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View Full Version : This close to buying a 7AC... some questions post pre-buy



iiAtlas
11-09-2018, 09:55 AM
Hello all!

I hope this is all right. I tried posting on the various Aeronca forums but they don't seem to have much activity. I have been looking at a 1946 7AC near me. The basics: 1586 Airframe Total Time. Continental A-65-8F with Millennium cylinders. Overhauled in 2002 by Pine Mountain. TTE: 2049. SMOH: 545. Sensenich Prop, Slick mags, and a Reiff preheater. So far so good! The plane has a wag-aero toe brake STC. I own and fly a 172 so have club's for feet :-P I will be keeping the 172, and like having toe brakes in both planes.

I had my mechanic come and do a pre-buy of the plane. Most things are good, some things are a little ehh. I come to the experts in search of clarity!

1. The plane has a 9 gallon wing tank, only in the left wing. Have you all ever heard of something like this? The owner states it's from the factory. All my research has pulled up no information. It is placarded 5.5 on the wing, but is apparently 9. Any information on this would be appreciated... pictures from the tank during the 2002 rebuild are shown below.


https://i.imgsafe.org/59/59eaeaf1f2.jpeg

https://i.imgsafe.org/59/59eaeb996f.jpeg

2. Both wings have what appear to be thin aluminum angle cross bracing. I wish I had a picture, but for some reason do not. You could see it through the inspection holes. It is maybe 1 wide thick piece of thin aluminum. It looks like the wing lacing above. On the RH wing, the aluminum is intact. On the LH wing, the aluminum is cut. It looks maybe as if to clear some rigging? Or maybe due to wing tank? If this makes any sense to anyone, please do let me know.

3. The rigging appears somewhat slack. I flew the plane (but have 0 other hrs in a Champ, and only 4hrs in a J3) and it flew fine to my untrained eye. When looking through the inspection covers, the rigging overhead seemed to touch each other, and one of the wings had what looked like electrical tape to prevent chaffing.

4. The RH oleo strut sits two fingers high, the LH strut three or four fingers high.

5. Lowest compression 61. It has been sitting for three months so I believe these will come back up with use.

Other than the above, I like the plane. It is priced at $22k. It's going through annual now and will have the mags freshly redone, they are at 500hrs. With no other 7AC experience, I don't have anything to base this on. Should I walk away? Run away? Go for it and have fun? It has very complete logs, including the first test flight back in February of '46. Any advice appreciated -- thank you!

https://i.imgsafe.org/59/59eab58d9e.jpeg

https://i.imgsafe.org/59/59eab60127.jpeg

https://i.imgsafe.org/59/59eac415ca.jpeg

https://i.imgsafe.org/59/59eacc546c.png

https://i.imgsafe.org/59/59ead2fdd8.png

cruiser
11-09-2018, 10:58 AM
After you buy it, if you give me a ride I will give you this book😀

Dunno if Charlie Lasher’s son is still running the newsletters or not, would be worth a search. Everything you and your mechanic need to know about Aeronca’s is in there.

cubdriver2
11-09-2018, 11:05 AM
Most Champs I have seen had either a 5.5 gl or 13 gl wing tanks?

Glenn

iiAtlas
11-09-2018, 11:19 AM
After you buy it, if you give me a ride I will give you this book

Dunno if Charlie Lasher’s son is still running the newsletters or not, would be worth a search. Everything you and your mechanic need to know about Aeronca’s is in there.

You got it Cruiser!!!


Most Champs I have seen had either a 5.5 gl or 13 gl wing tanks?

Glenn

From the information I've been able to dig up, that is also all I could find. I am now on the "fearless aeronca aviators" [faa :roll: :-P] and they have been of great help. One said it looked like a 13 gal aeronca tank -- maybe it is, with only 9 or so usable?

dgapilot
11-09-2018, 11:20 AM
Aluminum bracing in the wing sounds non standard. Should be rob lacing. What do the records say about it.

