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Thread: Yet Another 2+2/PA-14 Project

  1. #1

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    Yet Another 2+2/PA-14 Project

    Hi Folks,

    Through a bit of luck and happenstance, I've joined the seemingly burgeoning group of PA-14 clone builders on here. I was looking for a high wing 4 (ish) place to build, which quickly shortlisted the Wag Aero 2+2 (my S.O. and I are trim enough to cram into the front). I started asking around and soon came across a project in the area that had been dormant for around 30 years. It's in very good shape and the workmanship is great - the previous builder is a machinist. The fuselage structure is done, as well as the empennage and half the wing ribs. The control column, rudder pedals, and gear cabane and bungee struts are also done. At least a decade's worth of work left to do, and a lot of skills to master before I get there, but excited to start picking away at it.

    A few decision points I'll need to reach relatively soon, once I start moving on the build. Bear in mind that my typical flight will be medium-distance cross countries around the Midwest, and operating at prepared strips only (farm strips on up). Would like the option of having skis. Engine yet to be determined, probably an O-320.

    - Wood or metal wings? I already have a set of ribs (aileron stations) built in wood, and while I'm not an expert woodworker I'm more comfortable working with wood vs sheet metal and have a small basement woodshop. At a gross weight of 2100 lbs and 150-160 horse, is this an issue?
    - Flaps? I'm leaning toward no. Would greatly simplify my life building the wings without them and I'm operating relatively close to sea level at prepared airports.
    - Spoilers? The Wag Aero plans include them, and it seems like they might be fun to use. I was thinking that I could rig them to a servo with a control on the stick to actuate them on approach. It's a pretty simple system, and way easier than building flaps.

    Thanks, look forward to getting going!
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  2. #2
    stknrddr's Avatar
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    Welcome. Great to see another scratch builder.
    john

  3. #3
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    Welcome to the site. There is a wealth of information already discussed here and many very knowledgeable people more than willing to help in your building endeavors. Remember that home building is for your education and recreation. I too have been scratchbuilding a 2+2 for many years. You have a good start on a great plane but there is still plenty of work left to do. My advice would be to try not to reinvent the wheel, use new PA12 experimental parts when you can to cut down the amount of work, buy new PMA parts if you can afford them, build parts that look interesting to work on and cherish each little accomplishment. I get more done when the work is at my house rather than the hanger. I chose to use Dakota Cub PA12 wing parts with their 24 gallon tanks. Their parts are all well made and the wing is strong. Try to work on the project at least 15 minutes a day. You will get to buy a lot of fun tools. Used ones can work just fine most of the time. Take your time and remember that you are building something that will probably out last you so make it good enough for your grandchildren.
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    RVBottomly's Avatar
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    Yes, welcome!

    A long-time member here, Tim, might chime in if he's around. He has a 2+2 that he's flown a lot, and very well. It had spoilers and no flaps at first. He added flaps.

    I think the spoilers as drawn seem cool, but I really can't imagine what they could do that a good slip couldn't do. I do think flaps are something you'd eventually want.

    I'm building wood wings even though I've wavered some from time to time. I have all the materials and one wing built, so I'm pressing on. If I were doing it over, I'd probably go with what Jim said above or one of the other wing kits available. I like working with wood, but it is slow.

  5. #5
    Marty57's Avatar
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    Welcome! I'm covering my scratch built 2+2; getting closer I guess to being done. Mine has a wood wings, wood ailerons, and wood flaps. I made changes to my wing to make things a bit easier; it's all there. Super Cub.org has been a wealth of help over the years of my build. I've put everything I've learned into my website, it's all there. I've redone a lot of drawings in CAD, they are on my website. If you have any questions, let me know. marty2plus2.com

    Marty57
    N367PS
    Psalm 36:7 "High and low among men find refuge in the shadow of His wing"
    www.marty2plus2.com

