Piper PA-22 Tri-Pacer


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Piper PA-22 Tri-Pacer

In 1951 Piper introduced its Piper PA-22 Tri-Pacer, basically a version of the PA-20 Pacer with tricycle landing gear that incorporated a steerable nose-wheel. It also differed from the PA-20 by having initially a 112kW Avco Lycoming O-320 flat-four engine, and introduced an interconnected aileron and rudder pedal control system,enabling the Tri-Pacer to be flown entirely by the control column without the need to have an input from the rudder pedals during turns. This system was easily disconnected, however, to permit independent use of the ailerons, elevator and rudder. The Tri-Pacer proved a very popular model, and late series aircraft were powered by the slightly more powerful O-320-B engine. When production ended in the early 1960s a total of 7,668 had been built. This figure included a number of a slightly more austere version with the 112kW engine which were marketed for airport operator and flying club use under the name Piper Caribbean.

 MODELPiper PA-22
 ENGINE1 x Avco Lycoming O-320-B flat-four piston engine, 119kW
  Take-off weight907 kg2000 lb
  Empty weight503 kg1109 lb
  Wingspan8.92 m29 ft 3 in
  Length6.28 m21 ft 7 in
  Height2.54 m8 ft 4 in
  Wing area13.7 m2147.47 sq ft
  Max. speed227 km/h141 mph
  Ceiling5030 m16500 ft
  Range1054 km655 miles

Comments1-20 21-40 41-60
Perkins, e-mail, 22.02.2016 21:14

Aircraft Registration (N5717D)

Aircraft Summary




Serial Number

1956 PIPER PA-22-150
Fixed wing single engine
(4 seats / 1 engine) CLAXON WILLIAM R
(Individual) Standard /Unknown 22-4415




Mode S Code

LYCOMING 0-320 SERIES (Reciprocating)
Horsepower: 180 Less than 12,500lbs 94mph 051652561 / A75571

Registration Details


Certificate Issue Date

Airworthiness Date

Last Action Date


Unknown 1991-01-19 1956-09-07 2009-01-20 2013-09-30

Registration History






STEVE SEVITS, e-mail, 28.07.2015 23:52

Tri-Pacer N7643D (PA 22-150) built in 1957 is alive, well and still flying as of 2015. After many great years and over a 1000 hours it was time to part company and pass her along to a younger pilot in the spring of 2015. Metallized in the early 1960s it had been taken down to bare metal and painted with DuPont Imron. The name Character was put back on the cowl in gold leaf.

The 0-320 150 hp Lycoming engine has been majored a second time. Even after prolonged inactivity the engine usually starts on the first try. Equipped with an 8 gal belly tank, at 2450 RPM it will do 130 mph in a no wind situation. When I bought the plane it was just a used airplane, in 2015 it is now a 58 year old classic, older than most of the admirers who see it at the airports it visits

The original owner was Character Foundations, causing the airplane to be named Character. The gold leaf paint of the name has long since worn off so I had gold-metal-flake decals made to put the name back on the cowl. Character is named after a company which fabricates industrial strength corsets for extremely stout women. With a history like that the name had to stay and expense was no object.


curtis rider, e-mail, 11.04.2015 18:32

I owned pa-22-150,2803p during the 80s.sold it to a Mr.woods
at E.Moline,IL.In 2014 I located it.she's still flying,in the Benson,Il.area.I bought it learned to fly it.LOVED IT.Would
buy another one,but eye sight won't pass medical.
My opinion the pa 22 was the best every day air plane,ever.
keith unzicker owns it now,and he won't sell it.i don't blame him.


Len Musgrave, e-mail, 28.01.2015 08:04

I owned a one third share of a 1956 Tri Pacer N2652P in 1965-1967 In Sault Saint Marie, Michigan when I was in the Air Force. I have over 400 hours logged in it and my wife and I had a great time with it over the 2 years. I made my first tower controlled landing at the 1966 EAA Fly in at Rockford, Illinois. That day over 2500 airplanes landed that day. I think the airplane is in England now. I was painted white with blue stripes. I got my commercial license in the TriPacer.


Doran Jaffas, e-mail, 27.12.2014 18:45

I am the happy and proud 3rd ownerof N5828D.
I would like to hear from Tri Pacer and Colt Owners in the state of Mich. to arrange a flyin meet Howfor lunch. Anyone interested? How about in the Tri State area?


bnada, e-mail, 06.10.2014 05:23

To Robert Haight;
According to FAA certification records, the owner of N5717D, a PA-22-150, is a W. R. Claxon and has a Gufford, IL address.


steve sevits, e-mail, 10.11.2013 23:42

The Tri-Pacer (PA-22)came in four progressively different power plant versions; 125 hp, 135 hp, 150 and 160 hp. Originally with 3 /8" valves the engine was changed to " valves with a consequently longer 2000 hour TBO.

My Tri-Pacer is 150 hp and will burn between 8.5 and 9.5 gph depending on cruise speed. At 2450 RPM it will cruise in a no wind situation at 130 MPH.

The most popular STC is the 8 gallon additional fuel tank raising overall capacity to 40 gal usable.