For the fuel tank, there are several that were STCd, but the only original optional tank is a 5.5 gallon tank. It can be either per drawing 7-565A, or 7-1001 or 7-796. If it has a 9 gallon tank, that would have to be a non Aeronca tank and need an STC.

Sounds like both oleo case frames will need overhaul.

What is the actual empty weight of the airplane? With only 1220 gross weight, knowing the real empty weight is important.

What do the rest of the records look like. With three things suspect already, sounds like you are looking at more of a project airplane than a flyer.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

iiAtlas
11-09-2018, 11:28 AM
Aluminum bracing in the wing sounds non standard. Should be rob lacing. What do the records say about it.

For the fuel tank, there are several that were STCd, but the only original optional tank is a 5.5 gallon tank. It can be either per drawing 7-565A, or 7-1001 or 7-796. If it has a 9 gallon tank, that would have to be a non Aeronca tank and need an STC.

Sounds like both oleo case frames will need overhaul.

What is the actual empty weight of the airplane? With only 1220 gross weight, knowing the real empty weight is important.

What do the rest of the records look like. With three things suspect already, sounds like you are looking at more of a project airplane than a flyer.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

DGA thanks for the in-depth post. A member on the Fearless Aeronca Aviators suggested it may be a 13 gal aeronca tank. I will pursue that line of thought.... as for documentation, it says "wing tank: factory". Everything else leaves less to be desired, but that statement is vague at best. All other STC's and paperwork check out.

As for the empty weight, as of 2002 it was in the low 700's, 714lbs I believe, or 741.

The oleos actuate nicely, I am just not sure how much travel they are supposed to have.

https://i.imgsafe.org/5b/5b509201ef.jpeg

I am pursuing a line of thought that the above highlighted in red is what I saw cut on the wing with the wing tank. A look at the 7AC wing drawing does not show this sort of aluminum bracing. I am assuming it is not factory. My best guess is it was cut to make an allowance for the rigging on the LH side, though if this is the case I am not sure why it wouldn't have been cut on the RH side. I wish I knew more....

dgapilot
11-09-2018, 11:57 AM
A word of warning on the oleos, there is an old AD on them, and some “new old stock” parts that were the subject to the AD have shown up in recent years. Likewise, some friends of mine recently purchased a Champ with a “fresh rebuild”. One oleo case frame was cracked, and the other was filled with grease instead of oil, and all the parts were worn out. Plan on pulling both apart, and replacing a lot of parts.

aktango58
11-09-2018, 12:04 PM
Looks like a great fun plane!

Be careful, you will get spoiled with all that room in the front seat8)

It has been a while since I had my champ, but it is sounding like, with the cut aluminum around the tank, that there has been a modification made. It might be fine, might not. I would be most concerned with structural elements possibly being compromised then work from there.

Oleos are a bane of existence. Add fluid, maybe that is all it needs. Otherwise you send them to get rebuilt. welcome to plane ownership.

Bottom line, there will always be something that is not perfect on a plane, and something that needs repair. Find one safe and sound for a reasonable price and deal with the small stuff as you can.

Good Luck!

TurboBeaver
11-09-2018, 12:10 PM
The oleo gear on almost all champs is usually a mess, to discribe it mildly......... So simply yet almost never correct.
It is an ok airport gear but hopeless on skis as dozens have found out the hard way. The later style with taxi springs have 4 instead of just 2 so that doubles the problems. The travel with worn springs is almost nothing
You will wind up needing to replace the spring on the limp
Side and you should change out the "seals" on top n bottom or you can be sure they will leak! They need to have an exact amount of hydro oil in each oleo to function
Correctly (8.5 oz) on "no bounce" not sure on original????
Once you rebuild them the old service manual calls for them to be inspected for proper oil level, every 50hrs from
Memory............this is almost NEVER done anymore. So folks are always wondering why the Champ isnt level and bottoms out soooo easy when you strike anything. Seals gone.........oil leaked out......... Ruins springs..... Now you have basically NO suspension at all......
Your pretty optimistic about a 61lb clyinder???
Hope this all works out.
May want to deduct cost to compleatly rebuild oleos and the clyinder from the $22k.??
Good luck
E

iiAtlas
11-09-2018, 12:40 PM
Looks like a great fun plane!

