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Thread: Thoughts on this C-180?

  1. #1

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    Thoughts on this C-180?

    I have a friend (really) that is looking for an early model 180. We've read the threads on the subject but still not as comfortable in this market as we are in the cub world. What do you folks like, not like about what you see? Thanks in advance.

    Pics: http://lowslowflyers.weebly.com

    Specs: http://lowslowflyers.weebly.com/about.html


    Andrew

  2. #2
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    Impossible to give a solid opinion without photos of how the structure looks, in my opinion.

    Control surfaces, gearbox area, cowling, wing skins, hor amd vert stabs. So many places to disqualify an airplane without opening it up if you have good photos of the area or see it in person.

    I can see some paint coming off the leading edge by the landing light amd I think the copilot left hand seat rail may need replacement. I didnt bother opening the other thumbnail photoS.

    in the specs "BEW" must mean "bare empty weight"? I never heard that term before.

    Anyway.

    Imagine an airplane like this that weighs 1526 pounds as it came from the factory instead of 1773 on "small" tires like it does now.

    When these early 180's are light they are really surprising performers for STOL. add 250 pounds and the fun factor goes down for the STOL end of things compared to a light one.

    Just sayin'
    Last edited by Dave Calkins; 01-03-2017 at 01:58 PM. Reason: added info

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    Initial thought? Heavy for an early model.

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    Thanks Dave. I realize it's a tough question, like asking a doctor to diagnose without any X-rays/MRIs. Appreciate the comments anyway. A pre-buy would happen.

    The second link speaks to specs and options. Perhaps comments on those?


    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Calkins View Post
    Impossible to give a solid opinion without photos of how the structure looks, in my opinion.

    Control surfaces, gearbox area, cowling, wing skins, hor amd vert stabs. So many places to disqualify an airplane without opening it up if you have good photos of the area or see it in person.

    I can see some paint coming off the leading edge by the landing light amd I think the copilot left hand seat rail may need replacement. I didnt bother opening the other thumbnail photoS.

  5. #5
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    Specs page?

    yep. Lotsa stuff bolted onto that thing.

    Virtually none of it helps the plane fly better.

    Some of it is nice to have.

    What do you want? Speed? You can buy a cheaper faster airplane.

  6. #6
    FdxLou's Avatar
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    Plane belongs to a friend here in Georgia. I have flown it and know it pretty well. Solid performer.
    Jeff is a straight shooter. He would not misrepresent it if that helps.

    Lou

  7. #7
    jnorris's Avatar
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    That thing is pretty heavy. My 55 weighed in at just a tick over 1600 lb empty, and I thought IT was a little heavy! Also, as mentioned above, it's nice to see pretty pictures of the paint and interior, but what really counts is what it looks like on the INSIDE, which we can't tell from the photos.

    The weight alone would scare me away from it, but that's just me. Anyone who is seriously interested would need to get an "up close and personal" look at the structure and paperwork.
    Joe

    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat

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    Smile

    Looks like a pretty good start, not tortured on hours engine appears to still have reasonable life, all depends on what is desired. Get a qualified pre-buy.


    For me I look at what will be "necessary" in say a 3-7 year period and with that (if it were me) I would budget for depending on how you fly and what's intended:


    Engine overhaul. (and remember that aircraft values are often determined at mid-life on the engine).

    Radios and Com. Panel - they may work forever but then again... could be a frugal yellow tag change one unit at a time, all new, or all new and improved.

    Seats recover and rebuild - tracks, pins, rails, etc. unless recently accomplished.

    GPS, portable so it's easy swap.


    Kirby

    Ps. for the record Lou's picky
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

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    Thanks for all the great info. Confirms why I asked.

    Andrew

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    algonquin's Avatar
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    I had a 56' and now a 73' 185. The 56' was more fun to fly because of its lt. Wt. but the big short coming of it was fuel. In Alaska 56-60 gals wasn't enough. If your going to fly in the lower 48 shouldn't be a problem. It's 10,000 for flint tanks. The next is the radios are very dated and another 10,000 to modernize. Again if your not in high density areas it's ok, but don't forget ADSB Is just around the corner. This is the best part of wagons, you can make them great planes for any type of flying.

  11. #11
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by algonquin View Post
    I had a 56' and now a 73' 185. The 56' was more fun to fly because of its lt. Wt. but the big short coming of it was fuel. In Alaska 56-60 gals wasn't enough. If your going to fly in the lower 48 shouldn't be a problem. It's 10,000 for flint tanks. The next is the radios are very dated and another 10,000 to modernize. Again if your not in high density areas it's ok, but don't forget ADSB Is just around the corner. This is the best part of wagons, you can make them great planes for any type of flying.
    I have never understood the deal with needing new radios. Why is stuff that was state of the art electronics 10 years ago now worthless while flying an airplane. You afraid your buddies are going to laugh at them. They work just fine for the job at hand? My only radio is a 25 year old ICOM handheld that does just fine getting me in and out of everywhere I go. What's the deal?

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"

  12. #12
    algonquin's Avatar
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    KX 170/175 aren't supported any longer and the tuners are the weak part, they stop tune ing the right freq. other parts aren't avail. Either and when in the clouds in a busy area like ANC it good to be able to tune and talk. The glide slopes are separate on most of them also, more maintenance problems. The antennas wear also and need replacement. Being able to go direct or to a GPS fix can save time and money and also help you to fit in the traffic flow, handheld or portable aren't legal in the clouds. Narco txp. Are done also, and with the ADSB on the way some thought must be given there. Last but not least Skywagons value is tied a lot to the instruments in it. They aren't Cub's and the market is different even though many Cub guys have Wagons.
    Ps 170's were state of the art 45 years ago. Sorry Glen we're both getting old, but truth be known I still have one 170 in my 185 but have changed out the other one and carry a handheld for back up. So three comm's, two nav's , two gps's., one ADF. Took out the Loran a couple years after they stopped working just to be sure they wouldn't make a come back,lol.

  13. #13

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    Useful load is an important number for a 4-place airplane. A 700# useful load would be a big problem for me. I rarely fly my own 180 that light. I mean no disrespect to the seller or the plane but in a discussion about Skywagons the useful load is high on my priority list.
    Last edited by stewartb; 01-04-2017 at 10:36 AM. Reason: spellin'

  14. #14
    Cub junkie's Avatar
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    My '55 was 1588 EW with O-470 J and one KX155 and txpdr. Nothing else.

  15. #15
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Initial thought? Heavy for an early model.
    x2. It seems about 100# heavy to me for what it is.
    Looks pretty nice though.
    You do realize that by posting those links,
    you've now put it in the crosshairs of anyone else who's on the hunt for a 180, right?
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  16. #16
    mountainmatt's Avatar
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    Someone put a lot of time and money into making that plane what they wanted. Is it what you want?

    Seems like the flap handle is bent/misaligned?

    As far as empty weight goes, the 1700-1800 range is probably more "normal" than most think. Most haven't seen the scales in decades and calculated paper weights can be highly optimistic. I guess my point is most 180 folks would enjoy this plane as is. Unless you've flown one that's an honest sub 1600 lbs, you'd never know what you're missing.

    I say if it fits your mission and budget, go take a closer look. I can appreciate the guy putting together a nice ad/website showing specs and photos. Well done.

  17. #17
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    flying this ac empty with just the pilot is when you would MOST/(only) notice the empty weight being several hundred pounds higher than it was outta the factory versus a light one.

    With a couple occupants and half fuel, the performance difference between a lighteeight and this one becomes a bit blurrier.

    Still, the useful load is taking a hit that might hurt your mission profile sometimes. Dont discount that issue.

    Matt, go ahead and think that 1800 pound is " more normal" for a 180! Oughtta make you sleep ok!

    seriously, though, a light one is really somethin to get to fly.
    Last edited by Dave Calkins; 01-04-2017 at 01:56 PM.

  18. #18

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    Mine kind of heavy then at 1750 or so. I would like to see a 1600 plane, or as Crash would say.....

  19. #19

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    My buddy had a '53 with a long prop, 29" Gar Aeros and nothing else. With no interior, no rear seats, one radio, no paint, no anything it weighed 1555#. Articulating front seats, rear seats, carpet, floor mats over the carpet, multiple radios, cushy interior panels, shiny paint, strobes and microwave oven would add quite a bit of weight.
    I understand that everybody's digital scales are deadly accurate, except maybe not really.

  20. #20
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    I like the digital scales I used just fine.

    ...didnt believe how light my plane was, so I threw a known weight on as a test. Yep, she REALLY IS a light one and a joy for me to behold as welll!!!

    ...digital scales!!!!!! Yep

  21. #21

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    Now we're learning. At least I am as to what a light one should weigh. Sounds like sub-1600 for an early model without many add-ons. My buddy's not married to any particular plane and has the luxury of time to find the right one, which will he'll use to play in the Idaho backcountry with his young family or me in my Cub.

