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Thread: Pa-12 vs 170?

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    Pa-12 vs 170?

    I have a 170B with a sportsman stol, wondering how it compares to a stock pa-12-135 with flaps as far as landing and takeoff?

    I like the 170 and where it can go on 26s but it’s pretty boring to fly otherwise. It gets into the gravel bars and mountain tops I like to go decently well.

    I found a PA-12 for 65k that the fuselage and fabric were redone and painted about 8 years ago, pa-18 stabs and feathers, and is on 31s. Thinking it might be a good platform to eventually put a 160 hp on.
    Last edited by tundra_flyer; 04-19-2022 at 12:36 PM.

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    I have no 170 experience…but a friend has a 180hp 170 B and he will not go where we go…one guy has a flapless PA12 with a 135 and it does well…what gear does it have…time on motor…0290D2 has a 1500 TBO I believe…

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    Quote Originally Posted by J5Ron View Post
    I have no 170 experience…but a friend has a 180hp 170 B and he will not go where we go…one guy has a flapless PA12 with a 135 and it does well…what gear does it have…time on motor…0290D2 has a 1500 TBO I believe…
    It's got the stock gear whats involved in swapping to the 18? Yea motor has over 1k hours on it, I was thinking to find a 320 core and rebuild it over the summer and swap in for Fall hunting.

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    What part of the country are you going to be flying in? How rough and how short of strips? If you put a big motor and 29 in bushwheels on a 170 they are great performers. especially with a sportsman cuff. Upgrading power on either plane is going to cost a lot better to find a plane with the engine you want to start with.
    DENNY

  5. #5
    stewartb's Avatar
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    I've seen impressive performance from a few 145hp 170Bs. Of course the performance declines with added load but that applies to a 135hp -12, too.

    Beware of what's underneath 8 year old clothing on a 75 year old airplane. You'd be better off spending your money on one that's already rebuilt like you want it.

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    mvivion's Avatar
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    I agree with Stewart. Unless you have really precise knowledge of what all was done during that recover…..be careful.

    Second, upgrading engines isn’t cheap, no matter the aircraft.

    I owned a 52 170B for years. Plane was on its second O-360 when I bought it. Previous owner was a guy named Graham Mower, an old timer. He did appraisals for insurance companies. Which means, when someone crashed, Mower would fly out there, land and provide estimates of repairs/salvage.

    During the time I owned that plane, I was approached by several pilots who said they’d seen that plane parked in places they couldn’t figure out where he’d landed.

    If I were you (and obviously that ain’t happening) and if that 170 were in generally good condition, I’d figure out how to get an O-360 installed. Those things really rock, and they’ll haul a load.

    Do you have a spouse/girlfriend, or? Have they ever flown in the back seat of a tandem plane? That can be a tough place. Right front seat is MUCH friendlier.

    It really depends on how hard core you’re going to get as to LZs. A pilot who is really handy with a 180 hp 170B can do most of what the vast majority of Super Cub guys do.

    And a PA-12 is NOT a Super Cub.

    MTV

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    What is the difference between, in performance, between a super cub and a PA-12 with the same engines, flaps etc.? I always wondered.

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    I'd say at 4000' MSL, about, but no more than 100' take off and landing, 5 mph and $50,000
    Staying alive in an airplane has a lot more to do with mastering ourselves than mastering the aircraft.
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    That's awfully generous. My guess is that it takes the 12 about twice as long to get off, but once off, it is at least 10 mph faster.
    Take that with a grain of salt - my 12 time is quite limited, all at sea level, and a pretty ratty 150 hp.
    I love Cubs and 180s, and would not give you a fig for the 170 or the -12. The 170 might be ok with 180 c/s and 180 style flaps.
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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Kid View Post
    What is the difference between, in performance, between a super cub and a PA-12 with the same engines, flaps etc.? I always wondered.
    Google search: PA12 vs PA18 site:supercub.org
    Many threads on the subject.
    https://www.supercub.org/forum/showt...istics-Vs-PA18
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
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  11. #11
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    That's awfully generous. My guess is that it takes the 12 about twice as long to get off, but once off, it is at least 10 mph faster.
    Take that with a grain of salt - my 12 time is quite limited, all at sea level, and a pretty ratty 150 hp.
    I love Cubs and 180s, and would not give you a fig for the 170 or the -12. The 170 might be ok with 180 c/s and 180 style flaps.
    Bob,
    Actually, Cessna 180 flaps are Cessna 170B flaps……the first plane with the Para Lift flaps.