Be careful, you will get spoiled with all that room in the front seat8)

It has been a while since I had my champ, but it is sounding like, with the cut aluminum around the tank, that there has been a modification made. It might be fine, might not. I would be most concerned with structural elements possibly being compromised then work from there.

Oleos are a bane of existence. Add fluid, maybe that is all it needs. Otherwise you send them to get rebuilt. welcome to plane ownership.

Bottom line, there will always be something that is not perfect on a plane, and something that needs repair. Find one safe and sound for a reasonable price and deal with the small stuff as you can.

Good Luck!

Thank you aktango58!! My first flight up front was like heaven -- what a view! I too am most concerned about safety. If everything was done right and is sound, I'm happy to work on the little doodads as they come... it seems you're frustration with the oleo's is not uncommon ;)


The oleo gear on almost all champs is usually a mess, to discribe it mildly......... So simply yet almost never correct.
It is an ok airport gear but hopeless on skis as dozens have found out the hard way. The later style with taxi springs have 4 instead of just 2 so that doubles the problems. The travel with worn springs is almost nothing
You will wind up needing to replace the spring on the limp
Side and you should change out the "seals" on top n bottom or you can be sure they will leak! They need to have an exact amount of hydro oil in each oleo to function
Correctly (8.5 oz) on "no bounce" not sure on original????
Once you rebuild them the old service manual calls for them to be inspected for proper oil level, every 50hrs from
Memory............this is almost NEVER done anymore. So folks are always wondering why the Champ isnt level and bottoms out soooo easy when you strike anything. Seals gone.........oil leaked out......... Ruins springs..... Now you have basically NO suspension at all......
Your pretty optimistic about a 61lb clyinder???
Hope this all works out.
May want to deduct cost to compleatly rebuild oleos and the clyinder from the $22k.??
Good luck
E

Hi E! Thanks for all the intel on the oleos. As far as the cylinder, it was in the 70's when check 3 months ago (according to the owners listing...) He offered to toss in a cylinder rebuild if it needed to be done. Maybe confident is the wrong word, but I am HOPEFUL with use it would come back up! These checks were all done cold.

I appreciate all the feedback thus far, boy was that quick! I'm in search of an Aeronca expert by me (upstate ny, south of Albany) or by the plane (CT) to get some eyes on some of these things bothering me. If anyone has a lead, let me know!

RaisedByWolves
11-09-2018, 12:43 PM
Most Champs I have seen had either a 5.5 gl or 13 gl wing tanks?

Glenn


Same here, they went to the 13's when champion was building them in the 50's and got rid of the 13g nose tank. Our champ had 5.5 gal in each wing. I think the tanks had the corners cut off and weren't square

https://www.wagaero.com/model-specific-parts/aeronca/fuel-systems/fuel-tanks/aeronca-6-gallon-fuel-tank-lh-7ccm-7dc-7ec.html

RaisedByWolves
11-09-2018, 12:44 PM
Thank you aktango58!! My first flight up front was like heaven -- what a view! I too am most concerned about safety. If everything was done right and is sound, I'm happy to work on the little doodads as they come... it seems you're frustration with the oleo's is not uncommon ;)



Hi E! Thanks for all the intel on the oleos. As far as the cylinder, it was in the 70's when check 3 months ago (according to the owners listing...) He offered to toss in a cylinder rebuild if it needed to be done. Maybe confident is the wrong word, but I am HOPEFUL with use it would come back up! These checks were all done cold.

I appreciate all the feedback thus far, boy was that quick! I'm in search of an Aeronca expert by me (upstate ny, south of Albany) or by the plane (CT) to get some eyes on some of these things bothering me. If anyone has a lead, let me know!


