Results 1 to 34 of 34

Thread: Commonwealth SkyRanger 185

  1. #1
    RVBottomly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Asotin County Washington (KLWS)
    Posts
    542
    Post Thanks / Like

    Commonwealth SkyRanger 185

    I was innocently minding my own business, scrolling through aviation stuff on the local Craigslist, when I ran across a Commonwealth SkyRanger 185.


    https://lewiston.craigslist.org/avo/...966779507.html

    I'd never seen or heard of one before. This one has a C-90, is in current annual, and apparently has relatively new fabric. The downside is the owner doesn't seem to know much of its history and only flies it 5-6 hours a year.

    But I'm a sucker for the obscure. I wasn't really looking for something like this to buy, but I'm going to look at it tomorrow.

    Is anyone here familiar with this type?
    Vic
    Likes Hardtailjohn, Farmer Ted, SJ, Jim Hann liked this post

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    36
    Post Thanks / Like
    Pretty rare air there, nice side by side seating. If I remember right my uncle flew them and said heavy controls and bad in crosswinds. But the plus side was very stable! He liked his cub and lusombe better. I’ve only seen one. I though he said they had slots or slats I can’t remember that was a long time ago. I’m sure there’s some one here that’s knows more.
    Likes RVBottomly liked this post

  3. #3
    Charlie Longley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Arlington, WA
    Posts
    532
    Post Thanks / Like
    Well it’s certainly cheap! I’ve seen them around but don’t know much about them. My feeling on obscure airplanes is there’s a reason they’re obscure...
    Likes RVBottomly liked this post

  4. #4
    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Marion, MT
    Posts
    703
    Post Thanks / Like
    I almost bought one in the 80's. It was at Ferndale, MT. I wound up getting my Tcraft instead. From what I remember, it was a pretty good little bird. Side by side and sticks! I remember it has a small looking rudder, and not balanced.
    John
    Likes RVBottomly liked this post

  5. #5
    Cub junkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    My Moms basement
    Posts
    2,056
    Post Thanks / Like
    C90 is worth as much as the asking price if its a good one.
    Likes Farmer Ted, RVBottomly liked this post

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    1,309
    Post Thanks / Like
    If my memory serves, the Skyranger is a derivative of a late 1930's Rearwin design, probably on the same Type Certificate. A former Luscombe partner of mine bought one in the late '70's, but didn't fly it a whole lot. But of course he got to abbreviate his logbook entries as "C-185" . I seem to recall a wooden wing structure, so that's something which would need to be carefully looked at, including how it's been stored over the years.

    That said, I've got a soft spot in my heart (and head) for these examples of all these old gems, chasing pretty much the same small market. Let us know what you find out.

    Thanks. cubscout
    Likes RVBottomly, Hardtailjohn liked this post

  7. #7
    skywagon8a's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    SE Mass
    Posts
    9,352
    Post Thanks / Like
    I too recall it having a wood spars and ribs. Very roomy. I had a friend with one long ago who seemed to like it. I never flew in it. This is a good description: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonwealth_Skyranger
    That price is suspicious, unless the owner just wants it gone. The pictures imply that it has been hangared which is a plus.
    It is likely that it is not as well known as the Cubs and Champs because the company went out of business just as the post war boom was starting. They did not have the advantage of a large war time production being all tooled up, along with the war production resources to keep them going.

    Let us know what you find. It certainly is not expensive.
    N1PA

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    don
    Posts
    699
    Post Thanks / Like
    Took a fella up there to look at it a few week ago. He needed LSA. This little plane doesn't qualify. 1500 grosse wieght.
    Not a bad looking plane.
    Thanks RVBottomly thanked for this post

  9. #9
    RVBottomly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Asotin County Washington (KLWS)
    Posts
    542
    Post Thanks / Like
    Thanks, everyone. I'm heading up there in a couple of hours.

    I was not looking for something to buy as I'm building, but I'm sure getting tired of the rent/schedule dance these days.

    I'll give a review later, after I get done with all my appointments.

    Vic
    Likes Hardtailjohn, Slow flyer liked this post

  10. #10
    RVBottomly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Asotin County Washington (KLWS)
    Posts
    542
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Longley View Post
    Well it’s certainly cheap! I’ve seen them around but don’t know much about them. My feeling on obscure airplanes is there’s a reason they’re obscure...
    Made me chuckle.... There's probably a reason I'm obscure, too.
    Likes CharlieN liked this post

  11. #11
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Fairbanks, AK.
    Posts
    1,622
    Post Thanks / Like
    Might be a fun ride. The Wiki article above has a great link to reviews. Taylorcraft-type 23012 wing.

    Gary
    Likes Hardtailjohn liked this post

  12. #12
    RVBottomly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Asotin County Washington (KLWS)
    Posts
    542
    Post Thanks / Like
    So I checked it out. It looked pretty good. The owner is an older A&P, retired except for a hobby of restoring aircraft. He lives on a private airstrip development 7 miles out of town. I didn't know the place existed. He used to be a spray pilot too. Nice shop with various exotic parts and relics. Turns out he is good friends with a local IA that I respect, who signed the July annual. Reason he wants to sell is to make room for the Ercoupe he has an eye on.

    I didn't press him on the low price--I'm going to talk to the IA about that. I did like the airplane: clean and simple. The owner pointed various minor flaws, but the engine seems sound and good compressions measured just 2 months ago. I didn't have time to run it, that will be later. It also has updated Cleveland disc brakes and an electric starter. New mags. I poked around in usual suspicious areas and saw no hint of rust. Logs go back to 1947 and it looked consistently maintained. Top overhaul 6 years ago, overhaul 9 years ago in a shop in Billings. Once concern is low hours over the past 6 years, but that seems common on these kinds of things.





    It has wing slots on the outer wing:




    T-craft-like wings:



    So, despite not planning on buying an airplane, I intend to have another set of eyes look it over. I will probably make an offer. My aviation slush fund has built up to cover it. Now I just have to find a hangar....(He did offer to rent me his for the time being).
    Likes CharlieN, Hardtailjohn, brown bear liked this post

  13. #13
    RVBottomly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Asotin County Washington (KLWS)
    Posts
    542
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Hardtailjohn View Post
    I almost bought one in the 80's. It was at Ferndale, MT. I wound up getting my Tcraft instead. From what I remember, it was a pretty good little bird. Side by side and sticks! I remember it has a small looking rudder, and not balanced.
    John
    This might be the same one. Looks like it spent time in eastern Montana in the 80s.
    Likes Hardtailjohn liked this post

  14. #14
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Fairbanks, AK.
    Posts
    1,622
    Post Thanks / Like
    C90 STC>http://www.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory...B?OpenDocument

    TCDS A-729>
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Thanks RVBottomly thanked for this post

  15. #15
    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Marion, MT
    Posts
    703
    Post Thanks / Like
    Was the shop that did the overhaul MAC? Or Tim McGinnis? Awesome guy if it is! We used to run a bunch of TSIO-360 Continentals and he was the only one I found that could make them stick together consistently to TBO.
    Looks like a fun little rig!!!
    John

  16. #16
    RVBottomly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Asotin County Washington (KLWS)
    Posts
    542
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Hardtailjohn View Post
    Was the shop that did the overhaul MAC? Or Tim McGinnis? Awesome guy if it is! We used to run a bunch of TSIO-360 Continentals and he was the only one I found that could make them stick together consistently to TBO.
    Looks like a fun little rig!!!
    John
    It was Tim McGinnis. The current owner spoke highly of him too.