    A 180 Hp 170B, kept light, is an amazing performer.

    MTV
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  12. #12
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    170B, 172, 180, 182, 185- same wing as far as area and flaps go. As gross goes up power goes up. Wing loading and power loading. Find your happy place.

    PA-12 and PA-18- once flaps are added they’re essentially the same wing. AOI favors Cubs and ailerons favor -12s. Internal vs external cables doesn’t matter much to the guy at the controls. The biggest takeaway the average pilot will notice is they have a different view out the front due to the AOI.

    I like figs.
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    I own both types currently. The stock 170B with Sportsman STOL gets off the ground incredibly quickly with lots of control. Completely benign in all phases of flight. The cuff is amazing. PA-12 definitely takes more runway on takeoff. It may be a little shorter on landing, but not much. I’ve never flown a -12 with flaps so have no opinion on that. If I was gonna operate in and out of rough places I’d want the PA-12. It’s just more solid all around. My -12 cruises about 105 mph with 8.00s. The 170 is 110-112 with 8.50s. It’s a toss up unless you need the extra hauling room of the 170. Plus I can fly the 170 IFR if I need to. 170 is more comfortable. Right now a good -12 will cost around $60+/-. 170Bs are bringing quite a bit more. Mine would probably bring $100k. Good luck finding a 180hp 170B for less than $130k. A good one costs that much or more because there ain’t many to be had. Building one costs even more.
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  14. #14

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    My dad has a 180hp sportsman STOL 170B with a C/S prop and probably more importantly for the rough stuff - 180 gear legs. If flying with a load is a consideration for you at all I would look pretty close at upgrading the 170. It can haul so much more than the -12 and if the load includes people, they'll be a lot more comfortable too.
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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Right now is probably the only time in the 50 plus years I've been flying that I seriously believe you could purchase a decent (no show queen, plus high time motor) stock 170B and convert it to a Lycoming O-360 or a Continental IO-360 and sell it for what you have in it, or more.

    I know of a really, REALLY nice 170B with a Lycoming that sold for north of $200K a while back. Good, stock 170Bs with run out engines can be had for $60ish. Those prices are going up too, though.

    MTV

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    Isn’t the correct answer both? It seems like no two 170 or -12 is set up the same, so an apples to apples comparison might be difficult. A 170 will probably have the legal useful load edge over a 12 properly set up for real off airport flying.

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    I also like them both but the values have moved them out of my price range - in fact I find it hard to get my head around prices asked an obtained for 18’s, 12’s 170’s and so on. So I have a tricked out Piper J-5/PA-12 hybrid I fly right now with 160 hp for fun, and a PA-28B with 250 hp for when I want to go places with a load. I am still fixing what I regard as the ultimate Taylorcaft - an Auster J/5G with 4 seats and an all up weight of 2450lbs. Those are to be had for about $30k and can accept a O-360 - seem like the best bang for buck out there.


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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    We are simply running out of older airplanes that are safe for further flight. There's lots of "deals" offered but with questionable history and airworthiness. Get what you want now. Yes as owners age about many will continue to be be for sale, but with inflation will your dollars keep up with asking prices? I'd own a C-170-175 before a fabric plane at a similar price.

    Gary

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    An Auster? Oh, my goodness. I flew one out of a UK field 50+ years ago. One of those huge fields where you could takeoff into the wind in any direction. But what I remember most vividly was that when you looked left or right you looked directly into the wing root. Thanks for bringing back the memory. Maybe I can’t remember what I had for dinner yesterday, but the mind gives up a plethora of amazing memories of aeronautica from many years ago.
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  20. #20

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    You must be a bit taller than I am, my eyeline when seated in the Auster is under the wing but not as far under as a PA-12. Still, 4 seats, 1000lb useful load and cheap to buy it makes me wonder why they get such short shrift in US circles.


