The PA-38 Tomahawk is a 2 seat low wing, high “T” tailed aircraft which was introduced by Piper in 1978 as a trainer / utility aircraft. Aircraft built in 1982, had an uprated engine and other minor improvements which saw those aircraft designated as Tomahawk II’s. Production of the PA-38 ended in 1982 due to economic conditions in the world. By that time a total of 2,497 aircraft had been built. The company had hoped to restart production in 1984, however, production liability laws had begun to bite into the civilian aviation market making it difficult to find a market and Piper opted to cancel production.
ACAM’s PA-38 Tomahawk:
The Museum’s Tomahawk was built in 1979 and was purchased by the Moncton Flying Club in the early 1980′s. She flew with the club until her retirement due to maximum hours in the late 1990′s. The Tomahawk has a maximum wing fatigue life of 11,000 hours. Refurbishing the aircraft is very expensive and the Flying Club elected to replace the fleet. At that time, ACAM was fortunate enough to acquire her, although many components had been stripped from her for spares for the remainder of the Flying Club’s fleet. It is hoped as other aircraft retire we will acquire many of the missing pieces to make a complete static airframe.
The aircraft was stored in New Brunswick in Wilfred Patterson’s barn from 2002 until 2006, when it was moved to NB Wing member Bill Leeming’s home. The NB Wing had recently completed the very successful restoration of our TBM Avenger and were looking for a new project. Minor restoration, parts gathering, assembly and preservation work is being carried out by our volunteers. The Tomahawk will be repainted in Moncton Flying Club colors before being transported to ACAM for exhibit.
By late 2007 – early 2008 the team have primed and painted the base coat of white on the aircraft and we are pleased to have help from Jerry Wilcox and Debbie Bates, who were instrumental with the finish work and markings on the Avenger restoration project committing their time to helping us with the Tomahawk as well.
To all our friends and sponsors thank you for your continued support.