I maintain a few champs and chiefs in New Hampshire

Tom

bob turner
11-09-2018, 01:04 PM
My impression: you cannot get a flying Champ for under $19K. If you want no issues, find a better one for around $28K. I picked up an almost perfect 0-200 Champ with two legal wing tanks for $28K a couple years ago. It even had a starter!

cubdriver2
11-09-2018, 01:33 PM
My impression: you cannot get a flying Champ for under $19K. If you want no issues, find a better one for around $28K. I picked up an almost perfect 0-200 Champ with two legal wing tanks for $28K a couple years ago. It even had a starter!

One just sold at Cooperstown last month. Rebuilt 16 years ago, A65 and flown regularly. In annual and a solid Champ. 14k

Glenn

iiAtlas
11-09-2018, 02:07 PM
I maintain a few champs and chiefs in New Hampshire

Tom

Tom, I believe I saw a listing for a Champ which may have been yours a few months back.

https://i.imgsafe.org/5d/5d610873e3.jpeg

I kick myself for not jumping on it. I was just a hair early and didn't have a hanger lined up to store it. I don't want to let another good bird pass from under me! If you are interested in taking a look I would appreciate it. I am happy to pay for your time and can pick you up in my skyhawk if you'd like. Another man on the Aeronca forums said he may be able to swing by so I am playing that out as well. Soon enough I will have spent the price of the plane in pre-buy inspections!!! :bang ;-)


My impression: you cannot get a flying Champ for under $19K. If you want no issues, find a better one for around $28K. I picked up an almost perfect 0-200 Champ with two legal wing tanks for $28K a couple years ago. It even had a starter!


One just sold at Cooperstown last month. Rebuilt 16 years ago, A65 and flown regularly. In annual and a solid Champ. 14k

Glenn

It seems the market is all over the place with these! I am not seeing many nice ones under 25k. I like the toe brakes and Clevelands (a $5k STC from wag aero!) I like the pseudo-electrical system (roof mounted antannea, intercom, yoke wired push to talk), I like the reiff preheater. I don't mind fixing little things here and there, maybe one "big" thing a year but don't want to be dressing up an ugly duck, if that makes sense!

Thanks for all of your input, I wasn't expecting such a huge turnout on a super cub forum!

RaisedByWolves
11-09-2018, 02:12 PM
Yeah, that was ours, sold it with 4 new cont cyl and a marvel carb, and newly overhauled skis. C90 starter and generator.

Shoot me an email one of these days, backed up with annuals right now, but I'll see what i can do

iiAtlas
11-09-2018, 02:14 PM
Yeah, that was ours, sold it with 4 new cont cyl and a marvel carb, and newly overhauled skis. C90 starter and generator.

Shoot me an email one of these days, backed up with annuals right now, but I'll see what i can do

Thats the one... don't remind me.... :cry:

I will send an email your way -- Thank you Tom!

AKjurnees
11-09-2018, 02:59 PM
From what Ive heard is a guy named Bill Pancake, is an expert on the Champs.

Quick question, a buddy of mine has a Champ 7EC, has both wing tanks, however the Left tank does not have provisions for a fuel gauge, nor is there an electric fuel gauge for that tank. Is ther supposed to be one??

iiAtlas
11-09-2018, 03:01 PM
From what Ive heard is a guy named Bill Pancake, is an expert on the Champs.

Quick question, a buddy of mine has a Champ 7EC, has both wing tanks, however the Left tank does not have provisions for a fuel gauge, nor is there an electric fuel gauge for that tank. Is ther supposed to be one??

I have heard of this Bill Pancake but yet to get a hold of him! RE your friends tanks, I just got off the phone with a man who has the same setup. He said only one side has the gauge as they crossfeed somewhere behind the rear seat and balance each other out.

dgapilot
11-09-2018, 06:23 PM
I have heard of this Bill Pancake but yet to get a hold of him! RE your friends tanks, I just got off the phone with a man who has the same setup. He said only one side has the gauge as they crossfeed somewhere behind the rear seat and balance each other out.

