Why does Piper Arrow aircraft only have one door?

I’m curious, why does the Piper Arrow only have one door, and that too on the passenger side? Isn’t it kind of unsafe in case of an emergency on the ground - let’s say the pilot needs to evacuate because of fire?

What is the rationale behind this design?

I would guess to maintain structural strength and integrity within the monocoque. More doors equals more strengthening, equals more weight and complexity, equals less performance. You get my drift.


So does the Bonanza, Mooney, and many others actually. It’s really not that unusual at all.

As to WHY it’s that way, I don’t know for certain. But it’s pretty common.

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Wow… interesting! Yes, the mooneys and bonanzas do have a similar design. Never paid attention to it before.

Weight and structure. In the Piper Arrow the right flap even has a special mechanism that locks it in the up position so you can step on it.

The reason that it’s on the right side I’d guess is practical since the pilot flying is usually the first to sit (front left) and do the preparations while passengers may join later. But I’m not sure about that.


Weight and structural integrity (and cost certainly also)

Not sure why on the right side… but I think some of it must have to do with having the pilot in first, possibly so you have weight ahead of the CG and don’t load passengers into the back first (risking a tail strike while getting aboard)?

As to emergency, it is a lot easier to push out the windows that operating that door mechanism, the windows are thin plexiglass held in place by old chewing gum and wishful thinking :rofl:

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