I just refurbished a 1968 Piper Cherokee 140 and liked the result so much that I decided to keep it and rent it out. This post is a collection of articles on buying and flying the Cherokee.
Fred Weick, the designer of the Ercoupe, designed the Cherokee at the Vero Beach facility of Piper. The aircraft was a replacement for the tube and fabric high-wing TriPacer. It was Piper’s first all metal aircraft. The type certificate was issued on October 31, 1960 and production began in early 1961. Piper built over 10,000 Cherokee 140s and many, many variants followed the same basic design. This Cherokee was manufactured in 1968 as a four seater powered by a fixed pitch Lycoming O-320-E2A. It develops 150 hp at full throttle for takeoff and 140 hp for cruise. A new engine costs about $16,000 plus install. You can cruise at 100 kts using 8.5 gph. The integral wing tanks hold 50 gallons of 100LL and this aircraft has an autogas STC. The wheel pants are off so that students can pre-flight the tires—and we can change them—easily.
The engine was pretty worn out on this plane, so we updated it to a new engine with 160 hp available for takeoff.
Wikipedia entry on the history of the Cherokee. Piper used the Cherokee name on many aircraft that are a far cry from the original 4 seater. The Cherokee Six for example is a six-passenger retractable.
PilotFriend has a good article on the handling characteristics of the PA28-140. It compares the handling to Cessna’s so it is a good review of the differences that a Cessna pilot (like me) will see when transitioning. One big gotcha—the nose wheel of the Cherokee follows the rudder pedals. You need to be careful on cross-wind landings to be sure the nose wheel is lined up with the runway before it touches down.
AOPA has a short article on the safety characteristics of the aircraft.
The Warrior is one derivative of the original Cherokee that is still manufactured by Piper. It comes with a 160 hp Lycoming 0-320 4 cylinder like the early models. Its gross weight is about 300 lbs heavier and its payload about 50 lbs less.
Some models of the Cherokee are certified as both Utility and Normal Category aircraft. The max weight is 200 lbs less for Utility Category and the aft CG limit is far forward.