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Piper PA-24-260 Comanche 260
Single-engine (260 hp) four-seat low-wing cabin monoplane


Archive Photos ¹


Piper PA-24-260 Comanche 260 (N8828P, s/n 24-4284, 1965) on display at the 2009 Cable Air Show, Cable Airport, Upland, California (John Shupek photo copyright © 2009 Skytamer Images)

Overview ²


The prototype Comanche first flew on 24 May 1956, and the first production aircraft on 21 October 1957. A total of 3,938 had been produced in four versions, with engines of different powers, by 1 January 1965.

The original Comanche had a 180 hp Lycoming engine. The second version, the Comanche 250 with a 250 hp Lycoming engine, received FAA type approval on 7 March 1958. During 1965 the available versions were as follows:

PA-24-260 Comanche 260:

Basic model of Comanche 260 which was announced on 28 August 1964, as a replacement for the Comanche 250. Powered by 260 hp Lycoming O-540 or IO-540 engine. Normal fuel capacity 60 US gallons (227 liters), with optional extra 30 US gallons (113.5 liters). Introduced cleaned-up landing gear, with single-fork main legs, which create less drag when retracted. Improved cabin soundproofing, heating and ventilation.

PA-24-260 Comanche 260 Custom 93:

Same as standard Comanche 260, with addition of vacuum system, full blind-flying instrumentation, Narco Mk 12 90-channel VHF transceiver with separate 100-channel nav receiver, Narco VOA-6 VOR converter indicator, Bendix ADF-T12, headset, microphone and radio selector panel, Piper TruSpeed Indicator in place of standard ASI, rotating beacon, heated pitot tube, 30 US gallon (113.5 liter) auxiliary fuel tanks.

PA-24-260 Comanche 260 Custom 103:

Same as Custom 93, with addition of Piper AutoControl II and V0A-4 VOR/ILS localizer converter instead of the VOA-6.

PA-24-260 Comanche 260 Custom 113:

Same as Custom 113, with the addition of Piper Course Selector DG to replace zero heading DG.

PA-24-260 Comanche 260 Custom 123:

Same as Custom 113, but with Piper AltiMatic II in place of AutoControl II, plus automatic electric trim, which converts to manual electric tram went AltiMatic II is disengaged.

PA-24-260 Comanche 260 Executive 203:

Same as Custom 103, with the addition of Narco Mk 12 360-channel transceiver, second Narco VOA-4 VOR/ILS localizer converter indicator, Piper PM-1 marker beacon, glare ban instrumentation lights and Piper manual electric trim.

PA-24-260 Comanche 260 Executive 213:

Same as Executive 203, but with Piper Course Selector DG instead of zero heading DG.

PA-24-260 Comanche 260 Executive 223:

Same as Executive 213, but with AltiMatic II automatic electric pitch trim replacing AutoControl II.

PA-24-260 Comanche 260 Sportsman 303:

Same as Executive 203, plus Palm Beach interior with leather upholstery, two front seat headrests and rear seat pillow, curtains, and Palm Beach exterior.

PA-24-260 Comanche 260 Sportsman 313:

Same as Sportsman 303, but with Piper Course Selector DG instead of zero heading DG.

PA-24-260 Comanche 260 Sportsman 323:

Same as Sportsman 313, but with Piper AltiMatic II with automatic electric pitch trim replacing AutoControl II.

PA-24-260 Comanche 260 Professional 403:

Same as a Sportsman 303, but with two Narco Mk 12 360-channel transceivers, one Narco VOA-4 VOR/ILS localizer converter indicator, one Narco VOA-5 VOR/ILS localizer converter indicator with glide-scope indication, Narco UGR-1A glide-slope receiver, Narco UDI-3 DME/GSI, Piper external power unit and anti-static antennae.

PA-24-260 Comanche 260 Professional 413:

Same as Professional 403, but with new production Piper 3-in gyros in place of re-manufactured 5-in gyros, radio coupling to Omni and Piper course selector DG.

PA-24-260 Comanche 260 Professional 423:

Same as Professional 413, but with Piper AltiMatic II replacing AutoControl II.

The following details refer to the basic PA-24-260 Standard Comanche 260, but are generally applicable to the other versions except for the detailed changes listed above.

Specifications and Performance Data (PA-24-260) ²


Type:

  • Four-seat cabin monoplane.

