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Piper PA-24 Comanche

piper-pa24


On 24 May 1956 Piper flew the prototype of a new single-engine four-seat cabin monoplane that it designated initially Piper PA-24 Comanche, but which later became known as the PA-24-180 Comanche. A cantilever low-wing monoplane of all-metal construction, this very clean looking aircraft had such features as retractable tricycle landing gear, an all-moving tailplane and a 180 hp / 134kW Avco Lycoming O-360-A1A engine. The first production aircraft was flown on 21 October 1957, and from the outset it was available in four versions, the Standard with basic essential equipment, the Custom, Super Custom and AutoFlite having progressively more sophisticated equipment, the last of them introducing a two-axis autopilot.

The capability of the PA-24-180 Comanche was demonstrated by American pilot Max Conrad in establishing FAI-accredited world class distance records of 11211.83km in a straight line and 11138.72km in a closed circuit during 1959 and 1960 respectively. And flying a PA-24-250 Comanche in 1959 over a straight-line distance of 12341.26km; these records remained unbroken in 1983.

The PA-24-250 Comanche which soon supplemented the PA-24-180 (1,143 built) and while basically similar differed by having the 186kW O-540-A1A engine; this variant was built to a total of 2,537. This was followed in 1964 by the PA-24-260 Comanche B with a 194kW version of the O-540 engine, and this model was used by the UK's Sheila Scott between 18 May and 20 June 1966 to establish a new round-the-world class speed record, covering a distance of 46759km.

The pressurized Comanche design may be Piper's most lamented failure. The sole prototype was de-stroyed in a freak takeoff-roll accident in 1966, when the pilot got out of synch with the touchy electric nosewheel steering. But the heavy single had already run into problems meeting certifi-cation requirements that demanded a 61-knot stalling speed.

One day, Pug Piper was sitting in a friend's 450-hp Staggerwing, and thought, 'Gee, we can do better than this by putting a 400 Lycoming in the nose of the Comanche.' Delayed by engine problems, the Comanche 400 went on sale just as the Twin Comanche became available for not much more money. The Interceptor 400 was a PA-24 Commanche with a six cylinder Lycoming engine built in 1964-65.

Last of the single-engine Comanches was the PA-24T-260 Turbo Comanche which introduced an IO-540 engine with a Rayjay turbo-charger to give considerably improved performance, and when production of the PA-24-260s ended in 1972 a total of 1,028 had been built, giving a Comanche grand total of 4,708. Production ended in 1972 due to the floods at Piper’s factory, Lock Haven. Certification for the PA-24, 24-2 to 24-3687 and PA-24-260, 24-4247 and 24-4300 to 24-5034, was under FAA 1A15.

Comanche 180
Engine: Lycoming O-360-A1A, 180 hp
TBO: 2000 hr
Fuel type: 80/87
Propeller: Hartzell CS
Landing gear: Tri/Retr.
Max ramp weight: 2550 lb
Gross weight: 2550 lb
Max landing weight:2550 lb
Empty weight: 1530 lb
Useful load: 1020 lb
Payload, full std. fuel: 660 lb
Wingspan: 36 ft. 11 in
Overall length: 24 ft. 9 in
Height: 7 ft. 4 in
Wing area:178 sq. ft
Wing loading: 14.3 lbs./sq. ft
Power loading: 14.2 lbs./hp
Wheel base: 6 ft. 7 in
Wheel track: 9 ft. 8 in
Wheel size: 6.00 x 6 in
Seating capacity: 4
Cabin doors: 1
Cabin width: 44 in
Cabin height: 45 in
Baggage capacity: 100 lb
Cruise speed 75% power @ 8,000 ft: 139 kt
Cruise speed 65% power @ 11,500 ft: 133 kt
Cruise speed 55% power @ 14,000 ft: 122 kt
Max range (w/ reserve) 75% power: 682 nm
Max range (w/ reserve) 65% power: 771 nm
Max range (w/ reserve) 55% power: 860 nm
Fuel consumption 75% power: 9.5 USgph
Fuel consumption 65% power: 8.2 USgph
Fuel consumption 55% power: 6.9 USgph
Stall speed (flaps up): 53 kt
Best rate of climb: 910 fpm
Service ceiling: 18,500 ft
Takeoff ground roll: 750 ft
Takeoff over 50-ft. obstacle: 2240 ft
Landing ground roll: 600 ft
Landing over 50-ft. obstacle: 1025 ft

