Piper Archer III

Piper Warrior III
2003 Piper Archer III


Make Piper Aircraft
Model P28-181
Seats 4
Engine 180 HP Lycoming
Wingspan 35 ft
Height 7 ft 3.6 in
Wing Load 14.4 lbs / sq foot
Cruse 116 kts
Fuel 50 gal
Climb Rate 710 FPM
Ceiling 14,300 ft
Range 650+ Miles
Avionics and Features
Avionics Garmin GNS 430's
Certified IFR
Traffic n/a
Terrain TWAS
Interior Leather
Virtual Tour:

The Piper Archer III:

The Piper Archer with its stable flight characteristics and simple design make it an excellent trainer and cross country machine. It has enough speed to get you where you want to go, but not too much to get you in trouble. Our Archer III has the navigation capabilities and creature comforts that pilots have come to expect.

The basic design of Piper’s Cherokee series is an all-metal design around a single-engine with low wings and roomy interior.

The original Piper Archer is a descendant of the PA-28-180 back in 1963, modified with a longer wing, bigger stabilator, longer fuselage, higher gross weight, larger door, more-crashworthy seats and a new name — the Challenger. But Piper’s marketing department quickly realized the mistake in not staying with the traditional Native American names, and the year after, the Challenger re-emerged as the Archer.

In 1976 Piper improved on the already low-drag design and significantly increased the cruise speed. This design remained essentially unchanged until 1995, when the Archer III appeared with several modifications, the most significant being the axisymmetric cowl with circular inlets. This composite cowl was a great departure for the mostly aluminum airframe, and it gave the Archer a much sleeker, modern look and more importantly, less drag.

Simplicity is a word that comes to mind when stepping into the Archer and in this case, simplicity is a good thing. Switches, buttons and controls are large and conveniently placed. The flaps are manually engaged between the two front seats. There are three notches providing 10, 20 and 40 degrees of flaps. In the early 2000’s Piper modernized the avionics an added the ever popular Garmin 430 GPS units to the stack.

Compared with other small airplanes, the rudder pedals require a little extra legwork, and a ridge along the top of the pedals makes braking slightly uncomfortable with thin-soled shoes. As expected, some right rudder is needed during the climb.

Our Archer III flies beautifully and is very stable, which, of course is an inherent requirement for an airplane used for flight training. Control inputs around the lateral and longitudinal axes require little effort. While the S-TEC autopilot is nice to have for IFR flights and long cross-countries, the airplane flies itself well hands off, as long as it’s properly trimmed.

Stability is also evident when it comes to the benign stall characteristics of the Archer. Full aft yoke produces nothing but a slight buffet, and as long as the rudder controls are coordinated, there is no tendency for the Archer to drop a wing.

The soft, leather-covered seats in our Archer III are incredibly comfortable. Front and rear cabin occupants have a tall backrest, the pilot and copilot seats also have arch support, are manually inflatable with a small hand pump under each seat. There is ample elbowroom in the front and back, and sufficient legroom in the back. Flying along at 125 knots can be a somewhat leisurely affair, but the Archer still represents a capable cross-country option. For many pilots new to transportation flying, the slow landing speeds, fixed gear and stable flight characteristics of the Archer are welcome alternatives to high-performance airplanes.