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Thread: L-21 observer desk

  1. #1
    Christina Young's Avatar
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    L-21 observer desk

    I'm just curious if any other L-21 owners still have the wooden observer desk in their warbird cub like I do?

  2. #2
    Ruidoso Ron's Avatar
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    If you mean the plywood cover, over the baggage area, I used to have one. took it out a long time ago because it limited the size of the objects that I could put in back.

  3. #3
    Cajun Joe's Avatar
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    oops....
    almost did it again
    JL

  4. #4
    SJ's Avatar
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    Clyde Smith had some pictures of a cub with the sling seat and the observer desk in it at Graham.

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
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  5. #5
    scubber's Avatar
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    If you ever get a chance to ride in an "L- Bird" with the sling seat/map table . . by all means do it. But . . you must ride "backwards" like the observer did. Several years ago I got to go with Dick Hall at Sentimental Journey in his restored L-4. It was a "hoot". It gives you a totaly different perspective of what the tail on the cub goes through in all phases of flight. After the first ride . . we checked to see if the tail wires were loose . .. but they were just fine.

    Low level, w/steep turns will at first give some strange sensations. With elbows on the table snapping pictures, changing lenses, looking down and then looking again out of all that glass . . kinda gives a new respect for working on that table and not using a bag. Larry C.

  6. #6

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    Christina,

    I remember looking a pictures of a really nicely restored L-21B that was for sale in the northeast a couple of years ago. It was really a top notch restoration with a complete original interior and (high) IFR instrument panel. Complete military markings too.

    It seems that Cubs were made for modifying, almost none remain in their original form, especially military. Please keep all the parts so a future owner doesn't have to go to the ends of the world looking for parts to put it back original. (You see, I'm a purist but that's my problem.)

    It is your Cub. Enjoy it while you own it!

    John Scott

  7. #7

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    Christina,

    I didn't know L21's came with a desk! How about a picture of yours??

    Tom

  8. #8
    Christina Young's Avatar
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    Hi John,
    No, I love the observer desk and it will remain. When I fly to other airports a lot of people ask me about it. I just wondered if anyone else has one, and also about the sling seat (which I don't have) - how would it go so you are sitting backwards?

  9. #9
    skagwaypilot's Avatar
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    I have a very original L-21B.. from Italy. No desk. I'd love to see a picture of the desk in your airplane. What is the history of your L-21?

  10. #10
    Christina Young's Avatar
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    Mine also served in Italy. Came with the desk. Have all the Italian logs. Brought back in the late '70s, restored 1988.

  11. #11
    Greg Smith's Avatar
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    I've seen one in an L-4 http://www.warfoto.com/wild_blue_yonder.htm but wondered... How do you fly it solo? Can you finagle the seat so you can sit in it facing forward? Do you sit facing backward, reach around behind you for the stick and look over your shoulder? Or do you just sit up front and overlook the little placard and forget about weight and balance?

  12. #12
    scubber's Avatar
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    The original sling (rear seat) could be moved forward to face the rear . . or back (like a normal J-3) to face forward. The seat arrangement is rather uncomfortable . . no matter which way you face. Flying solo "front" in an original equipped L-4 is not exactly like flying a J-3 from up there. The radios (mounted in the back) were very heavy (basically an old "field" radio.) Plus, the "roll-out" antenna mounted on top of the rudder (w/rubber windsock to pull it out) A big spool of copper antenna wire w/crank was mounted by the table. Dick Hall has all the original goodies in his award winning "bird" but took out the radio "guts" to help reduce weight. For airshows and judging he puts on a set of original smooth tires. Dick can give you numbers that the planes flew at (original equipment & 2 normal sized guys). You will find that in most cases they were over gross.

    Dick did years of research & parts hunting for his restoration. He was a personal friend of Neil Carlson. The guy whom Mr. Piper gave the job of making the J-3 into a "war bird". I believe he and his crew had the prototype ready in a week for the army field trials. I always looked forward to talking with Neil about his years at Piper. He is also the guy who designed the Sky Cycle. With Neil's passing . . we have lost a great person and a wealth of knowledge.

    If someone wants some specific information, I can get Dick Halls' phone number for you. He may even have some leftover parts. Regardless, a great guy and true craftsman. He is always at Sentimental Journey. He and his son (Dan) have camped next to my brother every year since the first S.J. Fly-In at Lock Haven. Larry C.

  13. #13
    SJ's Avatar
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    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

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