Piper PA-20 Pacer


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Piper PA-20 Pacer

Under the designation Piper PA-20 Pacer, the company began production in 1950 of an updated version of the four-seat PA-16 Clipper. It introduced a number of improvements, including a larger area tailplane with balanced elevators, increased fuel capacity, redesigned landing gear and several interior refinements. As at first powered by a 81kW Avco Lycoming O-235-C1 engine, it had the designation PA-20 Pacer 115, but subsequent versions included the Pacer 125 with a 93kW O-290-D engine, and the generally similar Pacer 135 which introduced a variable-pitch propeller. When production ended in 1955 a total of 1,119 had been built, and the PA-20 Pacer 135 could demonstrate a maximum speed of 225km/h and had a range of 933km.

 ENGINE1 x 93kW Lycoming O-290-D piston engine
  Take-off weight816 kg1799 lb
  Wingspan8.93 m29 ft 4 in
  Length6.21 m20 ft 4 in
  Cruise speed180 km/h112 mph
  Range933 km580 miles

Landon Thorne, e-mail, 18.02.2017 16:21

A Clipper was the first airplane I ever owned. N5292H Loved it. Would love to buy it back someday. Flew it everywhere. Big lump in my throat when I sold it...but, as a young man I needed the money.


scott schmidt, e-mail, 16.02.2017 21:49

Where is the Piper Colt?


phil kantor, e-mail, 27.07.2011 05:46

I have owned my 1950 Pacer for approx 6 yrs and have really enjoyed having this aircraft. It was reconstructed in 1997 and has an O-320 /150 hp motor and wide gear. It is a simple, relatively inexpensive to fly airplane to fly. Definitely not boring and not everyone knows what it is....definitely under represented.


John E. Orr, e-mail, 09.03.2011 23:17

I bought a 115 pacer down in Brazos county and had it recovered. I loved the stick and heel brakes. Mine had a little airboy radio. I used it selling irrigation equipment in the Brazos valley. Any old wheat field would do for a runway and you could slip that thing into a shoe box. I sold it for what I paid for it in Ft. Worth but I still miss it. I sucked a valve coming out of Easterwood one day, declared and emergecy and made a 135 degree turn and got down on another runway. I sold it here in Ft. Worth to a guy who was in the minnow business. I can't recall his name. I always regreted selling it.


Richard W., e-mail, 24.09.2010 16:46

You're wrong, richard van tries. Item (d) from the FAA Type Certificate Data Sheet shows a controllable pitch prop-See below. The Koppers Aeromatic, F200-H /00-74E was also used on the PA-20 along with a wood prop and several metal fixed pitch props. I also used to own a Pacer 125, N7001K. Pretty little airplane.

(d) Propeller - Sensenich Hub CS3FM4, blades C 374A7 or PC 374A7, two position
Propeller control installation required as per Sensenich Dwg. D-3028, Revision E.
Landplane and skiplane only:
Blade pitch setting at 3 /4 in. radius (27.75 in. sta.):
Low 13, High 16.6.
Diameter: Not over 74 inches, not under 72.5 inches.

I didn't know this either until I was reading these posts and went and looked it up.


Carl Felty, e-mail, 01.02.2010 19:00

One of my students and I landed his PA-20 at Freeway Apt. in Tucson in a rather high X-wind. After coffee, on our way back to the Pacer, we watched a Cherokee pilot fighting hard to land. Two fellows were watching and one pointed to the Pacer and said "you couldn't fly that today". We climbed in and flew out. I don't think they knew about the lack of rudder in the Cherokee. The Pacer had good rudder control and we had no problems with the X-wind.


Verne Lietz, e-mail, 28.01.2010 06:02

I may have been mistaken about the prop on my plane. I had an Aeromatic on a PA-12, but am not sure of the make of the one on the PA-20. It was controllable with a hand knob on the left side of the panel, but had only low and high pitch with no automatic control. The PA-12 prop was automatic, the pitch controlled by RPM working on weights at the hub of the prop.


Verne Lietz, e-mail, 28.01.2010 05:55

Mr. Van Tries is right. I had a 1950 Pacer with an Aeromatic 2 speed prop. Mine never gave any trouble until it wore out. The PA-20s apparently weren't build very strong, though. I got caught in bad fog, started to land on a road and while in a turn at about 65 feet agl, ran through several trees. Darn wing came off ! However, while everything else was crushed, the cabin stayed quite intact and my only injuries were a lot of bruises and a scar on the forehead.(Still there 50 years later.) My plane cruised at 120 on 125 h.p., about 7 gph.


richard van tries, e-mail, 08.04.2008 03:34

This was my favorite plane, I owned one of the last of the 1955 line,N2046A Only one thing wrong, the pacer never had a controlable pitch prop. You might be thinking about the aeromatic 2 speed prop. This is a story best untold. the short story is they did not work. Most of the time i could not get it to shift. In high pitch on a go around this was no fun. PA20 was the best of line up at the time,


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