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Thread: PK3500 B or C?

  1. #1

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    PK3500 B or C?

    I've been looking at PK 3500 floats for my 185 and I've been told the Cs perform way better than the Bs or As. Is there any truth to this? If so what's the difference? I previously had 2960s and still have the rear blocks on the plane, do the PKs require different pork chops and rear blocks? Thanks.

  2. #2
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    If the pork chops and rear blocks are not with the floats be sure to reduce the amount of money that you give for the floats. Those parts are part of the float installation. Too often when a plane is sold separately from it's floats these parts disappear creating an issue and needless expense for the new owner of the floats.
    N1PA

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    mvivion's Avatar
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    What Pete said regarding the blocks.

    As to your other question, yes, the PK 3500 C floats perform MUCH better than the A and B model 3500s. The floats are really very different in design, with less V to the bottom, wider decks (if I recall).

    I flew a C 185 on the early model amphibs for several hundred hours. It was a humbling experience, but a good learning experience. You really have to be on top of your game to get those early floats to perform, and loads are critical. Essentially, you spend a lot of time praying for wind. I flew one 206 on these early floats and a friend mentioned to me one day after watching me depart: "You know, if it barks like a dog and drools like a dog, it might actually be a dog." Best compliment that plane got.

    In 1986, I was given the keys to a brand new 185 mounted on late model PK 3500 C floats (straight floats). I groaned, but as I gained experience with the floats, I began to realize that their performance was MUCH better than those 3500Bs.

    ten years later, I parked that plane on a mountain after the crank broke. The replacement 185 was equipped with EDO 3430 floats, which had always been my favorite float on these planes. I quickly realized that this plane got off the water with the same loads in almost exactly the same spot the plane with the PKs did.

    The key with the PK floats is learning to fly them. The sweet spot on step is very narrow, and can be hard to find and hold initially.

    But the PK 3500 C floats are good strong floats with good performance.

    MTV

  4. #4
    Alex Clark's Avatar
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    The A models really stink. A local 206 was stuck on them and it struggled to get out of the water in the best conditions.
    To me, the older PKs were salt water floats made for lots of room to take off and rougher (denser) water. As Mike said the C models are a different float.

  5. #5
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Clark View Post
    To me, the older PKs were salt water floats made for lots of room to take off and rougher (denser) water.
    Which is to say if you plan on abusing your bird in rough water all the time, might consider the early models.

    If that is your desire, also want to buy a case of sealant for the windshield.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

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    Alex Clark's Avatar
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    No that is not what I was saying....It just seems to be what they had in mind back when they developed and tested the older models. Deep V, thicker skins, long take-off runs and a touch of nose-up AOA on the wing compared to the float deck. If you are stuck with an older model of the PK floats they will not seem all that bad when operating in salt water. They stink in calm fresh water.

    Plenty of 185s and 206s work in salt water until corrosion gets the best of them.

    The newer PK models are a general all-around improvement and the market value reflects that
    .
    Although it is a good idea to check the installed weight compared to other manufacturers, since PKs tend to run heavy.

    Which is to say buy the best float model you can afford for your mission and circumstances. Personally, now that I have flown various mods, I would avoid buying the older PKs.

  7. #7
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Bear in mind that the older 3500s were built by DeVore Aviation.....located in New Mexico. Lots of float ops around that neck of the woods.....

    The 3500 C and D floats are great floats in any case......a product of Maine.

