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Thread: Let's compare Pacer cruise speeds

  1. #1
    kchansen's Avatar
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    Default Let's compare Pacer cruise speeds

    Hi all,

    I'm curious what all the Pacer pilots are seeing for cruise speed. Ours is reliably about 100 knots (115 mph). We are a stock PA20 with 135hp and a climb prop. We typically cruise around 3,000'.

    I'm thinking it should be a touch faster and I do suspect my rigging isn't perfect. Just wanted to compare notes.
    CFII -- Owner - 1950 Piper Pacer
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa - 2018 Dues Paid!

  2. #2

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    Default Let's compare Pacer cruise speeds

    With my 26in Goodyear’s, a climb prop, and cruising at 2400rpm around sea level I see about 105mph. With my 6.50s, wheel pants, cruise prop and cruising at 2400rpm around 3500ft or above I’ll see upwards of 120mph. This is a PA-22/20 150hp.


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    Last edited by flynfish; 07-03-2018 at 08:29 AM.

  3. #3
    Gilbert Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Let's compare Pacer cruise speeds

    Comparing cruise speeds doesn't yield much comparison data if everyone is not at the same RPM setting at the same altitude or everyone is at 75% power for the altitude they are flying.
    With a 58" prop at 75% power my cruise speed is 115 mph true. A Clipper or early Pacer without an external static system will exhibit higher airspeeds. Putting a static system in my Clipper dropped the airspeed about 10mph. It then checked out very accurate on a four course GPS run.
    Last edited by Gilbert Pierce; 07-03-2018 at 08:31 AM.

  4. #4
    tloes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Let's compare Pacer cruise speeds

    I was once in a forum discussion where a profoundly simple statement was made (not by me). If you focus on MPH and GPH, you can get rid of the rpm and the propeller pitch in the comparison. For comparable airframes, they ought to have comparable fuel burn at comparable speeds. The drag of the airframe vs the power produced to equalize with it. So most cruise speed discussions really need to be supported by a fuel burn rate.

    Best regards,

    Todd
    Todd Loes -- Waterloo, IA
    (PA22-150 N3568Z)

  5. #5
    Stephen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Let's compare Pacer cruise speeds

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilbert Pierce View Post
    Comparing cruise speeds doesn't yield much comparison data if everyone is not at the same RPM setting at the same altitude or everyone is at 75% power for the altitude they are flying.
    With a 58" prop at 75% power my cruise speed is 115 mph true. A Clipper or early Pacer without an external static system will exhibit higher airspeeds. Putting a static system in my Clipper dropped the airspeed about 10mph. It then checked out very accurate on a four course GPS run.
    Lost 10 mph! I would have ripped that new static system out of my plane in a second.
    "You can only tie the record for flying low."

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Let's compare Pacer cruise speeds

    I just finished flying from Mojave ca to Bellingham Wa. I didn't do the math for the last few low altitude legs but when I was settled in cruise I was getting a consistent 100-105 kts TAS at 2600-2650. Fuel burn averaged to 8.5-8.7 gph. That's with a 160hp o-320 and I don't know the prop pitch off the top of my head.
    I've said it before, there are faster airplanes out there that can even carry more but they cost 5 times more than a pacer and aren't any more fun to fly. Besides, crossing the country at 100kts is a great way to build time.

    Sent from my Nexus 5X using ShortWingPipers.Org mobile app

  7. #7
    robertsailor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Let's compare Pacer cruise speeds

    We get 100 knots give or take...114mph in our 135hp Pacer at around 70% power up to around 5000 feet. Burn around 5.5 imperial gph at that setting.

  8. #8
    Gilbert Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Let's compare Pacer cruise speeds

    My Cipper is fast. I’ve flown from Spearfish SD, from Ogden UT, from Kingston, ON, Canada to Memphis,TN. each in one day and daylight only.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Let's compare Pacer cruise speeds

    With MD74 on new overhauled O-320 A2B, 3 adults and full fuel on board @ 2300 RPM and 2,800 MSL just south of Orlando Internation at 08:30 hrs lcl indicated 118 MPH. GNS 430 had GS of 108 knots.

  10. #10
    kchansen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Let's compare Pacer cruise speeds

    Thanks for playing along, everyone. I know this is far from scientific, but it's interesting to hear what others are seeing.

    Enjoy those short wings!
    CFII -- Owner - 1950 Piper Pacer
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa - 2018 Dues Paid!

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