Tuesday, September 1, 2009

BELLANCA “PACEMAKER”/ “SKYROCKET”


1928–47



STANDARD DATA: (Senior Pacemaker) Seats 6-8. Gross wt. 5,600. Empty wt. 2,900. Fuel capacity 100. Engine 420-hp Wright Whirlwind radial.
PERFORMANCE: Top mph 170. Cruise mph 145. Initial climb rate 900. Ceiling 18,000. Range 1,180.

STANDARD DATA: (Senior Skyrocket) Seats 6-8. Gross wt. 5,600. Empty wt. 3,520. Engine 550-hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp.
PERFORMANCE: Top mph 190. Cruise mph 175. Initial climb rate 1,240. Ceiling 25,000. Range 1,280.

The Model 300 Pacemaker was first produced in 1928 and versions of this basic design were built until 1936. The first derivative was the Model 400 whose major difference was the swapping of a 420-hp Wright Whirlwind for the original 300-hp Wright Whirlwind nine-cylinder radial engine. Production of the Pacemaker continued throughout the 1930s. The Skyrocket was evolved from the Pacemaker and first flew in 1930. Aside from minor changes, the Skyrocket differed by its 550-hp Pratt and Whitney Wasp nine-cylinder radial engine and an increased seating capacity from the Pacemaker’s six to eight persons. Production of the Skyrocket continued until 1936. In 1946, license for production of the airplane was taken over by a Canadian firm, Northwest Industries, and the aircraft’s designation was changed from the Bellanca 31-42 to the Bellanca 31-55A. Under the new license, the Skyrocket remained substantially the same as the prewar model.



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