172 vs Cherokee

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by flightmedic, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. flightmedic

    flightmedic Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If I were looking to buy a plane as a first time buyer and was looking at Cessna 172 or a Piper Cherokee, what would be the pros and cons of the two planes?

    I've attempted to search this but haven't found a direct comparison.

    It would be for a PPL for recreational use.

    EDIT: If i am in the wrong section, I apologize.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
  2. jason

    jason Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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  3. Gary

    Gary En-Route

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    Not to be giving you a smart answer - but, if you want a high wing, buy the Cessna, if you want a low wing, buy the Cherokee.

    They really are quite similar except for the wing location.

    Gary
     
  4. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not enough difference between them to make a big difference.

    172's come with 145, 160, or 180hp engines. Cherokees come with 140, 160, 180, 200 (normally aspirated or turbo with retractable gear, or turbo with fixed gear) and 235hp engines. The 200+ hp models (Arrow, Pathfinder, Dakota, Cherokee 235) aren't really equivalent to the 172's so I'll leave those out of the rest of the comparison.

    Performance, cabin size, load-carrying capability, and most everything else will be comparable.

    The C172 might cost a bit more to buy, but you'll get more for it when you sell it too, so still not much of a difference overall.

    So... It really comes down to your own personal preference. Fly both, on both short and longer flights. Which one do you like better? Buy it.
     
  5. flightmedic

    flightmedic Pre-takeoff checklist

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    sorry about a repeat post. I guess I am not too good at searching. Is there a way to delete a thread?
     
  6. Steve

    Steve En-Route

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  7. steingar

    steingar Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Cherokee is a bit cheaper and faster for the same engine. Less back seat for the earlier models. One less door.
     
  8. jason

    jason Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    There is...but it's no big deal. If pilots didn't have a 172 v. cherokee thread in which to put unfounded opinions every once in a while...I think their heads would explode.
     
  9. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    Kent sums it up well. Just keep in mind it's really an evil thing to stick an adult in the back of most Hershey wing Cherokees. Just absolutely no leg room. 172 has *TONS* of leg room. The Archers are better in that respect.
     
  10. flightmedic

    flightmedic Pre-takeoff checklist

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    All good info. Thanks for the quick replies.
     
  11. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Just remember that manly men jump up on the wing, like Chuck Yeager and Dick Bong, while girly girls slide beneath the wing, like your first girlfriend.

    Otherwise, they're both fine airplanes. :D
     
  12. flightmedic

    flightmedic Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm on the shorter side of tall so I never think of those things.
     
  13. Theboys

    Theboys Line Up and Wait

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    I have both (Kinda). I like the 172 for ease of getting in with the two doors. Also you can leave the doors open to cool down on hot summer days on the ground. Very easy to fly and the Steering on the ground is different and to me easier to learn. My Piper which is a Comanche actually is a little more stable, much faster and more comfortable but not as handy for the short jaunts on Sunday afternoon.
     
  14. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    I am 5'7" and I absolutely hate sitting in the back of a Cherokee. It's ridiculously uncomfortable. I'm a happy camper in the back of a 172.
     
  15. flightmedic

    flightmedic Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Ah, one of my favorite quotes comes to mind, "It is better to look good than to feel good."
     
  16. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That is only true in pre-1973 Cherokees. Post '73, they have terrific back seats.

    My Pathfinder ('74 Cherokee 235) has a hershey-bar wing, and an enormous back seat. When Mary is flying, she moves the pilot's seat all the way forward. If I sit behind her (admittedly a rare occurrence) I cannot touch the back of her seat.

    This is why I always recommend post '73 Cherokees to people who actually want to carry 4 people.
     
  17. Gary

    Gary En-Route

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    :rofl::rofl::rofl:

    That right there is all the justification one needs!

    Gary
     
  18. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    I don't know the Cherokee line that well. But I don't think you'll find a Hershey-bar wing Cherokee 180 with the stretched fuselage. Pretty sure on that model at least, the new wings came with the stretched fuselage in 73, with a new name "Challenger", followed by Archer the next year.
     
  19. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Nope. The tapered wing didn't get on the Archer until the Archer II. The Archer I and the Challenger have the longer fuselage and the hershey-bar wing.

    The tapered wing is a 1976 thing for the 180hp cherokee (a friend on mine has a very nice 1975 Archer with the fat wing).
     
  20. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    Bob's right. With regard to the 180-hp fixed-gear PA-28:

    1972 "Cherokee 180G": Short body, 30' span square wings
    1973 "Cherokee Challenger": Long body, 32' span square wings (1' plug inserted between outboard end of aileron and wingtip)
    1974-75 "Cherokee Archer": Same as '73 Challenger with restyled windows
    1976 "Cherokee Archer II": 35.5' span tapered wings

    Warrior was the first with tapered wings when it was introduced for the 1974 model year. Arrow got the long body in 1972 and tapered wings in 1977; the 235 got the long body in 1973 and tapered wings (as "Dakota") in 1979. Cherokee 140 never got the long cabin or tapered wings.

    The "Challenger" name lasted only one year, as did the name "Charger" for the 1973 PA-28-235. I heard somewhere that Chrysler Corp squawked about the use of the names of their muscle cars, so "Cherokee Archer" and "Cherokee Pathfinder," respectively, showed up for 1974. The "Cherokee" name was dropped altogether after the 1977 model year.

    Photo below: 1974 Cherokee Archer

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
  21. flightmedic

    flightmedic Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Please explain the Hershey bar wing reference. I assume it means perpendicular to the plane as opposed to swept back wings?
     
  22. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    Looks like your right. Did the wing widen on the Challenger? According to Wikipedia it did, for whatever that's worth.

    I was about 30 years from being born when these changes happened :)
     
  23. ziege

    ziege Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Leading and trailing edges basically parallel/no major changes in chord from root to tip. Makes the plane look like it has a pair of hershey chocolate bars for wings.
     
  24. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You're only 8 years old? Does Danielle know? :yikes: :rofl:
     
  25. Tom-D

    Tom-D Ejection Handle Pulled

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    The only way to tell which you like best is to put some hours in both.
     
  26. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Too late. You opened the box.

    FWIW - both of them suffer from the same deficiencies. They have the tailwheel on the wrong end and both are "Certified".
     
  27. Anthony

    Anthony Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Neither. Check out a Grumman Cheetah (150 or 160 HP) and a Tiger (180 HP). You will be MUCH happier. :D
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
  28. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    32' wingspan for the '73-'75 Challenger/Archer (and '72-'76 Arrow II), increased from 30' for the short-body Cherokees.

    All they did was insert a 1-foot-long section in the outer wing panel between the outboard end of the aileron and the wingtip. This made the wing the same size and shape as that of the Cherokee 235, but there is no wingtip fuel tank as there is in the 235. Also the stabilator was enlarged, using the stabilator from the PA-32 series.
     
  29. flightmedic

    flightmedic Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Funny you say that. I was just looking at them. My crack dealer that got me hooked on this stuff has a Grumman Tiger. I was just on trade a plane looking at them and comparing the Tigers and the Cheetahs. I am glad I am not making this decision today. I am in overload.
     
  30. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route PoA Supporter

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    For everything you do on the ground (preflighting, getting in and out of the plane) I find the 172 to be easier.

    For everything you do in the air (carrying a payload and getting somewhere in a decent amount of time) I find the Cherokee to be a little nicer.

    Someone with a bad back would probably especially appreciate the ease of getting in and out of the Skyhawk's two big side doors, as compared to climbing up on a wing and then folding yourself down into the plane. I know older guys who won't even try now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
  31. PilotAlan

    PilotAlan Pattern Altitude

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    I learned in 172s and bought a PA-28 without a minute of time in type.
    The PA-28s tend to run about 20% or more less than comparable Cessnas, simply because people learn in Cessnas and are uncomfortable changing.
    Transitioning to the Cherokee took about 20 minutes and two landings.

    The PA28 is one of the simplest planes to own and maintain. Some will point to oleo maintenance (and there is a little bit), but Cessnas have the seat rail issues, nosewheel shimmy issues, and the complex flaps that can eat up maintenance as well.
    Also, most PA28s have been personal aircraft, and most Cessnas have been trainers.

    Both are rock simple airframes, they are both some of the cheapest planes to own and operate. But the simple issue of price difference sent me toward the PA28.
     
  32. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'll use the term "longer" wings for the Challenger and Archer (I can't remember off the top of my head when the Arrow got longer wings).

    The length of the stabilator also increased.
     
  33. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I'm a perfectly happy high-wing nose-gear driver. I enjoy the diamond-shaped divots in my forehead (I'm 5' 11") and having to haul the yoke back into my rotund little belly to keep my "wheel on the wrong end" (nosegear) from busting my firewall. ;)

    In all seriousness though, Alan's right. You'll pay less for the Cherokee than a similar Cessna.