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    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Curious what powerplant in the Auster?
    The only ones I've seen were (as I recall) three seaters--
    two up front & one in back (with a swivelling observer seat?).
    Powered by a Gypsy minor engine of maybe 140hp.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

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    PA-12 vs 170

    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    Curious what powerplant in the Auster?
    The only ones I've seen were (as I recall) three seaters--
    two up front & one in back (with a swivelling observer seat?).
    Powered by a Gypsy minor engine of maybe 140hp.
    Mine has the Blackburn Cirrus Major III of 155 hp but many have been fitted with Lycoming O-360 engines, some variants had O-290s from new. The 3 seaters were mainly military, the one I am suggesting that people think about is the 4 seat “Aerocar” from the fifties. The only real drawback is the wooden spars, but the last versions had metal spars. I would like a 170 or a wide body SC as much as the next person on this group, or a Bearcat, but my building ability is slight and the numbers are high - so I opted for the Auster personally. Just trying to get it finished
    'There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty".
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  23. #23

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    "And a PA-12 is NOT a Super Cub." Don't tell Woolace!
    Tim
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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Wollace...The Yellow PA-12 that smells like Northern Pike

    Gary
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  25. #25
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC12D-4-85 View Post
    Wollace...The Yellow PA-12 that smells like Northern Pike

    Gary
    Let's not get started on that outlaw..... How's he doing these days? Some of the most fun flying I ever did was "teaching" him to fly floats. Mostly a process of sitting in the back seat and telling him where to land as he figured it out for himself. Always wished I'd had more like him.

    MTV

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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    ^^^^Wooly Bully is doing great for an old guy. Still balancing props and keeping us kids in line. I told him he'll need to go dead stick before landing on those pike lakes he's know to frequent....they learn the sound of his PA-12 and go hide. His story of the Albatross-Frigate Bird-anyway it was big (?) that sat stuck on the wing of one of his C-119 (or C-54?) takeoffs from Johnston Island (?) is a classic. I'll tell him you asked and said hope he's still able to find the float pond.

    Gary
    Last edited by BC12D-4-85; 04-22-2022 at 04:05 PM.

  27. #27
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandsman View Post
    Mine has the Blackburn Cirrus Major III of 155 hp but many have been fitted with Lycoming O-360 engines, some variants had O-290s from new. The 3 seaters were mainly military, the one I am suggesting that people think about is the 4 seat “Aerocar” from the fifties. The only real drawback is the wooden spars, but the last versions had metal spars. I would like a 170 or a wide body SC as much as the next person on this group, or a Bearcat, but my building ability is slight and the numbers are high - so I opted for the Auster personally. Just trying to get it finished
    My flying buddy Ed has a flying AOP 9 with a Blackburn

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

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    TurboBeaver's Avatar
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    This is sorta a "trick question" as there is more difference between a 1350 lb Cruiser and a 1050lb Cruiser than there is in a 1350lb Cruiser and a light 170.........
    I can operate our standard 12 with 0290/74x50 prop, 8:00x6 tires, safely out of the last 300' of the runway in no wind conditions; everyday of the week......... With my 31" tires and the 82x41" prop, you could reduce the T/0 distance significantly. If you need to operate shorter than that? Your looking into huge money.......
    Good Luck
    E

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    Quote Originally Posted by TurboBeaver View Post
    This is sorta a "trick question" as there is more difference between a 1350 lb Cruiser and a 1050lb Cruiser than there is in a 1350lb Cruiser and a light 170.........
    I can operate our standard 12 with 0290/74x50 prop, 8:00x6 tires, safely out of the last 300' of the runway in no wind conditions; everyday of the week......... With my 31" tires and the 82x41" prop, you could reduce the T/0 distance significantly. If you need to operate shorter than that? Your looking into huge money.......
    Good Luck
    E
    My 170 is a fat B. I am in the middle of swapping for a set of 175 wings with the bigger tanks so I don’t think that’ll help it’s 1330 EW. I fly off of mainly gravel bars fishing or mountain tops hunting. Nothing crazy and I’m not into super short stuff.

