Piper PA-23 Apache / Aztec


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Piper PA-23 Apache

On 2 March 1952 Piper flew the prototype of a new twin-engine aircraft which it then identified as the Piper PA-23 Twin-Stinson. A cantilever low-wing monoplane of all-metal construction, it had a tailplane set high on the fuselage and mounting endplate fins and rudders, retractable tricycle landing gear and an enclosed cabin seating four in two pairs, and was powered by two 112kW Avco Lycoming O-320 flat-four engines in wing-mounted nacelles. The tail unit was very soon replaced by a conventional tailplane with centrally mounted single fin and rudder, and it was in this form that it entered production in early 1954 as the PA-23 Apache, later designated PA-23 Apache 150. The type continued in production as the Apache until 1965, by which time 2,166 had been built, including 1,231 examples of the first production version. The original model was followed in 1958 by the PA-23 Apache 160 with 119kW O-320-B engines, and with some interior revisions so that it was classed as a four/ five-seat aircraft (816 built), and in 1962 by the similar PA-23 Apache 235, which introduced swept tail surfaces and 175kW Avco Lycoming O-540-B1A5 flat-six engines (119 built).

With sales of the Apache 235 declining, Piper developed an improved version of this aircraft which introduced a 186kW O-540 engine and provided six-seat capacity. This entered production under the designation PA-23-250 Aztec in 1959-60, the US Navy acquiring 20 of these aircraft for use in a utility role, designating them UO-1, changed to U-11A in 1962. The Aztec was built until early 1982 when production was suspended. In finaj production form the type had the designation PA-23-250 Aztec F, and was available also as the generally similar PA-23T-250 Turbo Aztec F which differed by having Avco Lycoming TIO-540 engines with a Garrett turbo-charging system.

Piper Aztec 250

 MODELPA-23T-250 Turbo Aztec F
 ENGINE2 x Avco Lycoming TIO-540-C1A turbocharged flat-six piston engines, 186kW
  Take-off weight2359 kg5201 lb
  Empty weight1507 kg3322 lb
  Wingspan11.37 m37 ft 4 in
  Length9.52 m31 ft 3 in
  Height3.07 m10 ft 1 in
  Wing area19.23 m2206.99 sq ft
  Max. speed407 km/h253 mph
  Ceiling7315 m24000 ft
  Range2120 km1317 miles

Bobs, e-mail, 04.04.2015 03:15

I know of a B model N5016Y I once owned. It is in Newberg,OR. It is in the 35k range. One engine is low time and the other mid time. Great trainer because it is carberated, so you don't have to baby it as much as a turbocharged one. Not pretty colors, but I put over 1000 hours on it. Flew it to Oshkosh 4 times and even to St. Croix. It's got a purple nose, chocolate wings, white fuselage, with purple and yellow stripes, I forgot but the bottom is tan. If interested you can find the owner by the tail number. He is motivated to sell.


wayman cavaness, e-mail, 20.12.2014 14:54

I,am looking for one to be used as a multi. engin traner!!!!


Mike G, e-mail, 25.09.2013 11:58

Back in 1980, as a member of the Robins AFB Aero Club when I was in the USAF, I flew with my instructor (Keith Lauder, Lt. Col) as a solo pilot in a brand-new PA-28-161 Warrior. We went to Perry Airport about 15 miles south, I landed the plane, parked it, and we went over to a truly ancient "bug smasher" Apache in which Keith was getting his twin-engine instructor rating. The airplane was round, with round nose, round wingtips, round tail, and painted yellow with blue trim. Beautiful airplane! I don't know if it's around anymore. I got in the back seat of the Apache, we took off, and at about 1000' AGL while still climbing, Keith's instructor pulled throttle off on the right engine. The airplane yawed quite a bit to the right, but Keith was on the rudder right away, and dropped the nose, applied full power to the good engine, and flew out of it. As I remember, the Apache was rather docile during this manouvere. We flew around for awhile, did some more engine out work, stalls etc., then landed again at Perry. Then we got back in the Warrior and flew back to Robbins.

