Away back on 05-12-1969 Piper first flew the low wing agricultural single seater all metal Pawnee replacement - the Piper PA-36-285 Pawnee Brave.
The most interesting thing about the early production aircraft (in my view) was the engine of choice. The Continental Tiara 285. Basically this was a 405 cubic inch turbocharged engine with the propeller driven from the camshaft. I believe the fuel consumption was rather high and that there was no significant advantage over the already well proven other options available.
I don't believe any of these Taira Brave's came to NZ.
Next engine used was the proven Lycoming IO-540 of 300hp in the PA-36 Brave 300.
I lost track of it for a few years, but I believe it went on lease to Pask Air Service and then to M T Herbert of Napier in about August of 1983. It was re-listed to Kairanga Aviation on 05-07-1984 and was ferried across the Ditch from Kaitaia to Norfolk on 08-10-1984. It became VH-FEX and has spent most of the intervening years with Field Air at Ballarat in Victoria.
A further ten Brave aircraft came onto our register, but these were the PA-36-375's with the Lycoming IO-720 engines.