If you need Bill’s number, pm me.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

iiAtlas
11-09-2018, 06:26 PM
I pulled the trigger on this one! I think the price is right for the modifications done (ones I would do myself!) and the overall condition of the plane. I'm looking forward to learning more about these old birds and fixing things here and there making it "my own"

Thanks for all the comments, I sure appreciate them! Looking forward to flying with some of you all soon. Cruiser -- you're first on the list so I can pick up that book ;-)

https://i.imgsafe.org/61/6168f6e86c.jpeg

https://i.imgsafe.org/61/6168f60251.jpeg

https://i.imgsafe.org/61/6168febe8f.jpeg

Hardtailjohn
11-09-2018, 08:49 PM
Congrats!!! That's a nice clean looking Champ! You're gonna have a blast in that one. I'm just starting to paint one here, he'll hopefully have it back together and flying late this winter or early spring.
John

bob turner
11-09-2018, 08:55 PM
You did good. Have fun! Try to fly it before you get all carried away fixing stuff.

Steve Pierce
11-09-2018, 10:24 PM
After you buy it, if you give me a ride I will give you this book

Dunno if Charlie Lasher’s son is still running the newsletters or not, would be worth a search. Everything you and your mechanic need to know about Aeronca’s is in there.
Great book.

iiAtlas
11-10-2018, 10:12 AM
Thank you all!!! Can't wait to get this thing over here & flying around!! Hangers will be done Nov 20th, so the plane will be up here not long after that. I'm with you Bob, plan is to fly, fly, fly, then fix what bothers after a few hours in the thing. Thanks for all the kind words.

behindpropellers
11-10-2018, 10:09 PM
Thank you all!!! Can't wait to get this thing over here & flying around!! Hangers will be done Nov 20th, so the plane will be up here not long after that. I'm with you Bob, plan is to fly, fly, fly, then fix what bothers after a few hours in the thing. Thanks for all the kind words.


Just be careful of the "while I am taking care of this........." Once that thought goes through your head you need to stop, put it back together and go flying.

Tim

bob turner
11-10-2018, 11:41 PM
Yeah. One of my buddies has a Cub in annual. You should see the stuff they are doing - two weeks for a J-3.

Tailwheel is a little loose - no shimmy; steers good. Rebuilding it. Lots of little stuff like that - at shop rates it goes right on up. I personally repack my airplane wheel bearings as often as my car - they are under far less load, and are actually bigger. I watched a guy repack a set of brand new Grove wheels with ten landings on them - broke my heart.

These are very simple airplanes. Things that can hurt you need to be fixed. And someday send those gear legs to that guy in South Carolina - it will feel better on landing. But first, fly the socks off it, and pay more attention to fuel systems and quantity, and control cables. Those are the things that can cause grief.

AKjurnees
11-11-2018, 05:00 AM
Yeah. One of my buddies has a Cub in annual. You should see the stuff they are doing - two weeks for a J-3.
.

After the third day during annual, unless they are waiting on parts or something I’d politely request the Discrepancy List and take the Cub to another shop. 2 weeks is ridiculous, just short of being scammed.

hotrod180
11-11-2018, 10:48 AM
Just be careful of the "while I am taking care of this........." Once that thought goes through your head you need to stop, put it back together and go flying.

Repairs morph into upgrades....it's a slippery slope.

RaisedByWolves
11-11-2018, 10:51 AM
After the third day during annual, unless they are waiting on parts or something I’d politely request the Discrepancy List and take the Cub to another shop. 2 weeks is ridiculous, just short of being scammed.

A lot of people don’t maintain through the year and use the annual to do so. The inspection is quick, everything else not so much


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

bob turner
11-11-2018, 02:21 PM
But the new philosophy, understandable of course, is to fix everything. I am often called to fix a dime size fabric hole, which, on my airplane, would be covered with a piece of plastic tape. It is getting more difficult, since paint matching is no longer easy. And everybody gets a cylinder pulled at annual now. If one could just do another compression check after four more flights, that piece of dirt might dislodge itself.

