11/30/2008. The Skipper started life in 1974 as the Preliminary Design 285, a simple low costs training aircraft. The prototype PD 285, registered N285BA, was flown for the first time at Wichita, Kansas, on February 6, 1975. Later the conventional low tail plane was replaced by a T-tail and the type was designated Model 77 Skipper.
While the first production example, N177BA, was flown in September 1979, it was not until April 17, 1979 the model gained its FAA Type Certificate. Production ended in 1981 after 312 aircraft were produced.