Piper Dakota and Piper 235

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by FloridaPilot, Sep 30, 2017.

  1. FloridaPilot

    FloridaPilot Pattern Altitude

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    A newly minted pilot at the airport today asked me what would be a better airplane to purchase as a first time airplane owner a Dakota or a Piper 235? I don't own so I really couldn't give him a solid answer. He learned in a Piper Archer, (60 Hours).

    So I listed the facts for him:

    #1. Both airplanes are fixed gear so you won't have to worry about maintenance too much.
    #2. Both airplanes have a considerable amount of useful load, (Dakota 1300 and the 235 1400 respectively)
    #3. Overall maintenance should be a breeze if you don't get the turbo models.

    I'm sure I missed quite a few things what are your experiences flying either one of these birds.

    Thank you!
     
  2. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

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    Piper equivalent of a Cessna 182. I thought the 235 was the best all around plane of the 4 Cherokee derivatives I have owned. More useful load and better climb rate than the Arrow, while retaining a reasonable cruise speed and range. The '73 and later have a slightly longer fuselage with more rear seat legroom (Piper called them Chargers and then Pathfinders).

    The Dakotas have the semi-tapered wing and a simpler fuel system, but they go for a premium over the 235s. And generally carry less.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
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  3. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Rear seat leg room is a problem on the 235s if adult sized pax are expected to sit there. Of course most of us rarely have adult sized passengers in the rear seats.

    The turbo Dakota is a fixed wastegate so not much to go wrong there. Just run it at 65% power in cruise and there will be little to no extra maintenance. Put in GAMI injectors and run LOP for significant fuel savings and cooler CHTs. The turbo does require the pilot to pay just a little bit more attention to the engine. That can be a very bad thing if the pilot is not inclined to do it.
     
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  4. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    The Cherokee 235 (1964-77), with the 32-foot-span Hershey-bar wing, carries a total of 84 gallons spread across four tanks -- the two 25-gallon main tanks (same as all other pre-1977 Cherokees), plus two standard 17-gallon wingtip tanks -- exactly the same set-up as in the Cherokee Six series through 1978. The O-540 engine in the Cherokee 235 ran happily on the old 80-octane fuel, and now qualifies for the Petersen mogas STC.

    The tapered-wing (35' span) PA-28-236 Dakota (1979-88) carries 72 gallons usable fuel in two tanks. Its higher-compression engine was designed for (the then-new) 100LL fuel, and mogas STC is not available. Dakota's max engine rpm is 2400 (versus 2575 for the -235), so one could theoretically just leave the blue knob full forward all the time without hurting anything.

    Constant-speed propellers were an extra-cost option over the first several years of Cherokee 235 production, so many -235s on the market have fixed-pitch props.

    The Cherokee 235 for 1973 introduced the longer cabin and larger stabilator. It carried the name "Cherokee Charger" for the 1973 model year only, then was "Cherokee Pathfinder" from 1974 through the end of production after the 1977 model year. There was no 235 hp model for 1978; the Dakota debuted as a 1979 model.
     
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  5. FloridaPilot

    FloridaPilot Pattern Altitude

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    Thanks guys, as always I learn something new!!
     
  6. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

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    I always thought the turbo-Dakota was an interesting variant. With the higher aspect ratio semi-tapered wing on the Dakota the altitude performance should be better than the old Hershey bar, and matched with a turbo motor seemed an attractive combination, especially out west in the mountains where I live. It's too bad it did not prove as popular as the 0-235 version.

    I thought seriously about replacing my 235 with a turbo-Dakota, but in the end decided on the twin.
     
  7. FloridaPilot

    FloridaPilot Pattern Altitude

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    When did they make fuel injected Cherokees? Probably the 6 if I remember correctly.
     
  8. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    All Arrows were fuel injected, as was the PA-28-201T Turbo Dakota, which shared the Turbo Arrow's 200 hp engine. I can't think of any other fuel-injected fixed-gear PA-28s. Unlike the new Skyhawks, even the handful of Archers and Warriors still being built are carbureted.

    The original PA-32-260 Cherokee Six was carbureted, but the 300 hp version that came out a couple of years later was injected.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
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  9. FloridaPilot

    FloridaPilot Pattern Altitude

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    Do you guys know where I can find a POH online? I couldn't find one
     
  10. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Try eBay, I've bought 4-5 POHs on there, cheap too.
     
  11. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    Turbo arrow III comes to mind for what you were looking at. Maybe the blown 540 setup proved too heavy for the design? Maybe @Pilawt can chime in as to the reason Piper went with an 200hp TSIO conti instead of a 235+ turbo lyco 540.
     
