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Piper PA-22 Tri-Pacer and Colt Photos and Information

Last revised 1/24/13


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  Piper PA-22 Tri-Pacer and Colt Information and Trivia

The Piper PA-22 Tri-Pacer is a neutered PA-20 Pacer, and they were built under Aircraft Specification 1A6. The Tri-Pacers are distinguished (??) by their nose gear and interconnected rudders and ailerons, and are four-place except for seaplanes. We used to call them a "Flying milk stool" and said that one flew them by "making constant adjustments on minor spring tensions." Actually, I'm not sure what that last line meant but we thought it was funny. Any snide remarks that one makes about a Tri-Pacer however, are nullified when they are converted into a PA-22-20 taildragger, which would be akin to somehow making a gelding into a stallion. With all that weight on the nose I would think that a 180-hp PA-22-20 would take a lot of foot work in a crosswind!

I took my CFI ride in N8954D, a PA-22-160, in New Hampshire in 1963; did some instructing and took my CFII in N1833P in 1964; and instructed in N2655P. The last two were PA-22-150's.

The last PA-22 I can find is 22-9842, which means that nearly 9850 were built unless some SN's were skipped over. They were produced from 1950-64 and over 5400 are on the current FAA register, including many that are converted to taildraggers. Several models were produced as indicated below from the four sections of 1A6, and the last ones built were the PA-22-108 Colt. I only give the information that is different from previous models.

I - Model PA-22, approved December 20, 1950, 4-place, 125-hp Lycoming O-290-D; #1800 gross weight; #50 baggage; 36-gal. fuel; Serial Numbers 22-1 and up.
II - PA-22-135, approved May 5, 1952, 4-place, 135-hp Lycoming O-290-D2; #1950 gross; sN 22-534 and up.
III - PA-22S-135 seaplane, approved May 14, 1954, 3-place, #1850 gross.
IV - PA-22-150, approved September 3, 1954, 4-place, 150-hp Lycoming O-320-A2A or O-320-A2B; #2000 gross; #100 baggage; sN 22-2378, 22-2425 and up
    V - PA-22S-150 seaplane, approved September 3, 1954, 3-place; #1950 gross;
    VI - PA-22-160, approved August 27, 1957, 4-place; 160-hp Lycoming O-320-B2A or O-320-B2B; #2000 gross;
    VII - PA-22S-160 seaplane, approved October 25, 1957, 3-place; #1950 gross.
    VIII - PA-22-108, approved October 21, 1960, 2-place, 108-hp Lycoming O-235, #1650 gross; 18-gal. fuel; sN 22-8000 and up. No flaps, no rear seat, no window behind door.

Many O-290 powered Tri-Pacers have been converted to the O-320 and O-360 Lycomings, which is usually not indicated in the FAA Register. Model and engine information below is from the register and indicates the engine the aircraft was built with unless I have additional info.

