Piper PA-38-112 Tomahawk
1977
Back to the Virtual Aircraft Museum
  TRAINER/UTILITY AIRCRAFTVirtual Aircraft Museum / USA / Piper  

Piper PA-38-112 Tomahawk

Following certification on 20 December 1977, Piper introduced for 1978 a completely new two-seat trainer/utility aircraft which it designated Piper PA-38-112 Tomahawk. A cantilever low-wing monoplane with fixed tricycle landing gear, a T-tail, and side-by-side enclosed accommodation, it was powered by an Avco Lycoming O-235-L2C engine. Improvements introduced as standard in 1982 resulted in redesignation as the PA-38-112 Tomahawk II, but because of economic conditions production was suspended at the end of 1982, at which time 2,497 had been built. Piper hoped that it would be possible to resume production during 1984. This was not the case as the Tomahawk was one of the types most affected by the product liability laws and was already struggling to find a market.


Specification 
 MODELPiper PA-38-112 Tomahawk II
 ENGINE1 x Avco Lycoming flat-four piston engine, 84kW
 WEIGHTS
    Take-off weight757 kg1669 lb
    Empty weight512 kg1129 lb
 DIMENSIONS
    Wingspan10.36 m34 ft 0 in
    Length7.04 m23 ft 1 in
    Height2.76 m9 ft 1 in
    Wing area11.58 m2124.65 sq ft
 PERFORMANCE
    Max. speed203 km/h126 mph
    Ceiling3960 m13000 ft
    Range867 km539 miles

Comments
John, doccus=aol.com, 18.08.2012

I own a '79 T-hawk. I enjoy cruising around locally or 2-3 hr trips. It handles well and is not too bad on fuel for a plane covering 105 kts. The stall is not a big deal. I learned in a 150/152 and the transition took 1 hour. Rotation on take off was the biggest difference I could appreciate.

LEE JACKSON, BMW 1130RT = AOL.COM, 14.05.2012

I HAVE ABOUT 20 HRS OF FLIGHT INSTRUCTION IN THE AIRCRAFT.
ALTHOUGH I ENJOYED FLYING THE AIRPLANE, I THINK THE CESSNA 152 IS A SAFER AND BETTER BASIC TRAINER. DUE TO THE T TAIL AND ELECTRIC FUEL PUMP. I THINK THE T TAIL SHOULD JUST BE PUT ON JETS.

Dave A, d_ahuriri=hotmail.com, 15.03.2012

I learned to fly in the Tomahawk in 1984 and I can remember dreading going through stalling. I never felt particularly safe, especially with the T-plane flopping around. But in all other respects she was a nice, docile plane to learn to fly in.

John Nelson, jnelson220=hotmail.com, 24.04.2011

I have many hours in the Tomahawk - I instructed in them starting in 1979 at Brown Aviation at Riverside Airport in Riverside, CA.

I started my flight career learning to fly in Cessna Aircraft and had many more hours in Cessna 150/152's(and others) and was quite used to the flight characteristics of those aircraft.

When the Tomahawk came out I heard all about the negatives concerning stalls and spins. When I joined Brown Aviation, a Piper dealership I got my first chance to fly one.

I actually preferred the stall characteristics of the Tomahawk over the Cessna 150/152 as a training plane - I felt the stall characteristics of the 150/152 was too mild and was not as good of a training environment as the Tomahawk.

I felt I was able to better teach stall awareness to students in the Tomahawk since you had to more active on the flight controls, and better prepared them for future flights and transitioning into a larger aircraft.

I also did many stalls and spins in the Tomahawk and was not concerned at all as far as the reliability of the plane. If I held the yoke back as I entered a stall the plane would pitch up & down as it tried to recover but never felt it was a big deal. I was forced to be more active on the rudders and saw this as a positive thing for training purposes.

I was able to easily enter a spin and roll out on a heading after a prescribed number of rotations, then hold a heading, recover from the stall, then resume normal flying.

All in all, I thought it was a great airplane and had more leg room (I am 6'2), and offered more shoulder room, and great visibility than the 150/152.

I preferred a Tomahawk over the Cessna 150/152 for training and fun flying.

Loved the airplane.

Tom Chytil, chytils=yahoo.com, 05.12.2010

The Tomahawk was an all new design, not based on the "ERCOUPE". It was cleared for spins when operated in the Utility category. The original prototype flew with a low tale, but was converted to a T-tail for production. For a full history of this and other Piper aircraft see the book "Piper Aircraft" by Roger W. Peperell, published by Air-Britain.

jbleve, brad=snapflight.com, 11.11.2010

I have not found a single ntsb report of structural damage to a pa38 or a spin accident. As far as I can tell these are lore. Can anyone respond with any factual reports?

Ken Kemper, kenkemper=enbarqmail.com, 11.11.2010

Learned to fly in one of these and did some training stalls,but never looked back at the tail!!Seemed like a stable airplane to me during a stall,not much shudder,just quit flying til the nose was lowered,then flew out of it.

Mark, markholbrook=fastmail.net, 07.11.2010

I was flite instructing when we got three of these. Our chief CFI said take 'em up, learn 'em, they are the new trainer. I took one up, spun it, watched the tail do its thing and wondered about it, then a few months later the tail fell off of one in the local area. Kinda scary.

R Weaver, rdw_herps=yahoo.com, 07.09.2010

I built these for a short period of time. They were built for training purposes and had there not been a bad batch of Mag's the program would have been a total success. Sounds to me like the tail situation is an out of performance spec issue and maybe it is not a good idea to stall them on purpose.

Greg, yahoo.com, 31.08.2010

I also learned to fly in these. One day I was do a check flight so that I could rent one from a different airport from where I trained. The flight instructor showed me the bit about the tail shake during a stall....scary. It was the last time I flew one. I don't know how many stalls I did in these things during training.

Bill, itsadiscount=gmail.com, 22.08.2010

Learned to fly in these. Tomarock, Tramahawk or whatever, I really enjoyed flying them. Used to just take off on a nice afternoon and cruise around. Hated to have to go home!

Scott Boyd, scottb50=hotmail.com, 20.03.2010

We used to call it the Tomarock. A friend of mine gave a Private Pilot check ride in one and refused to ever get in another. He said they did a stall and he looked back and the T-tail was flopping back and forth.

E.W.Rossi, oldern=peoplepc.com, 02.03.2010

Wasn't this created from the ERCOUPE???

John Hellings, jonh=telus.net, 08.01.2009

Just a beautiful aircraft to fly as well as look at, I know I own one. C-FFJH.

Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?

Name    E-mail


COMPANY
PROFILE



All the World's Rotorcraft


Virtual Aircraft Museum


All rhe World's Rotorcraft AVIATION TOP 100 - www.avitop.com Avitop.com