  12. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    PM sent.
     
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  13. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    Probably because the engineering for the TSIO-360 in the PA-28 airframe was already done and paid for in the Turbo Arrow, and certification was quick and easy in the fixed-gear version -- just grab some parts from the other bin. Also, I'm not sure there was a turbo version of the O-540 available for less than 250 hp. [Edit: <smacking forehead> Of course there was, as on the Cessna TR182 and T182R.]

    Perhaps Clark should chime in here. But Edward Phillips, author of Piper - A Legend Aloft, postulates that the PA-28-201T production didn't last beyond 91 units because (1) altitude performance was not that much greater than the N/A 235 hp Dakota (service ceiling increased by only 4,000 ft); and (2) TBO on the TSIO-360 was 1,400 hours, compared to the O-540's 2,000 hours.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
  14. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The turbo Dakota is more of a low altitude aircraft in practice. The engine cools fine at sea level (even on hot days) but operating from Denver I have to watch oil temperature pretty closely when it is warm. I'm sure a cowl flap would have helped the cooling situation. Flow balance on the TSIO-360-FB is/was poor too. It would not run LOP with the factory set up.

    I think the turbo Dakota needed refinement before it went to market. And then it should have been marketed in terms of flexible engine operation. With GAMI injectors and an intercooler I can run LOP at just about any fuel flow between 7 and 10 gph. Compared to the normally aspirated Dakota the turbo had less power and less useful load at sea level so there was no way it could compete as it was packaged.
     
  15. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Just a comment on the TSIO-360-FB which was in the turbo Dakota vs the TSIO_360-F. The TBO is 1,800 hours on the -FB vs the 1,400 hours on the -F. That difference applies across all the TSIO-360 line for the -xB vs the -x. I think there is a difference in the crank but not sure.
     
  16. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    There were a couple of Piper military models that would be really interesting ...

    The one I'd like to fly is the PA-28R-300 Pillan. It was developed by Piper around 1980 then produced by their affiliate Enaer in Chile as the T-35, to replace the Chilean Air Force's old Beech T-34 Mentor trainers. They were also used by the Spanish Air Force. The Pillan had a new tandem-seat fuselage with Saratoga rear fuselage, landing gear, tail and 300 hp engine; and clipped Dakota wings.

    Foto4.jpg

    In Argentina, Chincul had been assembling various Cherokee models from kits shipped from Piper for several years. They also built a prototype of a 260 hp Arrow with a military-style sliding canopy.
     
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  17. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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  18. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    ooooh I like the sound of that PA-28R-300. Nice. Also, a 260HP Arrow with sliding canopy sounds nice. Always the best toys go to foreign sales.

    Do we know how many Pillans they built? That thing looks to me like the perfect post-retirement forever airplane for yours truly. I wonder how much they would want for it?
     
  19. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    Both the Turbo Arrow and Turbo Dakota have a "Maximum Operating Altitude" of 20,000' -- my guess is for either engine cooling (neither have cowl flaps) or spark plug misfire, or both.

    Ed Phillips was wrong on this (among other things) in his book. He said 20,000' was the "service ceiling" -- but Max Operating Altitude is a legal limit; service ceiling is only a measured performance characteristic, like cruising speed or rate of climb. The service ceiling for both the Turbo Arrow and Turbo Dakota is not published -- it's irrelevant, since it's somewhere above the legal limit.

    Same for the Turbo Arrow. They tried to go cheap and simple with the fixed wastegate, but wound up with a temperamental system with funky procedures. I got used to it and enjoyed the Turbo Arrow for the most part, but it was not as user-friendly as the Mooney 252 that had a similar engine.
     
  20. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I didn't mind the fixed wastegate much. There was still a lot of performance at 17,000 feet when light. With the Merlyn upper deck pressure controller there was a lot of performance at 18,000 feet which is as high as I've had it. I've thought about getting a waiver to see how high it really will go.
     
  21. FloridaPilot

    FloridaPilot Pattern Altitude

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    Does the Dakota and 235 use a Johnson bar for the flaps like the Archer does?
     
  22. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yes
     
  23. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    Per Wiki: "Production of kits at Vero Beach Municipal Airport commenced with three pre-production kits which were delivered for assembly in Chile in 1982, Vero Beach then produced 120 kits for assembly in Chile for the Chilean and Spanish Air Force."

    They're also operated by Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama and Paraguay.
     