    You'll have to learn how to jump across things while your instructor says thing like "lead with your ass!" that make you laugh so hard you'll miss, and end up with a Johnson bar handle stuck where you'll need a Proctologist's assistance to remove it.

    Oh wait... That's a Mooney. ;)

    They're all fine airplanes. Buy what fits your mission profile, at the best price you can get for something that's been meticulously maintained and has all the avionics already in it that you want (let someone else lose all that money when they sell to you - avionics are f-ing expensive and rarely do you get back what you put into them).

    Then become a bonafide "fan" of that type, give everyone else hell online about it, and fly the crap out of it. :D
     
  34. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What is always so complex to a new buyer is that the Cherokee line consists of a whole slew of different aircraft, while the 172 is, well, the 172, with very minor variations over the years. (Exception: The up-tick to 180 HP. That was a "big deal".)

    The Cherokee is the 140, the 160, the 180, the Challenger, the Archer, the 235, the Charger, the Pathfinder, the Dakota, and the Arrow. Each of these birds fits a very different mission.

    The 140 is a 2-seat plane, or 2+2 kids. I've been subjected to the back seat of a 140, and had to be lifted out after a 90-minute flight.

    The 180 and 235, prior to the fuselage stretch in '73-ish, are also both 2-seat planes, but with more horsepower than they know what to do with. Only after the fuselage stretch did they have airframes that matched their engine's capabilities.

    The difference between the hershey bar and tapered wings is...marketing. Ask Karl Bergey, one of the designers of the Cherokee, and he will tell you that there is no discernible difference in handling. The tapered wing, like the T-tail in some models, was done to make them look nicer.

    The Cherokee 235/236 is equivalent to a Cessna 182, and probably shouldn't be considered in this thread -- but keeping the name the same (and offering the plane as a natural step up) was part of Piper's marketing plan.

    Here we are, 40 years later, still discussing this. It really is amazing. These planes, built to last just a few years, have really stood the test of time.
     
  35. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Well... Not really. Remember, there's 145hp, 160hp, and 180hp versions of the 172 as well (though they never produced more than one of them at the factory at any given time), the 172RG, and the 172XP (195hp, c/s prop). Some of the XP's also had 210hp engines.

    Thing is, AFAICT, they all look practically the same starting in the mid-60's except the RG. The PA28's are easier to distinguish - Obviously the Arrows have gear doors visible. The 180's have a hump on top of the cowl, the 235's have the triple exhaust pipe, there's the hershey bar vs. straight wings, etc. Hell, the variants of Arrows are pretty easy to tell apart except the I and II (which only differed in engine hp): If it's got a fat wing it's a I or II, if it's got a tapered wing and a straight tail it's a III and if it's got a T-tail it's a IV and sucks.

    Or maybe I'm just more used to telling the PA28's apart than the 172's. :dunno:
     
  36. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It seems to me that the tapered wing has somewhat gentler stall characteristics. I don't think I can do the "falling leaf" stalls in my cherokee 140 like I can in a Warrior.

    Of course, the shorter hershey bar wing fits easier a shared hanger.
     
  37. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    ... trying to figure out why Piper named them all "Cherokee" when they're quite distinctively different aircraft, and mulling over which one is which...

    :rofl:

    I did like the Cherokee 180 I have a few hours in the book in, and always wanted to hop a ride in a Dakota to see how it flies.
     
  38. Anthony

    Anthony Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I trained exclusively in C-152's and then rented 172's, and 150s'. I ended up buying a Cherokee 140 as my first plane. You really can't go wrong iwth either, but there seems to be better deals on the Cherokee. Just make sure you get one with the 160 HP high compression engine or a strong 150 HP engine, as mine was a real dog in climb, especially in the summer.

    I wanted more usefrull load, better climb, and speed so I sold it after two years and bought a Tiger which has been great.

    If you have questions on the Grumman Traveller, Cheetah or Tiger, let me know. You can also go to:

    http://www.grumman.net

    http://www.aya.org
     
  39. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Piper did it to keep the Cezzna pilots guessing.

    Oh, and don't ever take a ride in a Dakota 'cause you'll hate the 182 afterwords...
    :D
     
  40. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Except maybe if it's a Turbo Dakota. :D

    (just to be even more confusing)