Photos Are In sequence by SN - Some have multiple photos

Click on links

  SN Registration and Notes
  22-12 1951 Piper Tri-Pacer N607A, PA-22, O-290, at the Wentworth Aircraft auction in Minneapolis, 5-11. It sold for a few hundred dollars but would need a bit of work. Photos 2 - and 3 - and 4.
Piper Tri-Pacer N948A PA-22, O-290, in line with taildragger friends at Z41 Lake Hood Strip, Anchorage, AK, 5-12. It is metalized and has VG's and after-market wing tips.
Piper Tri-Pacer N11PA PA-22, ex N1409A, feeling a bit deflated at Merrill Field, Anchorage, AK 5-12
Piper Tri-Pacer HB-OOP, PA-22-135 , registered 4-53, at Spreitenback 6-68 (slide - most of my slides are for sale). This one and the next probably went to Switzerland when new.
Piper Tri-Pacer HB-OOR, PA-22-135, registered 5-53, at Zurich 10-67 (slide)
Piper Tri-Pacer N3394A, 1953 PA-22 O-290, at I73 Moraine Air Park, Dayton, OH 9-83 (AirPix slide, misplaced)
1953 Piper Tri-Pacer N3207B PA-22-135, metalized, at Merrill Field, Anchorage, AK, in 4-11. I saw it again in 5-12. It's a clean looking Tri-Pacer.
Piper Tri-Pacer N1542P, 1954 PA-22-135 at White Waltham UK 4-90, for England-Australia Air Race (slide)
1954 Piper Tri-Pacer N1649P PA-22-150 on the ramp at PAMR, Merrill Field, Anchorage, 4-11. These Tri-Pacers look sorta out of place in AK!
1955 Piper PA-22 Tri-Pacer N1910P, PA-22-150. It was about a quarter of the way through the run of nearly 10,000 PA-22's that Piper built! I saw it at the 2011 Wood, Fabric, and Tailwheels Fly-In at Lee Bottom, Hanover, IN.
Piper Tri-Pacer N2918P, PA-22-150, and about as stock as you can get, at PAMR, Merrill Field, Anchorage, 4-11.
Piper Tri-Pacer N3716P PA-22-150, on the edge of Lake Hood, Anchorage, and about to go on floats. 5-12
1956 Piper Tri-Pacer N4787A, PA-22-150, metalized, at ISM Kissimmee Gateway Airport, Orlando, FL 3-85 (AirPix slide, soft)
Piper Tri-Pacer N7019B, PA-22-150 soaking in the sunshine with eyes covered, at FWN Sussex, NJ 10-09
Piper Tri-Pacer N7045B, PA-22-150 droop tips and VG's, at PAMR Merrill Field, Anchorage, AK 4-11.
Piper Tri-Pacer N6107D, PA-22-150, at Oshkosh 1984 (AirPix slide)
1957 Piper Tri-Pacer N6138D, PA-22-150, at LNN Willoughby Lost Nation Municipal Airport, Willoughby, OH 10-84 (AirPix slide)
Piper Tri-Pacer N6904D, PA-22-150, at HAO Butler County Regional Airport, Hamilton, OH 6-83 (AirPix slide)
Piper Tri-Pacer N7056D PA-22-150 at Merrill Field, 5-12. It's gonna need some air soon!
Piper Tri-Pacer N7250D, PA-22-150, with wheel pants and droop tips, at LAL Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, Lakeland, FL 3-84 (AirPix slide)
Piper Tri-Pacer N7409D, 1957 PA-22-150 at the Tube, Fabric and Tailwheels fly-in at 64I Lee Bottom Flying Field, Hanover, IN 9-10. Nicely restored. Any question about the color? It wouldn't be a "fit" in Alaska!
Piper Tri-Pacer VH-SWC, PA-22-150, to Australia in 1957 (slide)
1960 Piper Tri-Pacer N8902C, PA-22-160, droop tips and slightly larger tires but otherwise quite stock.
Piper Tri-Pacer G-ARDT, 1958 PA-22-160, ex N9158D, to UK 1960, 7-93. Looks like Oshkosh! (slide)
Piper Tri-Pacer N9722D, 1959 PA-22-150, at Oshkosh 1994 (slide)
Piper Tri-Pacer G-HALL, 1960 PA-22-160, ex G-ARAH, at North Weald 4-94, to UK 1960. From the looks of this one, I think you'd report in on downwind with a raised voice, pinched nose "Gee Haw." (slide)
1961 Piper Colt N4636Z, PA-22-108 Colt with an extra window, at the Tube, Fabric and Tailwheels fly-in at 64I Lee Bottom Flying Field, Hanover, IN 9-10
Piper Colt N4768Z, PA-22-108 at PAMR Merrill Field, Anchorage, AK 7-04. A racy paint job, squared off wings, and modern tips.
Piper Colt N4882Z, PA-22-108 Colt, at CMH Port Columbus Int'l Airport, Columbus, OH 11-82. Aircraft destroyed 6-97, registration cancelled. (slide)
Piper Colt G-ARNG, PA-22-108 Colt, souped up with an O-320, to UK in 1961. (slide)
Piper Colt N5104Z PA-22-108, at Merrill Field, 5-12. A clean Colt with squared off wings.
Piper Colt N5025Z, PA-22-108 Colt, at LAL Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, Lakeland, FL 3-84 (AirPix slide)
Piper Colt N5104Z, PA-22-108 Colt at PAMR Merrill Field, Anchorage, AK 7-04. The venturi angle looks a little odd, but maybe the lines on the fuselage are throwing me off.
Piper Colt N5357Z, PA-22-108 Colt, 3-96 (slide)
Piper Colt N5469Z, PA-22-108 Colt, at CMH Port Columbus Int'l Airport, Columbus, OH 11-82. It needed a wax job. (AirPix slide)
1962, Piper PA-22-108 Colt N5641Z, with metalized fuselage at the Tube, Fabric and Tailwheels fly-in at 64I Lee Bottom Flying Field, Hanover, IN 9-10
1963 Piper Colt N5902Z PA-22-108, at Merrill Field, Anchorage, AK, 5-12
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