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Old March 17th 14, 11:39 AM posted to rec.aviation.aerobatics
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Default Piper Tomahawk -- Worth Dying In?

On Sunday, June 8, 1997 3:00:00 AM UTC-4, wrote:
In article , (Diablo Cat) writes:
On 6 Jun 1997 02:57:57 GMT,
(Peter Ashwood-Smith) wrote:

Folks can critisize those little "Spam Can 150's" all you like but
I'll bet they will be flying for another 20 years, long after all the
fiberglass planes are history.

A lot of people don't like the traumahawk, something about the spin
characteristics. Not because it's fiberglass.

Aviation Safety did a couple of articles on it. It seems that the
original drawings called for 13 ribs in the wing, but the production
version had just four -- if memory serves me correctly.

Where do these rumors come from!! The Tomahawk is an all metal airplane, not fiberglass. The number of ribs in the wings has been consistent from day one. The plane is fully certified for spins under FAR Part 23, which is much tougher certification than the C150/C152's CAR Part 3 certification. According to the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, there has NEVER been an in-flight structural failer in a Tomahawk in the airplane's history.

The Tomahawk has a large cabin which is much more comfortable than anything Cessna has ever built. (There's nothing wrong with the Cessna trainers, but for us guys over 6' tall they are not comfy!) The Tomahawk out performs the C152 in cruise, though it does take a bit more runway during takeoff and landing due largely to the T-Tail. The wing washout in early examples was not set right, which caused abrupt stalling, but that was fixed 30 years ago with stall strips and later production changes. Other than those first few 1978 planes, they stall gently and predictably, and recover from spins conventionally.

Anyone who's actually flown a Tomahawk loves the plane. I've owned mine for 10 years now, and it's been stable and reliable and cheap to operate. You can tell how reliable they are by trying to buy one with low hours! They're all well flown with many thousands of hours on the clock. Piper stopped making these planes in the mid 1980s because the market disappeared - the same reason Cessna stopped making their piston planes at the time - not because of any problem with the airplane itself.