The Piper PA-60-602P Aerostar is a six-seater cabin-class pressurized mid-wing cantilever monoplane; powered by two wing-mounted six-cylinder piston engines,
with a tricycle retractable landing gear. twin six-cylinder engined; six-seater cabin-class pressurized aircraft with retractable undercarriage. The Piper
PA-60 started it carrier as the Ted Smith Aerostar designed and developped by Ted Smith. In 1966 Theodore ('Ted') R. Smith left Aero Commander and set up Ted
Smith Aircraft Co. Inc., with the intention to create a new range of light aircraft which would be based on one standard airframe equipped with a varity of
engines. His design was a six -seat mid-wing cabin monoplane with a circular section fuselage and swept fin with a main cabin airstair door ahaed of the wing.
The design which emerged was not unlike a mid-wing Aero Commander and the first aircraft had two 160 hp Lycoming IO-320 piston engines. The prototype Aerostar 300/400
(s/n 320-1) was registered N540TS and flown firts in November 1966. This aircraft was used for certification of the Model 340 initiall, and then Model 400 and
Model 600. The first production Aerostar was the Model 600 powered by two 290 hp Lycomning IO-540 engines. As with Aero Commander, Ted Smith gave designations
to the Aerostars which were based on the combined flat-rated horse-power of the engines. The Model 360 had a more streamlined vertical tail then the original
design. Furthermore, very minor changes were applied during the development of the Aerostar. The first production Aerostar (s/n 600-0001) was registered N588TS
and flown first on 20 December 1967, followed by the Aerostar 601 (s/n 61-0001) N587TS with turbocharged Lycoming IO-540 engines. Both models were built at Van
Nuys, California, but, in June 1968, the company was bought by American Cement Co. who injected a considerable amount of working capital. The acquisition was not
a great succes, and in late 1969 after the the company had undergone several crisis it was again sold. The new owner was Butler Aviation, which was an established
general aviation fixed base operator. In November 1969, Butler also acquired who had also acquired Moone Aircraft, that was saved from bankruptcy earlier that year.
In July 1970, the whole organisation was amalgamated under the name Aerostar Aircraft Corporation and it was intended to transfer Aerostar production to Mooney's
Kerrville plant. But, Butler's aviation manufacturing activities were short-lived and in 1972, Ted Smith bought back the desings, setting up Ted R. Smith Á
Associates to manufacture Aerostars. This company took over the line with effect from Aircraft number 130 and soon introduced the pressurized Model 601P. On 22
November 1972, the Model 700 Superstar (s/n 60-0026-44; registered N72TS) an Aerostar 600 with a stretched fusalage and IO-540M engines, flew first. In 1976, the
company name was changed to Ted Smith Aerostar Corporation. On 24 March 1978, the final change to the Aerostar design came when Piper Aircraft Corporation took
over the model and added it to its model range. Piper continued production of the 600 and 601P at Ted Smith's Santa Maria plant, and introduced the 602P with low
compression TIO-540-AA1A5 engines. When Piper transferred production to its new Vero Beach, Florida factory in early 1982, only the 602P was in production, and
this was redesignated the PA-60-602P. When production ended in 1985, 1010 Aerostars were built, including 491 by Ted Smith and 519 by Piper.
Aircraft Type Designator for the Aerostar is AEST.
The Piper Aerostar Models:
- PA-60-600 — Aerostar 600 light twin.
- PA-60-601 — Aerostar 601 with increased wingspan and increased gross weight.
- PA-60-601P — Aerostar 601P presurised model with increased gross weight.
- PA-60-602P — Aerostar 602P, Piper development of the Aerostar 601P with revised turbocharger and detail changes.
- PA-60-700P — the last Aerostar version, and just 25 were built. In production between 1983 and 1985, the 700P has more powerful engines,
a higher max takeoff weight and optional extra fuel capacity.
In March 1983, the 1983-built Piper PA-60-602P Aerostar s/n 60-8365010 was registered N6901D in the USA. In April 1992, the Aerostar was registered D-IMHH in Germany.
On 17 May 2023, Piper PA-60-602P Aerostar D-IMHH was seen at Flugplatz Speyer/Ludwichshafen (EDRY/ZQC).