When it was introduced in 1961 the PA-28 was the first model to be built at the companies new facility at Vero Beach, Florida. Unlike previous Piper aircraft the PA-28 was built by riveting aluminum skins over a lightweight aluminum fuselage structure. The basic PA-28 design has been the template for numerous Piper two-, four, and six-place singles, and even a couple of twins. But the original 160-hp, fixed-gear PA-28 lives on in the new Warrior III.
Initially the PA-28 was built as the Cherokee with a constant chord wing to minimise manufacturing costs and was a highly successful light aeroplane with clubs and flying schools. The later development of the Cherokee, the Warrior has a different wing shape with the leading and trailing edges of the outer panels having a pronounced taper. This gives the Warrior a longer wingspan than the Cherokee and, thus, a higher aspect ratio (the proportion of the wingspan and the wing chord). In general, a higher aspect ratio contributes to better climb and cruise performance because of lower induced drag.