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Thread: PA18 or PA12

  1. #1
    charlie1234's Avatar
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    PA18 or PA12

    Hey everyone,

    I work at a hunting outfit in northern British Columbia, Canada and am wondering what would be best, a Super Cub or Super Cruiser. Our previous pilot flew a dehavilland beaver, and worked excellent but that kind of plane is out of my budget. so i was looking at super cubs or pa12's. we do not have airstrips at our camps, so we use floats. so i'am wondering which would perform better on floats and can carry the more weight. i was leaning towards a 150hp pa12 because they are a little cheaper than a super cub and seem to have more room in them. but the thing about pa12s i dont like is they are very old and the fuselages on many of them seem to be coroded. and they are not stock with flaps from what i hear. any advice would be much appreciated. thanks very much

    -Charlie1234

  2. #2

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    what exactly will you be doing with it? camp checks only or are you looking to fly paying passengers? i use my exp 12's at my camp for checks and service no hire and reward work, i like the room of the 12, tie the stuff that won't fit in it,on it. it's great but the exp has a 2400 gw which makes a huge difference.

  3. #3
    flyby's Avatar
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    Sounds like a Cessna 180 or 185 on floats would serve you well?
    Last edited by flyby; 04-18-2014 at 09:30 AM.

  4. #4
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    pa-12 = cheaper to buy, but 3 X -18 $/time to rebuild and still not worth as much as a -18 when you are done.....

  5. #5
    nanook's Avatar
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    You can buy a new fuselage for a 12, 18s are supported a bit better though. Flying wise there is not much dif. The 18 will get off shorter, but landings are about the same. The double sea-plane doors on the 12 makes a nice float plane....They both carry about the same weight. The 18s run a bit lighter empty...most 12s that have the 150hp conversion have the flap mod already done. Piloting wise I prefer the 18...loading wise, the 12 wins...really is a toss-up overall...both do the job well...
    Last edited by nanook; 04-18-2014 at 03:52 AM.

  6. #6

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    Really nicely built airplanes are quite expensive. With that in mind....
    I'd rather have a really nice -12 than a really nice -18. I'd rather have a really nice either more than a moderately nice version of the other. If moderately nice is the benchmark, I'd rather have a moderately nice -18 than an equal -12. In either case 150hp would be a minimum as would an enlarged/extended baggage area and increased legal gross weight. Without increased capacity for volume and weight I wouldn't be interested. Identify your priorities, narrow your focus, and see what's available to buy. I, too, recommend adding a 180 to your list. Useful, durable, available. Great airplanes for float ops with a load.

  7. #7
    charlie1234's Avatar
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    Hey Cub,

    I will be flying clients from the town airport to the main camp, and from the main camp fly clients and guides to the spike camps on lakes. I would be packing out quarters and antlers, and miscelanous other things( groceries, equipment) sounds like a good 150-180 12 with flaps would do the job for me eh.

  8. #8
    charlie1234's Avatar
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    whats a new fuselage for a 12 worth? thanks very much.

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    That's a loaded question. The airframe itself about $15K. By the time it makes it into an airworthy airplane? Probably should budget $60K plus. You can do it for less or you can spend a lot more. -12s are not easy or inexpensive to renew. The standard advice is that it'll cost you less to buy a lightly used/recently completed rebuild than to do one yourself.

  10. #10

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    sounds like commercial work, their are some 180hp certified 12's around, you will definitely need to go through all of the paper work carefully and be prepared to spend some bucks to get what you need.

  11. #11
    charlie1234's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, appreciate the advice!

  12. #12

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    Maules make a pretty decent floatplane and might even be cheaper. A lot more cabin space...

  13. #13

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    I'll be picking up my new 12 fuselage for my next project from univair within the next 2 weeks-they are the only ones that make a pma'd 12 that I could find. Base price is about $16.5K, after adding all of my mod's including gross weight increase, x brace, pa-14 cathedral, borer extended baggage, float fittings, seaplane left brace, pa-18 trim, torque tube, front seat, and gear- figure another $2K. I will have an old fuselage that needs some TLC soon if you are interested in it at a good price.

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