- Aircraft History, Specification and Information -
Piper PA-25 Pawnee
Piper PA-25-235 Pawnee N6900Z
1964 Piper PA-25-235 Pawnee
N6900Z (sn 25-2634)
Photo taken Jul. 2007
McMinnville, OR USA
Photo Copyright
Marcel Siegenthaler
Piper PA-25-235 Pawnee C-FDUQ Glider Towing Airplane
1964 Piper PA-25-235 Pawnee
C-FDUQ (sn 8244)
C-FDUQ in use as a glider tug for the Invermere Soaring Center
Photo taken Jul. 2006
Invermere, BC Canada
Photo Copyright
Marcel Siegenthaler

The PA-25 Pawnee was an agricultural aircraft produced by Piper Aircraft between 1959 and 1982. 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.

Design and development

The PA-25 Pawnee was designed by Fred Weick as 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.

Accidents and incidents

9 August 1974 a crop-spraying Pawnee was involved in fatal mid-air collision with a Royal Air Force MD Phantom FGR2 in Norfolk, England.

Specifications (PA-25-235 Pawnee)

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)

Last updated November 11, 2009
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Piper PA-25 Pawnee".
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