What was the N-number of Jimmy Stewart's Tri-Pacer?

Jimmy Stewart was a pilot as well as an actor. What was the registration number of his Piper Tri-Pacer?

I think I’d give the airporta call, then perhaps the museum.

Surely there’s a picture somewhere between them!

But you did that already, didn’t you. :dubious:

If they fail you…

I’m falling asleep. I made it almost to the end of the internet, and couldn’t find anything.

Good Luck!

what makes you think he flew a Tri-Pacer? It’s not something he would have trained in. That was a post war plane. He was a bomber pilot in WW-II and a ranking officer in the reserves.

My dad was in the FAA, and said he’d talk to Stewart occasionally in the course of his duties in the '70s. He said Stewart had a Tri-Pacer.

The FAA has a tail number registry. Not the most user-friendly thing I’ve played with, but the info may be in there. I believe the proper model name is a Piper PA-22.

Mr. Stewart has flown in and probably has owned several airplanes - the bio says he got his license in 1935.

Unless you can get the info first-hand from the museum or airport, this will be a tough search as it seems a popular wing modification for Pipers is made by a company called Stewart.

I think it was a PA-18 Super Cub. This newspaper article mentions a photo of it, but doesn’t reproduce the photo, sadly.

I can only wonder why a man of Jimmy Stewart’s intelligence would *buy *a Tri-Pacer.

Maybe dad was wrong, but I’m sure he said it was a Tri-Pacer. Or maybe the newspaper was wrong. (‘Piper Cub’ is what some people still call any small airplane. Though specifying ‘Super Cub’ makes it more believable.) Or maybe he had more than one plane.

From the article:

Possibly they got it wrong but the article described a plane (a Super Cub) whose predecessor was the VW of airplanes. That would be the Cub. And a cub isn’t doing 100 mph on a good day. It’s VNE is 87 mph. So I think the article accurately described the plane. He originally owned a Stinson 105 which was a tail dragger he flew cross country to visit his parents. Given his wealth and flying skills the Super Cub represents a flying experience akin to driving an MG while the Tri-Pacer represents more of a station wagon with the same performance. About the only thing the Tri-Pacer shares of the Cub is a clipped version of the wing and maybe the tail.

References to his Super Cub here and here.

From the first link I gave it says he also owned a P-51 which won an air race (piloted by someone else). It also describes his lifestyle as relatively simple. He drove a Volvo for the leg room. The Super Cub would have been the perfect plane to knock around in and experience flying in all it’s glory. Good visibility and the ability to fly with the doors open.

This thread on Airliners.net says he owned a PA-18-150 Super Cub.

Coincidentally, there is a record of a PA-18-150 owned by a James Stewart… but it appears Mr Stewart crashed it in 2003 in Alaska, so it wasn’t the right person. (He was uninjured, if you were wondering.)

Another record of the same plane. It was built in 1955. Could it possibly be Jimmy’s plane? Did he have a relative (grandson?) also named James who could have inherited it? Total speculation… and probably nothing more than coincidence.

N3573P. Seems the other Mr Stewart is still flying it.

Too late to edit, but Jimmy Stewart’s grandsons’ surname is Merritt. So forget I mentioned the dude in Alaska.

you could ask the Jimmy Stewart Museum Curator or the Jimmy Stewart Airport which has an annual Jimmy Stewart festival.

The Super Cub was sold in 1982if that helps the search.

"There are signs, however, that the years have taken their toll. Stewart`s hair is a thinning gray (he wears a hairpiece in public but not at home) and he must use a hearing aid. He had to give up flying his Super Cub airplane in 1982. I found it hard to understand communications from the tower, he admits. I miss it terribly.

Looks like I was wrong about it being a PA-22. Of course, I’m ‘remembering’ a comment from over three decades ago.

I’m curious about where the airplane is now. (I get curious about such things.) I’ll contact the museum when I get a chance.

He may have owned both. A Tri-Pacer is an extremely easy plane to fly and if he wanted to take 4 people out for a ride that was a good plane for it and it could also have been a rental or a club plane.

I spent a couple of hours looking for the Super Cub tail number and couldn’t find anything. You have my curiosity up.