View Full Version : Tow plane rebuilding how what where
08-20-2003, 06:50 AM
We have a 67 PA18 180 Restricted as its a field approval on engine upgrade done 15 years ago. It is our glider tow plane. Engine and fabric are at end of life. We are pricing subbing out the repairs. Club is poor. A couple of us are considering doing the wings and having the fuselage done. It needs refurbished badly. Corossion unknown at this point. Questions..What mods should we consider at this point to improve resale value if later we decide to sell and get a Pawnee for towing? And where is the best place for them.? Cub Crafters have the engine STC. My thoughts are, the both fuel selector, brake upgrade but whats available, seat belt mods, conform the engine to STC compliance if we can get the specs and possibly buy the STC later, upgrade the cowling, replace wiring, cross braces overhead. These are the things that I thought were important but we are not experts on Cubs. Could some of you experts or more knowledgeable persons please direct us to where to shop mods, stc's and give some advise on what should be done while the fabric is off. We beleive we have a person to do the work on the fuselage but he is not a cub expert on skilled builder A and I. We have to do something before the end of Oct to get it done by APril next season. Please send info or give input in our quest.
08-20-2003, 07:54 AM
That sounds like a expensive can of worms. If you are poor, and just need to tow, you can probably sell your PA18 now as a "project", and buy a decent Pawnee with the same money. If you open the PA18 and find a lot wrong and you can't afford to fix it, your screwed.
08-20-2003, 08:30 AM
Ditto what Mark said.........your cub will most likely sell for enough to buy a good Pawnee.
08-20-2003, 02:24 PM
Barry Brock has a lot of experience operating, modifying, and maintaining supercub banner tow planes. If you want to discuss the options, you can reach him at 843-527-7516 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Piedmont Soaring Society converted a Pawnee spray plane to a glider tug about three years ago. They learned a few things along the way. Tommy Orell would be your contact there, but you'll need to get his number from your Soaring Society directory.
08-20-2003, 04:21 PM
Rebuild is great if you have time, money, and more money. Otherwise buy Pawnee. Any really good Cub is at least $65K to 80K MINIMUM versus a Pawnee for as little as 25K. Cub for your own use, Pawnee for mulitple users. Hurts less when they drop it too! " Oh, sorry, I didn't: realize...see it... understand..., etc.etc.etc.
My parents lived off an uninsured $200 Stearman for many years. Only 2 people flew this plane - one was named Dad, and the other Mom. It never groundlooped, cartwheeled, went off the runway, or ran away while hand propping. My valued Cubs have done all of the above, but only when "networked"
08-20-2003, 05:13 PM
............still thinkin' about the checkerboard paint job?
08-20-2003, 08:39 PM
Got a Pawnee for $15,000 and an Ag Cat that had been towing for $18,700. Shop around and you can find something that will do the job cheaper than refurbing a Super Cub.
The Bijou Boys
08-21-2003, 06:09 AM
I agree with those that say sell the Super Cub and buy a Pawnee.
You can get enough for your run out Cub to buy and maintain the Pawnee.
I tow for my "work" with a Cub Crafters 180 Super Cub and for a club with a Pawnee and I own a 150 Super Cub. The Pawnee makes a better tow plane.
The mods you would do to the Super Cub to increase resale value would not help towing performance. The mods most of us are doing to our Cubs are vortex generators (not needed for towing at 60 mph+), extended baggage compartment (not needed for towing), large bushwheels (decrease towing performance), extended gear legs (not needed for towing).
08-21-2003, 08:37 AM
Yep.........the Pawnee makes a much better tow plane and, other than using more fuel, is almost as bulletproof as a cub.
08-22-2003, 01:57 PM
Thanks for all your input. My personal choice is to get a Pawnee. I have to sell it to the club. I thnk putting in 40K into something we can sell for 20k to 25k is a waste of time and money. The better Pawnees are 30 to 40K that have the wing mods done. Then its 5 more to get the certificate changed for towing. Thank you all for your info. I could not find 180 conversions on Yan Penns web site. Do they have a seperate site for stcs? jmk7111
08-22-2003, 02:21 PM
Assuming you mean $5,000, that sounds like a lot to put a tow hook and release on a Pawnee and add towing to the plane's restricted registration. Maybe some others on the site can provide some insight on what's required and costs.
08-23-2003, 04:35 PM
Thanks for the addl info. The aircraft I have seen is restricted as all the later Pawnees seem to be. The add of the towing to the certificate requires the FAA check out as you have said plus all the spray gear needs to come off. I found one for 40K that has a 250hp conversion, with 250 hours on it and fabric with 250 hours on it. Tubing looks good but was painted not sandblasted and repainted, has the spar mods [attach points] but a hook has to be installed and signedoff along with the cert change to include towing. The plane has been sitting for 6 or seven years with only being flown a few hours a year. It was without anual for 2 of the last ten years. They say it never sprayed fertilizer. He told me that as I was looking at 2000 pounds of it at the end of his hanger. plane was in KS. It did look good. We are suppose to meet with the man that is proposing to cover the fuselage next week. How much do you think we could get for a 1967 Pa18 150 field approval 180, restricted papers due to engine. It has 1800 on engine, mix of cylenders, fabric needs replaced, panel is basic and old, needs rewiring, no obvious corrosion on tubes. spent it life in central usa. Airframe as less than 2000 hours or that is what the tach shows anyway. Give me an idea. I was offered 20 to 25 signt unseen with that description. I am trying to sell them on a Pawnee its a tough sell. The fear having pilots capable of being truned loose in a Pawnee as single seat where we can check them out in the cub and hopefully not have them crash it. Your input is appreciated and needed. I even offered to buy the cub for 20k and I would do a restore on it.
08-23-2003, 07:48 PM
A friend of mine died when his Pawnee wing broke loose at the fuselage from corrosion.... Make sure you check the aircraft thoroughly for corrosion, especially on the fuselage longerons and all the attach fittings.
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