A popular modification to the venerable Piper Tri-Pacer was to convert it back to conventional gear configuration using one of several STCs developed throughout the years.

This modification, typically accomplished during a re-fabric or re-build/restoration (but capable of being done with fabric in place), included removal of the nose gear, adding forward mounting lugs for the Pacer style main gear, adding a tail wheel mounting bracket and toe brakes. A tail wheel assembly and Pacer style main gear rounded out the basic modification.

The attraction of this modification is mostly personal taste, modest performance improvements were demonstrated, improved off-field performance of the conventional gear and the “cool factor” of owning and operating a great Tail Wheel aircraft. When combined with other popular STC’ed mods like big tires, “VGs”, larger engines and props, etc., these converted “Pacers” are real off-field, back country performers.

Piper PA-22/20 Pacer Conversion

Based onTri-Pacer or Colt Airframe modified “back” to Conventional Landing Gear

Tri-Pacer Production:  December 1950 through August 1960

Number Built 7629   Price in 1956:   $7,295.00

Colt Production:  November 1960 through March 1964

Number Built:  1,849   Price in 1960:   $5,995.00

Number of PA-22/20 Conversions:  100+

Steel Tube Fuselage – Aluminum Spar & Rib Wing – Fabric Covered

Engine: Lycoming O-290D/D2 – O-320 – O-360

Seats: 4 (2 if Colt)   Controls:  Yokes – Toe Brakes – Flaps:  Yes (No if Colt)

Typical STC:  SA45-RM (Light Plane Components) now owned by Univair 

Performance 125 hp 135 hp 150 hp 160 hp 180 hp
Max Speed 133 mph 137 mph 139 mph 141 mph 148 mph
Cruise Speed 123 mph 132 mph 132 mph 134 mph 140 mph
Not to Exceed 150 mph 150 mph 170 mph 170 mph 170 mph
Stall Speed 48 mph 48 mph 49 mph 49 mph 45 mph
Rate of Climb 810 fpm 850 fpm 725 800 fpm 1200 fpm +
Fuel Capacity 36 gal 36 gal 36 gal 36 gal 36 gal
Fuel Burn 7.7 gph 7.7 gph 9 gph 9.5 gph 10.5 gph
Range   575 sm 617 sm 528 sm 508 sm 480 sm
Gross Weight 1950 1950 2000 2000 2000

This PA22/20 description and chart were provided by John Kobbeman – Thank you, John!