That is the modern world. Learn as much as you can about your airplane. Repack the wheels yourself - and learn about that often skipped wheel AD. Have the name of that oleo guy in your Rolodex. Learn simple fabric repair. Have the experts look at control cables, carb, and mags. And practice in crosswinds, every week.

hotrod180
11-12-2018, 11:40 AM
….. And everybody gets a cylinder pulled at annual now. If one could just do another compression check after four more flights, that piece of dirt might dislodge itself......


Unfortunately, a lot of people (including some mechanics) don't seem to be aware of the new standard for Continental compression tests.
Here's a link to a good article by Mike Busch--
everyone who runs a Continental should read it, as well as the referenced TCM SB03-3.
As Busch points out,
a lot of cylinder R&R's could be avoided by following that SB's guidelines.

https://www.airframesalaska.com/v/vspfiles/pdf/TechTalk%20-Powerplant%20Compression.pdf

bob turner
11-12-2018, 12:57 PM
Thank you. I had not read the Busch article, and was unaware of some of his nuances, as well as the new technique for compression tests.

I might have mentioned this too many times: my engines get compression tests daily, or in the case of the Decathlon, weekly. I pull the prop through four blades, and expect even feel. When one goes soft, I watch it for a few weeks before pulling it. Others only get one test per year. Per year!

One memorable geared engine had a lousy set of readings out of a certified shop. Potential customer was standing next to me, and the owner asked me to re-do the test. Mind, my equipment has not been calibrated lately, but it is quality stuff.

I hooked it up and set the prop for each cylinder, and let the customer hold the valve and gauges. I did not inerfere. He got all above 70/80. All of them!

behindpropellers
11-12-2018, 01:03 PM
A lot of people don’t maintain through the year and use the annual to do so. The inspection is quick, everything else not so much


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Yeah...what could possibly be wrong? The last 10 annuals were only $500 and took a couple days...

kcabpilot
11-20-2018, 10:31 PM
Mike Busch seems to think you can tell more about a cylinder by sticking a boroscope into it than by doing a compression test and I’m here to tell you that if you can see any visible indication of valve trouble with a boroscope your compression is gonna be ZERO. The old leak down test is far more valuable as a diagnostic tool than anything you might imagine you’ll see with a fancy scope.

iiAtlas
11-23-2018, 03:46 PM
Folks -- the day has finally come. The weather good, the plane paid for, and the hanger ready. My 1946 Aeronca Champ 7AC N82354 was delivered safe and sound!

With my first 100hrs in a 152, and my last 300 in my 172.. I have a lot to learn. This feels like starting from scratch and learning the right way!! I am nervous, but excited 8)

Thanks for following along and your encouragement along the way. It is great to be a part of the "club" in some way or another..

https://i.imgur.com/xz547j1.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/SaZCIFN.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/VREtFuR.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/NtLxhyr.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/BkH5l5B.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/fhmk1Is.jpg

SJ
11-23-2018, 03:51 PM
Congrats! Great looking airplane and WHAT A CLEAN HANGAR! :lol:

sj

iiAtlas
11-23-2018, 03:52 PM
Congrats! Great looking airplane and WHAT A CLEAN HANGAR! :lol:

sj

Thanks SJ!!! It helps that they were just gutted and re-done... won't look like that for much longer!!

cubscout
11-23-2018, 03:52 PM
And the classic "mustard and ketchup" paint scheme to boot! I know you're going to enjoy it. Keep us informed about your adventures.

Thanks. cubscout

iiAtlas
11-23-2018, 04:01 PM
And the classic "mustard and ketchup" paint scheme to boot! I know you're going to enjoy it. Keep us informed about your adventures.

Thanks. cubscout

Hah!! I think it looks like a banana from behind... what a treat :lol:

aktango58
11-23-2018, 08:46 PM
Mike Busch seems to think you can tell more about a cylinder by sticking a boroscope into it than by doing a compression test and I’m here to tell you that if you can see any visible indication of valve trouble with a boroscope your compression is gonna be ZERO. The old leak down test is far more valuable as a diagnostic tool than anything you might imagine you’ll see with a fancy scope.

