AirTranTUS
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Piper Aircraft Names Origin

Wed Aug 08, 2007 3:23 pm

I have been wondering for awhile now, why did Piper name their early aircraft after Native American tribes and related things? (Seneca, Cherokee, Warrior, Tomahawk, etc.) A Google search did not bring up any answers and I was hoping someone here wold be able to give me an answer of some sort.

Thanks!
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graphic
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RE: Piper Aircraft Names Origin

Wed Aug 08, 2007 3:58 pm

Don't forget the Seminole, Archer, Arrow, and Saratoga. It's not just their earlier aircraft, it's alot of their newer ones as well.
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SkyexRamper
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RE: Piper Aircraft Names Origin

Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:49 pm

Navajo, Mojave, Cheyenne
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flyf15
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RE: Piper Aircraft Names Origin

Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:07 am

Interestingly, a large number of US Army helicopters are also named after native american tribes. Apache, Commanche, Chinook, etc...
 
2H4
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RE: Piper Aircraft Names Origin

Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:32 am

Quoting Flyf15 (Reply 3):
Interestingly, a large number of US Army helicopters are also named after native american tribes.

Fixed-wing, too......Cochise, Chiricahua, Mohawk....


2H4

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aerodog
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RE: Piper Aircraft Names Origin

Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:38 am

For companies wanting to develop new airplanes especially for the General Aviation market, two of the most difficult tasks are to figure out a way to design a door that does not leak air and come up with a catchy name.

During the last 100 years of building airplanes, nearly all the good names have been used. The military has similar problems with new designs...the automotive industry just coins new words for their new models.
 
airwave
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RE: Piper Aircraft Names Origin

Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:08 am

Quoting AirTranTUS (Thread starter):
why did Piper name their early aircraft after Native American tribes and related things

Honestly, I think it was for the same reason/s the Army would use Native American names: there's a rather large pool of terms, they're all uniquely and identifiably American, and they have a bit of exoticism to them--what better way to sell planes than to appeal to the senses of patriotism and adventure and never have to want for a new product name? Just my thought.

Quoting Flyf15 (Reply 3):
Interestingly, a large number of US Army helicopters are also named after native american tribes. Apache, Commanche, Chinook, etc...

There's also Cheyenne, Chickasaw, Mojave, Choctaw, Kiowa, Iroquois... Then there's the Tarhe, named for a tribal chief whose nickname was "the crane". Rather appropriate for a heavy lift helicopter.  Smile

Anyway, for the Army, that policy dates back to the 1960s and the development of the Chinook; it actually is an Army Regulation to name US Army helicopters after Native American tribes, chiefs, or terms.

Quoting Aerodog (Reply 5):
to figure out a way to design a door that does not leak air

 rofl  So true! Or they can forgo doors altogether, a la Piper Cub! Big grin
When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.
 
2H4
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RE: Piper Aircraft Names Origin

Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:37 am

Quoting Airwave (Reply 6):
what better way to sell planes than to appeal to the senses of patriotism and adventure

Personally, I'll never see the patriotism in the murder and pillaging of the Native American people, but that's for another thread. I hear what you're saying, though.

Quoting Aerodog (Reply 5):
for the General Aviation market, two of the most difficult tasks are to figure out a way to design a door that does not leak air and come up with a catchy name.

It doesn't get much catchier than the Cessna 162 Skycatcher.  Big grin


2H4

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KELPkid
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RE: Piper Aircraft Names Origin

Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:38 am

Quoting AirTranTUS (Thread starter):
hy did Piper name their early aircraft after Native American tribes and related things? (Seneca, Cherokee, Warrior, Tomahawk, etc.)

As I understand it, Wiliam T. Piper himself was part Native American and was rather proud of his ethnic heritage...
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KELPkid
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RE: Piper Aircraft Names Origin

Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:51 am

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 7):
It doesn't get much catchier than the Cessna 162 Skycatcher. Big grin


2H4

Sure beats "Commuter", "Commuter II" and "Aerobat" for the model name. Ever notice how no one refers to Cessna 150's/152's by these names  bigthumbsup 
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GimliGlider
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RE: Piper Aircraft Names Origin

Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:38 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 9):
Sure beats "Commuter", "Commuter II" and "Aerobat" for the model name. Ever notice how no one refers to Cessna 150's/152's by these names

Hehe, the 150s/152s go nowhere fast, especially at altitude.
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KELPkid
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RE: Piper Aircraft Names Origin

Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:49 am

Interesting aside, Piper's first "Indian" aircraft name was the PA-23 Apache...I wonder if the project name came along with the project being acquired from Stinson Aircraft?
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2H4
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RE: Piper Aircraft Names Origin

Thu Aug 09, 2007 5:33 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 9):
Sure beats "Commuter", "Commuter II" and "Aerobat" for the model name. Ever notice how no one refers to Cessna 150's/152's by these names

Man, I would feel like such a chotch referring to myself as "Aerobat 25 Lima".....  Big grin


2H4

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airwave
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RE: Piper Aircraft Names Origin

Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:39 pm

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 7):
I hear what you're saying, though.

