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Thread: pacers

  1. #1

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    pacers

    I am saving for a plane someday but think 30-40 k is my limit, plus need auto gas. Will the 150-160 hp pacers get into places a 180 or Maule could? Do the Madras tips do much? My dad had an M-4-210. It went to a lot of 600-800 foot strips with two people but was 100ll only. Cheap plane but $$$ for fuel. Is a pacer similar? I have seen a lot for sale.

  2. #2
    Luke_theDrifter's Avatar
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    Poor boys have poor ways.......

    I know a guy that couldn't afford a Cub, but wanted to have the ability to work off-airport. He has a Pacer, and frankly, he is as good w/ that Pacer as anyone I've ever seen in a Pacer.

    Keep in mind that its a Pacer and will never be anything else. Buy it cheap, fly it cheap, fly anywhere, land in a lot of places...not every place a Cub will will, but still you can do off-airport work with it.

    Pacer's are short coupled little buggers, use them rudder pedals like a boxer on a speed bag, fly it all the time, unless its tied-down.

    Wing are short, droop tips make a huge difference. Tail drops during slow flight so you gotta fly it hard, land fast fast and stay on them pedals.

    You could put a bunch of money into one, but not a good investment cause you'll never get back. Buy one that's ugly, but runs and flys good, burn car gas in it, and ENJOY flying

    There's one right now on www.aeroalaska.com for like $30,000 +/- that includes big tires, edo 2000 floats, and skis, mid time engine, in anual and ready to fly right now...might suite your desires prefectly!

  3. #3
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I like my Pacer ok. Fits the budget very well. I can put myself, wife, 3 kids and 100 lbs. of stuff with full gas and I am still 54 lbs shy of gross and in the middle of the CG. With practice I have gotten able to get it in slow and short. It is more challenging than a Cub or Super Cub but I learned to fly in a Clipper so the SC was a piece of cake. I like the droop tips on mine. VGs are next.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  4. #4
    d.grimm's Avatar
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    Pacers

    Well, being slightly biased, my PA22/20-150 with VG's, 8:00x6's, Garmin 430, was the ideal airplane for my family. I could bounce in and out of fairly short strips and shoot approaches down to 200 ft. Plus it fit my budget and my 150 hr private pilot partner got his instrument rating in it.
    No, it's not a Super Cub, however that's what I could afford and needed at the time. I think they are great. (However there are very few airplanes I don't like)

  5. #5
    Widebody's Avatar
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    I'll never say anything bad about a Pacer. It was my first airplane.
    PA22/20 150hp. The 150 pacer has good performance and will carry a load. Mine had squared wings and droop tips.
    People say if you can fly a S.Cub you can fly anything, their wrong
    if you can fly a Pacer you can fly anything. Their short and wild, but stay on the pedals and don't let it get wild. I flew mine off or on to just about anything after I was proficient. It's not a Cub so don't fly it like one.
    Had mine on skis(put a tail ski on also), landed on sand beachs, flew with Cubs all the time but needed more room for TO and Landing. I would buy a good one that you don't have to work on when you should be flying (just my opinion).
    Sold mine to a good friend who put Atlee tanks, VG's and a 180 in it, now you've got a screamer that really performs. Wouldn't have sold it, but I needed a S.Cub for work, got a good buy on one but eventually had to do a ground up. Pacers are a sleeper in my book.
    Good performer and economical.
    Good Luck In Your Purchase!!

  6. #6

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    Now to work on the wife.
    thanks for the ideas. the 180 pacers seem rare. it would be nice to find one.

  7. #7
    mvivion's Avatar
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    tt,

    You probably wouldn't want to run mogas in a 180, and that engine sucks a lot more gas than a 150. I'd stick with the 150 hp and minimum mods(which equates to minimum $$ invested), learn to fly it well, and you'll do well.

    MTV

  8. #8
    pacer160's Avatar
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    We love oue pacer and wouldnt give it up for anything. My son learned to fly in it and now can get it down and stopped in about 500ft when it is light. With 4 gallons of gas and no weight it will take off in about 400ft. We put VGs on ours and it made a huge diffrence. When you get your pacer make that a priority to get those on they make a huge difference. All in all the pacer will never be a SC but still for a poor man it is perfect. Good Luck with your purchase and have fun.

  9. #9
    d.grimm's Avatar
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    Pacer

    Check the insurance differance between a Pacer and a Maule.
    I still fly a light, 1025 lb, original 135 Pacer, and it's performance with VG's and a climb prop is excellent.

  10. #10

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    Steve P. Nice pic of the Pacer and Lee's Pietenhole, when did you start shaving yer legs?

  11. #11

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    I restored the 1953 PA-20 I own; In the past, I have owned two other Pacers and two Tri-Pacers. And I think Pacers are great planes. Since 1977 I have owned either a Pacer or a Tri-Pacer and at one time, I owned one of each.

    My favorite year is 1951. The '51 Pacer was the first year with electric fuel gages and it retained the narrow fuselage. The original engine was the Lycoming O-290-D, and back in its day, was an outstanding powerplant. While it is still an outstanding engine, parts are more expensive than the O-320. The '51 Pacer had an improved right hand fuel system that could be used for takeoff. The '50 Pacer's right tank was for level flight only because it only feed from the front of the tank. The '51 came with either narror or wide landing gear...I like the narrow best. In 1952, the fuselage was wider and by 1953, the standard powerplant was the O-290-D2 which wasn't the best engine Lycoming ever made. Most everything Piper built in '53 was powered by the 135hp Lycoming. The type certificate data sheet says the PA20 was in production in 1954 but I have never seen a '54 Pacer.

    Univair holds the STC to convert the Tri-Pacer and Colt to "Pacer Style" landing gear. While the Tri-Pacer and Pacer share almost all the same parts and look alike, they were manufactured under to different TCDS.

    My present Pacer is an original 1953 model and is pretty much stock except: O-320 engine, light weight Niagara Airparts oil cooler, bracket air-filter, cleveland 6 inch wheels with Goodyear 8.50 x 6 tires. I covered the plane in Stits fabric and installed a strobe light on the rudder post and on the belly. I installed a Nipondenso self-regulating alternator under the field approval process.

    My Pacer has a 965 pound useful load, burns just under 9 gallons per hour at 2400, is very reliable and fun to fly. And they are easy to fly. I have almost 700 hours in Pacers. If you have access to at least a 1000 foot runway, the Pacer will do just fine.

    I installed Ace Deamer Super Tips on the Tri-Pacer I use to own. And they made it more stable. The installation takes about 80 hours by the time you patch up the fabric.

    Next year, I am really going to consider selling my Pacer and buying a Super Cub or a Cessna 180 or a Stinson Gullwing. Or maybe I will just keep the Pacer.


    I cannot think of anything bad to say about a Pacer.

    Send me your email and I'll send you some pictures.

  12. #12

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    If you have a little extra gas money, you might look at Stinsons, too.

  13. #13
    Steve's Aircraft (Steve)'s Avatar
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    I have both a Super Cub and a PA22/20. When I want serious back country flying I take the Cub. When I have the wife along on backcountry camping, like in Idaho, I take the Pacer. I does help that it has a 180 fixed pitch prop engine in it. The Pacer will go any place I will normally go with a good payload of camping gear. We have been to Alaska several times with it, but have never had the Cub up there. I have developed some STC's specific for it. A skylight, a rudder trim, and the latest is a Lyc. 180 with a Hartzell constant speed. That constant speed really makes it snappy. Our Pacer has a solid crankshaft engine so I can't just slap a constant speed on it. Pacers are not a hard airplane to fly, but being short coupled they are quick to react to pilot inputs and most control problems are pilot induced. A Tri-Pacer is not too hard to convert (I have done 21 of them) so that opens the field up a lot for finding a good airplane at a reasonable cost. However, you can put more money into one than you will recover, so do anything like that because it is what you want.

    Steve

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve's Aircraft (Steve)
    However, you can put more money into one than you will recover, so do anything like that because it is what you want.

    Steve
    The Pacers, or any shortwing, for that matter, are probably the most bang for the buck in the used airplane market. Steve's advice should be heeded, though. As good as they are, the resale value ain't there. Not a problem if you find one already done the way you like, or if you build one and keep it forever.

    Mark

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