Piper Aircraft had built the PA-12 Super Cruiser three-seat touring aircraft between early 1946 and March 1948. In 1947, the PA-12 design was adapted to a four-seat layout by widening the cabin by five inches at the instrument panel and adding slotted flaps. The original high-wing and fixed tailwheel undercarriage layout features were retained. The PA-14 prototype made its first flight from the company's Lock HavenPennsylvania factory on 21 March 1947.
A second PA-14 was completed on 6 February 1948 and the first customer deliveries were made later that year. 238 examples were completed, most being sold to private owner pilots in the United States, but overseas sales included several to France. The aircraft was launched at a time of serious financial difficulty for the company, and indeed, soon after the release of the Family Cruiser, Piper was placed in receivership, from which it later successfully emerged. 126 examples remained registered in the United States in April 2011, of which 81 were based in Alaska. 13 aircraft were then registered in Canada.