    MTV

  8. #8
    Alex Clark's Avatar
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    The Great and Giant Lakes of New Mexico.... All you need is a time machine

  9. #9
    C-FIJK's Avatar
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    Here Buy These 3500L AEROCET FLOATS • $23,000 • AVAILABLENice set of 3500L Aerocet floats and rigging off of a 185. Located in Selkirk, Manitoba • Contact Kris Milbrandt , Owner - located Corman Park, SA Canada • Telephone: 306-321-5684 . • Posted May 9, 2017 Show all Ads posted by this AdvertiserRecommend This Ad to a FriendEmail AdvertiserSave to WatchlistReport This Ad

    Quote Originally Posted by 7GCBC View Post
    I've been looking at PK 3500 floats for my 185 and I've been told the Cs perform way better than the Bs or As. Is there any truth to this? If so what's the difference? I previously had 2960s and still have the rear blocks on the plane, do the PKs require different pork chops and rear blocks? Thanks.
    Gerry Marcil

    Every day spent flying is a great day !
    Likes skywagon8a liked this post

  10. #10
    Alex Clark's Avatar
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    Pee-Kay started out in International Falls Minnesota back in the mid 50s with Pete Kelner. In 1964 is was sold to Kurt Converse who was killed 4 years later. Then Gil DeVore ( who had helped design and build the K-3500 series) bought the company in 1968.
    In 1970 the manufacturing was done by Aero-Fab in Sanford Maine. Aero Fab was making the Lake Amphibs back then. My PK-2300s were made in Maine by Aero Fab.

    In 1988 or 89 production moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico.
    In 1999 the company was bought out by Alton Bouchard, who moved the manufacturing back to Maine. He died around 2013 and a skeleton crew stayed in place selling parts.
    In 2015 the remains of the company were bought by SR Aviation and they are now back in business.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  11. #11
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Clark View Post
    In 1964 is was sold to Kurt Converse who was killed 4 years later.
    Kurt was killed in an autogyro crash near New Bedford Mass.
    N1PA

  12. #12
    Alex Clark's Avatar
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    Turns out my PK-2300s were made in 1976 or 1977. So I have 41 year old floats on my 41 year old plane.

  13. #13
    Skycop's Avatar
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    I have a set of B's with pork chops and blocks. Good condition...Cheap.

    Ryan
    218-969-7786

  14. #14

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    Anybody know the difference between B's and C's?

  15. #15
    mvivion's Avatar
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    The A and B floats were one design, the C and D floats were a somewhat different design. The B's are straights if I recall correctly. The C's are straight floats as well. The later 3500 floats (C and D) have less V in the bottoms, and designed in "hydro boosters". Many of the early floats (A and B) had hydro boosters added to the forward bottoms as well in an attempt to improve performance, with limited success. There are other differences....essentially they are completely different floats. And the performance is also very different.....the A and B 3500 floats are really poor performers. The 3500 C floats actually perform quite well, but they require a bit of practice to figure out how to make them perform heavy. Once you figure that out, the C's will perform about as well as any float of similar size off the water. They are also really tough floats.

    MTV

  16. #16
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    I mentioned somewhere else my dislike for early mid-70's PK3500's. Doggy off smooth freshwater and want to drop the bow on landing as the wetted area increases. Looking today at a nice set of later 3500's on a 206 it appeared they have a visibly variable bottom dead rise...not sure if the early ones did as well. Relatively steep sides at the bow that laterally flatten as they reach the step, plus the usual adornment of boosters.

    I should get off lazy tomorrow and take a pic to show what I think I saw. The dog was eating a fresh caught vole so I was soon distracted.

    Gary

  17. #17
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC12D-4-85 View Post
    I mentioned somewhere else my dislike for early mid-70's PK3500's. Doggy off smooth freshwater and want to drop the bow on landing as the wetted area increases. Looking today at a nice set of later 3500's on a 206 it appeared they have a visibly variable bottom dead rise...not sure if the early ones did as well. Relatively steep sides at the bow that laterally flatten as they reach the step, plus the usual adornment of boosters.

    I should get off lazy tomorrow and take a pic to show what I think I saw. The dog was eating a fresh caught vole so I was soon distracted.

    Gary
    Gary,

    Yes, I believe you described one of the primary differences with the later floats. I didn't know quite how to describe the bottom geometry, but that is the big difference from the older floats.

    Still chasing those Airdales, eh? I'm working with an eight month old Brittany.....a piece of work there.

    MTV

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