Sunday 18 August 2013

Seven + One continued.

 The Canterbury Aero Club Piper PA-28-140 Cherokees recently withdrawn and dismantled were intended to be replaced by the Five Alpha aircraft purchased back in 2010.
 However some major engineering and maintenance matters with the Alpha's meant that the 140's got continued use and instead of selling them with useful engine hours they have now run out .. and have been retired.
They are for sale with some interest being shown. Meanwhile they are stored dismantled to prevent corrosion.
The two pics show the Clubs colours and insignia as used at one period.
Individual aircraft postings to follow !
However (by request) I will first explain a little about the Piper PA-28 Cherokee c/n (construction number) system as I see it.
Each aircraft is allocated c/n during manufacture - similar to a motor vehicles VIN or chassis number.
This is stamped on a plate along with other details and in the case of Cherokees this plate is attached to the rear fuselage just near the leading edge of the left horizontal tailplane.
The aircraft is also given a local authorities Registration allocation for a civil aircraft (or a Serial Number for a military aircraft). These can change during the life of the aircraft.
BUT the c/n plate remains the same and is the main identifying feature.
So lets look at a simple Cherokee c/n number.
eg Piper PA-28-140 with the c/n on 28-7625261
Now we know that the smaller Cherokees were given the Piper model number of 28.
The first two number of the main group are the fiscal year of manufacture.
In this case 76 equals 1976. (Prior to 1971 no year indictor was given, and it ceased later).
The US fiscal year runs from 1st of October of the previous year
to the 30th of September of the current year.
So a 1976 airframe could have been built between 01-10-1975 and 30-09-1976.
This explains how you can have a 1976 model built in 1975.
The 3rd and 4th number actually tell the model.
In this case the "25" tells us we are looking at a Cherokee 140.
The last three numbers indicates the place on the assembly line for that particular years production. In our case the "261" tell that this was the 261st Cherokee 140 built during the 1976 fiscal year.
The end result is ZK-EBP.
The original certifying authority in the US had allocated the registration of N9622N to this c/n plate.
So in each different country the Plate remains the same but the visible identity markings change.
In this case "N" indicate US territory followed by a number letter combination.
In New Zealand "ZK" is the registration prefix for all civil aircraft, followed by three letters.
Other Cherokee models had different model designation numbers on their c/n plate.
eg. Piper PA-28-180's carried the number "05" following the year.
 PA-28-180 is "05" eg 28-7305206 was ZK-DGL.
PA-28-181 is "90"  eg 28-7890046 was ZK-ESK.
PA-28-151 is "15"  eg 28-7515426 was ZK-EBH.
PA-28R  is "35"      eg 28-7535019 was ZK-DUY.
PA-28-235 is "10"  eg  28-7310003 was ZK-DGK.
PA-236 is "11"        eg 28-8011104 was ZK-DQQ.
I could go on :-
Having got all that -  I can say that the designation system changed when production re-started post the US public liability fiasco - but we won't go there today.


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