  24. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    All PA-28 have manual flaps, as did all PA-32s through 1984. A friend has an '85 Turbo Saratoga, one of the first with electric flaps.
     
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  25. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    As you have probably figured out by now, the answer to any Piper trivia or documentation question is 'on a shelf in Pilawts den'.
     
  26. PilotRPI

    PilotRPI Pre-takeoff checklist

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  27. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

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  28. FloridaPilot

    FloridaPilot Pattern Altitude

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    Pilawts is amazing, I don't know how he does it quite honestly. He knows a lot about Cessna's too
     
  29. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    Just a few old books laying around ...

    library_02.jpg

    :D
     
  30. Scrabo

    Scrabo Pattern Altitude

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    There was a 5 inch stretch in the fuselage between the 235 and the follow on models like the Charger,Pathfinder,Dakota
     
  31. deyoung

    deyoung Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have the '73 235 (Charger), as the first plane I've owned, and so far I have no regrets about it. I had about 80 hours when I bought it. It's been a great plane, easy to fly, carries a lot. I do recommend going with '73 or newer unless you never plan to put adults in the back seats; the extra legroom really does make a difference. You have to work at it to get it to actually stall; otherwise it just sort of mushes toward the ground.

    I've only flown the hershey-bar wing Cherokees, but from what I can tell there doesn't seem to be too much thought that one is better then the other, they're just different. Maybe the tapered wing is a little more efficient, I'm not sure. Mostly for landing, if you get a bit too slow with the hershey bar, it sinks pretty fast. On the other hand, too fast with the tapered wing and you'll float down the runway forever.

    In general though, I think the differences between the Dakota and the pre-Dakota 235s are going to be pretty minor. The Dakotas tend to cost more.
     
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  32. mikea

    mikea Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I NEED to move up to a Charger.
    Yep. That's it. NEED.
     
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  33. FloridaPilot

    FloridaPilot Pattern Altitude

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    What kind of fuel burn do you normally get? From the people that I spoke to it's all across the board anywhere from 12.5 to 16. The Lyco 540 is a pretty big engine.
     
  34. deyoung

    deyoung Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Anywhere from 15-16 if I want to go as fast as possible to under 12 if I want to save gas. I can pretty consistently keep it around 11.5 in cruise if I'm not in too much of a hurry (and it's not a terribly fast airplane in the first place, so I usually keep it toward to "save fuel" end of the range).
     
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  35. FloridaPilot

    FloridaPilot Pattern Altitude

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    Thank you,

    What do you think is a good deal price wise for a 1973 and above 235? It seems like the 235 in the 60's are plentiful but 73 and beyond is a little harder to find. This airplane got me interested in buying as well now that I heard so much about it. In my situation finding hangar space will be a challenge and I DON'T want to leave it outside. I think the goal for me is to find the hangar first and then purchase.
     
  36. deyoung

    deyoung Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I haven't looked around much recently, and others here are probably a better judge of the market than I am. I'd spend some time searching through the usual suspects of planes-for-sale sites, especially looking for ones that have sold recently so you can see what they went for.

    I imagine that I probably over-paid for mine, which probably isn't uncommon for a first-time buyer who got it into his head that he just wanted to own a plane, but I don't really regret it. I paid $62,000 in 2014, and it had no maintenance issues at the time, current annual, IFR equipped (though in a pretty basic way; VOR/DME but no IFR GPS), about 600 hours SMOH and 3200 hours total time.

    It's going to vary a lot depending on how close to TBO the engine is and what the avionics look like, too.
     
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  37. deyoung

    deyoung Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Also, being in Florida, if you get one that's already close to you, be sure to do a complete inspection for corrosion. It may well be a non-issue (mine lived in Long Beach CA previously, and didn't have any problem), but important to check. There is a recurring 7-year service bulletin from Piper that mandates pulling the fuel tanks to do a thorough inspection of the wing spar for corrosion; it's not an AD so it is NOT mandatory---make sure it's been complied with, IMO.
     
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  38. FloridaPilot

    FloridaPilot Pattern Altitude

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    Is TBO 2,000 Hours on the Lyco? How do you find what airplanes sold for?
     
  39. FloridaPilot

    FloridaPilot Pattern Altitude

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    Sorry for the ton of questions...what does the annuals go for yearly?
     
  40. deyoung

    deyoung Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yes, 2000 hours (though many, including the O-540, happily run considerably longer if they've been well maintained). And, I'm not sure, actually---maybe that's only an eBay thing. :) I just assumed it might be there. You can also look for listing that have been up for a particularly long time, which might be an indication that the price on it is high.