Wings:

  • Cantilever low-wing monoplane.
  • NACA 642A215 laminar-flow wing section.
  • Aspect ratio 7.28.
  • Wing chord: 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) at root, 3 ft 3 in (0.99 m) at tip.
  • Wing dihedral: 5°
  • Wing incidence: 2°
  • Wing swept-forward at quarter-chord 2° 30'.
  • Three-spar aluminum stressed-skin structure.
  • Plastic wingtips.
  • Plain aluminum ailerons.
  • Electrically-actuated single-slotted aluminum flaps.

Fuselage:

  • Aluminum semi-monocoque structure.

Tail Unit:

  • Cantilever stressed-skin structure, made entirely of aluminum except for steel-tube stub spar.
  • Sweptback vertical surfaces.
  • All-moving one-piece tailplane or stabilator, with anti-servo tab.

Landing Gear:

  • Electrically-retractable tricycle type, with emergency manual extension.
  • Nose wheel retracts rearward, main units inward.
  • Piper oleo-pneumatic shock absorbers.
  • Cleveland wheels, size 600 × 6, tire pressure 42 psi (2.95 kg/cm²)
  • Cleveland single-disc hydraulic brakes.
  • Parking brake.
  • Edo type 289-2700 amphibious floats can be fitted.

Power Plant:

  • One 260 hp Lycoming O-540 or IO-540 six-cylinder horizontally-oppose air-cooled engine.
  • Hartzell HC82XK1D two-blade metal constant-speed propeller.
  • Two rubber fuel tanks in wings with total capacity of 60 US gallons (227 liters).
  • Two optional auxiliary tanks in wings with total capacity of 30 US gallons (113.5 liters).
  • Refueling points above wings.
  • Oil capacity 3 US gallons (11.4 liters).

Accommodation:

  • Enclosed cabin seating four in two pairs.
  • Dual controls.
  • Rear seat quickly removable to provide space for stretcher, camera or freight.
  • Forward-opening door at front of cabin on starboard side.
  • Baggage compartment, capacity 200 lb (90 kg), aft of cabin, with door on starboard side.

Electronics and Equipment:

  • Standard equipment includes heater and defroster, ventilators, navigation and landing lights.
  • Optional equipment as detailed above under individual models.

Dimensions, External:

  • Wing span: 36 ft 0 in (10.97 m)
  • Length overall: 25 ft 0 in (7.62 m)
  • Height overall: 7 ft 5½ in (2.27 m)
  • Tailplane span: 12 ft 6 in (3.81 m)
  • Wheel track: 9 ft 8 in (2.94 m)
  • Wheelbase: 6 ft 65/8 in (1.99 m)

Areas:

  • Wings, gross: 1789 ft² (16.53 m²)
  • Ailerons (total): 14.0 ft² (1.30 m²)
  • Trailing-edge flaps (total): 20.2 ft² (1.87 m²)
  • Fin: 8.0 ft² (0.74 m²)
  • Rudder: 5.4 ft² (0.52 m²)
  • Tailplane, including tab: 32.5 ft² (3.04 m²)

Weights:

  • Weight empty: 1,700 lb (771 kg)
  • Maximum T-O and landing weight: 2,900 lb (1,315 kg)

Loadings:

  • Maximum wing loading: 16.3 lb/ft² (79.6 kg/m²)
  • Maximum power loading: 11.15 lb/hp (5.06 kg/hp)

Performance at Maximum Takeoff Weight:

  • Maximum speed at sea level: 195 mph (314 kmh)
  • Maximum cruising speed, 75% power, 7,000 ft (2,135 m): 185 mph (298 kmh)
  • Stalling speed, flaps down: 61 mph (98 kmh)
  • Rate of climb at sea level: 1,500 ft/min (457 m/min)
  • Service ceiling: 20,600 ft (6,280 m)
  • T-O run: 660 ft (200 m)
  • T-O to 50 ft (15 m): 1,540 ft (470 m)
  • Landing from 50 ft (15 m): 1,420 ft (433 m)
  • Landing run: 650 ft (198 m)
  • Range (75% power), standard fuel: 730 miles (1,175 km)
  • Range (75% power), auxiliary fuel: 1,120 miles (1,800 km)
  • Maximum range, 55% power, standard fuel: 825 miles (1,325 km)
  • Maximum range, 55% power, auxiliary fuel: 1,265 miles (2,035 km)

References


  1. Photos, John Shupek, Copyright © 2009 Skytamer Images. All Rights Reserved
  2. Taylor, John W.R. (editor). Piper PA-24 Comanche, Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1965-1966, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1965, pages 288-290


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