The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) announces its 2006 sweepstakes airplane - a 1967 Piper Cherokee Six 260. The aircraft will undergo overhaul and restoration projects throughout the year, after which one lucky pilot will win A Six in '06.
"The year-long restoration of each sweepstakes aircraft is an important resource for aircraft owners," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "They get ideas for improving their own aircraft and learn along with us as each project progresses."
"One of the reasons we chose the Cherokee Six is because of its excellent utility," said AOPA Editor-at-Large Tom Horne. "And, being a fixed-gear aircraft, pilots of all experience levels can enjoy it."
The six-seat Cherokee Six has 260 horsepower, a carbureted engine, and a two-blade propeller.
After AOPA purchased the aircraft in Dallas, Texas, Horne flew the plane to Mena, Ark., home of Ultimate Engines, where it is undergoing an engine overhaul that includes a set of cylinders donated by ECI of San Antonio, Texas.
Later in the year, the aircraft will receive a new paint scheme, designed by Scheme Designers and applied by Dial Eastern States Aircraft Painting, Inc., have speed modifications installed at LoPresti Speed Merchants, and then get an interior makeover and the latest in avionics.
"It's exciting to be able to modernize an old classic," said Horne. "This Cherokee Six will have a Sandel electronic horizontal situation indicator, a Garmin GNS 530 GPS, and an Avidyne EX500 multifunction display with satellite weather and traffic systems displayed on it, among many other panel upgrades."
The first public appearance of the Cherokee Six - with fresh paint - will be at the AOPA tent at Sun 'n Fun, April 4-10, in Lakeland, Fla. As it flies around the country for restoration throughout the year, the Cherokee will also be on display at other aviation events, including AOPA's Fly-In and Open House in Frederick, Md., EAA Airventure in Oshkosh, Wis., and AOPA Expo in Palm Springs, Calif.
Regular status reports and updates will be available at www.aopa.org/sweeps/ and will appear throughout the year in AOPA Pilot magazine.
With more than 407,000 members, AOPA is the world's largest civil aviation association, working to protect the interests of general aviation. Nearly two-thirds of all U.S. pilots are members of AOPA.
January 3, 2006