I had a cylinder failure that was only detected by the borescope. Compression tested fine, but the borescope showed the piston was coming apart, and cylinder walls dot doing so well- so both tests have their place.

NOW, back to the champ: First- that hangar is far to clean, you need to jump onto the Calendar Campaign page and get yourself a membership to this group, (clubs are so exclusive), and get a 2019 calendar for your wall.

Second- I suggest you find your most worn out soft soul shoes to fly for a while. the better feel your feet have the quicker you will learn to fly it.

third- happy feet! Take the lady dancing and get your feet moving... happy feet for flying.:smile:

fourth- Check out the WAD Fly-in info for the WANTED posters of nearby outlaws... lots of guys up there to get you into more fun than you can imagine- and more than one Champ model joins the group often. :wink:

fifth- get yourself some sets of business cards to hand out to property owners when they ask who you are, one set should say Glenn G., the other Steve E. That might help you out in the long run:lol::lol:8)

Ruffair
11-23-2018, 09:29 PM
See what happens when you get a cool airplane in the hangar ..? The ladies come check it out..!!
That and the package on the floor..

Hardtailjohn
11-23-2018, 10:05 PM
Awesome!!! Champs are a blast and yours sure looks like a nice one!

NE Cub
11-23-2018, 11:33 PM
Where's that beautiful Champ based?

George

hotrod180
11-24-2018, 11:10 AM
You won't even look at nosedraggers after you get squared away in that Champ! Have fun!

iiAtlas
11-24-2018, 03:46 PM
Where's that beautiful Champ based?

George

Thank you all for the wonderful comments!! She is a wonderful bird and I feel so lucky to have her. Finally I can stop ooohing and ahhhing all day on this website and start to join the fun with a piece of yellow fabric of my own..

I went for my first real flight in the Champ today and couldn't believe what it an experience it was. Not on the clock (renting..), nowhere to be, nobody to see, nothing to do but enjoy the pleasure of flight in a 1940's aircraft. I felt like I was in another era, the 1.2hrs spent buzzing around the Hudson Valley felt effortless (including 4 landings on the grass at NY1 Kline Kill). The Champ burnt a measly ~3.5 gallons. My Skyhawk ins't real thirsty either at ~8gph but this is a whole different ball game.

It was blowing about 12knts by the time we came in, but right down the runway. I felt like a dope taxiing. I have a hard time switching directions after a 180 degree turn, and end up turning it into a 360..or 540.. or maybe even a 720. I have to apply full opposite brake, some throttle, and then quickly ease off to center it out. I suppose just some things I will need to get more practice on! 1500ft in the Champ felt and looked like 3500ft in the Skyhawk. I have no clue why.. but now I know why you guys hang out so low!! :smile:

https://i.imgur.com/CVPZg54.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/cWD0pWL.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/fj5C1jO.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/fenVRsM.jpg

PS: the reiff preheater worked an absolute treat. I got up at 6am to plug her in, by 9:30 she was toasty!

Pics from my instructor in the rear seat (I was happy as a clam up front!!)

https://i.imgur.com/heWYxD8.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/Nx0o3tJ.jpg

aktango58
11-24-2018, 09:29 PM
Keep flying, keep shooting pictures. Maybe we can see you at the WAD next October.

When you want to turn, try stick forward to lift weight off the tail, it makes it easier, just remember that if solo the tail is already much lighter.

With practice you will learn when to go full opposite rudder in a turn to end at the correct heading, often once the tailwheel 'breaks' you can go opposite for a 180.

iiAtlas
11-25-2018, 12:56 PM
Keep flying, keep shooting pictures. Maybe we can see you at the WAD next October.

When you want to turn, try stick forward to lift weight off the tail, it makes it easier, just remember that if solo the tail is already much lighter.