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty57 View Post
    Welcome! I'm covering my scratch built 2+2; getting closer I guess to being done. Mine has a wood wings, wood ailerons, and wood flaps. I made changes to my wing to make things a bit easier; it's all there. Super Cub.org has been a wealth of help over the years of my build. I've put everything I've learned into my website, it's all there. I've redone a lot of drawings in CAD, they are on my website. If you have any questions, let me know. marty2plus2.com

    Marty57
    Thanks Marty! I've been intently studying your site in the past few weeks. Thank you for so thoroughly documenting your build!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by RVBottomly View Post
    I'm building wood wings even though I've wavered some from time to time. I have all the materials and one wing built, so I'm pressing on. If I were doing it over, I'd probably go with what Jim said above or one of the other wing kits available. I like working with wood, but it is slow.
    Thanks, I've been reading your thread too. I don't have the cash for a wing kit (and would rather save toward an engine and other parts I'll need down the road), so I'm OK trading time for affordability as long as there are no serious structural/performance drawbacks to wood.
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  8. #8
    Marty57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Otis480 View Post
    Thanks, I've been reading your thread too. I don't have the cash for a wing kit (and would rather save toward an engine and other parts I'll need down the road), so I'm OK trading time for affordability as long as there are no serious structural/performance drawbacks to wood.
    I've been mentored by an aero engineer, rag and tube builder, who is highly regarded chief a test pilot for one of the biggies. When I started my build, I mentioned to him I was thinking about a metal wing ..... he asked me why? As we talked, it became clear that, given the choice, he would go with wood. He later ran the numbers on the spar for me and it was ridiculously overbuilt; something like +/- 12 g's at 250 knots. He mentioned all the aerobatic aircraft out there with wood wings, like the Pitts, and I was sold. I taught woodworking for 30+ years so it just makes sense for me to use wood. Wood isn't for everyone but it is something that you can do with very basic tools. Granted, wood is expensive and spruce is hard to find these days but using the FAA accepted Doug Fir is a very acceptable alternative that will only cost you a couple pounds per wing. My wings weight was 64 lbs without cables or tanks; everything else on the wing. You would be hard pressed to build anything lighter. Do a lot of research and build what you feel most comfortable. Scratch building is very time consuming but the best bang for the bucks for me. When all done, I'll have maybe $35K in my plane, that includes one overhauled and one mid time O290D2. The mid time O290D2 came from my mentor's Pacer after he upgraded engines to have to use a controllable pitch prop. I'll answer any questions I can as you move along on the project.

    Marty57
    N367PS
    Psalm 36:7 "High and low among men find refuge in the shadow of His wing"
    www.marty2plus2.com
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  9. #9
    jimboflying's Avatar
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    You might want to check into the availability and cost of wood spars before you decide on which route to go. It is possible to fabricate your own metal ribs. Taylorcraft planes use both wood spars and metal ribs.
    The cost of an engine is certainly significant but in reality is one of the last things you will need. It will be several years down the road. Mine has been sitting in its crate for quite some time becoming further aged.
    Last edited by jimboflying; 10-23-2021 at 12:29 PM.

  10. #10

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    If it's of any interest, I happen to be a staff member at a small organization of aviation enthusiasts based in Wisconsin, and co-host its podcast. For our most recent episode, I sat down with stknrddr and a third cub builder on staff that many of you may know to discuss our projects and the process of plans/scratchbuilding:
    https://inspire.eaa.org/2021/11/16/e...ratchbuilding/
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  11. #11

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    Marty57: What is your target empty weight of the finished 2+2? How on earth did you manage to build it for only $35,000?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Heinrich View Post
    Marty57: What is your target empty weight of the finished 2+2? How on earth did you manage to build it for only $35,000?
    I'm building it light; wood wings came in at 64 lbs without tanks, covers and cables. Everything else is minimal and covering will be pretty light. No projection on final weight.

