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Thread: Legal Reed Clipped Wings?

  1. #1

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    Legal Reed Clipped Wings?

    Hey everyone

    I'm in the market for a clipped wing cub and have been doing a ton of research online to educate myself on some the birds I've been finding for sale... That being said I'm sure some of these questions have been asked before but I prefer not to hijack someone else's thread, current or old.

    The first question I have is why are field approvals not required for the C-85 when the Reed mod only applies to C-65 and C-75s? Is it common knowledge and approved by the FAA to simply have the C-85 stc even with the Reed restriction?

    Second, I found a Reed clipped wing that has metal spars. I know the Reed mod was originally limited to wood spars only. Is there an STC that I need to review the logs for that would allow for the install of metal spars?

    Thanks for any help you guys can provide!

  2. #2

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    Make sure the 337 either cites an STC that precisely approves what you have, or make sure there is an FAA stamp and signature in block 3 on the front. Anything outside of those means the alteration is not approved (unless it is in the type certificate, of course).

    Consider a Decathlon - cheaper and faster, and probably a better aero aircraft.
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  3. #3

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    Thanks Bob,

    The Cub is several states away and is proving to be not so easy to review logs. I will ask for the specific 337 for the metal spar install. I guess the question I have is... If the 337 exists, does that automatically make the modification legal? I'm trying to understand how it could be legal if the Reed Mod limits the mood to wood only. I guess I'd have more peace of mind knowing if anyone knew of the specific STC that allows for metal spars to be installed in a Reed wing cub.

    I'm trying to stay in the LSA category so a decathlon isn't in the picture for me.

  4. #4

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    A 337 by itself doesn’t necessarily make anything legal. Block 8 (the back) needs to cite “Approved data” for everything on the 337. If there is no pre existing approved data, a statement and signature in block 3 from an FAA inspector or a DAR makes the data in block 8 approved.

    Keep in mind that the Reed Clip Wing mod is part of the TC, and as such, if done per the drawings, is a minor alteration that can be done with just a log book entry. Any deviation - metal spats, engines not listed . . . Now become major alterations and require a 337 based on approved data. The other thing to consider is that the installer is responsible to determine the airworthiness of the combined alterations. You could have an STC that puts a C85 on a J3C or whatever, but unless it specifically states a J3 modified by the Reed Clip Wing, you still have a conflict that needs to be resolved.


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  5. #5

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    You can order the FAA CD on the airplane, it will have all the 337s for the airplane.


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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by dgapilot View Post
    A 337 by itself doesn’t necessarily make anything legal. Block 8 (the back) needs to cite “Approved data” for everything on the 337. If there is no pre existing approved data, a statement and signature in block 3 from an FAA inspector or a DAR makes the data in block 8 approved.

    Keep in mind that the Reed Clip Wing mod is part of the TC, and as such, if done per the drawings, is a minor alteration that can be done with just a log book entry. Any deviation - metal spats, engines not listed . . . Now become major alterations and require a 337 based on approved data. The other thing to consider is that the installer is responsible to determine the airworthiness of the combined alterations. You could have an STC that puts a C85 on a J3C or whatever, but unless it specifically states a J3 modified by the Reed Clip Wing, you still have a conflict that needs to be resolved.


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    Thanks for the info dgapilot. I'll get a hold of the 337's and review them.

    Would any of you have a problem buying a rebuilt J3 with the univair airframe?

    Seems like that would significantly depreciate the value of the cub since it had enough damage history to scrap the entire airframe from Piper..? No offense to the A&P/IA that rebuilt it. Asking 55K to 65K seems steep for a J3. Unfortunately theres know reliable Vref to bounce it off of.

  7. #7

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    $55-65 K is for a perfect aircraft with stroker or C-90, metal spar, wing tank, sealed struts, truly good finish. A clip-wing would be worth less.

    $25 K will get you a dog-eared airworthy 65 hp Cub with some kind of legal paperwork. Be sure to look for the data tag and an airworthiness certificate.

    I would rather have a new fuselage, even if there was no damage history. Once you replace damaged parts, a J3 is as good as new! If you repair the old fuselage, you could still have corrosion issues. What else is there that would give you pause after a crash?

  8. #8

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    Bob, thanks for your input on the price. Seems like guys may be putting a premium on asking price of their clipped wings... maybe due to lack of inventory... supply vs demand and all.

    As for my thoughts on the Univair new fuselage on the cub vs an original frame, you have a good point regarding old corrosion popping back up. I guess in my head I devalue the plane due to the fact that it was involved in an accident that required the fuselage to be scrapped (warranted or not) and the potential of other damage that may have not been identified or repaired from that accident. Is there an argument to be made for the fact that the new cub was put together by one person who may not have done as good of a job as the factory did originally?

