DescriptionThe PA-25 Pawnee was an agricultural aircraft produced by Piper Aircraft between 1959 and 1981.
It remains a widely used aircraft in agricultural spraying and is also used as a tow plane, or tug, for launching gliders or for towing banners. In 1988 the design rights and support responsibility were sold to Latino Americana de Aviación of Argentina.
Most agricultural aircraft before 1949 were converted military aircraft and it was in that year that Fred Weick, based at Texas A&M University, designed a dedicated agricultural aircraft: the AG-1. The AG-1 first flew on 1 December 1950.
During 1953 Fred Weick was approached by Piper to become a consultant on the agricultural version of the PA-18, the PA-18A, in particular to design and test a distributor for dust and seeds. A few weeks later Piper sponsored Texas A&M University to design a dedicated agricultural aircraft based on the AG-1 but to use as many PA-18A and PA-22 components as possible. The resulting design, the AG-3, was smaller than the AG-1 and had a steel tube fuselage which was fabric covered. The AG-3 was a single-seat low-wing monoplane with the wings braced to the fuselage with struts, it had a conventional landing gear with a tailwheel and was powered by a 135 hp engine. The single seat was placed high in the fuselage to give the best visibility and an 800 lb-capacity hopper was fitted in front of the cockpit.
The AG-3 made its maiden flight in November 1954. The aircraft's flying tests were successful and in 1957 Weick was invited to join Piper at Vero Beach and the AG-3 was renamed the PA-25 Pawnee. The engine was upgraded to a 150 hp Lycoming O-320-A1A engine. Two pre-production aircraft were built at Vero Beach in 1957 and production started at Lock Haven in May 1959.
For more details on the design of the Pawnee, plu the six vatiants, click here.
Specifications below are forn the PA-25-235 Pawnee.
- Crew: One Capacity: 150 US gal (568 l) or 1,500 lb (545 kg) of chemicals
- 24 ft 9 in (7.55 m)
- 36 ft 2 in (11.02 m)
- 7 ft 2 in (2.19 m)
- Wing Area:
- 183 sq ft (17.0 sq m)
- Wing Loading:
- 15.9 lb/sq ft (77.5 kg/sq m)
- Empty Weight:
- 1,457 lb (662 kg)
- 2,900 lb (1,317 kg)
- 1 x Lycoming O-540-B2B5, 235 hp (175 kW)
- Maximum speed: 107 kts or 124 mph (188 km/h)
- 300 miles (500 km)
- Rate of Climb:
- 630 ft/min (192 m/min)(at MTOW)
- Service Ceiling:
- 13,000 ft (3,963 m)