    So Dave, what does yours have, or not have, that keeps it so light? Small tires, no wing mods, basic radios, etc?

    Andrew

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasimmons View Post
    Now we're learning. At least I am as to what a light one should weigh. Sounds like sub-1600 for an early model without many add-ons. My buddy's not married to any particular plane and has the luxury of time to find the right one, which will he'll use to play in the Idaho backcountry with his young family or me in my Cub.

    So Dave, what does yours have, or not have, that keeps it so light? Small tires, no wing mods, basic radios, etc?

    Andrew
    Well from the ittibitty picture it's only got half a paint job
    Last edited by OLDCROWE; 01-04-2017 at 11:03 PM.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

  23. #23
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    I honestly dont know how I got sooooo lucky on the weight.

    1558 with 29x11/10 AirHawks on Gar Aero adapters with 3400 tailwheel.

    But...weighed with 6x6.00 on McCauley junk wheels and:
    Wings and tail are painted. Part of the fuselage is polished
    Selkirk glare shield overlay
    BAS Tailpull handles
    V brace
    Weighed with articulating pilots seat and late model non-articulating co pilot seat (now have leather-upholsted early model seats in it, saving weight there)
    Cessna "jump seats" in the back
    BAS shoulder belts, and non-inertial reel rear shoulder harness's
    Wing X wing beef up, but tip extensions NOT installed
    Sportsman Stol leading edge cuff
    Steene slight-droop fiberglass wing tips
    3 position strobes/navs
    early landing gear legs and tailwheel spring
    forward early interior panels and door panels only.
    com and transponder
    six pack instruments
    JPI EDM 900 all-in-one engine instruments
    Artex 406 ELT

    1508 ON THE SCALES with 6x6.00 on McCauley junk wheels with the brake lines and calipers laying on the scales.......so I thought "BS" til I checked each scale with a known weight.

    so, 1558 on big tires!!!!! I am thrilled! Woulda been happy with a 1600 pound plane.

  24. #24
    FdxLou's Avatar
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    Dave
    Are you running a Concorde battery or an EarthX?
    Hope to weigh my '54 soon. Just finished a complete panel upgrade. GRT Mini-GA EFIS, CGR-30P, AirGismo 796, GTR225, GTX327, no vacuum system. Desser 8.50X6 smoothies. Light weight battery. Stock interior, original unmodified wing. Before the panel work it weighed 1504# with the rear bench out (25#). Removed 35# during the upgrade.

    Lou

  25. #25

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    Lou,

    Have you flown it with the smoothies yet. I'm moving to my own strip in the spring and 36K needs new tires, been running 8.5 Good Years but am not happy with longevity.

    Kirby
    Last edited by OLDCROWE; 01-05-2017 at 07:24 AM.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

  26. #26
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Unless the airplane has been reweighed on good scales since it left Wichita there is a very good possibility that the weight is in error. I found approximately 50 pounds of error in mine in the wrong direction.
    N1PA

  27. #27
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    Forgot to mention battery and skylights

    Atlee box on firewall with SBS-J-16 batt

    funny Lou. My '53 weighed 1504 pounds outta the factory. Others came outta there at 1504 as well.

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    I weighed my '53 on 8.50's a couple months ago, 1760 lbs. Radios, soundproofing, rubber floor mats, 3 color paint, late style seats, it all adds up. Could I lighten it up? Sure, but no plans to, everything is a compromise.

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    Cessna didn't weigh every airplane. The W&B base weight was the established for each model and the installed equipment weights were added from that year's optional factory equipment list. Or so I've been told. I have my factory delivery paperwork and it sure looks like that's how they came up with my initial W&B. Which appears to be a fictional number, by the way. I've had my 180 on scales several times so I know precisely what it weighs and why. No matter, empty weight is just something you subtract from the gross weight to see how "useful" the airplane is. Factory seaplane, big engine, big prop, big mains, big tailwheel, and hydraulic ski equipment installed.... 1360#. Dave's plane will have about 1000# useful. That's a pretty good number but more importantly his plane at gross is flying at what my 180 would be with a half load. Will his fly better at that weight than mine? No, but with equal loads his plane will weigh almost 300# less. The question is does he need more capacity and if so, a later model (or a 185) might suit him better. And that there is Skywagon 101 for prospective buyers. Useful load is an important number.

