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Piper PA-25 Pawnee

By Wikipedia,
the free encyclopedia,


PA-25 Pawnee
A Pawnee in use as a glider tug
Role Agricultural aircraft
Manufacturer Piper Aircraft
Designed by Fred Weick
First flight 1957
Introduced August 1959
Status In use as agricultural aircraft and glider tug.
Produced 1959-1982

The PA-25 Pawnee was a very popular agricultural aircraft produced by Piper Aircraft between 1959 and 1982. It remains a very widely used aircraft in the agricultural spraying industry and is also used extensively as a tow plane, or tug, for launching gliders or towing banners.

Design and Development

The PA-25 Pawnee was originally designed by Fred Weickas a rugged, easy to maintain agricultural aircraft. The Pawnee is a single engined low-wing monoplane constructed of steel tubing and covered with fabric. The emphasis of this design was on pilot safety with the fuselage structure designed to collapse progressively during a low speed crash, typically experienced during crop spraying operations.

The later Pawnee D version featured twin fuel tanks mounted in the outer wing panels, further improving crashworthiness, early models of the Pawnee had a single fuel tank located between the agricultural hopper and the engine.

A useful design aspect was the ability to carry a mechanic on a jump seat fitted in the hopper to assist with operations at remote stations.


PA-25-150 Pawnee

Initial production version fitted with a 150hp Lycoming O-320 engine. 800lb payload.

PA-25-235 Pawnee B

Fitted with a 235hp Lycoming O-540 six-cylinder engine. The Pawnee B featured a larger hopper and an increased payload of 1,200lb.

PA-25-260 Pawnee C

The Pawnee C was an upgraded version of the 'B' model with a 260hp high compression version of the O-540 engine. The fuselage of the Pawnee C featured a quickly detachable 'turtledeck' panel to ease the rinsing out of spilt corrosive agents from the fuselage structure.

PA-25-260 Pawnee D

The Pawnee D was also powered by a Lycoming O-540 of 260hp but featured fuel tanks fitted in the outer wings and metal covered ailerons and flaps.

Specifications (PA-25-235 Pawnee)

A British registered Pawnee D in use as a glider tug
A British registered Pawnee D in use as a glider tug

PA-25 Pawnee at Celje airport
PA-25 Pawnee at Celje airport

Data from: Macdonald Aircraft Handbook

General characteristics

  • Crew: One
  • Capacity: 120 US gal (568 l) or 1,200 lb (545 kg) of chemicals
  • Length: 24 ft 9 in (7.55 m)
  • Wingspan: 36 ft 2 in (11.02 m)
  • Height: 7 ft 2 in (2.19 m)
  • Wing area: 183 ft² (17.0 m²)
  • Empty: 1,457 lb (662 kg)
  • Loaded: 2,900lb (1,317 kg)
  • Maximum takeoff: 2,900 lb (1,317 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 x Lycoming O-540-B2B5, 235 hp (175 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 102 kts (188 km/h)
  • Range: 300 miles (500 km)
  • Service ceiling: 13,000 ft (3,963 m)
  • Rate of climb: 630 ft/min (192 m/min)(at MTOW)
  • Wing loading: 15.9 lb/ft² (77.5 kg/m²)
  • Power/Mass: 0.0810 hp/lb (0.133 kW/kg)

See also

Related development:

Comparable aircraft:


External links

Text from Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License; additional terms may apply.

Published in July 2009.

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