The PA-28R originally began life as a retractable undercarriage variant of the PA-28 Cherokee.
The original PA-28R-180 Cherokee Arrow was a relatively simple adaptation of the existing PA-28-180 Cherokee D, but incorporated electro-hydraulically operated retractable undercarriage (complete with a self lowering system that safeguarded against the pilot failing to do so, automatically lowering when airspeed reached 170km/h/91kt and a certain engine manifold pressure), a fuel injected version of the PA-28-180's O-360, a constant speed propeller and an increased max takeoff weight.
Production switched later to the more powerful 150kW (200hp) IO-360-C1C powered PA-28R-200 Cherokee Arrow II. Changes included the same 12.7cm (5in) stretched fuselage introduced on the Cherokee Challenger and Cherokee Charger, with greater rear legroom and baggage capacity, plus larger horizontal tail and dorsal fin fillet.
The PA-28R-201 Arrow III first flew in September 1975, and was introduced from 1976. The major change (also introduced on the fixed undercarriage PA-28s at that time) was a new longer tapered span wing, while the maximum takeoff weight was increased. The turbocharged PA-28R-201T was also offered.
The PA-28RT-201 and -201T Arrow IV introduced a new all moving T-tail. Production of the Arrow IV ceased in 1982, and resumed again in 1989, but ceased once more in 1992. Instead Piper returned the conventional-tailed Arrow III back into production. Very small numbers were built in the early 1990s while Piper was under bankruptcy protection. Since the emergence of New Piper Inc in 1995 the Arrow III has been part of the expanded Piper line-up, although only small numbers have been built.
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