi, light freight and executive transport roles, and has spawned a series of developments.

The PA-31P-350 Mojave was the last pressurised version of the PA-31 series to be built, while the PA-31-350 Chieftain was a stretched Navajo, built on the smaller Navajo's success in the commuter and charter roles.

The stretched Navajo Chieftain first appeared in 1973, after Piper began design work in 1971 (delays were caused by the destruction of the second prototype and early production aircraft due to flooding at Piper's Lock Haven plant in June 1972). Originally dubbed the Navajo II, the Navajo Chieftain was intended to compete against the Cessna 402 and to a lesser extent the turboprop powered Beech 99.

The Piper Cheyenne is a family of turboprop corporate aircraft based on the popular Navajo and Chieftain piston twins.

Although the first Cheyenne was not delivered until mid 1974, work on a turboprop version of the Pressurized Navajo dates back almost a decade earlier to the mid 1960s. The prototype of the Cheyenne flew for the first time on August 29 1969, but Piper had to redesign the flight control systems to handle the increased loads on the airframe due to the higher speeds. Production deliveries were further delayed due to flooding at Piper's Lock Haven plant in June 1972.

Aimed directly at Beech's successful King Air twin turboprop series, the PA42 Cheyennes are larger developments of the earlier PA31T Cheyennes (in turn themselves turboprop developments of the PA31 Navajo).

The PA42 Cheyenne III was announced in September 1977. The first production Cheyenne III flew for the first time on May 18 1979 and FAA certification was granted in early 1980. Compared with the Cheyenne II the PA42 was about 1m (3ft) longer, was powered by 537kW (720shp) PT6A-41 turboshafts and introduced a T-tail, the most obvious external difference between the PA31T and PA42.