Piper PA-40 Arapaho

The Piper PA-40 Arapaho was an American twin-engined cabin monoplane designed by Piper as a replacement for the PA-39 Twin Comanche C/R.[1]

PA-40 Arapaho
Role Twin-engined cabin monoplane
National origin United States
Manufacturer Piper
First flight 16 January 1973
Status Cancelled
Number built Three

Like most Piper products at this time, the PA-40 was named after a Native American tribe, in this case the Arapaho.


The Arapaho was similar in size to the Twin Comanche and had six seats but had a taller main landing gear and larger cabin windows.[1] It had two counter-rotating 160 hp Lycoming IO-320 engines.[1]

The prototype was damaged in June 1972 when the factory at Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, flooded and the prototype, registered N9999P, did not fly until 16 January 1973.[1] It crashed on 21 September 1973 during spin trials.[1] and the aircraft was redesigned with a taller tailfin. The second modified prototype with normally aspirated engines first flew in April 1974 and was followed by a third aircraft with turbocharged engines.[1]

The PA-40 was type certified on 18 July 1974, as an amendment to the Twin Comanche type certificate. The Arapaho was scheduled to be launched as a 1975 model, but the company decided not to market the aircraft and the project was cancelled in December 1974.[1][2] Piper stated that the cancellation was for financial reasons as it did not want to establish a new production line during the 1973–1975 recession.[3]

Following cancellation the two aircraft were used by Piper as company liaison and communication aircraft, one based at Lock Haven, the other at Lakeland, Florida.[4] Later, one aircraft was scrapped by Piper and the third, registered N9997P, is now privately owned in Texas, following use by the Purdue University student maintenance program.[5][6]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g Peperell & Smith 1987, p. 248
  2. ^ Federal Aviation Administration (August 2006). "Type certificate data sheet no. A1EA". Retrieved 2009-08-24.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Piper defers Arapaho". Flight International. 1974-12-26. p. 901.
  4. ^ "Lock Haven: Pipe's front line". Flight International. 1978-08-12. p. 486.
  5. ^ "Piper PA-40 Arapaho". Retrieved 2020-05-02.
  6. ^ LoRusso, Michael (April 2004). "Piper PA-40 Arapaho". Retrieved 2009-08-24.


  • Peperell, Roger W; Smith, Colin M. (1987). Piper Aircraft and their forerunners. Tonbridge, Kent, England: Air-Britain. ISBN 0-85130-149-5.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Piper PA-40 Arapaho at Wikimedia Commons