The Piper Aerostar or Ted Smith Aerostar is an American twin-engined propeller-driven executive or light transport aircraft, designed by Ted R. Smith. It was originally built by Ted Smith Aircraft Company, which after 1978 became part of the Piper Aircraft Corporation.
Ted Smith flew the first Aerostar 600 in October 1967. It was a mid-wing cantilever monoplane powered by two wing-mounted Avco Lycoming piston engines, with a tricycle landing gear. It was fitted with luxury accommodation for six. Also flown was a version with a turbocharged engine, the Aerostar 601.
The aircraft were being built at Van Nuys in California, when in 1968 the company was bought by the American Cement Company. The acquisition was not a success and in 1969 the company was sold again to Butler Aviation, owners of Mooney Airplane Company. The new company was named Aerostar Aircraft Corporation and it was intended to move production to a Mooney plant at Kerryville. In 1972 Ted Smith bought back all the rights to the aircraft, so that he could continue to manufacture Aerostars; he also introduced the Aerostar 601P. The 601P had engines with higher-rate turbochargers to feed a cabin pressurisation system. Another variant was the stretched Aerostar 700 Superstar. In 1976 the company name was changed to the Ted Smith Aerostar Corporation.
In 1978 the company was taken over by the Piper Aircraft Corporation. It continued to build three variants (600A, 601B and 600P) and then re-introduced the 601P and 602P (sometimes known as the Sequoya). After discontinuing production of the non-pressurised models, Piper moved production to Vero Beach. The last Aerostar was produced in 1984.
Published in July 2009.
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