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The Piper Dakota is a member of the Piper Cherokee family of light aircraft designed for air taxi, flight training, and personal use and is built by Piper Aircraft. The Dakota is all-metal, unpressurized, single-engine, piston-powered airplanes with low-mounted wings and tricycle landing gear. The aircraft has a single door on the co-pilot side, which is entered by stepping on the wing. Cruise speed is approximately 143 knots, stall speed is approximately 56 knots and top speed is approximately 148 knots. The aircraft has been popular with private owners and flying clubs.
Variant models of the Dakota include the PA-28-263 Piper Dakota model and PA-28-201T Piper Turbo Dakota. The PA-28-236 Dakota is a four-seat aircraft, with fixed landing gear, powered by a 235 horsepower Lycoming O-540-J3A5D engine. The PA-28-201T Turbo Dakota is a four-seat aircraft, with fixed landing gear, and a turbocharged Continental TSIO-360-FB engine of 200 horsepower.
Piper introduced the new 235 horsepower Dakota in 1977. The Piper Dakota was based on the Piper Cherokee 235, Charger, and Pathfinder models but featured a new semi-tapered wing. The Turbo Dakota was introduced in 1979. The aircraft's airfame was similar to the fixed gear Piper Arrow III and powered by a turbo-charged engine.