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

Performance125 hp135 hp150 hp160 hp180 hp
Max Speed133 mph137 mph139 mph141 mph148 mph
Cruise Speed123 mph132 mph132 mph134 mph140 mph
Not to Exceed150 mph150 mph170 mph170 mph170 mph
Stall Speed48 mph48 mph49 mph49 mph45 mph
Rate of Climb810 fpm850 fpm725800 fpm1200 fpm +
Fuel Capacity36 gal36 gal36 gal36 gal36 gal
Fuel Burn7.7 gph7.7 gph9 gph9.5 gph10.5 gph
Range 575 sm617 sm528 sm508 sm480 sm
Gross Weight19501950200020002000

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