    All that being said... What do you feel is a fair value for a perfect J-3 Restore with a C-85 (non stroker), wood spar, small wing tank, sealed struts, disc brakes, reed clip wing. 0 hours on motor in 5 years (that scares me a little). 350 SMOH 2500 AFTT? Data tag is new looking and placed on the tail? Airworthiness Certificate is present and states 1946 J-3 Cub. If I can link the bird or post pics I will.

  9. #9

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    What does the fabric look like?

    This is just a guess - I would say clipping the wings chops ten grand off. If the fabric is perfect and the engine was done by a good shop and has no internal rust, 40?

    I am not in the business, but we watched Cubs for a long time, and got a nearly perfect 90 hp metal spar with full electrics, strobes, GTR-200, transponder for 45 this year. We looked at several in the 42 range, but they didn't even come close. We also got a J4 with C-85 in almost show condition, 70 hours on good overhaul, for under 23.

    All very much opinion.

  10. #10

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    Oh - no J3 Cub out there has survived unscathed. A new fuselage probably adds five grand. Original metal spar wings with rib repairs or new spars work fine. You just tram them up and they are like new. Damaged tailfeathers, gear, etc., are often replaced with new. But the clipwing requires heating up those strut attach fittings and bending them. Boo.

    Ailerons can be a problem. Replace them in pairs. New from Dakota are under $900 each - that's about what used ones were going for in the 1980s.

    My take - and I do six slow rolls every week, plus some inverted flight - you would be happier with stock. It will do a nice aileron roll, and a beautiful banana-shaped loop.

  11. #11

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    Bob, thanks again for your insight and willingness to share your prices on cub's you've actually bought. That gives me a good base to compare other non clipped cubs I'm looking at on the market today. I had no idea clipping the wings would/should drop the value ( I see the logic and it makes sense). All clipped wings I'm seeing are asking as much or more than stock wings. It's apparent patience will pay off when looking/buying a plane like this since prices seem to be all over the place. There's a cub asking 70K right now online... wow.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    My take - and I do six slow rolls every week, plus some inverted flight - you would be happier with stock. It will do a nice aileron roll, and a beautiful banana-shaped loop.
    That just may be the path I take. Thanks for the advice!
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    What does the fabric look like?

    This is just a guess - I would say clipping the wings chops ten grand off. If the fabric is perfect and the engine was done by a good shop and has no internal rust, 40?

    I am not in the business, but we watched Cubs for a long time, and got a nearly perfect 90 hp metal spar with full electrics, strobes, GTR-200, transponder for 45 this year. We looked at several in the 42 range, but they didn't even come close. We also got a J4 with C-85 in almost show condition, 70 hours on good overhaul, for under 23.

    All very much opinion.
    Another question... If I'm wanting to stay LSA fir maintenance purposes, is buying a cub with a C90 w/ a 200 crank out of the question? I've heard someone say that modification makes the cub an experimental? Thoughts?

  14. #14

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    Yeah, you are under a couple of misimpressions. The J3 may be an LSA, but it must be maintained just like any other lightplane - A&Ps for most heavy maintenance and an annual inspection by an IA. The only advantage over, say, a Decathlon is - and this is important - if you have not failed your last FAA medical, you can fly the J3 on your drivers license.

    Convert a J3 to experimental? Highly unlikely, except for "airshow exhibition". You don't want that. Maybe a Legend is what you want?

    But by the same token, if you have taken and not failed an FAA medical within the last ten or so years, even if you needed an SI, you can go BasicMed and fly the Decathlon. You can even instruct with BasicMed.

    If this is of interest, check Randy Corfman's excellent threads on the subject.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    Yeah, you are under a couple of misimpressions. The J3 may be an LSA, but it must be maintained just like any other lightplane - A&Ps for most heavy maintenance and an annual inspection by an IA. The only advantage over, say, a Decathlon is - and this is important - if you have not failed your last FAA medical, you can fly the J3 on your drivers license.

    Convert a J3 to experimental? Highly unlikely, except for "airshow exhibition". You don't want that. Maybe a Legend is what you want?

    But by the same token, if you have taken and not failed an FAA medical within the last ten or so years, even if you needed an SI, you can go BasicMed and fly the Decathlon. You can even instruct with BasicMed.

    If this is of interest, check Randy Corfman's excellent threads on the subject.
    If I hold a light sport repairman certificate (maintenance) why would i not be allowed to do regular maintenance including annuals on my lsa cub?
    Last edited by hattrick79; 07-28-2019 at 10:28 PM.

