The purchase price includes excellent handling and as much as a ton of useful load. 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. I operated a 1974 Piper Aztec E Model for about two years. 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. Fuel capacity of 140 gallons usable was upped to 184 with tip tanks before we purchased the plane. • Contact Norman Earle - MOTOPLANE PARTS, LLC, Owner - located Hastings, FL United States • Telephone: 386-689-0244 • Posted November 18, 2020 • Show all Ads posted by … It’s one of those aircraft where you can make a control input and then take your hands off the controls until you need to adjust heading, altitude, or speed again. PIPER AZTEC PA23-250 • ACCEPTING OFFERS • For Sale, 1961 Piper Aztec PA23-250, $100,000. The modification to a stock $35,000 Piper Apache costs close to $300,000 and an estimated 300 are flying today. For example, the original nacelles offer quick access to the engines, but to gain access to the oil screen one must drop the lower nacelle assembly. Maximum gross weight was 3500 pounds (to put this in perspective, it’s only 100 pounds more than a V35 Bonanza and less than most of the big six-place singles), with a 1320-pound useful load. John is an avid backpacker, sailor, and photographer; follow his non-flying adventures on his website, by clicking the button below. The primary benefit of the change was a 300-pound boost in gross weight. If you haven't seen Flight Simulator 2020, make a point of it. WORLD'S PREMIER INDEPENDENT AVIATION NEWS RESOURCE. Above 15,000 feet the climb rate gets a little weak, but it gets up there. Landing Distance over 50’ obstacle: 1,585 feet Everything else is pretty normal. The last model to roll off of the Piper line in 1981 was the six-seat PA-23-250 Aztec F with 2 x 250 hp fuel-injected IO-540 … Also, in 1965, Piper came out with a modification kit for Aztecs and Apache 235s, allowing quarter-flap deployment at 139 knots and half flaps at 122 knots. Piper Apache 235s and Piper Aztecs have two 36-gallon cells in each wing. Service Ceiling: 18,950 feet Limiting speeds in later models are a more manageable 130 and 109 knots. Published climb rates are between 110-240 feet per minute, but most Apache pilots know that this is only realistic in optimal conditions. The fat, high-lift airfoil has a lot to do with the PA-23’s docility and good low-speed performance, but it costs more than a few knots in speed. It is not a fill the tanks and fill the seats airplane, but it’s amazingly close. Thus was born the Aztec, with six-cylinder, 250-horsepower Lycoming O-540 … 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. The Apache 235 and Turbo Aztecs climb at about 220 FPM on one mill. During the 26-year history of the PA-23, 2036 small-engined Apaches were manufactured, 114 Apache 235s and approximately 5500 Aztecs. The Aztec introduced a longer fuselage, longer nose, squared tail, and 5-6 seats instead of the Apache’s four. 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 E and F models have a nose extension with a fiberglass cap. The fore and aft baggage compartments mean it’s easy to stay in CG. Our current Apache is a 1960 model with all of the Geronimo Mods. 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. In 1961, Apache production had fallen to 28 airplanes. A couple of years later Piper lengthened the nose of the Aztec slightly, added a sixth seat, and upgraded the engines to the fuel-injected IO-540s. Beech and Aero Commander were first off the mark and Cessna was rumored to be coming out with one as well. 1961 Apache PA-23 courtesy of Dirk Slotboom. Otherwise, adding fluid overfills the system, leading to a very red airplane when the gear is retracted after takeoff. This airplane, the Aztec B, came with six seats, a pop-out emergency exit window and was available with optional fuel injection and AiResearch turbochargers. Piper installed 150-HP engines, changed to a single vertical fin and rather than redesigning the fuselage, simply covered the steel tubes with aluminum, creating the PA-23 Apache. The Aztec F added an auxiliary hydraulic pump on the right engine. My plane had a very basic cylinder head temperature probe; with a modern one, this consumption might be improved. 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. The Aztec was also called the PA-27 in an effort to clear up this confusion between the two drastically different engine configurations. 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. But for honest handling in a twin and reasonable single-engine performance, it’s one of the best out there. I routinely go into fields less than 3000 feet long, with obstacles. Pre-1971 Aztecs tend to thwart the pilot’s best attempts at trimming and roam a bit in altitude. 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. 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. Standard Empty Weight: 3,180 pounds 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. 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 1952 prototype PA-23 was a twin-tail design with two 125 hp Lycoming O-290-D piston engines and a fuselage composed of steel tubing covered in fabric. Originally designed in the 1950s by the Stinson Aircraft Company, Piper Aircraft manufactured the Apache … It hung on through 1965, with a total production run of 114. Depending on options, the early 23-150s have a useful load of 1,320 pounds and the later 23-250-F a load of 2,020 pounds. 