    An example-
    me- 225#
    fuel-250#
    day pack-25#
    survival gear/tools- 75#
    dog-65#

    with my standard everyday stuff that isn't optional I've consumed 640# of my useful. Want to take a wife and kids? Yikes. Put the plane on floats and the useful load gets squeezed even more. And that's why Kenmore and WingX gross weight increases are so popular.
    Last edited by stewartb; 01-05-2017 at 09:23 AM.

  30. #30
    FdxLou's Avatar
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    Kirby
    Very happy with the Desser 8.50's. Seem to wear well. I only have 70 hrs on them but the center stripe from the mold is still visible. Landed 50-50 grass/asphalt.

    Dave, et al....I'm sure I will be disappointed with the scale weight, however my last 180 (1964 w/550) weighted 1930# on paper....surely it would have topped a ton on scales. It goes without saying that the fun meter is pegged more often on the '54. My mission now is 2-3 hr legs and playing with my Cub buddies. Looking fwd to loading up a pair of folding E-Bikes and camping in the BC.

    Lou

  31. #31
    mountainmatt's Avatar
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    Since this turned into a general 180 weight thread (I didn't want to derail the org post, but that's the nature of the internet).

    Dave, I too was shocked how light these planes can get with some (okay, A LOT) of elbow grease. I'm too am big believer on keeping them light as well as I routinely fly at high DA's. I feel the benefits far exceed just the useful load factor (but that's a big plus too). Thanks for sharing your weight as equipped, I assume you still have the -A engine?

    Lou, sounds like you're well on our way to a very light 54! Very cool. I can't wait to hear about it when it's done. I too am running the Desser 8.50 smooths and found them to be a great overall compromise for my mission. I have about 55 hours (approx 150 landings) on them with and they seem to wear well and handle rough strips to my satisfaction.

  32. #32
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    Good points you guys.

    SB, with Wing X my useful would be about 1392. And fly better at 2950 with it than 2550 without wing x.

    Matt, yes, still has the A and 90" prop.......

    When the time comes I can pponk or even 550 it and still be bumping around 1600 maybe.

  33. #33
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    The only 180's I'm personally familiar with that are really 1550-pound airplanes are like Carey describes, stripped and bare early models. I'd be thrilled if my own 53 model was down in the 1500's, but it comes in at 1652. Except for the Odyssey battery, BAS jumpseats, & G5 horizon, almost all of the mods added weight: K engine, 88" Mac, 185 legs, 850's, double-pucks, v-brace, extended baggage, pull handles, BAS harnesses.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  34. #34
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    I was around and flew aLOT a '54 that was 1642 lbs. on 8.50/10 and Gar Aero plus Gar wide tailfork kit. Early landing gear legs and tailspring. Ii weighed it.

    Pussified complete interior with Atlee seats, extended baggage shelf. Six pack instruments plus a bunch of EI engine gauges. Com and transp. And CD playerSBSJ-16 on firewall. 470A and 90" prop. No wing leading edge kit, but with VGs.

    Scuff and shoot paint, so.....double weight paint job.

    FYI

  35. #35
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Paint is what, about 40 lbs for a full shoot? I think that is what Don Sheldon discovered and put in his book.

    The little things matter in weight. just using bolts that need an extra couple of washers add up over time and numbers. Then repairs.

    Light the 180 is incredible, (early ones especially). Great for playing, and getting into a place to clear out for bringing in loads.

    The early light ones are not as strong though, hence the later models gaining weight.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  36. #36
    Lance's Avatar
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    I have seen Jeffs bird for sale. It looks nice.

    For reference, mine is something like 1642# on bushwheels. From digital scales after re-work of the plane.

    weigth adders for mine would be: bushwheels, flints, sportsman, r motor, 88" prop, v brace, tail handles, new paint, alum extended baggage
    Last edited by Lance; 01-06-2017 at 01:50 PM.

  37. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance View Post
    I have seen Jeffs bird for sale. It looks nice.

    For reference, mine is something like 1642# on bushwheels. From digital scales after re-work of the plane.

    weigth adders for mine would be: bushwheels, flints, sportsman, r motor, 88" prop, v brace, tail handles, new paint, alum extended baggage
    New paint, ya without pictures that didn't happen...
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

  38. #38
    Lance's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	29578Ha, it has been posted before Kirby

  39. #39
    mountainmatt's Avatar
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    That's a great looking 180 lance.

  40. #40
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    Nice. Look at them Cub wings stacked over there. Thats what a guy needs......a cub and a C180

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