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History of the Comanche

From here

Silvaire wrote:

And both of them are less sophisticated airframes than a Comanche, first flown in the 1950s. It’s the equipment that makes the difference in modernity.

Do you mind to explain why?
I used to own a PA24-260C and loved it for the ease of flying, comfort, speed and load. We could fly 4 adults, luggage (60lbs) and full tanks. I believe that the wing is of a different design but after having (only) a 20min. flight in a TB20 I found it close in performance to the PA24 (could not check payload) and comfort.

Thanks

Ben, I think you’ve already explained. The Comanche air frame introduced in 1957 competes perfectly well with the TB series designed decades later. Obviously the Comanche’s wing makes the constant chord TB wing look a bit retrograde too even if the Hershey bar wing on the TB wing works well enough – as it does on RVs.

The 260C was the best of bunch, carrying a huge 1400 lb payload and 90 USG of fuel.

Silvaire wrote:

Obviously the Comanche’s wing makes the constant chord TB wing look a bit retrograde too even if the Hershey bar wing on the TB wing works well enough – as it does on RVs.

And we all know where that wing design came from, right?

LSZH, Switzerland

Mooney_Driver wrote:

we all know where that wing design came from, right?
3 planes in the reference, don’t know all of them for sure.

ESMK, Sweden

I’m guessing @Mooney_Driver meant to say that after the more sophisticated Comanche, in the 1960s Piper introduced the Cherokee with a constant chord wing which is similar to the 1970s TB wing design in that regard. I don’t know if there was any other commonality or any derivation involved, but I will say the 1950s Comanche wing is something I’d rather own when compared with any constant chord design The RVs also prove that a constant chord wing works fine when done properly, but it’s not a hugely elegant thing.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 08 Nov 15:22

The TB20 cockpit and Comanche cockpits are similarly huge but the TB has two doors, which is a substantial benefit. I think the only other comparable plane in terms of interior size is the gigantic Rockwell Commander which BTW looks to me to have a wing and landing gear derived from the P-51 (Rockwell was the successor company to North American)

The best kind of hangar to have is one that doesn’t need to be heated because it’s located where the weather doesn’t require it. Sealed up and dry is good regardless! My plane came from several years of outside storage in such an area, hardly run and rarely flown in that period, and the engine is OK now seven years after I bought it and hangared it.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 08 Nov 15:56

Actually what I was referring to is the well known theory that the Comanche’s wing was modelled after the Mooney wing. Legend has it that one of the early M20A’s was demonstrated to Piper’s folks at some stage and during lunch break several people were seen going about the airplane with tape measures :)

LSZH, Switzerland

Thanks Silvaire.

Mooney_Driver wrote:

Actually what I was referring to is the well known theory that the Comanche’s wing was modelled after the Mooney wing. Legend has it that one of the early M20A’s was demonstrated to Piper’s folks at some stage and during lunch break several people were seen going about the airplane with tape measures :)

Not exactly
Another legend is that Moony had to land at Piper’s base due to bad weather. Mr Piper offered him an hangar space for the night and invited him for dinner while Piper’s engineers did the deed..

But…the truth is that the Comanche prototype was designed by Mooney then, modified by Piper. Two of the modifications were increasing the cabin’s width and getting rid of the ‘doughnut’ suspension in favour of the more traditional oleos, resulting with a superior aircraft

By the way, the P51 and the Comanche share the same NACA wing profile.

Last Edited by Ben at 08 Nov 20:18

I didn’t want to continue with the ‘thread drift’ so here it is, just found the original article.
http://comanchepilot.com/Development/development.html

That’s great, I had no idea of the strong Al Mooney connection. I think if events had allowed the Comanche single to stay in production Piper could have made them for a long time, but Piper always had their eye more strongly on the low end of the market, not so much on a Bonanza competitor.

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