Photos by the author The 38-gram Pacer looks best when flown
in a scalelike manner.
T he full-scale Piper Pacer appeared in 1949 and falls into the Short Wing Pipers category which started with the Piper Vagabond in 1948, and continued with the Clipper, Pacer, Tri-Pacer, and
Colt. They are referred to as Short Wings because Piper deleted 3 feet from
the root of the basic Cub wing, giving these aircraft a 29.3-foot wingspan.
The Pacer was the most handsome of these Short Wings, although the
Vagabond has the cute charisma of a scaled-up model airplane. I was 15 years
old when the Pacer was introduced, and I have built several versions of the
Vagabond, Pacer, and Tri-Pacer. They are perfect subjects for a fine-flying model,
perhaps because of their low-aspect-ratio wing, large stabilizer, and force
My first RC Scale model was a Sterling Tri-Pacer trainer, which utilized my
kit-built Controlaire reed transmitter. Shortly after that, I designed and built a
small, single-channel, rudder-only Vagabond using the Ace Pulse Commander
components powered by an Anderson Baby Spitfire engine. This little model
also flew beautifully.
The Piper Pacer with its 18-inch wingspan, is the smallest Short Wing Piper
I have built and it is the result of buying a ParkZone Ember. I was so impressed
by the Ember’s amazing micro-components that I started thinking of using
them in a small Scale model similar to the old Comet models I built as a child
in the 1940s.
37 Model Aviation OC TOBER 2013 www.ModelAviation.com