    The 12 is at just over 1100. Ended up just trading for a 172M I had.
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    Last edited by tundra_flyer; 04-24-2022 at 11:03 PM.
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  30. #30
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tundra_flyer View Post
    My 170 is a fat B. I am in the middle of swapping for a set of 175 wings with the bigger tanks so I don’t think that’ll help it’s 1330 EW. I fly off of mainly gravel bars fishing or mountain tops hunting. Nothing crazy and I’m not into super short stuff.

    The 12 is at just over 1100. Ended up just trading for a 172M I had.
    A Cessna 170B with an empty weight of 1330 is definitely NOT a “fat B”, believe me. In fact, that is pretty light for a 170.

    MTV
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    A Cessna 170B with an empty weight of 1330 is definitely NOT a “fat B”, believe me. In fact, that is pretty light for a 170.

    MTV
    My O-360 powered 80" c/s prop 170b weighs 1498 with the rear seat out. It is definitely a "fat b." Granted, it has a sportsman, 180 gear, 31s and baby bush, javelin tank, extended baggage, pull handles, and later model 182 (I think) multi-adjustable heavy seats. I'd love for my plane to 1330, but I don't think there's any way I'm getting it that light. I'd like to get some weight off it for sure, though. That 1498 is a true, measured on a scale weight, minus the installation of the extended baggage and pull handles. Those two things are the only calculated. So, I'm sure a lot of planes that haven't been on an actual scale in 30 years probably weigh more than they "weigh."
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  32. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by tundra_flyer View Post
    My 170 is a fat B. I am in the middle of swapping for a set of 175 wings with the bigger tanks so I don’t think that’ll help it’s 1330 EW. I fly off of mainly gravel bars fishing or mountain tops hunting. Nothing crazy and I’m not into super short stuff.

    The 12 is at just over 1100. Ended up just trading for a 172M I had.
    How much do you suppose the swap to 175 wings is going to run you? I can't imagine there's much of a weight penalty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by New2Me170b View Post
    How much do you suppose the swap to 175 wings is going to run you? I can't imagine there's much of a weight penalty.
    Not sure. Had my plane on scales in 2020, they look identical difference I think the only major difference would be in unusable fuel and how my IA writes it up.

  34. #34
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tundra_flyer View Post
    Not sure. Had my plane on scales in 2020, they look identical difference I think the only major difference would be in unusable fuel and how my IA writes it up.
    You do NOT want to just install stock 175 wings in a 170. Nine gallons of unusable fuel.

    Hopefully, the plan is to plug the stock 175 fuel bung and install new ones fore and aft to match the 170s fuel pickups.

    With that setup, two gallons unusable is likely about right.

    MTV
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    I saw another write-up where you mentioned that and recommended installing long range 172 tanks.

  36. #36
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by New2Me170b View Post
    I saw another write-up where you mentioned that and recommended installing long range 172 tanks.
    The 175 tanks will work fine, just make certain you take advantage of most of the fuel. Should be fairly easy.

    MTV

  37. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    You do NOT want to just install stock 175 wings in a 170. Nine gallons of unusable fuel.

    Hopefully, the plan is to plug the stock 175 fuel bung and install new ones fore and aft to match the 170s fuel pickups.

    With that setup, two gallons unusable is likely about right.

    MTV
    Sounds like a good idea, what’s the basis for making the mod, would hate to burn the next owner of the plane if their shop doesn’t agree with it.

    I am assuming just bring it to a welding shop and have them close up old pickup and weld the new one on? Seems like pretty thin metal
    Last edited by tundra_flyer; 05-09-2022 at 10:46 PM.

  38. #38
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Thinking back to my 170 days, I'm pretty sure that's a mod that requires some sprt of approval,
    and I don't think there's an STC.
    Maybe you can get copies of some field-approved 337's & see what others did.
    The 170 Assn would be a good source for that.
    I don't remember ever hearing about modifying fuel outlets,
    but since I had a ragwing I wasn't paying much attention either.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

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