Piper Tomahawk - 2 Vital Reasons Why You Should Look At This Aircraft
If you are in the market for a very inexpensive two seater airplane that you can have a lot of fun with - you are going to want to make sure you don't overlook the Piper Tomahawk. This is a great little airplane that can give you hours of fun in the air.
SIDENOTE: There are not a lot of Piper Tomahawks for sale when you go looking through the classified sites. The reason is because there were only around 2,400 made compared to the over 22,000 Cessna 150's made! They are still a great option if you can get a good one...
This Piper model was in production from 1978 to 1982 and was a somewhat popular trainer. A lot of pilots still like it to this very day... Like a lot of classic airplanes, it has it's own following of loyal owners. Part of this is because if you train on an airplane, you are going to likely bond with that style and there is a very good chance you will buy one like the model you trained on. (Not all the time - but it is common.)
Reason #1 - The Price (Here's A Quick Tip To Think About)
The great thing about this airplane is the fact that it is a very cheap airplane to buy. You could spend more on a high end motorbike if you wanted to. But who wants a motorbike when you can fly your own airplane? (-:
At this current time, I was able to find a few good Tomahawk's for sale. One was priced at $21,000 USD with a newer engine & the other was priced at $15,000 with about 900 hours left on the engine before it needed to be rebuilt.
You could literally buy both of them and still have spent less money then if you bought a new SUV or something similar! Not only that, these planes are super simple in terms of how they are built. They don't have a lot of computerization and expensive electronics to worry about.
Think About This
You could easily spent 5 to 10 times the price of a Tomahawk on a new LSA (Light Sport Aircraft). Sure they are new or newer - but if you want a starter 2 seater to get you in the air flying your own airplane, this is a great airplane to buy for that.
Obviously if you can't get a medical for your private licence your not going to be able to get this aircraft. But assuming you can legally fly a single engine aircraft, the Tomahawk makes a lot of sense.
Instead of buying a new $150,000 LSA, you could by one Tomahawk to fly & then 3 for parts and you'd still be ahead financially! I'm not saying a new LSA is a bad idea, but if your price range is only $25k or under, don't feel bad or inferior! The Tomahawk's a great little airplane.
Reason #2 - For A 2 Seater, The Spec's Are Great (Here's Why)
Now you have to realize that when you are paying $15k to $20k for an airplane your not going to get a high performance twin... That said - this is a great little airplane that has some very impressive performance specs!
Your going to get about 100 knots of cruise speed with this airplane... Again, you have to realize that this depends on the level you are flying at. But 100 knots is pretty good for a 2 seater that has 112 horsepower!
Don't Get Caught In This Dangerous Trap
You have to make sure you don't set yourself up for a disappointment and a trap in terms of what you expect from your 2 seater. Remember - it's a 2 seater and it is not a jet! Don't think of this aircraft as some slow boat that you have to fly forever.
Use this aircraft as a step into more! You might love it and keep it forever & that is really good! Or you might build up a few hundred hours and move on. That's okay too. But don't expect it to cruise at 200 knots and then get disappointed your going slow. It is what it is - so enjoy it for what it is.
It will carry about 30 US gallons of fuel, which is pretty good for the size of airplane it is. And that 30 US gallons will get you roughly 350 Nautical miles as far as the range goes.
IMPORTANT: You are going to want to make sure you always verify the performance spec's of any airplane you buy. I am giving you ball park figures that will help you understand the range of performance with this airplane. But just get a copy of the POH from the owner who's plane you are looking at buying and it should give you the exact numbers.
Now, some people might get a bit concerned about the fact that the cabin will be tight with 2 average size males in it flying 350 Nautical miles together. Yes it is a 2 seater, but most people actually like the cabin size. If you look at one or test fly one, your going to see that Piper did a really good job with the cabin.
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