    As for cost, the only "kit" I bought was the material kit from Wag for the fuselage for $1500 I think when I bought it. I have a nice used O290D2 and prop from a friends plane ($3,000) and a second O290D2 that is overhauled and pickled that came from an unfinished project. That engine has all the receipts from Devco, Etc, and came with an overhauled Carb. That engine cost me $7700. I sold all four mags, two were new, and bought two EMags. I also sold the extra carb from first engine. So, EMags cost me nothing. I sold all the accessories from both engines and bought new B&C lightweight starter and alternator, saving about half with all the sales. I have bought and sold three sets of wheels to get me to the New Grove wheels with 8.5 x6 tires. Wheels came from an abandoned project. With trades, wheels and tires cost me less than $500. My spruce for my wings came from a mill in Forks, Washington; they supply Wicks and Aircraft Spruce. I picked up rough planks that they cut for me and we loaded them up on my motorhome during a vacation at Olympic National Park. I needed plywood from Spruce so my wings came in at less than $3,000. I had a local NHRA old school welder fabricate custom tanks for me for about $800 each, one of my bigger expenses. All the wing fittings were made in house. As an example, the pulley cages were something like $40 each, I made them for about $1.00 each plus my time. I made all the compression fittings in the wings and the flap and aileron hinges. There is hardly any cost in materials for that sort of thing. I did redraw all the fittings in CAD, that made jigs for fabrication very easy. Even my flaps and ailerons are wood. Flap control bellcrank is stock Super Cub; one of the few parts I didn't make but that was given to from another builders spare parts, brand new. Doors are all wood and the gas struts came from local Motor home shop; same part as from Spruce at half the price.

    Pulleys and electric, along with other little pieces came from Javron, that saved a bunch. The process goes on and on.

    Fabric and paint will be about $3,000; I saved some on that since I teach for Stewart Systems. My panel will be minimal; I have picked up some instruments here on SC and from my my friend who I got the first engine from. I'll use my Ipad for a few electronic issues in the cockpit. I did a covering job for a friend instead of welding up my engine mount; had that fabricated for me. Resulted in a direct trade so the real coat of the mount was $0 but I guess I have to figure in the $900 I paid for that.

    It's all about time vs money. I have been horse trading parts since day one on this thing. Only major component yet to buy is exhaust; need to figure out a few more horse trades to get the Sutton Exhaust. If you want quick, my process is not the way to go. If you like to build and trade, this is the way to go.

    So, I think the $30-$35K is still pretty accurate. My windows slide open for navigation .... no need for fancy electronics (-:

    I have been at this a long time! I have done all the work in my garage so no hangar rental over this long haul. I'm finishing up a small workshop next to my garage; kind of ran out of room with the covering seminars I do in my shop. I should be covering the wings and fuselage here pretty soon than sheet metal upfront (already bought and homemade bender) so O should be making pretty good progress very soon.

    Marty57

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    N367PS
    Psalm 36:7 "High and low among men find refuge in the shadow of His wing"
    www.marty2plus2.com
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  13. #13

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    Absolutely amazing story of stick-to-it-ness!!! Verifiable proof you don’t have to be rich to build and own an airplane.

    When it’s finished it should be on the cover of every aviation and human interest magazine. Thanks for sharing it.
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Otis480 View Post
    If it's of any interest, I happen to be a staff member at a small organization of aviation enthusiasts based in Wisconsin, and co-host its podcast. For our most recent episode, I sat down with stknrddr and a third cub builder on staff that many of you may know to discuss our projects and the process of plans/scratchbuilding:
    https://inspire.eaa.org/2021/11/16/e...ratchbuilding/
    These monkeys are always entertaining and most importantly, informative. Talented bunch with great guests. I think that if they keep it up this Oshkosh deal might turn into something
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  15. #15
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    Welcome to the forums "Otis". You'll find tons of information and a great group of folks here, some of whom you already know very well!!
    Joe

    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat

  16. #16

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    Another interesting project! Way to go

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