    Sent from my SM-J320V using SuperCub.Org mobile app
    Likes Hardtailjohn liked this post

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    46
    Post Thanks / Like
    If the airframe is sound it would be hard to do better for that kind of money.
    Likes skywagon8a liked this post

  18. #18
    S2D's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    4,060
    Post Thanks / Like
    There was one around this area when I started my shop in 84. Guy rebuilt it and brought it in to me for an annual. Looked up in the wings and saw paint stirring sticks used to repair the wood ribs. I passed on working on it.
    I may be wrong but that probably won't stop me from arguing about it.
    Likes RVBottomly liked this post

  19. #19
    Cub Builder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    North Central AR
    Posts
    649
    Post Thanks / Like
    A friend of mine had one back in the early 80s in Toledo, WA. Nice plane. As previously mentioned, the large vertical stab and small rudder limit the crosswind capabilities, but otherwise a nice solid plane. Was originally born with a C-85. I can tell you the grillwork and exhaust aren't original, but that's probably not a huge surprise. It was built with drilled diffusers on the exhaust. It looks like those are just missing, but shouldn't be an issue. I can't recall what the cowl looked like, but the inlets on that one aren't it. I'll have to dig through my old photos and see if I can't find my pictures of it. At any rate, if I was in the market for that class of plane, I'd be all over it for that price. Original instrumentation was all the engine instruments in a single gauge around a large tachometer. Kind of like the dash on a 1950s car.

    -Cub Builder
    Thanks RVBottomly thanked for this post

  20. #20
    RVBottomly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Asotin County Washington (KLWS)
    Posts
    542
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by S2D View Post
    There was one around this area when I started my shop in 84. Guy rebuilt it and brought it in to me for an annual. Looked up in the wings and saw paint stirring sticks used to repair the wood ribs. I passed on working on it.
    I did peek up at the spar and ribs and didn't see any paint sticks. I didn't see any obvious cracks or rot, either.

  21. #21
    RVBottomly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Asotin County Washington (KLWS)
    Posts
    542
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Cub Builder View Post
    Original instrumentation was all the engine instruments in a single gauge around a large tachometer. Kind of like the dash on a 1950s car.

    -Cub Builder
    I have to admit that was one of the first things that started tugging on me. That and it reminded me of my first car: a 1938 Buick Special.

  22. #22
    cubdriver2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    upstate NY
    Posts
    9,809
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by S2D View Post
    There was one around this area when I started my shop in 84. Guy rebuilt it and brought it in to me for an annual. Looked up in the wings and saw paint stirring sticks used to repair the wood ribs. I passed on working on it.
    Lol, when I worked at Rhinebeck and had a rib repair on a flying airplane we went to the snack bar trash and got the popsicle sticks and 5 min epoxy.
    They are beech sticks, if you ever tried to twist one off in your teeth when you were a kid you know how tough they are

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

  23. #23

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    12
    Post Thanks / Like
    Be careful! I believe it came out of Madras to a fellow named Larry Ludwig.

  24. #24
    RVBottomly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Asotin County Washington (KLWS)
    Posts
    542
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by leatherneck View Post
    Be careful! I believe it came out of Madras to a fellow named Larry Ludwig.
    It looks like it once was in Madras. Why should that make me be careful?

    PM me if you'd rather.

    Thanks,
    Vic

  25. #25

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    don
    Posts
    699
    Post Thanks / Like
    Yep, was in Madras and went to Larry Ludwig. Not sure why that is bad?

  26. #26
    Jim Hann's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Ballwin, MO
    Posts
    64
    Post Thanks / Like
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	A2ACD16D-CD3C-40A2-AB2C-DA7C70458209.jpg 
Views:	75 
Size:	99.9 KB 
ID:	44797
    A buddy has one down in Florida that I flew, C85 on that one. Sticks, comfortable, not very fast, agree on the low crosswind limitation.

    Enjoy!
    Likes Hardtailjohn liked this post

  27. #27
    skywagon8a's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    SE Mass
    Posts
    9,352
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by RVBottomly View Post
    If and when you get this, if you have cooling issues on the engine remove those screens. They will have a tendency to reduce the air flow which in turn will increase the CHTs.
    N1PA
    Likes RVBottomly liked this post

  28. #28
    RVBottomly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Asotin County Washington (KLWS)
    Posts
    542
    Post Thanks / Like
    I'm still checking on things. One question though: it doesn't have shoulder straps. I think there is support in the superstructure to attach something, but I don't have a fuselage drawing.

