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Thread: Anybody have a Tcraft within driving distance of SW Montana?

  1. #1

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    Anybody have a Tcraft within driving distance of SW Montana?

    Hi, I'm new here, and I'm ashamed to say that I don't own a supercub.


    Although I would love nothing more than to own a cub, my funds arent going to let me at this point. I'm leaning towards a taylorcraft but before I get too crazy I would like to sit in one and see if it will work for my frame. I'm 6'3ish 200lbs.

    I am humbly wondering if there is anybody within a reasonable driving distance of 59725 with a taylorcraft that would be willing to let me climb in and get a size wise impression before I make the leap or decide not to.

    I have an F-19 in mind, and I'm not exactly sure how that compares cockpit wise to the bc-12 series.

  2. #2
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geewhiz View Post
    Hi, I'm new here, and I'm ashamed to say that I don't own a supercub.


    Although I would love nothing more than to own a cub, my funds arent going to let me at this point. I'm leaning towards a taylorcraft but before I get too crazy I would like to sit in one and see if it will work for my frame. I'm 6'3ish 200lbs.

    I am humbly wondering if there is anybody within a reasonable driving distance of 59725 with a taylorcraft that would be willing to let me climb in and get a size wise impression before I make the leap or decide not to.

    I have an F-19 in mind, and I'm not exactly sure how that compares cockpit wise to the bc-12 series.
    Jim Baker should wake up from his nap soon and tell you about his

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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    I am now awake. All Tcraft are the same inside from the seat forward. There is a guy in central MT with a 150 BC12 but I don’t remember his name. He is a rancher in Hanson if I have the town name right. F19s and F21s will out perform a 150hp SC with the accept ion of short take off and landing. Comes real close. I am 6’ and 200# and fit just fine. Taller might be a problem. Try before you buy. There is a nice F19 for sale out that way.

    Jim
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    That town is Hysham. That is the closest town to his ranch. Just go to the faa web site and search Taylorcrafts and you will find his name. Good luck

    Jim
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  5. #5
    scout88305's Avatar
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    T-crafts awesome planes,

    “We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by scout88305 View Post
    T-crafts awesome planes,
    I appreciate the feedback. Seen the video. Pretty sure I've read every single thread on any forum that mentions a tcraft on the whole interweb. haha Just have never actually touched one.

  7. #7
    courierguy's Avatar
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    My BC-12D ended up in Bozeman, I ferried it up there about 13 years ago. Hickory brown and Daytona white, a fine example of the line.
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    jimboflying's Avatar
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    I have a Tcraft project if you are interested. Bozeman, 59715
    Last edited by jimboflying; 06-01-2022 at 09:14 PM. Reason: Spelling
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    Sent you a PM jimboflying. Thanks for reaching out!

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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    With top hinged "seaplane doors" access is much easier. From the front of gear place foot on brake inside tire, swing butt into plane with head ducked, pull in legs. The typical seat is a canvas sling that can be adjusted for desired head clearance. Other designs have been developed. Oh, and a skylight adds head clearance. An easy 10 mph over most fabric planes with the same engine and prop. But...not supported as well as others for parts.

    Gary
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  11. #11
    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
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    I know of one that's flying in Great Falls, if that helps, and there's 3 of them here in the valley. I'm sure if I knock the cobwebs loose, I can come up with something else. Mine's all apart and hanging on the wall up here. I do know that the guy I got it from weighed 325# and he and his son would both squeeze in and go!! With both of them in, it was at 160% of it's useful load, then they'd throw 24 gallons of fuel in and sleeping bags and that ol' 85 would get them off the ground. Heck of an airplane!!!!
    John
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    Years ago I flew formation with a standard T-Craft. My plane is an EAB 150hp SC. Same cruise speed. I was impressed with how efficiently it flew with considerably less horsepower.
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardtailjohn View Post
    I know of one that's flying in Great Falls, if that helps, and there's 3 of them here in the valley. I'm sure if I knock the cobwebs loose, I can come up with something else. Mine's all apart and hanging on the wall up here. I do know that the guy I got it from weighed 325# and he and his son would both squeeze in and go!! With both of them in, it was at 160% of it's useful load, then they'd throw 24 gallons of fuel in and sleeping bags and that ol' 85 would get them off the ground. Heck of an airplane!!!!
    John
    Might by up in the flathead in the next few weeks. Brothers wife is having a baby soon in that neck of the woods. Maybe I should try to sneek in a rendezvous with somebody while im up there.
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    Lisa Martin LMartin's Avatar
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    If you’re in the Flathead find Bob Colby, Poorman Aviation at the Ferndale Airport 53U.


