Piper cemented their spot within the turboprop market with its introduction of the Piper Cheyenne in the early 1980s. While the original Cheyenne I eventually became the Cheyenne II, Piper also included various configurations. One of these being the Cheyenne IIXL.
The Need For More
The difference between the Cheyenne II and the Cheyenne IIXL is in the name: It's bigger. The 'extra large' version of the Cheyenne II is essentially just a stretched version, with two feet added forward of the main spar.
Due to the forward CG from the extra two feet, the Cheyenne IIXL is by far the most versatile of all the Cheyennes produced. With this structural design, you can load the Cheyenne up with up to 8 passengers while filling the baggage compartments to nearly 200 pounds and still get top performance.
With the above load, the Cheyenne IIXL is still a highly capable and reliable aircraft. At this load, you can still expect to climb up to 29,000 feet at a respectable 250 knot cruising speed. Also, with the same heavy load, you can stay in the air for an unprecedented four and a half hours. This gives you a range of over 1,000 nautical miles, meaning you could fly from Miami to New York City!
Piper's line of Cheyenne's are well regarded in the turboprop world. With the low operating costs as well as their highly regarded reliability factor, the Cheyenne continues to be a great option for buyers looking to enter the turboprop world. With close to max fuel, 8 passengers, and a full cargo load, the performance of the Cheyenne IIXL doesn't suffer at all. Still allowing altitudes of nearly 30,000 feet and speeds close to 250 knots with this heavy load, it's no wonder the Cheyenne IIXL is so highly regarded.
Thanks to the low cost and exceptional performance, Piper sold over 80 models of the Cheyenne IIXL during its 3 year production. Many of the aircraft still fly today, alluding to the reliability of the Cheyenne IIXL. The Cheyenne was Piper's foray into the turboprop world, and it was definitely a successful one!