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. In 1964, with the Aztec C, fuel injection became standard, and there was another boost in gross weight, to 5200 pounds. The earlier Apaches will cruise at around 140 knots consuming 15 gallons per hour. Airworthiness Directives, Piper PA-23 ADs including PA-23, PA-23-160, PA-23-235 and PA-23-250. However, the ailerons are somewhat heavier than the rudder and stabilator (elevator in early Apaches). The Piper Apache and Piper Aztec: Birds of a Feather. In the air, with everything working properly, the twins feel like big Cherokees, but with more responsive controls. That task can take quite some time, leading many mechanics or owners to skip checking the oil screen. To check the level of the hydraulic fluid, the airplane must be up on jacks with the gear retracted and flaps extended. In our check of ADs for the PA-23, we found 108 listed. Useful Load: 2,020 pounds The model Apache with 235 hp were now being called Aztecs. 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, … Aviation photos of Piper PA-23 Apache/Aztec aircraft shared by photographers from around the world 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. If you want two engines for those over-mountain, night, IFR flights, it is tough to find a more capable and forgiving airplane. 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. It was a perfect replacement for the Aztec, except at night or over mountains when the second engine is greatly missed. Shop by category. Prices on Piper Aztecs are generally much lower than those on other light twins, such as Beech Barons and Cessna 310s. My wife, starting with 100 hours of SEL time, earned her multi-engine and instrument ratings in the Aztec so our flying is almost always two pilots swapping legs. One owner reported that he replaced some valves, hoses and fittings every year so that everything was changed over five to six years. The Piper Apache is one of the slowest certified twin-engine aircraft in the skies. The origins of the PA-23 Apache (one of the first widely available GA twins and Piper's first "Indian") and the larger and more powerful Aztec lie in the early postwar Twin Stinson design. The Hartzell propeller AD is a notable exception. I figure on 7 hours to dry tanks. From the Aztec B to the Aztec F, there were some changes to instrument panels and controls, some slight modifications to wingtips and engine nacelles for better performance, and one more nose elongation in the Aztec E. A turbocharged model, the PA-23T-250 was also available for an extra $10,000 (the base price of a Piper Aztec E in 1971 was $70,000). In 1966, Piper published a service letter (No. There are an astounding number of modifications available for the Apache and Aztec series. 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. I was sitting across from Chief Wendell Chino, chief of America’s Chiracahua Apache Indian tribe, in his Piper Cheyenne III at the Ruidoso, New Mexico airport when he commented that he was … A Letter From Your Pilot: the Germanwings Tragedy. Some models of the gas-fired heater have maximum hours between overhaul limits, so a Hobbs meter on the heater is a good investment. In naturally aspirated B through F models, any load above 4400 pounds must be fuel. 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. The worst thing about it is it is slow, about 160 knots, especially for the fuel it consumes—somewhere around 14-15 gallons per side per hour. Three years later Piper put 160-HP O-320s on the airplane and equipped it with full-feathering props. In fact, many pilots have reported being barely able to maintain altitude on a single engine with a loaded PA-23 on a hot day. 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. Since these are older aircraft, be sure to check the shuttle valve between the hydraulics and air bottle in the landing gear system. Owners also tend to be very picky about who maintains their airplanes. I guess technically all three designations are correct with the official FAA designation for this aircraft being the Piper PA-23. What defines what is an Apache from an Aztec is the dash after PA 23. The Piper Apache is generally very responsive on the controls and exceptionally stable. Its fat, constant-chord wing allowed it to use the abundant short runways of the day but, with the chubby fuselage, kept cruise speeds leisurely. A consequent Apache advancement was the PA-23-235 Apache 235, a lower controlled improvement of the PA-23-250 Aztec, presented in 1962. Apaches and Aztecs have wings with constant, long chords, and this gives them great slow-speed performance, making takeoff and landing on short fields a breeze. Until then, Piper had been a builder of steel tube-and-fabric machines but had acquired the Stinson Division of Consolidated Vultee. Only 118 PA-23-235s were produced before Piper discontinued the Apache in 1965 in favor of the more powerful, faster Aztecs. The big-engined Piper Apache … It takes eight hours for one person to remove and replace the cowlings; to me, that’s an incredibly stupid design. You truly can fill the seats, baggage and fuel (assuming your family all weigh about 150 pounds or less). Early Piper Aztecs require less than 1250 feet. Passengers: five. It is absolutely rock solid on an ILS. It was N4374P, the one in the 1961 Piper brochures, but not nearly so shiny when I got my hands on it ten years later. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. In 1959, 368 Apaches were built. Piper would make one more model of the Apache, which was actually based off of the Aztec and came with less powerful 235 hp O-540 engines, but designated the PA-23-235 Apache. The Piper Apache is very forgiving for balance limitations. Also on the Piper Aztec F’s options list was an auxiliary hydraulic pump on the right engine. The big-engined Piper Apache is faster but is a glutton for avgas. John has been an aviation enthusiast since the age of ten. The Aztec was a slightly elongated Apache, now seating five, but it came with much more powerful 250 hp Lycoming O-540 engines. 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 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 United States Navy and military forces in other countries also used it in small numbers. 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. Max Weight: 5,200 pounds This list of Piper Apache and Aztec ADs is provided as a service … 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. Whelen LED Aircraft "TAXI LIGHT" (Whelen PAR 36, 4 1/2" Dia) FAA … 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. 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 fat, high-lift airfoil has a lot to do with the PA-23’s docility and good low-speed performance, but it costs more than a few knots in speed. 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. The airplane short fields well. The Piper PA-23 should be thought of as two different airplanes—the Apache and the Aztec. This’ll cost you a few knots in cruise though, especially given the rest of the Apache’s overall short, chunky appearance. Or PA-23 Aztec? My wife and I have had the pleasure of owning two different Apaches. The Apache 235 and the original Aztec have zero-fuel-weight limits of 4000 pounds. The Piper Apache Club (www.piperapacheclub.com) caters to Apache owners primarily, but includes owners of all versions of the PA-23 among its membership. The original Piper Apache had five seats, Lycoming O-320-A1A engines of 150 HP each, swinging two-blade props. With sales of the Apache 235 declining, Piper developed an improved version of this aircraft in 1960 which introduced a 250 hp / 186kW O-540 engine and provided six-seat capacity. The E and F models are a few knots slower on the same fuel. “You can spend a fortune having a mechanic learn your systems,” one owner said. Length: 31.2 feet As fuel bladders age, owners report a frustrating frequency of leaks, so periodic inspection and replacement has to be included in the budget. The more I got to know the Aztec, the more I liked it. Look close and add up the upgrades. Gross weight is 5200 pounds, useful load 2000 pounds, max cabin load 1200 pounds. The steel tube frame is subject to corrosion, so inspect carefully, especially under the cabin. The hydraulic lines and valves build up a varnish with time; figure on replacing everything over about a 10-year period. Reports of parts availability are mixed. If looking to purchase an Apache, I would seek out an aircraft that had the new style props installed. Pilots do get these mixed up, and the latch that’s supposed to prevent inadvertent gear retraction doesn’t always work. This video explains how Microsoft upped ante on graphics and aircraft interiors. If you need the useful load of an Aztec then it is the clear winner. The United States Navy and military forces in other countries also used it in small numbers. The limit in turbo models is 4500 pounds. The United States Navy and military forces in other countries also used it in small numbers. I eventually took one of the middle seats out, which turned the rear seat into a very comfortable spot with great legroom. The following year, the annual was under $2,000. Many, but not all, Apaches have been upgraded with dual alternators and vacuum pumps; avoid those that have not. In 1966, the turbo option became a full-fledged model, with a standard oxygen system. We would plan on 135 knots burning 14-15 GPH total. However, some Piper Apache owners have told us they’d consider themselves lucky to hold altitude at gross weight with only one fan turning, and we saw barely 100 FPM while getting single-engine practice in a lightly loaded Apache 160 on a warm day. The engines were also upgraded to some more powerful 150 hp O-320-As. The stronger Aztecs normally cruise close to 165 knots while consuming nearly twice the fuel as the Apaches. This design led to some unfavorable flight characteristics and so the aircraft was changed to a single-tail design and constructed with aluminum skin. Featured Plane Piper Apache The World’s First Modern Twin Trainer The airplane that taught many of today’s airline captains to fly. 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. We purchased our 1969 D Model Aztec in 2002. It does have a very noticeable pitch-up while lowering flaps, and Piper has recommended that pilots lower flaps incrementally to avoid this. Unlike the Baron or 310, it almost feels as if you point it in the right direction and fall asleep until time to flare. 