Model Airplane News|
Piper PA-20 "Pacer"
Model Airplane News Cover Art for June, 1950
by Jo Kotula
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The PA-20 Pacer is a four-place, strut braced, high-wing light aircraft that was built by Piper Aircraft in the post-World War II period. The Pacer features a steel tube fuselage and an aluminum frame wing, covered with fabric, much like Piper's most famous aircraft, the Cub and Super Cub. The Pacer is prized for its ruggedness, spacious cabin, and, for its time, impressive speed, many Pacers continue to fly today.
Piper PA-20 "Pacer" and PA-22 "Tri-Pacer"
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The Pacer was originally designed as a tailwheel aircraft and thus had somewhat limited forward visibility on the ground and more demanding ground-handling characteristics. To help introduce more pilots to easier, safer flying, in 1953 the PA-20 was redesigned and offered as the PA-22 Tri-Pacer with a nosewheel instead of the tailwheel landing gear. Additionally, the Tri-Pacer offered higher-powered engine options. At the time the tricycle undercarriage became a popular preference and 1953 saw the PA-22 Tri-Pacer outsell the Pacer by a ratio of six to one.
While the original PA-20 Pacer is generally regarded as an aesthetically attractive aircraft, with classic, "traditional" lines, some pilots and aircraft enthusiasts find the PA-22 Tri-Pacer a less attractive-looking variant. Due to the geometry of the nosewheel installation it is sometimes referred as the "Flying Milk Stool". Both the PA-20 and PA-22s have their supporters and enthusiasts
Here is a video of the Piper PA-20 "Pacer":
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