Cherokee At 50

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An iconic airframe that's stood up to decades of punishment at the hands of students and new pilots and always kept a kind of jaunty air about it is celebrating its 50th birthday this year and EAA is helping celebrate. The first Piper Cherokee rolled out in 1960 and next year's AirVenture Oshkosh is holding events to commemorate the aircraft that changed everyone's perception of the prolific planemaker. "The design has been a part of aviation history for those learning to fly, enjoying the freedom of flight or using an aircraft as part of their business," said EAA President Tom Poberezny.

Among the festivities will be a mass arrival of 50 aircraft and there are various gatherings being planned by Cherokees2Osh. The design was certified in 1960 and first deliveries were the following year. Since then more than 30,000 Cherokees and its derivatives, the Arrow and Warrior, have been built.