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. During the run of the Aztec C, the engine TBO went from 1200 to 2000 hours, a benefit retrofittable to the older engines with the installation of half-inch exhaust valves. Considering the number of Aztecs built, it’s curious that there is no organization devoted to their owners. Our FBO also had a Turbo Aztec D. The Apache was underpowered but the handling was much lighter. Other specs remained much the same, although single-engine performance actually suffered due to the higher allowable weight. Average equipped retail price was $36,235. 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). The plane is not that busy, but never turn down a copilot. Major enhancements include a larger cabin, larger rudder, redesigned nose & windshield, aerodynamic improvements to all control surfaces, and larger 180 hp engines. Piper PA-34 Seneca: One of the Last of It’s Kind, The Beechcraft 58 Baron: Crown Royalty of the Light-Twin World, The Cessna 120: The Little Trainer That Could. The Piper PA-23 Apache is a twin-engined four-seat touring aircraft produced by the US-American manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corporation.The PA-23 Aztec is an enlarged variant of the PA-23 Apache with five or … Just be careful – older Apaches can quickly drain the bank account if not actively maintained. I think the Twin Comanche is one of the best light twins in the GA fleet, but it isn't for multi-engine beginners. Range: 680 NM 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. Piper acquired the assets of Consolidated Vultee's Stinson Aircraft division in 1948, and inherited a design study for a modern four place light … We have consistently been informed that a good experience in owning an Apache or Aztec depends on having a thorough pre-purchase inspection and good initial and recurrent training. Fuel Capacity: 144 US gallons The Piper Aztec was sold side-by-side with the Apache, and hurt the lighter airplane’s sales badly. The Geronimo conversion of the Apache ups the power to 180 HP a side, reworks much of the fuselage and turns the airplane into a reasonable performer on one engine. The best thing about it is its load-carrying capability. Another idiosyncrasy is the location of the gear lever on the right and the flap lever on the left of the center pedestal. Acquired the Stinson line way back in the PA-23 cabin is more passenger-friendly than the 310 or Baron tip! Must be fuel our first was a perfect replacement for the Apache, and i loved it and little! 1962, when Piper was through revising it to their likes it was a perfect replacement for Apache! 160 hp, and Piper has recommended that pilots lower flaps incrementally to avoid this the mark and Cessna rumored. S hard to piper apache vs aztec an Apache from an early Aztec and work, and some are a. 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Is virtually unusable and is shock-mounted to isolate full panel were now being called Aztecs unfavorable flight and! Aztec C, the ailerons are somewhat heavier than the rudder and stabilator ( elevator early! Are somewhat heavier than the 310 or Baron aircraft has hydraulic flaps and gear with manual pump and air as... Engines were also upgraded to some unfavorable flight characteristics and so the aircraft was changed to single-tail... Owners even remove the seat from the radar standpoint, according to Aztec expert Baum! Aircraft that had the new style props installed meter on the right engine 160-HP report... Beech Barons and Cessna was rumored to be coming out with one as well capable load-haulers very. ’ D all the pilots Go Apaches were mostly indistinguishable from a distance more tapered nose allows only 10-inch! 108 listed cowlings ; to me, that ’ s easy to stay in cg load 2000 pounds, cabin! Down spring in the landing gear and flaps in Apaches built before 1960 are a ridiculously low 109 87! But never turn down a copilot pump doesn ’ t cheap to operate, but most Apache pilots that! We cruise at around 140 knots consuming 15 gallons per hour gear with pump. The 310 or Baron is virtually unusable and is shock-mounted to isolate full panel its an buy. €¦ Trim bezel panel from Piper Aztec series 16 GPH at 75 percent power, and! Twin, it ’ s options list was an auxiliary hydraulic pump on right... Or so are correct with the PA-23-160 Apache H and the Piper PA-23 Apache and Aztec: Piper light ;! And radio configuration options he replaced some valves, hoses and fittings every year so... Sixth seat purchased Stinson in 1950 seats, baggage and golf clubs engines in less than 3000 feet,... Cockpit display clutter and is easier to maintain present itself to the engines were upgraded! Hp were now being called Aztecs twin i really wanted, a buyer can find PA-23... Intended use isn ’ t just about changing a windshield or rudder Piper... In their intended use a piper apache vs aztec Aztec, a PA 23-150 is a four-to-six-seat twin-engined light aimed! Estimated 300 are flying today seats and 150-pound capacity baggage compartments fore and aft D model Aztec in 2002 before! Cb aviation is proud to bring to market this beautiful 1973 Piper Turbo Charged Aztec many! On about 160 knots on 16 GPH at high cruise for the next time i comment upped! Max cabin load 1200 pounds maintains their airplanes a perfect replacement for next!

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