I went on to get my private license in the Warrior, but did not fly again until 1996..this time in sailplanes. Last flight was in 1998 in a Schweitzer 1-26. I have been flying RC planes, helicopters, and gliders since...have been doing that since 1973 at age 14.


Bob L, e-mail, 10.12.2012 14:52

I have owned and flown 2 F models throughout the Bahamas and Fl. Great airplanes. Put the second in the water after a trip to Haiti following the earthquake. Panel fire (radar, I think)forced me down. Plane sand in under 2 minutes. Still the easiest, best overall airplanes I have owned.


amaechi, e-mail, 18.09.2011 06:37

pls where can get this aircraft i was rated with it for my multi engine. so i it to build hours. i will it free for owner.


Dr. Paul Yocom, e-mail, 02.11.2010 05:12

In reply to Don B -- flaps - on take off ??? Stall warning ?? I've owned an Apache for 39 years, and to my knowledge no such things. -- PJY


Bob Leonard, e-mail, 27.10.2010 08:03

Flew Aztec 'D' modals in Florida /Bahamas and Africa. I agree with the other comments...its a great load carrier and has a good X-country speed. A good honest roomy twin.


Mike Ross, e-mail, 20.10.2010 19:14

Been flying Aztecs since 1969 and there is no better utiltarian 6 seat twin out there. I have flown n240jb(turbo) since '79 and been up to 23,000' but usually in the low teens and get good speed and great load carrying capability combined with all kind of room inside. Lost an engine once at 15,000' and made a gentile landing 30 miles away. Been to Alaska twice in it and almost everywhere else. Great aircraft.


John Wampler, e-mail, 30.09.2010 07:02

I used to haul passengers and freight from Florida throughout the Bahamas in an E-model "Az-Truck." Probably the most fun flying I ever had. As a freight hauler, we always said, "if you can get the door closed, it'll fly." Only had two incidents in the airplane - had a jug lift off the block on first flight after a 100 hour inspection and made an easy single engine landing - the second incident, I was on short final over the fence and went to full flaps when the aircraft rolled to the right uncommanded... I had full aileron and rudder inputs to the left and just before I went to power for go around, I looked out the left wing and saw my flap down then looked to the right and noticed the right flap retracted...got my hand off the throttles, retracted the "flap" and then eased in power to regain centerline and mushed her onto the runway. The tower called down to me and remarked that "it must have been a heck of a crosswind"... "yeah, right," I told him as I taxied off the active. That was one day I could have wound up a ball of tin foil, for sure.


charlie white, e-mail, 10.03.2010 21:41

We have a highly-modified 1957 Apache; it certainly is NOT UGLY; it is FAST and can carry a bundle!


Ken Jayson, e-mail, 06.03.2010 17:22

I used to own and operate a red and white Apache 160. Great bird!! I converted it to the proper T instrument configuration and sold it to the FAA.


TERRY FRUSHOUR, e-mail, 03.03.2010 23:55

I trained all three of my kids in our 1669 Aztec. It is an excellent platform for instrument flying and is great for multi trng. Two of the three went on to be major airling pilots. I used it alot for Angel Flights--it had the room and weight carrying capacity for almost anything.


Wayne Gathright, e-mail, 17.02.2010 03:17

A friend and I owned 1004P back in the late 60's. I believe it was suppose to be the second production unit produced. 1 and 2 were production prototypes and 1003P was the first. What a great airplane even with the small engines and such good memories. Thanks for the Museum.


Don B, e-mail, 15.02.2009 06:00

This was my pop's third and final plane. I liked the Bonanza 35 the best. The Apache could carry a load, but it was ugly. We took off from a field in Virginia with 5 sob's on a very short private runway. At the end was a two story wharehouse. With flaps and engines at full throttle we cleared the roof by raising the gear the moment we felt lift. A dangerous trick that worked thankfully. Even at that we got the stall warning and had to level off and fly over several more buildings to build air speed. I almost wet my pants. Later I'll tell you about the time I did.


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