On 30 September 1964 Piper flew the prototype of a new twin-engine executive aircraft which was then the largest built by the company. Identified at first as the Piper PA-31 Inca, the aircraft had been redesignated as the PA-31 Navajo when deliveries began on 17 April 1967. A six/eight-seat corporate/ commuter transport of cantilever low-wing monoplane configuration with retractable tricycle landing gear, it was powered by two 224kW Avco Lycoming IO-540-K flat-six engines, and was available in optional Standard, Commuter and Executive versions with differing interior layouts. Made available at the same time was the optional PA-31T Turbo Navajo, which differed only by having two 231kW TIO-540-A turbocharged engines, and the range was extended in 1970 by introduction of the PA-PA-31P Pressurized Navajo with a fail-safe fuselage structure in the pressurised section and two 317kW Avco Lycoming TIGO-541-E1A engines. Production of the PA-31 Navajo ended during 1972 and at the same time the company introduced for 1973 the PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain which, by comparison with its predecessor, had the fuselage lengthened by 0.61m and was powered by two 261kW TIO-540-J2BD turbocharged engines driving counter-rotating propellers. A significant advance in the Navajo family came on 22 October 1973 when Piper flew the first production example of the PA-31T Cheyenne, which combined an airframe generally similar to that of the Pressurized Navajo with two 462kW Pratt & Whitney Aircraft of Canada PT6A-28 turboprop engines. In the following year an additional model of the Turbo Navajo was made available, the PA-31-325 Turbo Navajo C/R, which introduced a 242kW version of the counter-rotating engines installed in the Chieftain. Production of the PA-31P Pressurized Navajo ended during 1977, at which time a total of 248 had been built, but at the same time the company introduced a new version of the Cheyenne, the PA-31T-1 Cheyenne I, the original Cheyenne then becoming redesignated PA-31T Cheyenne II. Deliveries of the new Cheyenne I, which differed primarily from its predecessor by having 373kW Pratt & Whitney Aircraft of Canada PT6A-11 turboprop engines, began towards the end of April 1978. The Cheyenne range was extended for 1981 by introduction of the PA-31T-Cheyenne IIXL, with the fuselage lengthened by 0.61m and 559kW Pratt & Whitney Aircraft of Canada PT6A-135 engines flat-rated to 462kW. In 1982 production of the PA-31 Navajo terminated after 1,317 had been built. Later production versions of the Navajo family include the PA-31-325 Navajo C/R, PA-31-350 Chieftain and the PA-31T-1 Cheyenne I, PA-31T Cheyenne II and PA-31T-2 Cheyenne IIXL. However, the loss of the Navajo was compensated for in 1983 by introduction of the PA-31P-350 Mojave, which basically combined the airframe of the Cheyenne II with the powerplant of the PA-315-350 Chieftain.
| MODEL||Piper PA-31-350 Chieftain|
| ENGINE||2 x Avco Lycoming TIO-540-J2BD turbocharged and counter-rotating flat-six piston engines, 261kW|
| Take-off weight||3175 kg||7000 lb|
| Empty weight||1915 kg||4222 lb|
| Wingspan||12.4 m||41 ft 8 in|
| Length||10.55 m||35 ft 7 in|
| Height||3.96 m||13 ft 0 in|
| Wing area||21.27 m2||228.95 sq ft|
| Max. speed||428 km/h||266 mph|
| Ceiling||7315 m||24000 ft|
| Range||2388 km||1484 miles|
|A three-view drawing (1083 x 1542)|
I'm looking for a cargo net kit for my piper chieftain, can't find it any where, any suggestions will be well appreciated. Thanks!
My favourite looking twin of all time,beautifully proportioned plane and I am building a giant scale RC model of a PA 31-350 with Panther nacelles and wing tips,can't wait to finish and fly it.
|Bob Robinson, 05.09.2013|
Can anyone tell me the disposition of my 1968 Navajo PA31-310 N9183Y ? Probably about serial # 242. Thanks 09-04-13
|Joe pilot, 23.06.2012|
Great aircraft, horribly uncomfortable to sit in all day though, that is unless you're a midget.
|Scott boyd, 28.04.2012|
In answer to a turboprop engine for the Navajo the PT-6 has been used on Navajo's as well as the Cheyenne a development of the pressurized Navajo which was a piece of crap.
I flew a P-Navajo once from Gallup New Mexico to Phoenix and it took three attempt and many thousands of dollars to get there.
I also flew Cheyennes and never had a problem, other then the cover for emergency gear extention coming loose and not letting the cabin pressurize, a minor problem once it was identified, a huge pain identifying it.
I still like the King Air better, much more comfortable, but not quite as fast, except the E-90 which is still one of my favorites. Even serial no.12, without reversing props was a delight to fly.
|RC Craemer, 27.04.2012|
Flew a Chieftain for the Military (contract) Carrying cryptology gear. 100 hrs/month flying 4 days a week. Generally close to gross wt. Very dependable aircraft, virtually no problems. Company also flew Air Ambulance, but I didn't do much of that, as the Air Force restricted the number of hours I could fly, and I was always close to max, especially in the winter. Good plane in ice, too.
|julio zabala, 31.07.2011|
Please let me know if there is a turbo prop engine for the navajo and where to purchase it. Thanks
I have long range nacelle tanks on my Navajo C. They were made by Nayak and installed by Colemill Enterprises of Nashville, Tn. 615-226-4256
own a piper chieftan and am looking for extended range nacelle tanks. cant find them for some reason!
Flew lots of these during 1977,1978 mail cargo, pax, always a good craft. Fuel gages overhead always made for a laugh with the pax when switching to aux tanks!
|Bob Leonard, 27.10.2010|
We operated both a Navajo & a Chieftain in Africa. Both did a fine job operating on rough sandy strips. Pilot's needed to watch their decent rate in the PA-31-350 to guard against shocking the engines. As Jim B. said, it is a good IFR aircraft.
Great 8 passenger plane! Wish they were still making them, who needs a $$$ Kingair? Maybe when JetA hits $10 a gallon, we'll see a return to fuel efficient transportation.
|Tom Stuetzer, 24.03.2010|
I seem to remember a 4 engine Piper prototype built in the early 60's that was never produced. As I recall, it looked a lot like a chubby Navajo with 4 engines.
|Jim Brostman, 31.07.2009|
The best all around (most weather) small twin recip ever built. This airplane is competent for almost any weather situation and is easy to fly. Also the most twin for the money!
|Edwin Cruz, 09.01.2009|
l would like to request for your assistance if you can refer me where l could find parts for a Piper Navajo model PA-31-719.
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?