With practice you will learn when to go full opposite rudder in a turn to end at the correct heading, often once the tailwheel 'breaks' you can go opposite for a 180.


I will do just that! Hope I don't bore you all with my beginners Q's and pics.. Thanks for the stick forward tip. I've been doing the opposite to keep some pressure on it and make it effective, or so I thought. Will give that a go today!

aktango58
11-25-2018, 01:46 PM
Ha! Don't worry about newbie questions, us oldsters just ask dumb ones:-P

You want to be in the habit of keeping the stick in proper location for wind, (climb into the wind, dive away from the wind), but when you need to get the tailwheel to 'break', unloading the weight from it helps. Please do not accept this as an 'all the time' idea. If you get big winds you need to be careful not to allow wind under the tail where it will lift and. go on the nose.

Once on skis, you will find unloading the tail is the only way to turn.

On takeoff, I was always told Champs want the tail wheel off, but don't exaggerate it's elevation to wings level for the best performance. once you get the feel of it, try both ways where you can judge which works better.:wink:

One preflight item to add: grab each wing front and back by the tip and shake up and down. It will tell you quickly if you have a failed spar. (If the wood spar plane goes on it's back or you tag a wing tip you can cause a hairline crack). My advice on spars is to find a guy that really knows wood spars to do the inspection on them. Some times what appears to be a crack is just grain. A really good place to not scrimp on costs.

When you get comfortable with that plane, we have 900' of good strip now, stop in and give me a ride, identifier is 9AA9.:lol::wink:8)

iiAtlas
11-25-2018, 06:33 PM
Ha! Don't worry about newbie questions, us oldsters just ask dumb ones:-P

You want to be in the habit of keeping the stick in proper location for wind, (climb into the wind, dive away from the wind), but when you need to get the tailwheel to 'break', unloading the weight from it helps. Please do not accept this as an 'all the time' idea. If you get big winds you need to be careful not to allow wind under the tail where it will lift and. go on the nose.

Once on skis, you will find unloading the tail is the only way to turn.

On takeoff, I was always told Champs want the tail wheel off, but don't exaggerate it's elevation to wings level for the best performance. once you get the feel of it, try both ways where you can judge which works better.:wink:

One preflight item to add: grab each wing front and back by the tip and shake up and down. It will tell you quickly if you have a failed spar. (If the wood spar plane goes on it's back or you tag a wing tip you can cause a hairline crack). My advice on spars is to find a guy that really knows wood spars to do the inspection on them. Some times what appears to be a crack is just grain. A really good place to not scrimp on costs.

When you get comfortable with that plane, we have 900' of good strip now, stop in and give me a ride, identifier is 9AA9.:lol::wink:8)

Hah! Thanks aktango -- I appreciate the tips! I went out for an unbelievable flight today, one of my favorites of all time. I was grinning ear to ear... we departed just after the fog lifted and boy were we in for a treat. Pictures are better than words..

https://i.imgur.com/hnr7Mah.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/MdhJNkY.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/ZsptKwS.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/BmAQftp.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/47bZqd2.jpg

We ended up making our way to Freehold 1I5. No maps, nothing in mind, just followed what looked right and somehow made it there.

https://i.imgur.com/6kGb5kd.jpg

It took me four tries but I finally made it stick on that 22ft gravel strip. First two were too high, third was looking good until a handful of dear wandered across the runway! Fourth worked just a treat. Taxii'd to the end and jet out the other side. What a day!

9AA9... maybe next weekend!! :cheers

https://i.imgur.com/1EPf20V.png

PS: I used a pillow to help move me closer to the controls. I think this helped a lot. The pillow measured 5.5" but compressed down to probably about 3". If anyone has anything in mind for something a bit more permanent let me know!

https://i.imgur.com/gAGR426.jpg

Gordon Misch
11-25-2018, 11:41 PM
If anyone has anything in mind for something a bit more permanent let me know!Oregon Aero seems to be able to do most anything seat-wise.