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    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
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    If you do come up, holler and I'll get you with one of the Colby's or one of the others around here.
    John

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    TurboBeaver's Avatar
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    As much as I like a TaylorCraft, and they are a wonderful little airplane with great performance. Because of your physical demension's, after you "try getting in a T Craft" be sure and try a Champ .......... Or a Cruiser.
    And don't forget if you ever wreck it getting out may become next to impossible ? IMHO if you were 5'7/150lb
    your looking at the right plane. But your NOT. In the North the same guy that could 'squeeze in with jeans & sneakers'
    During the summer months. Will find getting in during winter months quite a different experience. And since your in MT and skis may be in your future? Your going to find wintertime flying will find it very different, with a big Parker, heavy clothes, bunny boots???? ( Possible? Maybe?? Practical not really) Getting in and out is quite different as a ski plane, off snow vs Tarmack ???? Just few things to consider beside what you " like looks of"
    Good Luck.
    E
    Last edited by TurboBeaver; 06-04-2022 at 02:52 AM.

  17. #17
    TurboBeaver's Avatar
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    Double posted for some reason???
    E

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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    My first airplane when I was 19 was a T-craft BC-12D. I was a tall 6'1" 135 pound skinny drink of water and was able to get in and out easily without using the built in step. It was a tight fit but functional. I used the copilot rudder pedals except for take off and landings since my legs fit that distance better. The visibility to the side was poor as my eyes were above the door windows looking at the wing roots. Under normal looking around turning to look out the side, I had to duck down to see under the wing. The visibility to the side was so poor, I was nearly run down by a P3 when it approached from my 3 0'clock at just above my line of vision. The first clue I had was when it went by my windshield. It was so close I could hear the engines and smell the exhaust. There was no indication he even saw me.

    A few years later a friend had one which he took on a trip out west. Somewhere, as I recall it was in Montana, he had a high elevation issue and left it wrapped around a tree in the woods.

    That being said, I liked the plane. It was economical (I only made $25 a week when I had it), a good flyer and I learned a lot with it.
    N1PA
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  19. #19

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    I’m only 5’10 220 lbs but I like my Taylorcraft a lot…I can get in and out even a bit easier than my Cub. I love the thing on floats. It performs beautifully and is a pure joy to fly. I have no trouble hopping out to dock it and I hand prop it and jump in without difficulty as well. I have a C90 in mine which makes it a Spritely performer. Skywagon is right about side visibility, but I’ve taken the front of the seat sling off and unwrapped two wraps from it giving it some slack and at least 2” of additional headroom. I flew one that had really nicely reupholstered seats but the guy made it super thick and that one had me scrunched up to the headliner. Easy fix, new seat cushion and rip out headliner.
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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by TurboBeaver View Post
    As much as I like a TaylorCraft, and they are a wonderful little airplane with great performance. Because of your physical demension's, after you "try getting in a T Craft" be sure and try a Champ .......... Or a Cruiser.
    And don't forget if you ever wreck it getting out may become next to impossible ? IMHO if you were 5'7/150lb
    your looking at the right plane. But your NOT. In the North the same guy that could 'squeeze in with jeans & sneakers'
    During the summer months. Will find getting in during winter months quite a different experience. And since your in MT and skis may be in your future? Your going to find wintertime flying will find it very different, with a big Parker, heavy clothes, bunny boots???? ( Possible? Maybe?? Practical not really) Getting in and out is quite different as a ski plane, off snow vs Tarmack ???? Just few things to consider beside what you " like looks of"
    Good Luck.
    E
    I genuinely appreciate the feedback. I have heard many reports from both sides regarding this which is why I’d like to sit in one before I make a call. I landed on an f19 for a handful of reasons(which may all go out the window if I don’t comfortably fit).

