Marco Island Airways Fleet: Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain

Aircraft Description

The Piper PA-31 Navajo is a family of cabin-class, twin-engined aircraft designed and built by Piper Aircraft for the general aviation market, most using Lycoming engines. It was also license-built in a number of Latin American countries. Targeted at small-scale cargo and feeder liner operations and the corporate market, the aircraft was a success. It continues to prove a popular choice, but due to greatly decreased demand across the general aviation sector in the 1980s, production of the PA-31 ceased in 1984.

In September 1972, Piper unveiled the PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain, a stretched version of the Navajo B with more powerful engines and counter-rotating propellers to prevent critical engine handling problems. The fuselage was lengthened by 2 ft 0 in (0.61 m), allowing for up to ten seats in total. Variants of the Lycoming TIO-540 developing 350 hp (261 kW) were fitted to the Chieftain, with an opposite-rotation LTIO-540 installed on the right-hand wing; MTOW was increased to 7,000 lb (3,175 kg). The Chieftain’s introduction was delayed by a flood at Piper’s factory at Lock Haven, Pennsylvania caused by Hurricane Agnes, and deliveries did not commence until 1973.

Aircraft Safety Card

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Three-View Drawing

General Characteristics

Crew: 1 or 2
Capacity: 5 to 7 passengers
Length: 32 ft 7.5 in / 9.944 m
Wingspan: 40 ft 8 in / 12.40 m
Height: 13 ft / 3.96 m
Wing Area: 229 sq ft / 21.3 m2
Airfoil: NACA 634415 at root, 631212
OEW: Operating Empty Weight: 3,930 lb / 1,783 kg
MTOW: Max Takeoff Weight: 6,500 lb / 2,948 kg


Powerplant(s): 22 × Lycoming TIO-540-A air-cooled six-cylinder horizontally opposed piston engine, 310 hp / 230 kW each
Propeller(s): 3-bladed Hartzell metal, fully feathering propellers, 6 ft 8 in / 2.03 m diameter
Max Speed: 261 mph / 420 km/h / 227 kn at 15,000 ft / 4,600 m
Cruise Speed: 238 mph / 383 km/h / 207 kn at 20,000 ft / 6,100 m (economy cruise)
Stall Speed: 73 mph / 17 km/h / 63 kn (flaps down)
Range: 1,165 mi / 1,875 km / 1,012 nmi at 20,000 ft / 6,100 m (econ. cruise speed)
Service Ceiling: 26,300 ft / 8,000 m

The Marco Island Airways Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain Fleet

Photos of the entire fleet of Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftains are published below. Click on each of them for information and photos of that particular aircraft. If you would like to contribute any photos, scans, documents — then please contact us as we'd love to expand this site.


Marco Island Airways | Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain | N35580 | S/N 31-8052075 | Built in 1980 @ Lakeland Airport (LAL/KLAL), Lakeland, FL



Marco Island Airways | Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain | N456M | S/N 31-8152081 | Built in 1981 @ Lakeland Airport (LAL/KLAL), Lakeland, FL



Marco Island Airways | Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain | N789M | S/N 31-8152083 | Built in 1981 @ Lakeland Airport (LAL/KLAL), Lakeland, FL

Header photo – copyright © Ellis M. Chernoff