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Piper PA-15 Vagabond


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1948 Piper PA-15 Vagabond at the Historic Aircraft Restoration Museum.
Piper PA-17 Vagabond
PA-17 Vagabond


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The Piper PA-15 Vagabond and PA-17 Vagabond are both two seat, high wing, conventional gear light aircraft that were designed for personal use and for flight training and built by Piper Aircraft starting in 1948.


The PA-15 was the first post-World War II Piper aircraft design. It utilized much of the same production tooling that created the famous Piper Cub , as well as many of the Cub structural components (tail surfaces, landing gear, most of the wing parts). The Vagabond has a wing that is one bay shorter ( versus ) than that on the Cub, which lead to the unofficial term describing the type: ''Short-wing Piper''. This allowed the aircraft to be built with minimal material, design and development costs, and is credited with saving Piper Aircraft from bankruptcy after the war.

Vagabonds used a new fuselage with side-by-side seating for two instead of the Cubs' tandem (fore and aft) seating.

The PA-17 Vagabond version features dual controls, enabling it to be used for pilot training. It has a bungee cord shock-absorbed undercarriage (solid gear on the PA-15), and a Continental A-65 engine.

The Vagabond was followed by the Clipper, which is essentially a Vagabond with a longer fuselage, Lycoming O-235 engine of , extra wing fuel tank, and four seats, the Pacer , Tri-Pacer and Colt , which are all variations of the Vagabond design and thus all Shortwing Pipers.

Operational history

In March 2010 there were still 224 PA-15s and 125 PA-17s registered in the USA.

There were 13 PA-15s and 12 PA-17s registered in Canada in March 2010.


PA-15 Vagabond

Side-by-side two-seater powered by one 65hp Lycoming O-145 engine, 387 built.

PA-17 Vagabond

Also known as the Vagabond Trainer a variant of the PA-15 with dual-controls, shock-cord suspension and powered by one 65hp Continental A-65-8 engine, 214 built.

Specifications (PA-15)

Related content

Related development:

*Piper Pacer

*Wag-Aero Wag-a-Bond

Comparable aircraft: