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The Piper PA-60 Aerostar

Country of origin  
United States of America

Photos  

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Photo © Erick stamm

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Powerplants  
600A - Two 215kW (290hp) Lycoming IO-540-K1J5 fuel injected flat six piston engines driving three blade constant speed Hartzell propellers.
PA-60-700P - Two 260kW (350hp) turbocharged and counter rotating TIO-540-U2As.

Performance  
600A - Max speed 418km/h (226kt), long range cruising speed 357km/h (193kt). Initial rate of climb 1800ft/min. Service ceiling 21,200ft. Max range with reserves 2225km (1200nm).
PA-60-700P - Max speed 490km/h (264kt), max cruising speed 484km/h (261kt), economical cruising speed 390km/h (211kt). Initial rate of climb 1755ft/min. Service ceiling 25,000ft. Range at max cruising speed 1250km (675nm), at economical cruising speed with max fuel 2150km (1160nm).

Weights  
600A - Empty 1695kg (3757lb), max takeoff 2495kg (5500lb).
PA-60-700P - Empty 1940kg (4275lb), max takeoff 2864kg (6315lb).

Dimensions  
600A - Wing span 10.41m (34ft 2in), length 10.61m (34ft 10in), height 3.89m (12ft 1in). Wing area 15.8m2 (170sq ft).
PA-60-700P - Same except for wing span 11.18m (36ft 8in). Wing area 16.6m2 (178.2sq ft).

Capacity  
Typical seating for six.

Production  
1010 Aerostars built, including 491 by Ted Smith and 519 by Piper.

Type  
Six seat high performance light twin

History  

The Aerostar - which in its higher powered forms can lay claim to being the fastest piston twin GA aircraft built - was designed by Ted Smith, who was also responsible for the Aero Commander twins.

Smith's original intention in designing the Aerostar was to develop a family of single and piston twins, twin turboprop and even twin jet powered versions of the same basic aircraft. However the Aerostar appeared in piston twin form only. Smith began design work on the Aerostar in late 1964, with a prototype making its first flight two years later in November 1966.

The prototype was powered by 120kW (160hp) Lycoming IO-320s, but the Aerostar was placed into production from 1968 as the Aerostar 600 with 215kW (290hp) IO-540s. The turbocharged Aerostar 601 followed the 600 into production shortly afterwards, while the turbocharged and pressurised 601P went into production in 1972. By this time Butler Aviation had acquired the production rights of the Aerostar in 1970, producing a small number as Butler Aerostars. Smith bought the line back again in 1972, and his new company Ted R Smith and Associates resumed Aerostar manufacture, including of the improved 601B with the same span wings as on the 601P, until Piper acquired the Aerostar line in March 1978.

Piper continued production of the 600A, 601B and 601P at Ted Smith's Santa Maria plant, and introduced the 602P with low compression TIO-540-AA1A5 engines.

When Piper transferred production to its new Vero Beach, Florida factory in early 1982, only the 602P was in production, and this was redesignated the PA-60-602P. The PA-60-700P was the last Aerostar version, and just 25 were built. In production between 1983 and 1985, the 700P has more powerful engines, a higher max takeoff weight and optional extra fuel capacity.

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The backbone of this section is from the The International Directory of Civil Aircraft by Gerard Frawley and used with permission. To get your own copy of the book click here.