certified aircraft database
Piper Aircraft

history and gallery
Pa20/22 Pacer TriPacer Clipper
Pa23 Apache Aztec
Navaho Chieftain Cheyenne
Pa24 Comanche
Pa30/39 Twin Comanche
Pa38 Tomahawk
Pa28 Cherokee Series
Pa28R Cherokee Arrow
Cherokee 6 Lance & Saratoga
Pa34 Seneca
Pa44 Seminole
Pa46 Malibu Mirage
comparative chart

Piper aircraft history, performance and specifications


Originally founded as the Taylor Brothers Aircraft Manufacturing Company in September 1927 by Clarence Gilbert Taylor and Gordon A. Taylor in Rochester, New York. The company was renamed to Taylor Brothers Aircraft Corporation in April 1928, shortly before Gordon Taylor died in a plane crash on April 24, 1928. The company was enticed to move to Bradford, Pennsylvania with the promise of larger facility and investment capital from local businessmen, including an initial investment of $400 from local oilman William T. Piper. The move was completed in September, 1929.

In late 1930 the company filed for bankruptcy and William T. Piper purchased the assets of the company for $761. Reorganized as the Taylor Aircraft Company, Piper effectively took control of the firm when he assumed the position of corporate secretary-treasurer, although he retained C. G. Taylor in the role of president. Piper, often called the "Henry Ford of Aviation", firmly believed that a simple-to-operate low-cost private airplane would flourish, even in the darkest depths of the Great Depression.

In December 1935, after a series of clashes, William Piper bought out C. G. Taylor, who left the company and went on to form the Taylorcraft Aircraft Company. On March 16, 1937 a fire destroyed the Bradford factory and Piper relocated to an abandoned silk mill in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. By November, 1937, all traces of Taylors' involvement with the company were erased when it was renamed to Piper Aircraft Corporation.

Manufacture ceased in the mid 1980's when, together with other sellers of light aircraft in the USA, increasing insurance premiums made continued operation financially impossible. Upon limitation of liability provided by new legislation in the early 90's, manufacturing re-commenced in 1995. The firm was re-branded New Piper Aircraft at that time.

As of July 2003, American Capital Strategies, Ltd. owns 94% of Piper's voting equity.

In August 2006 the firm dropped the "New" from its name, reverting to Piper Aircraft. Also in that month, a partnership with Honda was announced to market the new HondaJet.

In response to the economic situation the company announced in November 2008 that it was reducing its work-week to save money while avoiding lay-offs. Piper is party to an agreement with the state of Florida that will see the company benefit from USD$32 million in incentives in exchange for increasing its work force to 1400 people plus building the PiperJet in the state.

In December 2008 the company announced that it will defer the USD$10M incentive that would have required it to hire 400 new workers by 2012 for the PiperJet project and retain 1,417 employees through 2015. The company stated that the move was precautionary. Piper spokesman Mark Miller said: "While this year has been a good one for Piper, we have taken measures to keep the company healthy and to weather any future adversity.