Used Aircraft Guide

April 2010 Issue

Used Aircraft Guide: Piper Archer

It springs from a long line of successful 180-HP airframes for a reason. Itís comfortable, anyone can fly it and it carries a lot for not much money.

In the heady days of the 1960s and Ď70s, personal airplane manufacturers were heavily invested in marketing their products the same way Detroit had been selling cars: Get new owners hooked on an entry-level model, offer several step-up models and make annual but incremental improvements. Just as Detroitís Big Three had dealer networks, Beech, Cessna and Piper had them also, offering everything from primary flight training to maintenance, rental and charter. Rarely would a new pilot trained in, say, a Cessna 150 look at another manufacturerís product as a step-up airplane, because a larger, faster version of what he was already flying was readily available. Brand loyalty was important to general aviationís Big Three back then, just as it was to Detroit. But times changed, models were eliminated and some brands went out of production entirely, at least for a time.

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