• Passengers 4

Produced for over 20 years, the Piper PA-23 Aztec is a four-passenger piston aircraft that has stood the test of time.

About this aircraft

  • The Piper PA-23 Aztec is an upgrade of the PA-23 Apache with more powerful engines and an extra passenger seat. Production began in 1959.
  • A Piper PA-23 Aztec’s cabin is typically configured to seat four passengers. If the aircraft is owned, a further passenger can be seated with a single pilot in the cockpit, but this option isn’t available with charters.
  • The Aztec is suited to short flights like London to Edinburgh or New York to Boston.
  • Luggage space differs depending on the model. Aztecs produced from 1962 onwards have a second baggage compartment, increasing baggage capacity to 40 ft3 (enough for four suitcases plus hand luggage).
  • A longer-nosed variant called the Aztec B launched in 1961, followed by several later models with improved engines. The series remained in production until 1982, by which time almost 5,000 aircraft had been produced.

The Aztec’s long production run spawned a number of variants ranging from A to F. The latter’s maximum range is around 370 km greater than the original.

Interior design

Most Piper PA-23 Aztecs feature four forward-facing seats behind two cockpit seats. Similarly to three-door cars, the front two passenger seats can be folded for access to the rear of the cabin, or even removed to make room for extra cargo.

Below is a typical configuration found on a Piper PA-23 Aztec.

Interesting facts to learn before you fly

  • In light of their age, many Piper PA-23 Aztecs have been retrofitted with more modern leather seating and better avionics.
  • The aircraft’s cabin isn’t pressurised.
  • Load-carrying ability is one of the Aztec’s key selling points; its tanks, seats and baggage compartments can be filled without reaching the maximum takeoff weight.
  • The Aztec E’s nose baggage compartment was a foot larger than those of its predecessors.

Technological features

The original Piper PA-23 Aztec was powered by six-cylinder Lycoming O-540 engines, while the Aztec B’s were turbocharged. The C model added fibreglass landing gear doors and either injected IO-540-C4B5 series engines or the turbocharged TIO-540C1A.

Many Aztecs have been updated with modern Garmin systems over the years.


Piper launched the PA-23 Aztec in 1959 to satisfy demand for a bigger and faster alternative to the Apache. Other than its larger swept vertical fin, the original Aztec looked remarkably similar to its predecessor. The Aztec B was more distinctive, launching in 1962 with an extra passenger seat and a blunt nose that housed a second baggage compartment.

The Aztec C followed in 1964 and went on to become the most-produced model in the family. Subsequent variants included the Aztec D, with refined cabin fittings and removable armrests; and the Aztec E, with a stretched nose for increased baggage space and a recessed landing light that made room for an optional weather radar.

The final model in the series, the Aztec F, launched in 1976 with squared-off wingtips and a rectangular stabiliser (Piper returned to the traditional one in 1980). It could be fitted with 20-gallon tip tanks for a range of 2,400 km with 45-minute reserves (2,121 km for the turbo). Piper stopped making the Aztec in 1982, ending a 20-year production run.


Piper Aircraft began as Taylor Brothers Aircraft Manufacturing Company, founded by Clarence and Gordon Taylor in 1927. After going bankrupt, the business was bought by engineer William Piper and renamed the Piper Aircraft Corporation in 1937.

Piper went from strength to strength and was later sold to the Bangor Punta Corporation. In 1972, the company opened a factory in Florida after a hurricane flooded its Pennsylvania site, destroying about 100 aircraft and causing an estimated $23 million in damage.

Increasing insurance premiums caused sales of American light aircraft to slump in the mid-1980s, leading Piper to file for bankruptcy again. The company later relaunched, partnering with Honda in 2006 to market the HA-420 HondaJet. Today, Piper is owned by the Brunei government and based at Florida’s Vero Beach Regional Airport.


Depending on factors like age and condition, the price for a used Piper PA-23 Aztec can vary from $30,000 to $96,000 (USD).

Charter rates

Charter rates for the Piper PA-23 Aztec vary depending on the length of your journey and the airports you’re flying in and out of.

If you’d like to charter a Piper PA-23 Aztec, contact our team for a quote today. For information on other charter options, browse our list of available private aircraft.

Wet lease rates

ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, Insurance) wet lease rates for the Piper PA-23 Aztec vary depending on the age of the aircraft, lease term length, number of guaranteed block hours and average cycle ratio. Contact us for a personalised quote.

Charter this aircraft

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Key details

  • Aircraft type Piston Propellers
  • Passengers 4
  • Cruise speed 340 KM/H / 211 MPH
  • Range 1900 KM / 1180 Miles


  • Luggage space 10.9 ft³
  • Enclosed lavatory No
  • Flight attendant No
  • Pressurised cabin No

Piper PA-23 Aztec Floorplan

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