    I really want shoulder restraints. Even my 1972 Subaru had that.
    Likes CharlieN liked this post

  29. #29

    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    474
    Post Thanks / Like
    It’s an outgrowth of the Rearwin Cloudster. Been a long time since I worked on a Commonwealth, but the rear carry through should be OK to attach shoulder harness to. It only has a single diagonal from the front carry through to the rear, so if you ever recover the fuselage, installing an X brace would be a good idea. I had to straighten the diagonal on a Cloudster following a very light wing tip strike.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Thanks RVBottomly thanked for this post

  30. #30
    L18C-95's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    449
    Post Thanks / Like
    Nicely restored Rearwin for sale in the UK

    https://www.justplanetrading.com/sho...0-g-aeof-1936/



    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org

  31. #31
    skywagon8a's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    SE Mass
    Posts
    9,352
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by L18C-95 View Post
    Nicely restored Rearwin for sale in the UK

    https://www.justplanetrading.com/sho...0-g-aeof-1936/
    Built in 1936 and only has 420 hours on it???? Looks nice.
    N1PA

  32. #32

    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    1
    Post Thanks / Like
    Hi all,

    A friend just clued me into the existence of this thread. There's a pretty active Skyranger owners group online as well as resources (paperwork, digitized blueprints, etc) online. Message me off-thread with questions, or if you'd like to be added to that mailing group to ask questions to the gang at large.

    -David Pablo Cohn, Commonwealth NC33395
    Thanks RVBottomly thanked for this post
    Likes CharlieN, Hardtailjohn, hotrod180 liked this post

  33. #33
    TurboBeaver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Northern Maine
    Posts
    692
    Post Thanks / Like
    Nice to see the old Skyranger on here!
    It was almost my first airplane, there one here at Pushaw Lake in the mid 70's. Yellow and Blue ceconite recent cover, mid time C85 that ran great. On Federal 1500 skis . Asking price $2000. I went out to look at it and owner offered to let me fly it. I was firmilar with 65 Champs and 65 Tcrafts. He demonstrated a T/O with it
    And it similar to the Tcraft in performance. Flew very similar. I played around with it for 1/2 hr and decided to buy it. He then says" let me have it" from about 300'agl he pushes the nose over and opens her up wide open and does a perfect loop right off the deck to show me "what she would do" ........ When we got out of it he says" whatcha think" I was sure if he was asking about the plane or his 200' loop I was still trying to recover from!
    I told him I liked it and would need to arrange my finances for purchasing.
    He then says" if it will help ya I will take $ 1800 for her".
    I had saved $900 that summer and called my Dad all excited about the "SkyRanger" and the possibilities of "borrowing $900 for the purchase" he listened to my story and informed me
    That probably the last thing on earth I needed was " a skiplane to play with" when I was soposed to be going to college........... He then informed me there were institutions called "Banks"
    That might be another Avenue to pursue, but his recomendation was to forget it .......
    So I never bought it and have regreated ever since! Lol. Fun little taildragger that seamed to do about anything a Chief or Tcraft did for "half price".

    Sent from my LM-X210 using SuperCub.Org mobile app

  34. #34
    supercrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Smith Pond near Millinocket, Me
    Posts
    313
    Post Thanks / Like
    We had one on the field here for a few yrs. in the mid to late seventies. I flew it some along with t-crafts and a chief. It flew great and was roomier that the T-craft or Chief, but was heavy and underpowered with the 85HP. The rudder was also small for crosswind landings. As I look back on it now it was built like a tank and needed an0320. It worked ok on skies as long as the snow conditions were favorable, but used a lot or room. I was told recently that there was one for sale in the area, but don't know anything about it.

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •