Piper PA-22 Tri-Pacer / Caribbean / Colt / Tri-Pacer Twin


Piper had nothing to compete with the Cessna 150, so Piper made use of its Tri-Pac-er tooling and brought forth a two-seat, 108-hp version of the PA-22. A nose-wheel development of the PA-20. This was the final high-wing design to come from Piper. It differed from the PA-20 by having an interconnected aileron and rudder pedal control system,enabling the Tri-Pacer to be flown entirely by the control column without the need to have an input from the rudder pedals during turns. This system was easily disconnected, however, to permit independent use of the ailerons, elevator and rudder. Basically an updated PA-20 Pacer with tricycle undercarriage, the PA-22 Tri-Pacer appeared in 1950 and sold in large numbers.


1959 Piper PA22 160 Tri-Pacer


By 1955 the Tri-Pacer had been updated and fitted with a 150 hp / 112kW Avco Lycoming O-320 engine, as installed in the PA-18 Super Cub. A more powerful version powered by a 160 hp engine was marketed in 1957 and the following year the 150 hp version became the Caribbean. The final PA-22 version was the simplified two-place Colt built from 1960 to 1964. The 125-hp Pacers, fully equipped, sold for $5,170, and the 135-hp models were priced at $6,275, which included an Aeromatic or Sensenich controllable-pitch propeller.


1959 Piper PA22 160 Tri-Pacer


The Colt never had a chance. Despite its eight-horsepower edge over the Cessna 150, it was a stocky, ragwing, flapless loser with a poor glide ratio; slow sales prompted Piper to axe the program after just three years.

The Tri-Pacer Twin had two 100-hp Continentals in its nose, one atop the other, driving a pair of props on concentric shafts. The concept led to a similar sandwich-engine Coman-che study, after Bill Lear assured Piper that the first company to develop a con-ventionally configured "single" with en-gine-out capability would get rich quick. Ed Swearingen, however, who did the feasibility study, convinced Piper that the Comanche would never work.

The PA-22-108, -150, and –16 were certified under FAA 1A6 and by the end of production a total of 9490 had been produced.




PA22-108 Colt
Engine: 108 hp
U/C: Nose wheel
Seats: 2
Cruise: 95 kt

PA-22 Tri-Pacer
Engine: Lycoming O-320, 160 hp
TBO: 2000 hr
Fuel type: 100
Propeller type: 62-inch, FP Sensenich
Landing gear type: Conv./Fixed
Gross weight: 2000 lb / 908 kg
Empty weight, std: 1150 lb
Useful load, std:  850 lb
Usable fuel, std:  66 Usgals  /396 lb
Payload, full std. fuel:  454 lb
Wingspan:  29 ft. 4 in / 8.9 m
Overall length:  20 ft. 4 in / 6.28 m
Height:  6 ft. 1 in
Wing area:  147.5 sq. ft
Wing loading:  13.6 lbs./sq. ft
Power loading:  12.5 lbs./hp
Seating capacity:  2+2
Cabin doors:  2
Cabin width: 40 in
Cabin height: 45 in
Wheel size: 6 x 6 in
Max level speed: 141 mph (226 kph)
Cruise speed, 75% power: 120 kts
Fuel consumption, 75% power: 8 gph
Vso: 42 kt
Best rate of climb, SL: 1000 fpm
Service ceiling: 15,500+ ft
Takeoff ground roll: 1120 ft
Takeoff over 50 ft obstacle:  1600 ft
Landing ground roll: 780 ft
Landing over 50 ft obstacle: 1280 ft

1958 PA-22 Tri-Pacer
Engine:Lycoming O-320-B, 160 hp
TBO: 2000 hr
Propeller: Fixed
Landing gear: Tri/Fixed
Gross weight: 2000 lb
Empty weight, std: 1110 lb
Useful load, std: 890 lb
Fuel: 36 USgal
Wingspan: 29 ft. 3 in
Overall length: 20 ft. 6 in
Height: 8 ft. 4 in.
Wing area: 147.5 sq. ft
Seating capacity: 4
Cabin width: 40 in
Cabin height: 36 in
Baggage capacity: 100 lb
Cruise speed 75% power: 113 kt
Max range (w/ reserve) 75% power: 435  nm
Fuel consumption 75% power: 8 US gph
Stall speed (gear, flaps down): 49 kt
Best rate of climb: 800 fpm
Service ceiling: 16,500 ft
Takeoff ground roll: 1120 ft
Landing ground roll: 500 ft

Engine: 1 x Avco Lycoming O-320-B, 119kW
Max take-off weight: 907 kg / 2000 lb
Empty weight: 503 kg / 1109 lb
Wingspan: 8.92 m / 29 ft 3 in
Length: 6.28 m / 21 ft 7 in
Height: 2.54 m / 8 ft 4 in
Wing area: 13.7 sq.m / 147.47 sq ft
Max. speed: 227 km/h / 141 mph
Ceiling: 5030 m / 16500 ft
Range: 1054 km / 655 miles

PA22 Caribbean
Seats: 4