Owners assert that their Pipers may not be as pretty, quick or fuel-efficient as other light twins, but they are generally easier to fly, reliable and better at hauling heavy loads and operating out of short fields. Add to Wishlist. The airframes were virtually identical, and it could be hard to tell an Apache from an early Aztec. The Aztec â¦ The gear and flaps are hydraulic, meaning that the aging system will provide the owner with the joy of tracing leaks on a regular basis. Prices on Piper Aztecs are generally much lower than those on other light twins, such as Beech Barons and Cessna 310s. John is an avid backpacker, sailor, and photographer; follow his non-flying adventures on his website, by clicking the button below. If looking to purchase an Apache, I would seek out an aircraft that had the new style props installed. She is from 1955 and powered by two Lycoming O-320-A1A engines. It was, in fact, a design from the now-defunct Stinson Aircraft Company. The rear cabin steadily grew throughout the years, adding a third row with a fifth, and eventually a sixth seat. Several ADs require repetitive inspections and work, and some are quite expensive. You can expect to replace a seal every year or so. The last versions, the Piper Aztec series, by contrast, are capable load-haulers with very good short-field performance. Our FBO also had a Turbo Aztec D. The Apache was underpowered but the handling was much lighter. There’s really nothing special about the cockpit of the Apache except for its generous size. Takeoff Distance over 50’ obstacle: 1,980 feet All six seats can be filled in later models with full tanks. If that engine quit, the pilot would need to give a hefty 30-50 pumps of the manual gear extension to get the wheels down. Keep the yoke well back to keep weight on the mains and retract the flaps right away. CB Aviation is proud to bring to market this beautiful 1973 Piper Turbo Charged Aztec. Top speed was 157 knots, with a published but optimistic cruise of 148 knots, while 135 to 140 knots proved to be more realistic. By the end of the 1950s it was clear that the market wanted something bigger and faster out of Piper, and Piper wanted something that could compete in passenger and baggage space as well as performance, even though the Apache had gained a fifth seat in 1955. Maintenance is not user-friendly. If you need the useful load of an Aztec then it is the clear winner. The first was the upgrade to the engines; 160 hp O-320-B engines were added to the Apache and designated the Apache E. This aircraft would undergo some other small modifications, including a slight increase to the cabin length and replacing the O-320-B engines with the O-320-B2B; this final designation was the PA-23-160 Apache H. The second event was the introduction of the Piper Aztec PA-23-250. Single-engine performance is on par with other light twins; that is, it’s pathetic. The United States Navy and military forces in other countries also used it in small numbers. The best thing about it is its load-carrying capability. We usually run out of room before we hit gross weight unless we’ve got the tip tanks full of fuel. Originally designed in the 1950s by the Stinson Aircraft Company, Piper Aircraft manufactured the Apache and a more powerful version, the Aztec, in the United States from the 1950s to the 1980s. Engine: 2 x fuel-injected Lycoming IO-540-C4B5 250 hp The E and F models are a few knots slower on the same fuel. Fuel Capacity: 144 US gallons Piper Twin Engine Parts; PA23 Apache, Aztec; Lighting; Filter by. Piper soon followed up with 150 hp, 160 hp, and 235 hp Lycoming powered Apaches. The primary benefit of the change was a 300-pound boost in gross weight. This entered production under the designation PA-23-250 Aztec in 1959-60, the US Navy acquiring 20 of these aircraft for use in a utility role, designating them UO-1, â¦ Up high, around 24,000 feet, a Turbo Aztec can sizzle along at 190 to 200 knots with fuel gushing at 30 to 35 GPH. Or PA-23 Aztec? WORLD'S PREMIER INDEPENDENT AVIATION NEWS RESOURCE. During the 26-year history of the PA-23, 2036 small-engined Apaches were manufactured, 114 Apache 235s and approximately 5500 Aztecs. We have found that a surprising number of owners are not aware of the limitation, so wing attach fittings should be a checklist item on a pre-buy inspection. The airplanes can haul a respectable load, although they can’t, as some owners would suggest, fly with anything you can close the doors on. If you haven't seen Flight Simulator 2020, make a point of it. Despite its flaws, the PA-23 is one of those classics that will continue to be in demand for some time to come, most notably for its purchase price & performance combination. Another change in the F model was incorporation of a flap-stabilator interconnect to reduce the pitch-up tendency. This third row is very uncomfortable for standard passengers though, so many owners have removed this third row to reduce weight and make room for more cargo. The first really big change came about in 1962, when Piper introduced the Aztec â¦ A batch of World War II letters offers a glimpse of the high personal cost of flying bombers and fighters in their intended use. A Piper Aztec may not be cheap to operate, but its an affordable buy. Landing Distance over 50’ obstacle: 1,585 feet But for honest handling in a twin and reasonable single-engine performance, it’s one of the best out there. The D models had minor improvements, including instrument arrangement. Piper PA-23 Apache and Aztec: Piper light twins started with the purchase of the Stinson line way back in the early 1950s. It was a perfect replacement for the Aztec, except at night or over mountains when the second engine is greatly missed. I eventually took one of the middle seats out, which turned the rear seat into a very comfortable spot with great legroom. shipping: + $8.30 shipping . A positive rate of climb depends on perfect technique and on top of these demands, the pilot is presented with the specter of engine-out handling difficulties, such as the tendency to roll over towards the dead engine. Published single-engine rates of climb vary from 180 FPM for the Apache 160 to 240 FPM for the Apache 150 and naturally aspirated Aztecs. The stabilator and stabilator-balance system were changed with the introduction of the F model, but Piper later switched again from external to internal balance weights after AD 79-26-1 targeted cracks and attachment problems. We saw little better during a workout in a Seneca III under a hot Florida sun. In 1960, Piper introduced the Aztec, a stretched PA-23 airframe with 250-HP Lycoming O-540-A1B5 engines and a larger tail with stabilator. Still, even well-equipped Apaches and Aztecs can carry full fuel, four or five adults and baggage, despite zero-fuel-weight restrictions imposed by an Airworthiness Directive (83-22-01) that was issued to prevent damage to wing-attach fittings. After countless hours in front of the flight simulator on the family computer, he finally earned his fixed-wing license right before joining the Air Force. With such a variety of power, weight and age, a buyer can find a PA-23 to fit almost any budget. It takes eight hours for one person to remove and replace the cowlings; to me, that’s an incredibly stupid design. The original Apache, with 150-HP engines and a useful load of 1320 pounds, has a higher single-engine ceiling (5300 feet versus 3800 feet), higher service ceiling (17,000 feet against 15,000 feet) and better single-engine rate of climb (240 FPM versus 212 FPM). Piper Aztec B (Apache) In 1961, in partnership with Sonderjyllands Flyselskab (later to become Climber Air), Legoâs chief pilot, Hans Eric Christiansen, took delivery of a larger aircraft, a Piper Apache, and Godtfred built his own âairportâ: a wood hangar and an 800 meter grass airfield directly north of the factory in Billund. It was a wonderful airplane to fly and while it was not going to blaze a path through the sky, you could carry quite a load and the cabin size was very comfortable. That task can take quite some time, leading many mechanics or owners to skip checking the oil screen. The Apache is very well built, but ease of servicing may not have been a priority, as many maintenance tasks require a lot of labor. Length: 31.2 feet Owners also tend to be very picky about who maintains their airplanes. The last model [ Click to read moreâ¦ PA 23 is a Piper's manufactures designation for both the Apache and the Aztec. Thus was born the Aztec, with six-cylinder, 250-horsepower Lycoming O-540 â¦ Useful Load: 2,020 pounds Max gross weight was 4800 pounds. I operated a 1974 Piper Aztec E Model for about two years. The earliest versions of the Aztec differed only slightly in appearance from the Apache, although early Aztecs featured higher performance â¦ Early Aztecs claim 178 to 182 knots while burning about 26 to 28 GPH at 75 percent, more realistic cruise is 160 to 165 knots. The Piper PA-23, named Apache and later Aztec, is a four-to-six-seat twin-engined light aircraft aimed at the general aviation market. Diamond Aire (www.diamondaire.com) performs the Geronimo mod, and offers a number of other mods for the Apache-Aztec line including redesigned noses, dorsal fins, a speed-slope windshield, gap seals, vortex generators, tip tanks and inflatable door seals. I think the Twin Comanche is one of the best light twins in the GA fleet, but it isn't for multi-engine beginners. As mentioned earlier, the airplanes are exemplary short-fielders. The F model, as mentioned earlier, could also be fitted with 20-gallon internal tip tanks. The more I got to know the Aztec, the more I liked it. I bought into an E-model Aztec after discovering I couldn’t afford the twin I really wanted, a Cessna 310. Prior to the Piper Aztec F, the hydraulic pump was on the left engine. There, served as an F-15E Instructor Weapon Systems Officer for ten years, obtaining 1,600 flight hours over two deployments to Afghanistan and well over 100 combat missions flying Close Air Support. The Aztec was a slightly elongated Apache, now seating five, but it came with much more powerful 250 hp Lycoming O-540 engines. Or a Piper Aztec PA-27? It’s an exceptional multi-engine aircraft with great cargo capacity at the expense of cruise speed. The United States Navy and military forces in other countries also used it in small numbers. Newer, heavier Aztecs use up a bit more real estate, but not much: Figure on about 2000 feet to leave and less than 1600 feet to arrive over a 50-foot obstacle in an E or F model. Starship Completes High-Altitude Test Flight, Explodes During Landing (Updated), Vaccine Passport: Stop Crying, Get Your Shot, Best of the Web: How Microsoft Flight Sim Recreated the Planet, Even A Numbskull Like Me Can Learn To Fly A Gyroplane, Top Letters And Comments, December 18, 2020, Unwanted Flight Test: The FAAâs 709 Ride, EAA Aviation Museum To Offer Webinar Series, WAI Announces 2021 Pioneer Hall Of Fame Inductees, Hill Helicopters Unveils New Turbine Engine, Canada Mandates 406 ELTs, Foreign Aircraft Need Beacon. When getting on the brakes after landing, if you lower the nose as you would a 310 or Baron, you’ll just slide the tires because the wing is lifting and there’s no weight on the mains. Trim bezel panel from Piper Aztec. Lighting. The most recent, 2009-13-06, applies to all models with a nose baggage compartment and requires inspection and replacement of door and latch components following fatal accidents resulting from a door coming open in flight. The forum is a fantastic resource for parts and maintenance advice. Gross weight is 5200 pounds, useful load 2000 pounds, max cabin load 1200 pounds. Until then, Piper had been a builder of steel tube-and-fabric machines but had acquired the Stinson Division of Consolidated Vultee. Pilots flying this modification have reported an increased useful load, better climb performance, increased cruise speed, lower fuel burn at cruise, and safer single-engine characteristics. The engines were also upgraded to some more powerful 150 hp O-320-As. Height: 10.3 feet After the Aztec C, the alterations were mostly refinements. The Piper PA-23, named Apache and later Aztec, is a four-to-six-seat twin-engined light aircraft aimed at the general aviation market. The first annual was hugely expensive, around $12,000, but covered a lot of deferred maintenance, the nose landing gear replacement being the largest item. When Piper was through revising it to their likes it was 1954 and the way-too-cute Apache hit the market place; 1,231 were built. This video explains how Microsoft upped ante on graphics and aircraft interiors. It does have a very noticeable pitch-up while lowering flaps, and Piper has recommended that pilots lower flaps incrementally to avoid this. Our Geronimo has a modern panel centered on the Garmin G500 driven by a GNS430W. Indeed, many owners do much of their own work under the supervision of IAs. I was sitting across from Chief Wendell Chino, chief of Americaâs Chiracahua Apache Indian tribe, in his Piper Cheyenne III at the Ruidoso, New Mexico airport when he commented that he was â¦ The cabin is more passenger-friendly than the 310 or Baron. It is not a fill the tanks and fill the seats airplane, but it’s amazingly close. Horsepower: 160 Gross Weight: 3800 lbs Top Speed: 159 kts Empty Weight: 2230 lbs Cruise Speed: 150 kts Fuel Capacity: 72 gal Stall Speed (dirty): 53 kts Range: 616 nm Takeoff: Landing: Ground