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Thread: Pacer as a cross-country touring machine?

  1. #1
    kchansen's Avatar
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    Default Pacer as a cross-country touring machine?

    Hi all,


    Fellow PA20 owner here (for 6 years now!). We're big fans of it for nearly everything, but my wife and I are working through the pros/cons of upgrading to a different airplane to travel a little more by air. Specifically, we’d like to take our son to see different parts of the country — nothing crazy. 400-500NM clips at a time. We would also keep doing what we do with the Pacer already… local rides, EAA Young Eagles, flight breakfasts, etc.


    So, we’re considering upgrading to a bit more speed, more room, and possibly IFR. But what I’m curious about is how you fellow short wingers have used your machines for true travel missions. We all know these are capable, fun airplanes, but how to do stack up when the mission to to move across the country at a decent clip?


    We’ll never own a Bonanza or something in that price category. We’re thinking C-182 or something in that general space, if we upgrade at all.


    OK — let me have it. We love our Pacer, but does it makes sense to change based on the aforementioned mission?


    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Stephen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacer as a cross-country touring machine?

    I have flown my plane all over the west, including Alaska. I been to Wisconsin and have never been bored with the speed of my Pacer plugging along with its sluggish big tires. But, I mostly fly alone and don't worry about schedules.

    Get the plane that suits your needs, even if it's a C-182.
    "You can only tie the record for flying low."

  3. #3
    andya's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacer as a cross-country touring machine?

    My travels in our 22/20 have covered from 300 - 500 nm in a day. We have also covered as much as 730 in a day but lose were long days.
    On a typical 500 nm trip I would plan about 4.7 hours flight time and a 182 about 3.8 flight time. difference in the time for those two trips
    is not really that much for the increase in cost. A 182 is probably easier to load (not sure of how much more if any weight you can get
    in it over a PA-22). Every 182 I have flown seems to flight plan out at 130kts cruise and my Pacer used to true out at 107kts.
    "Progress is our most important problem"

  4. #4
    kchansen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacer as a cross-country touring machine?

    Good points. The C182 Cruise numbers are all over the board. I suspect 130 kts. is most realistic.

    That’s the trouble with considering this type of change. Our Pacer is great for many, many things and the added cost of a different airplane may not be worth the change!
    CFII -- Owner - 1950 Piper Pacer
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa - 2018 Dues Paid!

  5. #5
    rocket's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacer as a cross-country touring machine?

    I think both are honest birds with excellent value: hard to beat the the purchase price of a 22 and the utility of a 182. Fuel burn over distance is about the same.
    Hard to ask anyone to sit in the back for more then a couple hours though, you could end up making your kid hate airplanes forever with one bumpy ride and God forbid your wife has to sit back there through a convective afternoon
    I had the 182B and it was the best. After a budy of mine bent it for me I flew his later wide body 182 about 150 hours and it was really comfortable. Had an engine issue complicated by powerlines that I walked away from; stout little bird.
    I had 8:50x10 mains on 10x10 Bushwheels and the big airglas fork with an 8:50 on the nose. With 100# in the vary back it would go almost anywhere and landed so much slower then my big tired tri pacer I cold get in and out of some really rough stuff. The tripacer does floats and skis for a reasonable price, the 182 will also but costing three or four times the AMUs.
    I have 1600 hours in my tripacer and the thought of that $20k engine overhaul around the corner has me thinking I might start looking for another B model myself.

    Rocket


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  6. #6

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    Default Re: Pacer as a cross-country touring machine?

    I've got a 180 Comanche that I might sell. Nice plane. 135 knots at 9 gal/hr.

  7. #7
    cozzmo81's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacer as a cross-country touring machine?

    Depending on the frequency of your longer trips you might consider renting when the need arises for a longer haul.
    Adam Rhoads

  8. #8
    robertsailor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacer as a cross-country touring machine?

    There are 2 sides to a decision like yours....analytical and emotional. For the number of trips your probably going to using this higher performance aircraft you can pretty much remove the analytical side as the numbers won't pencil out. Pacer is just too cheap to own and maintain. That leaves the emotional decision side. This side has all sorts of wiggle room if you can write the cheque. Remember that owning an aircraft doesn't make any financial sense to begin with and neither do most of the things we really enjoy in life so make up your own story and either buy into it or not. R

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Pacer as a cross-country touring machine?

    Recommend a C*177 Cardinal (180hp with CS prop). 120kts, Fixed gear, 9 gal/hr, same or slightly more cabin space as a 182 but better visibility. 850 to 900lb useful load. Not necessarily a mountain plane but does well enough. Reasonable insurance.....

    I still miss the Pacer though.

    Tim

  10. #10
    Administrator Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacer as a cross-country touring machine?

    I look at what Cessna parts cost and love my rag and tube Pipers. I got to both Sun & Fun and Oshkosh in the Clipper and Idaho and Utah in the Super Cub. Bought a Thorp for the right about of money to go cross country fast but requires some work before I get to use it. It is all a compromise.

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