Piper Archer - It's Still A Great Aircraft!
If you are looking for a 4 seater aircraft that handles well, is good on fuel & fly’s along at about 125 knots, you are going to want to consider buying the Piper Archer. This is a great aircraft that has been around for a long time and has a great history.
If you know anything about the Piper Cherokee brand, you know that they have stood the test of time and have really proven to be a great aircraft to own over the long haul. But a lot of people wonder if they should consider owning a Archer over the Cherokee 180. Both are great aircraft and you can easily get either one on the used market!
First - The Improvements Are Pretty Serious Compared to The Cherokee 180
The good thing about owning the Archer is the fact that Piper has made quite a few improvements to it over the Cherokee 180. They extended the fuselage 5 inches to make the plane a bit longer, they increased the width of the airplane in terms of its wing span, they also increased the gross weight as well.
If you look at them side by side you can see that the Archer is different and reflects the changes that Piper made to this aircraft. The 180 is a great little 4 seater in its own right, but if you can get something that has a bit more engeneering advancement - why not. You might like the difference.
Second - They Are Newer (Here's Why This Is Important)
The problem that most people have when they are looking to find a used 180 or Archer is the fact that they can’t seem to find a 180 that has low time. That is why you want to consider the Archer - you are going to be able to find one with a lower total time on it, lower engine time and it will be a newer model.
SIDE NOTE: Sure you are going to have to pay a bit more for this, but your also going to get more life out of your airplane! One of the biggest mistakes people make when they are looking to buy an aircraft is they go for the cheapest one.
You need to realize that just because it is "cheap" does not mean it is a good deal. If the engine is close to it's rebuild time, you should expect problems & get ready to open your wallet for repairs. Sometimes paying a bit more on the front end for a newer airplane like the Archer could end up saving you a lot in repairs.
Don't Make This Mistake
A lot of pilots think that the plane they buy is never going to have problems. But we know that they will need fixing and parts. So if you can get a newer one - it might be a good idea. Also, if it is newer - and you ever had to sell it, you should have an easier time getting your money out of it.
If you buy the biggest junker on the market simply because you got a good deal on it, be careful because you might have some serious problems getting rid of that airplane when the time comes to upgrade or move on.
Third - A Low Time Archer Could Save You A FORTUNE (Here's Why)
But if you focus on finding an Archer with a good amount of time left on the engine, you probably won't regret paying the extra money it will cost you. Think about it for a second --- if you buy an Archer with 1,000 hours on the engine and get a deal, your going to have to deal with mechanical issues & you'll have to replace the engine soon.
But if you buy an Archer with 300 hours on the engine, chances are good that if you only fly for recreational purposes your never going to have to replace that engine in your time of owning the airplane.
**If you only put on 50 hours a year, it is going to take you 14 years to get to 1,000 hours.**
So make sure you really think this aspect through. Sure you might save a bit on the purchase price of your Archer if you get one that has quite a few hours on the engine, but at the same time - it could cost you a lot down the road. Be sure to figure out roughly how many hours you plan on flying in a year. Then you can better know how long the engine is going to last you.
When you factor in the changes to the Archer and the reality that you can get a newer one - you have to realize that this aircraft is probably going to be a great option!
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