Roll: 1190 ft Ground Roll 750 ft: Over 50 ft obstacle: 1550 ft Over 50 ft obstacle: 1360 ft Rate Of Climb: 1260 fpm Rate of Climb (One â¦ The longer, pointed nose is a detriment from the radar standpoint, according to Aztec expert Tom Baum. The big changes in the PA-23 all happened in the early 1960s. Figure on about 160 knots on 29 GPH at high cruise for the Apache 235. Unlike the Baron or 310, it almost feels as if you point it in the right direction and fall asleep until time to flare. Stall Speed: 59 knots, landing configuration I would also highly recommend an Apache owner join the Piper Apache Club run by John Lumly. Beginning with the B-model Aztec, there are three full rows of seats and 150-pound capacity baggage compartments fore and aft. The original Piper PA-23, the Apache, seemed almost round and had such modest powerplants that single-engine operation could be hazardous—just as with other twins with small engines. Hartzell (www.hartzell.com) has recently certified a two-blade scimtar “Top Prop” for most of the Aztec models—its data shows a two-knot cruise speed increase. Limiting speeds in later models are a more manageable 130 and 109 knots. What defines what is an Apache from an Aztec is the dash after PA 23. I guess technically all three designations are correct with the official FAA designation for this aircraft being the Piper PA-23. Enter your search keyword ... Piper PA23 Apache / Aztec series stainless hardware kit . CG is seldom a concern unless we put really big people in the rear seats. The United States Navy and military forces in other countries also used it in small numbers. The new-style nacelles allow total access to the engines in less than five minutes. I wish it were as fast as a 310. This list of Piper Apache and Aztec ADs is provided as a service â¦ A company called Seguin Aviation introduced the Geronimo modification to the PA-23-150/160 in the mid-1960s. The ability of the bulbous airplanes to bleed off speed rapidly comes in handy when it’s time to get into landing configuration. Following all of this? It hung on through 1965, with a total production run of 114. The Hartzell propeller AD is a notable exception. The hydraulic lines and valves build up a varnish with time; figure on replacing everything over about a 10-year period. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Also on the Piper Aztec F’s options list was an auxiliary hydraulic pump on the right engine. The purchase price includes excellent handling and as much as a ton of useful load. One idiosyncrasy that will present itself to the transitioning pilot is the tendency of pre-1976 models to pitch up strenuously when flaps are lowered. You truly can fill the seats, baggage and fuel (assuming your family all weigh about 150 pounds or less). It has the O-360 (180 HP), long nose with baggage, aux electric hydraulic pump, aft baggage, flap gap seals, aux fuel tanks (108 gallons total), squared-off tail and fiberglass nacelles. There are zero fuel, max landing and max landing tip tank weights to consider, but with a little planning they seldom are a concern. Piper Aztec and Apache Performance, Handling. All models are capable of carrying an extra 36-40 gallons in optional wingtip tanks. Apaches continued to come off the line with the 150 hp engines with only minor modifications made to the airframe until 1958 when two notable events happened. In the early 1950s, the major aircraft manufacturers that had survived the post-war boom and thud scrambled to come up with a light twin. Also in 1962, Piper added a longer nose to the Aztec, housing a baggage compartment. Owners of 150- and 160-HP Apaches report 135 to 145 knots on 16 GPH at 75 percent power. That airplane turned out to have crushed heat ductwork requiring many hours of labor to fix and even then, the result was not adequate, despite also plugging the many leaks in the aft cabin bulkhead. Piper Panel Upgrades. Our first was a 1955 PA23-150 that had an updated panel and interior, but completely original airframe. If you want two engines for those over-mountain, night, IFR flights, it is tough to find a more capable and forgiving airplane. We purchased our 1969 D Model Aztec in 2002. Most of our flying is between 8000 and 10,000 feet. Twins aren’t cheap to operate and the Piper PA-23 is no exception. Wing Span: 37.2 feet This airplane is still being produced by Piper. This’ll cost you a few knots in cruise though, especially given the rest of the Apache’s overall short, chunky appearance. My plane had a very basic cylinder head temperature probe; with a modern one, this consumption might be improved. The Piper Apache is very forgiving for balance limitations. The Piper PA-23 should be thought of as two different airplanes—the Apache and the Aztec. This would become the Piper Aztec B PA-23-250. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. I flew it 150 hours in that time and found it to be a docile, easy to fly, very comfortable airplane. Early Piper Aztecs require less than 1250 feet. Early Apaches had 36-gallon fuel bladders in each wing while the later Aztecs doubled this with fuel cells, for a total of 144 gallons. The manual pitch trim control, by the way, is a large crank on the ceiling with a smaller crank (a knob in later models) inside it for yaw trim; both are very sensitive. Case in point: when Cessna upgraded its 310, Piper countered by adding a fifth seat and bigger engines to its Apache, thus creating the PA-23-250 Aztec. Considering the number of Aztecs built, it’s curious that there is no organization devoted to their owners. This wasn’t just about changing a windshield or rudder – Piper Geronimos are essentially entirely rebuilt aircraft. In our opinion, the edge of the single-engine performance envelope on light-light twins—those with normally aspirated engines of less than 200 HP—is really too close to being unsafe for comfort. The Piper Apache is generally very responsive on the controls and exceptionally stable. Sort by: "LED LANDING LIGHT" PMA Approved (plug and play replacement bulb) (Whelen PAR 36, 4 1/2" Dia) 10-LED-P36P1L-18D $255.00. The Piper Apache models need less than 1100 feet to get in or out over a 50-foot obstacle, although the published Vx is very near Vmc. Passengers: five. Figure about $275 per hour, wet, to run a normally-aspirated Aztec, based on 150 hours a year. Major enhancements include a larger cabin, larger rudder, redesigned nose & windshield, aerodynamic improvements to all control surfaces, and larger 180 hp engines. Is it a Piper Apache PA-23? The Apache first used two 125-hp Lycoming engines which were underpowered but the Apache did make a very good multi engine trainer as it was hard to fly, rugged for training purposes and inexpensive to operate. The irresistibly low prices on some of these airplanes could be siren songs and due to the complexity of the systems, keeping one of the neglected birds airworthy has proven to be expensive to more than one buyer seduced by the low price. Owners of 150- and 160-HP Apaches report 135 to 145 knots on 16 GPH at 75 percent power. We added a GDL69 for weather and installed PlanePower dual alternators to supply adequate and consistent power. 4570 TT, L/R Engine 401 since extensive overhaul Jan 2014 by JB Aircraft Engines including all new top end, cam & lifters, and refurbished crank cases by Divco ($57841). The Piper Apache / Aztec was Piper Aircraft’s first twin-engine production aircraft and over 7,000 were produced over close to a thirty-year time span, with multiple variants over the years. Single engine performance in both the Apaches and Aztecs is pretty miserable compared to the Piper Seneca. With it came the tube-and-fabric Twin Stinson, with 125-HP engines and twin tails. The Piper Apache, Aztec, Navajo, & Cheyenne v1.1.0 / 01 nov 19 / greg goebel * In the 1950s, the Piper company -- having made a success of its famous line of "Cub" light civil aircraft -- decided to get into the light twin business, introducing the "Apache" twin, which proved successful, and led to "Aztec" derivatives. While there, check for corrosion in the tubes in the bottom of the fuselage. Montana Diamond Aire is a FAA Approved PMA facility specializing in full STC d custom modifications for the Piper Apache, Aztec, and â¦ The Piper Apache is largely relegated to the training function for those looking for cheap-to-fly time builder but the Piper Aztec remains one of general aviation’s stalwart twins and although it has high operating costs, it can be bought relatively cheaply. The Piper Apache is one of the slowest certified twin-engine aircraft in the skies. Your email address will not be published. This design led to some unfavorable flight characteristics and so the aircraft was changed to a single-tail design and constructed with aluminum skin. It is faster, carries more and is easier to maintain. We cruise at 165 knots at 65 percent power, burning 25 GPH, rich of peak. 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