Used Aircraft Guide

January 2015 Issue

Piper Comanche

The Piper PA-24-series Comanche still earns high marks for speed, efficiency and aftermarket support.

First hitting the market in 1958, the Piper PA-24 Comanche was a radical departure for Piper. Until then, the company had built mostly rag-and-tube taildraggers. Instead, the Comanche was a thoroughly modern design focused on speed and good looks, and targeting the high-performance piston-single market being tapped by the Beech Bonanza and Cessna 210, among others. Piperís sleek, roomy all-metal design featured an oval-section fuselage, tapered laminar-flow wing and sharp-edged styling. The looks still turn heads today. A South African company is even building an all-composite lookalike for the kit-built crowd, the Ravin. More important for the discriminating used aircraft buyer, the Comanche lends itself to upgrading, and owners who bring the airplane up to the state-of-the-art tend to hang onto them forever. Thereís no shortage of mods that step the aircraft up in speed and looks.

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