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PA-24-250 - One 185kW (250hp) Lycoming O-540-A1A5 flat six driving a constant speed propeller.
PA-24-400 - One 300kW (400hp) Lycoming IO-720-A1A flat eight driving a three blade c/s prop.
PA-24-260 Turbo C - One 200kW (260hp) turbocharged and fuel injected IO-540-R1A5 flat six driving a two blade c/s prop.
PA-24-250 - Max speed 306km/h (165kt), max cruising speed 291km/h (157kt). Initial rate of climb 1350ft/min. Service ceiling 20,000ft. Max range with optional fuel 2665km (1440nm).
PA-24-400 - Max speed 360km/h (194kt), max cruising speed 343km/h (185kt). Initial rate of climb 1600ft/min. Service ceiling 19,500ft. Range with standard fuel 2012km (1086nm), with optional fuel 2478km (1338nm).
PA-24-260 Turbo C - Max speed 390km/h (210kt), max cruising speed 318km/h (172kt). Initial rate of climb 1320ft/min. Operating ceiling 25,000ft. Max range 2052km (1108nm), with optional fuel 2398km (1295nm).
PA-24-250 - Empty 767kg (1690lb), max takeoff 1315kg (2900lb).
PA-24-400 - Empty 957kg (2110lb), max takeoff 1633kg (3600lb).
PA-24-260 Turbo C - Empty 860kg (1894lb), max takeoff 1450kg (3200lb).
PA-24-250 - Wing span 10.97m (36ft 0in), length 7.59m (24ft 11in), height 2.29m (7ft 6in). Wing area 16.5m2 (178sq ft).
PA-24-400 - Wing span 10.97m (36ft 0in), length 7.84m (25ft 8in), height 2.39m (7ft 10in). Wing area 16.5m2 (178sq ft).
PA-24-260 Turbo C - Wing span 10.97m (36ft 0in), length 7.62m (25ft 0in), height 2.29m (7ft 6in). Wing area 16.5m2 (178sq ft).
Standard seating for four, Comanche B and C could have optional fifth and sixth seats.
Total PA-24 production 4856, including 1143 180s, 2537 250s, 1028 260s and 260 Ts, and 148 400s.
Four seat high performance light aircraft
Piper's PA-24 Comanche was a high performance retractable undercarriage single designed to challenge the established high performance Beech Bonanza.
Piper's first low wing single engine design, the Comanche featured a retractable tricycle undercarriage, swept back tail, flying tail or "stabilator" horizontal tail surfaces, laminar flow wing and all metal construction, a stark contrast to Piper's earlier high wing fabric covered designs. The Comanche first flew on May 24 1956 and was delivered to customers from late 1957 in PA-24-180 form.
Since then through to the cessation of production in June 1972 (due to flooding of Piper's Lock Haven plant), a number of progressively higher performance variants were released. These included 1958's 185kW (250hp) PA-24-250 and the 300kW (400hp) PA-24-400.
Just 148 400s were built, despite Piper claiming it to be the fastest production four seat single available at the time. Its massive eight cylinder IO-720 engine consumed fuel at a prodigious rate, meaning that it was expensive to operate, and there were problems with cooling the rear cylinders. Today however it has something of a mini cult status.
Following the PA-24-400 was the PA-24-260 from 1964, with a 195kW (260hp) O-540 or IO-540, and finally the Rajay turbocharger fitted PA-24-260 Turbo C, available from 1970.
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