autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 

Watch an Abandoned Piper Aztec Airplane Come Back to Life After Years of Sitting

Seeing classic cars emerge out of barns after years in storage is as entertaining as it gets. But things become a lot better when the vehicles in question fire up. If you're a fan of such revivals, here's something different: a twin-engined Piper light airplane being brought back to life after sitting for years.
Piper PA-23 Aztec 6 photos
Piper PA-23 AztecPiper PA-23 AztecPiper PA-23 AztecPiper PA-23 AztecPiper PA-23 Aztec
Parked in a big yard about seven years ago, this Piper PA-23 Aztec appears to be in a sorry state. But under that dirty fuselage lurks an airplane that still has what it takes to fly. YouTube's "Jimmys World," known for buying, reviving, and flying abandoned planes, set out to get this old Piper back on its feet.

With absolutely no maintenance operated over seven years, this Aztec seems like a tough nut to crack. The Lycoming engines refuse to fire up at first, but Jimmy managed to get them spinning after a few good hours of meddling with the internals. With both propellers in working order, it seems like this airplane could fly again. With a bit of additional work, that is.

The video ends on a somewhat funny note, as Jimmy finds out that starting the plane would have been much easier if he knew about a switch under the dash, installed to prevent people from stealing the plane. Well, it wasn't exactly funny to Jimmy, who busted his hump to revive the aircraft, and who steals airplanes anyway?

If you're not familiar with the PA-23, this light, twin-engined airplane was produced by Piper Aircraft from 1952 to 1981. The American company built two series, the Apache and the Aztec, the latter introduced in 1962.

The PA-23 was originally offered with a pair of naturally aspirated, Lycoming flat-six piston engines, but later versions of the Aztec were also made available with turbocharged units.

Capable of sitting up to five passengers, the PA-23 tips the scales at around 3,200 pounds (1,451 kg) and boasts a maximum take-off weight of 5,200 pounds (2,359 kg). It has a cruise speed of 172 mph (277 kph), a maximum speed of 215 mph (346 kph), and a service ceiling of 18,950 feet (5,780 pounds). It can cover up to 1,519 miles (2,445 km) on a full tank.

On top of civilian use, the Piper PA-23 was also run by various military operators, mostly in Central America, South America, and Africa. The Spanish Air Force and the United States Navy also commissioned Piper airplanes.

In 1975, an Aztec piloted by retired Formula One ace Graham Hill crashed while en route from Circuit Paul Ricard to London. Hill and all five passengers, members of the Embassy Hill F1 team, were killed in the crash.

Now that you know a little bit about this twin-engined plane, hit the play button below to see a turbo Aztek fire up and spin its propellers.

Video thumbnail


 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories