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Thread: Mead 1430 Amphibs on 11-EX

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    Mead 1430 Amphibs on 11-EX

    I'm sealing the deal on a set of Mead amphibs for my Experimental PA-11.....I'm just wondering if anyone here knows how different the rigging would be between this and a Carbon Cub....Just wondering how much modification i'm in for.....I already have the Atlee Dodge welded on rear fittings.

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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    There was some discussion years ago about these floats which looked very nice. I've heard nothing since. Their web site seems to have turned into something in an Asian language. This would be a case of "buyer beware". That being said if these floats are in decent condition and you are able to maintain or manufacture any needed parts, they should be able to just bolt on your PA-11 clone.
    https://seaplanepilotsassociation.vb...traight-floats
    http://www.harborsportaviation.com/
    https://point2pointcentral.com/mead-floats/
    N1PA
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    They are beautiful floats...the company itself is out of business, but I guess there is a shop in Florida that is providing tech support...to what degree I don’t know. I can’t afford new Aerocets so I’ll go this route, I’ll build whatever rigging I need to make them work. I love my Baumann 1500 straights, but looking forward to trying out a light amphib set up.
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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Sounds great, when you get them operating give us a PIREP. I was impressed with their features and shape at the time. Make sure that they go on similar to your Baumanns. The step should be approximately in the same location to the CG and the angle of the keels to the chord line of the wing should be about the same. Your empty CG may shift forward a little bit. If the rigging allows it, you can tweak the keel to chord angle for better or worse.
    N1PA

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    Thanks, unfortunately the Baumanns are on my TCraft....I’ll need to match up some Cub rigging for my new build�� I may call Darren at Legend Cubs....maybe the can help. They have a beautiful set of composite amphibs that the build....just a little bit out of my price point....very nice though.

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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    If you can find a copy of "Design for Flying" by David Thurston there is a chapter on seaplanes. It will give you some good information on how to mount your floats.
    N1PA
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    I'm just now getting around to working on my Mead floats...I need to get some fittings machined and see if some of the struts from the Carbon Cub that they came off will work since those came with it....minus the end fittings for the streamlined struts. I intend to paint match them but thought I'd rig them and flight test the floats prior to this since I anticipate some tweaking....A guy I know generously offered his Baumann 1500A rigging from his PA11 to me for patterning the machined end fittings I need to make, and approximate strut lengths (assuming the cg is similar to my Meads) I assume it would be. I weighed the whole pile of stuff and the floats (minus the aluminum end fittings I need and came up with 227lbs. These are 20lbs heavier than my Baumann straight floats) I assume They will come in around 240 or so lbs. The more I look at these the more I like the quality....the carbon fiber work is really impressive. The guy who made them (Phil Mead) apperently was a great craftsman....but a terrible business man. I understand he was big in the catamaran racing game in Australia before moving to the States....well, he has passed away I guess but whatever happened, he made a nice looking product. We will see when I actually try them. I spoke to a guy in California who has some on his Carbon Cub SS and he loves them. We will see if my little 100HP 11 will have the power it needs. I sure enjoy my 90HP Tcraft on Baumanns!

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    Last edited by Dan Gervae; 01-24-2022 at 09:45 AM.

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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    I remember seeing something about those floats years ago. As I recall there was a disconnect in the method of connecting with the FAA and their procedures for approvals.
    Since they came off a Carbon Cub, assuming they were rigged correctly in the first place, they ought to just bolt right on your -11. Did you not get all the fittings for the CC?
    N1PA

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    D.A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gervae View Post
    I'm...getting around to working on my Mead floats...
    Very cool project! Please keep us updated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    I remember seeing something about those floats years ago. As I recall there was a disconnect in the method of connecting with the FAA and their procedures for approvals.
    Since they came off a Carbon Cub, assuming they were rigged correctly in the first place, they ought to just bolt right on your -11. Did you not get all the fittings for the CC?
    No, I didn't get the end fittings for the struts...I have the struts themselves though. I'll have to have some new ones machined.

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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gervae View Post
    No, I didn't get the end fittings for the struts...I have the struts themselves though. I'll have to have some new ones machined.
    Hoist the plane over the floats at the proper location and angles. Be fussy, make certain the alignment is perfect. You may find there are slight angular differences between the bolt alignment and the fittings. For this type of project, I make the first set of fittings from wood. I don't believe you will need to alter any of your struts.

    Check your weld-on rear fittings for symmetry left to right including the bolt holes. Get out your tape measure, measuring several times from several directions. Then check again the next day. I just did one of these projects and the left fitting was drastically different from the right. Enough to waste a lot of time before I figured it out. There were two different errors which when added together made for a major error which needed to be buried.

    A drill press and a band saw will work to make the fittings.
    Last edited by skywagon8a; 01-25-2022 at 08:24 AM.
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    http://www.ranss7.com/pipcom/floatrig.htm

    I think someone on this site directed me to this awesome Rans float installation/Rigging site...click on the float geometry link.Check it out. I like it
    Last edited by Dan Gervae; 01-30-2022 at 05:42 PM.
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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gervae View Post
    http://www.ranss7.com/pipcom/floatrig.htm

    I think someone on this site directed me to this awesome Rans float installation/Rigging site...click on the float geometry link. Check it out. I like it
    This statement from your Rans link is totally wrong. "What I now believe is that we should just forget about the step, ignore it, don’t even consider where it ends up because where it actually is is of little consequence and we do not need to consider it in locating the relative position of the floats on the airframe." With a statement like this, the person clearly doesn't know what he's talking about.

    The Location of the step in relation to the loaded CG is very important as it determines your water handling characteristics. Too far aft and the plane will porpoise, too far forward extends your takeoff run as well as moving your CG too far forward for lots of reasons. The step should be located approximately 10 degrees aft of your two dimension (vertical and horizontal) average loaded CG. Level the plane, drop a plumb from the CG, swing an arc 10 degrees aft from the CG. The step goes there.
    N1PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    This statement from your Rans link is totally wrong. "What I now believe is that we should just forget about the step, ignore it, don’t even consider where it ends up because where it actually is is of little consequence and we do not need to consider it in locating the relative position of the floats on the airframe." With a statement like this, the person clearly doesn't know what he's talking about.

    The Location of the step in relation to the loaded CG is very important as it determines your water handling characteristics. Too far aft and the plane will porpoise, too far forward extends your takeoff run as well as moving your CG too far forward for lots of reasons. The step should be located approximately 10 degrees aft of your two dimension (vertical and horizontal) average loaded CG. Level the plane, drop a plumb from the CG, swing an arc 10 degrees aft from the CG. The step goes there.
    There's a reason I posted here.....I like to have the vast experience on this site shoot holes in misinformation. after reading your post, I reread that portion.....it seems almost like he's guessing in several instances. So you're talking about the average of my most forward and most aft CG....plumbbob from there and 10 degree arc aft? Correct?

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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Almost correct. Your average loaded CG. The Cg where you are likely to fly it the most. If you fly solo most of the time it will be one place. if you always carry a passenger and baggage it will be another. Find the "happy" CG. This is just what to shoot for. You may, from your experiences want to tweak it one direction or the other. But this 10* works well.
    The other angle to look at is the "fish mouth" angle. I like 4.5 * between the keel (most floats the deck is the same) and the Chord line of the airfoil. Not the bottom of the wing.
    If you are looking for extra take off performance while sacrificing cruise, you can open the fish mouth angle. This is another angle that your experiences may want to tweak. Provisions to easily adjust or alter the rear strut fitting make this relatively easy.

    EDIT: The vertical CG is part of this calculation. The vertical location will effect where the 10* line intersects the step. For a vertical location you will have to estimate. This is roughly shoulder height.
    Last edited by skywagon8a; 01-31-2022 at 07:37 AM.
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    I talked to a former Cubcrafters dealer who had a set of Mead amphibs on his carbon cub. He lives in the villages in FL but I can’t remember his name. He was really knowledgeable on those floats and was really helpful I’ll find it and let you know
    BTW would be really interested in a used set of Baumann 1500 for a sport cub if you ever see any for sale
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    This statement from your Rans link is totally wrong. "What I now believe is that we should just forget about the step, ignore it, don’t even consider where it ends up because where it actually is is of little consequence and we do not need to consider it in locating the relative position of the floats on the airframe." With a statement like this, the person clearly doesn't know what he's talking about.

    The Location of the step in relation to the loaded CG is very important as it determines your water handling characteristics. Too far aft and the plane will porpoise, too far forward extends your takeoff run as well as moving your CG too far forward for lots of reasons. The step should be located approximately 10 degrees aft of your two dimension (vertical and horizontal) average loaded CG. Level the plane, drop a plumb from the CG, swing an arc 10 degrees aft from the CG. The step goes there.
    If there was ever a reason you are it, you need to be cloned!

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    This is a set of EDO 2000s installed on a homebuilt PA-18 using Citabria struts. Notice the angle of the rear strut in relation to the float. On a PA-18 this is vertical. The step on this airplane is further aft than EDO's PA-18 installation. I didn't want to alter the diagonal strut. Performance is very satisfactory.

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    This is a method of lengthening a strut which is too short. Rear Citabria strut on a PA-18. IF I want to increase the fish mouth angle, I'll just drill another hole in this fitting. I will not be changing this. The fish mouth angle is just right for my use of the plane.

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    Pete, why doesn't that strut have more fasteners holding it to the square fitting?

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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Glenn, The bolt in the fuselage is holding the fitting fore and aft. The fitting itself is a lot longer than what you can see. So that extra long section is holding itself inside the strut. The bolt is only locking the fitting to the strut so it doesn't move.

    The load path from the float fitting through to the fuselage is a straight line.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    Almost correct. Your average loaded CG. The Cg where you are likely to fly it the most. If you fly solo most of the time it will be one place. if you always carry a passenger and baggage it will be another. Find the "happy" CG. This is just what to shoot for. You may, from your experiences want to tweak it one direction or the other. But this 10* works well.
    The other angle to look at is the "fish mouth" angle. I like 4.5 * between the keel (most floats the deck is the same) and the Chord line of the airfoil. Not the bottom of the wing.
    If you are looking for extra take off performance while sacrificing cruise, you can open the fish mouth angle. This is another angle that your experiences may want to tweak. Provisions to easily adjust or alter the rear strut fitting make this relatively easy.



    EDIT: The vertical CG is part of this calculation. The vertical location will effect where the 10* line intersects the step. For a vertical location you will have to estimate. This is roughly shoulder height.
    I was just reading this (See Attached) from Clamar and they indicate a higher angle between floats and wing chord line.....3.5 to 4 degrees for 180hp Supercub....8 degrees for 85HP....I'm at 100HP so thinking 6.5 to 7 degrees? Does anyone disagree with the Clamar method....My plan is to do what Pete recomended on step location...but I'm questioning the fishmouth.
    https://www.clamarfloats.com/wp-cont...Guide-2018.pdf
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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Use caution in the use of that manual. Notice they make several mentions of positioning the floats relative to the empty weight of the airplane and floats. How many airplanes do you know of which are flown empty? The positioning of the floats should be based upon the loaded weight and CG. Whether you choose maximum gross weight or your average loaded weights is up to you.

    Fish mouth angle relative to horsepower. First, less angle (less aerodynamic drag) is best for speed. More angle reduces take off speed.

    Second, water drag is highest while accelerating the plane from at rest to the planning position (on the step). The length of time required to "get on the step" is the primary take off distance limitation. This is why they mention more angle for less horsepower. With the engine and wing pointed more up, it helps in lifting the floats up on the step using up thrust and wing lift. With higher horsepower, the engine will pull the floats up on the step through acceleration and water pressure against the bottom of the floats. The best angle is a compromise between the two.

    Third, once on the step the relationship of the airplane to the water surface and floats (combined) must be considered. IF (for this example) you use 7 degrees, the chord line angle to the relative wind during the on step take off run phase will be 15 degrees. Optimum angle between float keel and the water surface while on step is 8 degrees. 15 degrees is on the high drag side of the best L/D. This means that your acceleration while on the step will be held back by aerodynamic drag. The angle above which the drag exceeds the optimum L/D is just under 13 degrees. This suggests the maximum float angle ought to be no more than 5 degrees.
    This is the Cub's airfoil performance chart.


    Fourth, the shape of the bottom of the floats also enter into consideration. Some shapes have better "climbing on the step" characteristics than others. This is only determined by actual testing.

    All of that being said, be prepared to change the angle once you get into the flight test phase. Particularly if your initial settings are near an extreme. Making provisions to change the length of the strut and/or the attach fittings is a wise consideration. Remember, changing the strut lengths effects the cross wire lengths. And the water rudder steering cables.

    One of our members had a friend contact me. That friend had just purchased a set of Clamar amphibs which were installed by the Clamar folks in Maine. That installation was dangerous in that it had bad porposing characteristics and the bows buried under water while taxing. This was on a Cub. Cubs have been going on floats for 80+ years. This is not rocket science. Take what is in that manual with a grain of salt.

    I noticed Olibuilt thanked the post. He has a set of amphibs on order. In his case, he has slats on his wing. Slats require high angles of attack to be effective. To utilize the slats on floats he will need a large fish mouth angle. However, once he is in the air his cruise speed will be very slow. He needs to think of this while he's making his installation. He could have a situation where he drags the aft end of the floats while taking off.

    The optimum planning angle of 8 degrees between the float keels and the water is important. Any more or less angle increases drag. This 8 degrees is what is commonly call the "sweet spot". If the fish mouth angle is too small, when you rotate to take off, the water drag will increase. Sometimes this can prevent continuing the take off, particularly with low horsepower. If the fish mouth angle is too great, the aerodynamic drag may prevent take off.

    It's a juggling act.
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    Thank You for this very detailed response....What you have written makes perfect sense. I was planning to use 4-4.5 degrees until I read the Clamar paper, then I got curious. I plan to make the rear fitting with the ability to make some adjustment after flight testing...but this gives me confidence to proceed. There is a pilot near me that put floats on his Zenith 750 and I was told the thing porpoises very badly and is very unnerving to this fellow....as I recall, he used a method similar to that laid out by Clamar. Maybe I can share some of this with him to help make his situation a little better. Thanks so much Pete.

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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    You're welcome Dan.

    One advantage you have is the lack of protruding rivets. Less water drag. Yes it does make a difference.

    I think you will be very happy with those floats.
    N1PA

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gervae View Post
    There is a pilot near me that put floats on his Zenith 750 and I was told the thing porpoises very badly and is very unnerving to this fellow....as I recall, he used a method similar to that laid out by Clamar.
    Sounds as though the step is too far aft.

    I flew a J-3 on Greenwood fiberglass floats. They were supposedly certified. The bottoms were flat with no step at all. It would porpoise getting on plane and off plane. There was only one pitch angle when it would not drag or porpoise. It was necessary to get to flying speed, then jerk it off or it would slow down and porpoise. If it wasn't at the correct angle when it contacted the water .. more wild ride. I don't understand how it ever was certified. They didn't last long ..... the bottoms ripped out on a landing. I suspect there are still pieces on the bottom of the lake.
    N1PA

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    To add another obs to Pete's excellent summary....if installed and deflected the flapped portion of the wing is effectively at a higher aerodynamic angle/chord line than the unflapped portion. With enough power like a C-185 it may not be a big issue, but my PA-11 w/C-90 did not like 25* flaps until takeoff speed was reached (the slow down on deflection well before takeoff could be observed). I cut a new notch and used half that for getting going.

    Too small a bird mouth (experimental +3/4" longer rear float strut on my PA-18A) would cause the float heels to hit and drag on takeoff and landing. Not worth the cruise increase of a few mph. Installed VG's allowed enough angle to hit the heels.

    Gary

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    Dan If I remember right the Meads are close to the Baumann floats in design, We used the same strut lengths as the EDO 1320's on my PA-11 for the Baumann 1500A's and they close to perfect for my plane.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC12D-4-85 View Post
    To add another obs to Pete's excellent summary....if installed and deflected the flapped portion of the wing is effectively at a higher aerodynamic angle/chord line than the unflapped portion. With enough power like a C-185 it may not be a big issue, but my PA-11 w/C-90 did not like 25* flaps until takeoff speed was reached (the slow down on deflection well before takeoff could be observed). I cut a new notch and used half that for getting going.

    Too small a bird mouth (experimental +3/4" longer rear float strut on my PA-18A) would cause the float heels to hit and drag on takeoff and landing. Not worth the cruise increase of a few mph. Installed VG's allowed enough angle to hit the heels.

    Gary
    Good point about the flaps, I'd forgotten that point since all of my recent planes have had flaps. Also with that in mind, the fishmouth angle can be smaller for less aerodynamic drag. Then the best flap angle for take off can be determined by experimentation.

    Also the best flap angle may be different when taking off on wheels than when taking off on the water on amphibs. My 185 likes 10 degrees for a land take off and 20 degrees for a water take off. This all determined in flight testing.
    N1PA

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    Quote Originally Posted by Douten View Post
    Dan If I remember right the Meads are close to the Baumann floats in design, We used the same strut lengths as the EDO 1320's on my PA-11 for the Baumann 1500A's and they close to perfect for my plane.
    I'll measure and compare the attach points against the Baumanns....My Baumann straights are parked right underneath the Meads in my hangar....Critical measurements being attach points in relation to step I'm thinking.

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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gervae View Post
    I'll measure and compare the attach points against the Baumanns....My Baumann straights are parked right underneath the Meads in my hangar....Critical measurements being attach points in relation to step I'm thinking.
    There is a thought. Compare the float deck fitting's locations in relation to the spreaders and step between the two sets of floats. Perhaps you could just use the Baumann struts on the Meads? Or mix and match between the two. Are the Baumanns for a Tcraft or Cub?

    I'm using Citabria struts on my Cub. Just changed some of the fittings.
    N1PA

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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    There is a thought. Compare the float deck fitting's locations in relation to the spreaders and step between the two sets of floats. Perhaps you could just use the Baumann struts on the Meads? Or mix and match between the two. Are the Baumanns for a Tcraft or Cub?

    I'm using Citabria struts on my Cub. Just changed some of the fittings.
    My Baumann's are on my Tcraft, but an aquantance has a set of Baumann1500A's rigged for his PA11 and he said I could take his struts and recreate them if I wanted....If they match up dimensionally it might save some time.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gervae View Post
    My Baumann's are on my Tcraft, but an aquantance has a set of Baumann1500A's rigged for his PA11 and he said I could take his struts and recreate them if I wanted....If they match up dimensionally it might save some time.
    That is a foot in the door. It beats starting from scratch. Also even if there is a small difference, it may be satisfactory. The tolerances are not tight. There is always room for tweaking. What I've told you gets you in the ball park.

    The step on mine is aft of EDO's installation by an inch or two. I see no reason to move it as the performance is very satisfactory.
    N1PA
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    This may not be worth noting but I had a set of 1320's on a PA-11. The struts were wrong and placed the floats and step more forward than EDO intended. The struts were for J-3 with the fuel forward from the PA-11's. Once loaded the float heels sunk and nothing could be put in the rear baggage. Getting on step the rear spreader was submerged while the nose portion rose and thus overall flotation was lost. The plane would settle until more hull speed was achieved. It flew ok but the water performance was dismal if not dangerous. I discovered the strut/rigging error too late (from Eddie Peck) and ended up changing floats then the plane. My point is floats too far forward or rear CG and that's what apparently can happen. Too far rearward for the weight or forward CG and they'll easily take water over the bows.

    Gary

  35. #35

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    Dan, The struts on the (1430?) Baumann straight floats are different than we used on the 1500A's the cubs sat squatty on the Baumann straight floats that is why we used the measurements off my 1320's (it looks right) when they did the struts for my floats. Joe had access to a plane out there maybe a PA-18 95 to check measurements with. If you need measurements PM me. Douten

  36. #36
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    This is the beginning. Suspend the fuselage (or whole airplane), leveled. Position the floats underneath. Tools needed: Tape measure, precision level(s), plumb bobs, pencil, paper and patience. The first one took about 100 hours, now I have it down to about 50.

    Start Click image for larger version. 

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    N1PA
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  37. #37

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    May 2008
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    Any idea what paint I should use on these floats to color match them? I haveno Idea what top coat is on them since the previous owner painted them yellow (they were white) and he had a guy do it so he didn't know what type of paint it is....I plane a light coat of color match yellow over this darker yellow they are now? I think I'll just sand the top and sides and leave the bottoms the current shade of yellow....not sure yet. These are all Carbon Fiber construction.....then I need a good antiskid for the tops.

  38. #38
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Paint weighs keep them light for that PA-11

    Gary
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  39. #39
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Yellow is difficult to match, leave them alone. You likely won't notice the difference since they are separated from the plane with the struts.
    N1PA

  40. #40

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    The Mead spreader bars are 9” farther apart than my Baumanns. The floats are very close dimensionally overall, but the attachments will have to be done the old fashioned way since the attachments with reference to the step are not similar.
    Click image for larger version. 

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