Thanks. Now, I'm not trying to incite a riot here, but I would like to clarify that we are looking at this in retrospect. Back then, people could have had a completely different outlook, which not only encouraged but promoted names related and relevant to Native American culture--look at not only aircraft names, but sports teams and even companies as well.

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 8):
As I understand it, Wiliam T. Piper himself was part Native American and was rather proud of his ethnic heritage...

Well if that's true, that might explain part of it.

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 12):
Man, I would feel like such a chotch referring to myself as "Aerobat 25 Lima".....

What in God's blue skies is an "aerobat", anyway?! Hahaha. Gosh, you could have a whole farm, 2H4! You could have your AeroHorse, AeroMoose, AeroPheasant. You could even have an AeroPlainsPocketGopher, just to screw with people! Big grin Of course, I don't think anything tops the AeroAss...  duck 
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baron95
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RE: Piper Aircraft Names Origin

Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:29 pm

Quoting AirTranTUS (Thread starter):
I have been wondering for awhile now, why did Piper name their early aircraft after Native American tribes and related things?

It was not the early Pipers that were named after native american themes. Before the Piper Indian series there was the Piper J-3 Cub and the PA-18 Super Cub, not to mention PA-15 Vagabond, PA-20 Pacer, PA-22 Tri-Pacer, PA16 Clipper etc. Piper actually bough out the assets of Taylor aircraft when it went bankrrupt and had even earlier types.

The Piper Indian series was a modern development, from the start, a concept to buld multiple variants from a small number of basic frames.

The PA-28 Cherokee (4-seat fuselage) gave rise to the Warrior (160HP), Archer (180HP), Dakotta (235 HP), Arrow (retract), Turbo Arrow, Turbo Dakota, Seminole (Twin).

The PA-32 Cherokee Six (6-seat fuselage) gave rise to the Saratoga (retract then retract+fixed), Seneca (Twin), plus other variations like Lance, Saratoga HP, Saratoga TC, then even the Cherokee Six name was revived.

Of course there are the Comanche (single and twin), Navajo/Mohave/Cheyenne line, the Tomahawk trainer and a few others. The Appache was of course the earliest Piper Indian, but it was with the Cherokee/Cherokee Six lines that the Indias really became famous.

It is debatable if Piper broke with tradition in the 1980s when it bought Aerostar and brough out the Malibu (there is considerable dabate about the origin of the word Malibu, most think it is an Indian ranch in California). After that if brough out the Meridian and certainly broke off the tradition on the new models. I think the Piper Jet is unlikely to get an Indian name, though I'd like to see one.
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Type-Rated
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RE: Piper Aircraft Names Origin

Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:08 pm

Quoting Airwave (Reply 13):
What in God's blue skies is an "aerobat", anyway?

An Aerobat refers to a Cessna 150 Aerobat. These aircraft were a limited edition for Cessna. They were stressed for aerobatic flying. Our school had one for awhile and we used it to give our students an introduction to aerobatic flying.

The C-150 Aerobat also had a special paint job, checkerboard paint on top of the engine cowl, green tinted skylights in the cockpit ceiling (for better visibility). I believe these aircraft were built in the 1970-77 time frame.

IIRC, only two C-152 Aerobats were ever built. And both of them are still flying!
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KELPkid
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RE: Piper Aircraft Names Origin

Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:52 pm

Quoting Type-Rated (Reply 15):
The C-150 Aerobat also had a special paint job, checkerboard paint on top of the engine cowl, green tinted skylights in the cockpit ceiling (for better visibility). I believe these aircraft were built in the 1970-77 time frame.

As I recall, didn't they also have quick release doors in case a rapid egress was necessary? (I believe you pulled something, and the pins in the door hinges were pulled out...).
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airwave
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RE: Piper Aircraft Names Origin

Thu Aug 09, 2007 9:33 pm

Quoting Type-Rated (Reply 15):
These aircraft were a limited edition for Cessna. They were stressed for aerobatic flying.

Ahhh, that explains it. I knew I had heard of the aircraft, but I was wondering where "Aerobat" came from. Adding "-ic" to it makes things so much clearer--thanks!
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Type-Rated
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RE: Piper Aircraft Names Origin

Thu Aug 09, 2007 11:40 pm

KELPkid:

You are right! I forgot about the doors.
There was a "D" ring in the windscreen pillar. If you got into trouble and had to escape the aircraft you pulled on the D ring and the doors would come flying off.
Fortunately, I never had to use this feature, nor did it ever get used at our school! This was back in 1972.

The 150 Aerobat was a fun airplane to fly. It was pretty quick on the controls. I especially liked doing snap rolls and loops in it. I don't know how many of them were made, I haven't seen one in years! I imagine that most all of them have been repainted by now. The checker board engine cowl and the black & orange paint job really made it stand out!
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2H4
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RE: Piper Aircraft Names Origin

Fri Aug 10, 2007 12:01 am

Quoting Airwave (Reply 13):
AeroMoose

Honestly, I'm surprised no Canadian kitplane manufacturer has adopted this name. Personally, I love it.

Quoting Baron95 (Reply 14):
It is debatable if Piper broke with tradition in the 1980s when it bought Aerostar and brough out the Malibu

It could be argued that the Enforcer (which, quite tragically, never made production) was Piper's first departure from the "Indian Series". It predated the Aerostar by seven years.

In terms of production aircraft, though, I think you're right....I believe the Aerostar was the first.

Quoting Airwave (Reply 17):
but I was wondering where "Aerobat" came from. Adding "-ic" to it makes things so much clearer--thanks!

Ever wonder where Bellanca came up with the name "Citabria"?  eyebrow 


2H4

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airwave
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RE: Piper Aircraft Names Origin

Fri Aug 10, 2007 10:33 am

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 19):

Honestly, I'm surprised no Canadian kitplane manufacturer has adopted this name. Personally, I love it.

Somebody needs to pull out the Photoshop and put antlers on a Cirrus the-jet, hahaha. I can't even imagine what the Cd (i.e., coefficient of drag) must look like, lol.

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 19):
Ever wonder where Bellanca came up with the name "Citabria"?

Haha, actually, this one I do know--I think... It's "airbatic" spelled backwards...which in and of itself makes no sense, but hey, Citation (as in Cessna) spelled backwards is "Noitatic" and that sounds pretty damn cool, haha.
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MD-90
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RE: Piper Aircraft Names Origin

Fri Aug 10, 2007 11:19 am

Quoting Airwave (Reply 20):
Citation (as in Cessna) spelled backwards is "Noitatic" and that sounds pretty damn cool, haha.

Citation was a famous race horse. But Cessna Citation is a lot catchier than Cessna Skyhorse.
 
airwave
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RE: Piper Aircraft Names Origin

Fri Aug 10, 2007 1:30 pm

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 21):
Cessna Skyhorse.

Sounds like that could've been used for either the Stationair or the Caravan. Not that that name would encourage a lot of sales...
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2H4
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RE: Piper Aircraft Names Origin

Fri Aug 10, 2007 11:20 pm

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 21):
But Cessna Citation is a lot catchier than Cessna Skyhorse.



Quoting Airwave (Reply 22):
Quoting MD-90 (Reply 21):
Cessna Skyhorse.

Sounds like that could've been used for either the Stationair or the Caravan. Not that that name would encourage a lot of sales...

Still, Skyhorse sounds better than Skyhook.

Of course, all pale in comparison to the agricultural Cessnas......the AGtruck, AGHusky, AGwagon, AGpickup and, perhaps the most ridiculous, the AGcarryall.


2H4

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jabar
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RE: Piper Aircraft Names Origin

Sat Aug 11, 2007 2:39 am

My favourite still remains the Piper-Heidsieck.....  duck 

Sorry, I just had to.

 Smile
 
KELPkid
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RE: Piper Aircraft Names Origin

Sat Aug 11, 2007 6:16 am

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 23):
Of course, all pale in comparison to the agricultural Cessnas......the AGtruck, AGHusky, AGwagon, AGpickup and, perhaps the most ridiculous, the AGcarryall.


2H4

Yeah, sometime's Cessna's names are a little wild...you gotta wonder what someone was smoking up in Wichita when they were naming their products.

OTOH, and getting closer to the original intent of the thread, you gotta love Piper's Ag aircraft name: Pawnee. That one actually sounds kinda cool  Smile
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