1964 Piper Comanche 250 PA-24-250
Engine: Lycoming IO-540-C, 250 hp
TBO: 2000 hr
Fuel type: 100LL
Propeller: Hartzell two-blade CS / 77 in
Landing gear: Tri/Retr.
Gross weight: 2900 lb
Max landing weight: 2900 lb
Empty weight, std: 1690 lb
Useful load, std: 1210 lb
Useful load - equipped: 1073 lb
Payload, full std. fuel, 60 USgals: 850 lb
Payload - full opt. fuel, 90 gals: 670 lb
Usable fuel: 37 USgal
Oil capacity: 12 qt
Wingspan: 36 ft
Overall length: 24 ft. 10 in
Height: 7 ft. 5 in
Wing area: 178 sq. ft
Wing loading: 16.3 lbs./sq. ft
Power loading: 11.6 lbs./hp
Wheel base: 6 ft. 6 in
Wheel track: 9 ft. 10 in
Wheel size mains: 6.00 x 6 in
Wheel size nose: 6.00 x 6 in
Seating capacity: 4
Cabin doors: 1
Cabin length: 108 in
Cabin width: 45 in
Cabin height: 47 in
Baggage capacity: 200 lb /20 cu. ft
Max level speed: 165 kt /190 mph
Cruise speed 75% power: 157 kt / 181 mph
Cruise speed 65% power: 154 kt / 177 mph
Cruise speed 55% power: 142 kt /164 mph
Max. range opt. fuel, 45-min. res 75% power: 928 nm / 1068 sm
Max. range opt. fuel, 45-min. res 65% power: 1000 nm / 1151 sm
Max. range opt. fuel, 45-min. res 55% power: 1040 nm / 1197 sm
Max. range opt. fuel, 45-min. res 45% power: 1108 nm / 1275 sm
Fuel consumption 75% power: 13.7 USgph
Fuel consumption 65% power: 12.3 USgph
Fuel consumption 55% power: 11.0 USgph
Fuel consumption 45% power: 9.5 USgph
Stall speed (gear, flaps up): 61 kt / 70 mph
Stall speed (gear, flaps down): 55 kt/63 mph
Best rate of climb (SL): 1350 fpm
Service ceiling: 20,000 ft
Takeoff ground roll: 750 ft
Takeoff over 50-ft. obstacle: 1650 ft

Turbo Comanche C
Engine: Lycoming TIO-540-RIA5, 260-hp
TBO: 1,500 hrs
Prop: 77-in Hartzell constant-speed
Wing span: 35 ft. 11.75in
Airfoil: NACA 642A215
Aspect ratio: 7.28:1
Wing area: 178 sq. ft
Wing loading: 18 lb/sq.ft
Seats: 6
Empty weight: 1,894 lbs
Useful load: 1,306 lbs
Payload with full opt fuel: 702 lbs
Gross weight: 3,200 lbs
Power loading: 12.3 lb/hp
Fuel capacity (std.): 60 USG
Fuel capacity (opt): 90 USG
Baggage capacity: 250 lbs
Baggage area: 20 cu.ft
Takeoff dist over 50 ft: 1,800 ft
Rate of climb: 1,320 fpm
Service ceiling: 25,000 ft
Max speed: 242 mph/210 kts
Cruise (75% @ 25,000ft): 228 mph/198 kts
Econ cruise (55% @ 25,000ft): 209 mph/182 kts
Range @ max cruise (45-min. res, opt tanks): 1,120 sm/970 nm
Range (@ econ cruise (45.min. res, opt tanks): 1,330 sm/1,155 nm
Duration @ max cruise (opt tanks): 5 hr 40 min
Stall speed (gear & flaps down): 67 mph/58 kts
Landing dist over 50 ft: 1,200 ft.

PA-24T-260

Engine: 1 x Avco Lycoming IO-540 turbocharged, 194kW
Wingspan: 10.97 m / 36 ft 0 in
Length: 7.62 m / 25 ft 0 in
Height: 2.29 m / 8 ft 6 in
Wing area: 16.54 sq.m / 178.03 sq ft
Max take-off weight: 1451 kg / 3199 lb
Empty weight: 859 kg / 1894 lb
Max. speed: 389 km/h / 242 mph
Ceiling: 7620 m / 25000 ft
Range: 2398 km / 1490 miles

PA24 Interceptor 400
Engine: Lycoming IO-720, 400 hp
Top speed: 233 mph
Cruise: 202 mph

1964 Piper Comanche 400
New price (1964): $36,890
Engine: Lycoming IO-720 A1A, 400 hp
TBO: 1800 hr
Fuel type: 100
Propeller type: CS
Landing gear: Tri./Retr
Max ramp weight: 3600 lb
Gross weight: 3600 lb
Landing weight: 3600 lb
Empty weight, std: 2110 lb
Useful load, std: 1490 lb
Useful fuel, std: 130 USG
Payload, full std. fuel: 710 lb
Wingspan: 36 ft
Overall length: 25 ft. 8 in
Height: 7 ft. 10 in
Wing area: 178 sq. ft
Wing loading: 20.2 lbs./sq.ft
Power loading: 9.0 lbs./hp
Wheel size: 6.00 x 6 in
Seating capacity: 4
Cabin doors: 1
Cabin width: 44 in
Cabin height: 45 in  
Cruise speed 75% power: 185 kt
Cruise speed 65% power: 180 kt
Cruise speed 55% power: 171 kt
Fuel consumption 75% power: 22 USgph
Fuel consumption 65% power: 19 USgph
Fuel consumption 55% power: 16 Usgph
Vso: 59 kt
Best rate of climb, SL: 1600 fpm
Service ceiling: 19,500 ft
Takeoff ground roll: 980 ft
Takeoff over 50-ft obstacle: 1500 ft
Landing ground roll: 1180 ft
Landing over 50-ft. obstacle: 1820 ft

 

 


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