  16. #16
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    https://www.faa.gov/documentlibrary/...c%2065-32a.pdf

    "bb. Standard Category, TC’d Aircraft. A TC’d aircraft may qualify to be operated with sport pilot privileges if it meets the definition of LSA aircraft. The TC’d aircraft will be maintained and inspected in accordance with parts 43 and 91. For a list of eligible TC aircraft,see the FAA Light Sport Web site at:http://www.faa.gov/aircraft/gen_av/light_sport/media/ExistingModels.pdf."

    A Piper J-3 is a Standard Category, TC’d Aircraft.

    "110. PRIVILEGES AND LIMITATIONS OF A REPAIRMAN (LSA) CERTIFICATE WITH AN INSPECTION RATING § 65.107. A person holding a repairman (LSA) certificate with an inspection rating is limited to performing the annual condition inspection on an ELSA certificated under § 21.191(i)(1) that the repairman owns and that is identified on the repairman certificate by the aircraft registration and serial number. Non-ownership of the aircraft identified on the holder’s repairman certificate will suspend the privileges of the certificate.NOTE: Section 65.107 certificated repairmen (LSA) may not return to service a TC’d or amateur-built aircraft."

    If you were to buy a Legend Cub, you would be eligible to earn a light sport repairman certificate since the Legend is certified as a Light Sport.
    Last edited by skywagon8a; 07-29-2019 at 05:02 AM.
    N1PA

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by hattrick79 View Post
    If I hold a light sport repairman certificate (maintenance) why would i not be allowed to do regular maintenance including annuals on my lsa cub?
    The Light Sport Repairman Certificate is only good on aircraft that have Special Light Sport airworthiness certificates. A J3 will have a Standard Airworthiness Certificate. The only thing Light Sport about a J3 is that it falls within the weight and speed limitations of a Light Sport pilot certificate.


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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by dgapilot View Post
    The Light Sport Repairman Certificate is only good on aircraft that have Special Light Sport airworthiness certificates. A J3 will have a Standard Airworthiness Certificate. The only thing Light Sport about a J3 is that it falls within the weight and speed limitations of a Light Sport pilot certificate.


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    So if understand you correctly... If i bought a legend cub LSA I could do maintenance on it... But not a J-3 because it doesnt have a Light Sport AWC? Well bend me over and spank me silly...... Why didn't I realize that before lol... Thanks for turning my light bulb on.
    Last edited by hattrick79; 07-29-2019 at 09:26 AM.
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  19. #19

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    Lot of stuff like that. Neat equipment is available for experimental aircraft including lights and IFR instrumentation. Consequences for failure are identical to the same failure of certificated stuff, so why can't we use it for standard aircraft? Don't know, but we can't.

    The catch-22 for medical issues? You can fly Sport if you never held an FAA medical, but if you try to get one and flunk, you cannot fly Sport. Ever.

    Read this stuff like a lawyer. Take advantage of what you can, and manage your risks.
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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by hattrick79 View Post
    So if understand you correctly... If i bought a legend cub LSA I could do maintenance on it... But not a J-3 because it doesnt have a Light Sport AWC? Well bend me over and spank me silly...... Why didn't I realize that before lol... Thanks for turning my light bulb on.
    That’s exactly right!


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    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Legal Reed Clipped Wings?

    Quote Originally Posted by hattrick79 View Post
    Would any of you have a problem buying a rebuilt J3 with the univair airframe?

    Seems like that would significantly depreciate the value of the cub since it had enough damage history to scrap the entire airframe from Piper..? No offense to the A&P/IA that rebuilt it.
    No problem at all. That’s an upgrade.

    Most rebuilt planes are worth LESS than what the owners spend on building them. Usually 2 or 3 time less.

    Me myself, I prefer to fix old fuselages, but I am biased, and get paid $1.50 a minute........


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    The clipped wing cub didn't work out, but I am currently in talks with the seller of a PA-11. If any of you have insight or experience with them would you mind speaking with me about them... Please PM me if you would like to share any knowledge or experience. And yes... I realize I still cant do the maintenance myself

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    If you like flying, you cannot go wrong with a good J3 or PA-11. Only real difference - the 11 is 10 mph faster, and probably ten grand more. And it has, I am told, a bungee on the elevator.

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    PA-11 is a great plane, especially with a C90. With a climb prop, they get off short, cruises at 85ish mph. The only bad thing is if you're over 5'10" or so, you'll want a super cub seat in it to get your head behind the center spar attach point. The sliding seat also gives you some leg room, which is a bit tight with the stock PA-11 seat. All in all, a sweet flying plane!

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