When buying a used Tri-Pacer it is important to make sure it has sealed wing struts, the originals are prone to rusting out from the inside and require periodic inspection.

The Tri-Pacer is a comfortable plane to fly and very precise in landing, an experienced pilot can put it down "on the numbers" every time. The only drawback with a Tri-Pacer is the loud background noise, at cruise it can be 110 db. The best cure for this is active electronic noise canceling headsets which nearly eliminate background noise. Those sold by Headsets, Inc. are so effective that it is recommended that the electronic noise canceling feature be turned off during takeoff so the pilot can hear any possible engine irregularity.

The Tri-Pacer is a great deal of airplane for nominal money and low maintenance costs.


David Dahlke, e-mail, 13.06.2013 19:36

I learned to fly at age 16 in a Colt. 9.00 hour solo, 12.00 dual in the sixties. This was at Wagonwheel airport in Temperance Michigan. You learned to be near the runway when you pulled power.


Robert Haight, e-mail, 07.03.2013 18:47

Sorry see correct email address.


Robert Haight, e-mail, 07.03.2013 18:46

I bought Piper Tri-pacer about 1963 in Hudsonville, MI. the call letters were N5717D and the color was red and white. What a great airplane I bought it for $3600. flew it for over 150 hours in the Flint, MI area and sold it a year two later for about what I paid. I sure would lkie to know if anyone knows anything about this plane Thanks. Many great memoreies


Graeme Alexander, e-mail, 24.11.2012 09:54

I purchased a piper colt in Auckland in 1967 ZK -CEG don!t know what happened to her,, doe!s any one know


John Hughes, e-mail, 07.01.2021 Graeme Alexander

gRAEME THIS IS AN OLD POST BUT THOUGHT i WOULD reply anyway. My Dad owned this plane in the 1980's based in Ruatoria on the East Coast it was later owned by Jay Scammell who was the Publican of the Hotel at Te Ararroa - there was an airstrip outside the pub - pretty hairy landings in the small 108. Dad had to emergency land on the beach at Waipiro Bay (with my Mother on board - not sure she ever flew with him again) - had to get a local top dressing pilot to take her off. She was nick named Baby Doll! I had a couple of cushions in the back that I used to reach the rudders. John Hughes


Jeff Eckel, e-mail, 20.10.2012 13:35

I bought my 1957 Tripacer 150 4 years ago and learnt to fly in it. Once you learn to fly to the strip because of the sink rate you will love this bird. 8536D located in Ottawa Oh.


Bob, e-mail, 09.05.2012 15:00

I belonged to a glider club in 1964 in Saginaw,MI. Got the bug to fly and started lessons in a Piper Cub in Owosso, MI. Then bought a Tri-Pacer, Reg. N5717D,150HP the same year, in Hudsonville, MI for 3500.00. In a little over a year I flew more than 150 hours and sold it for the same amount. I loved that plane. Then joined a club that had a MOooney Executive, WOW! Wondering does anyone know if my old Tri-pacer (great memories) is still flying or anything about it's history.


Ralph DeGroodt, e-mail, 15.03.2012 00:23

I own N6043D Which I helped tp convertback to a Tail dragger in the late 1990's. The conversion is now 12 years old and still flys like a dream. The plane won two awards at Oshkosh in 2000 and 2001 as best custom conversion. Called the Purple Pacer, quite a striking plane any place she goes.


Bruce Bair, e-mail, 14.02.2012 02:25

I enjoy flying PA22-160 N9410D out of western PA. Empty weight with the full Skycraft STC is 1220 lbs, leaving 556lbs with full tanks. 160hp and Crosswind wingtips, she's no stranger to unimproved fields. Contrary to legend, slips are normal due the tendency to float. Cross-countries are planned at 8.5gph and 120mph for 3:40hr. Relaxed & comfy. Love it!


Nicholas Mackintosh, e-mail, 07.01.2012 19:01

I am very interested in purchasing a PA22. I fly out of Elstree at the moment. If anyone is interested in selling please contact me by email.




Eric Marsh, e-mail, 17.12.2011 04:44

I own a 1958 Tripacer 160. She's a nice bird and is enjoyable to fly.


chris gosling, e-mail, 19.10.2011 23:32

I owned a 1957 milk stool for much of the seventies over three hundred very pleasurable hours , and a couple of white knuckle ones -- charlie golf golf zulu oscar - If any one comes accross her , I 'd love to hear where she is .


Ted Savard, e-mail, 07.10.2011 05:00

Back in the early 1960's I owned a Piper TriPacer N2399P (1955 or 1956)that was a mighty fine little airplane. I was flying the Boe
ing B-47 at Pease AFB when I got it and we were soon transfered to Columbus, Ohio (Lockbourne AFB) and kept the TriPacer at a small airport south of Columbus (South Columbus Airport)on Williams Road. I sold it soon after arriving at my new assignment since I had little time to fly it being busy at my assignment with the 317 th Tactical Airlift Wing flying the C-130-A. Just wanted to know if it is still flying, or any other information concerning the airplane. Thanks, Ted Savard, Abilene, Texas


LIDERMAN ALMEIDA, e-mail, 28.07.2011 03:06



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