    What would you recommend for a budget of $40k not a dime more, low and slow type flying with intentions of off airport training and as good of performance as I could expect. Density altitudes of 8-9k+ which more or less rules out 65&85s as far as I can tell, and enough useful load to haul around my 200lb self and an instructor with A few hrs of fuel?

    Seams like a 7ac with a c90 or O-200 would check those boxes aside from useful load limitations. Not sure what other options I have within my budget restrictions.

  21. #21
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    This, is a tall order.
    Quote Originally Posted by Geewhiz View Post
    ...What would you recommend for a budget of $40k not a dime more, low and slow type flying with intentions of off airport training and as good of performance as I could expect. Density altitudes of 8-9k+ which more or less rules out 65&85s as far as I can tell, and enough useful load to haul around my 200lb self and an instructor with A few hrs of fuel?
    A 200lb self and a minimum 150 lb instructor, with a few hours of (6 gal/hr if your lucky) 108lbs (3 hours) = 458 lbs useful load. Now figure the performance with density altitudes of 8-9k+. If this were a sea level order it would be a tall one, when you add in density altitude..... well.

    I wish you all the success in your search, this will not be easy.
    N1PA

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    This, is a tall order.
    A 200lb self and a minimum 150 lb instructor, with a few hours of (6 gal/hr if your lucky) 108lbs (3 hours) = 458 lbs useful load. Now figure the performance with density altitudes of 8-9k+. If this were a sea level order it would be a tall one, when you add in density altitude..... well.

    I wish you all the success in your search, this will not be easy.
    That is what i’m discovering. Trying to find the best option to check as many boxes as I can. Performance at high density altitude is a relative term, “satisfactory performance for a new pilot” is what I should have said. I don’t need or expect to have 200 ft takeoff roll at 9k at gross. Just trying to get as far as I can in the direction I want to go with my current budget and looking for the best option. I was suggested by a member here to reconsider short wing pipers. Not a bad idea.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    This, is a tall order.
    A 200lb self and a minimum 150 lb instructor, with a few hours of (6 gal/hr if your lucky) 108lbs (3 hours) = 458 lbs useful load. Now figure the performance with density altitudes of 8-9k+. If this were a sea level order it would be a tall one, when you add in density altitude..... well.

    I wish you all the success in your search, this will not be easy.
    That is what i’m discovering. Trying to find the best option to check as many boxes as I can. Performance at high density altitude is a relative term, “satisfactory performance for a new pilot” is what I should have said. I don’t need or expect to have 200 ft takeoff roll at 9k at gross. Just trying to get as far as I can in the direction I want to go with my current budget and looking for the best option. I was suggested by a member here to reconsider short wing pipers. Not a bad idea.

  24. #24
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Research wing loading (pounds of weight/wing surface area), aspect ratio (wing chord vs long wing span), pounds of aircraft weight per effective but diminished horsepower at density altitude, propeller efficiency at rpm available at full power, and coefficient of lift per the wing's airfoil at angle of attack. One aspect of the factors can supplement another with limits and compromises.

    But light wing loading, long wings relative to chord, pounds per available horsepower, propeller design, and a high lift plus efficient airfoil can be the best compromise. Look at gliders and ask why they can fly with a minimum rate of descent. They are not short wing pipers.

    Gary
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  25. #25

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    When I was in high school and college an F-19 was THE plane I wanted. Good legal useful load, nice size baggage, electrical system, and 30 years newer than my first BC12D. With a 1500lbs gw it shouldn’t be hard to configure an F-19 with a 550lb or better useful load while sipping on 4.5-6gph. The O-200 really benefited from the 74” prop I think. They are great planes, and 10 or so years ago it was much easier to find one (or a similarly modified B model). Now I hardly see them for sale. My old 65hp BC12D worked surprisingly well too, I even managed to squeeze a couple 6’+ passengers in over the years, but it was definitely uncomfortable. Eventually we had a couple kids and needed more seats, so now I currently have a Piper of the short wing variety as the family minivan with wings and bushwheels. While I haven’t done much at high altitudes I believe Pacers and Taylorcrafts are 6 to one, half dozen the other. Depending on the individual mods of course. When heavy the Pacers just don’t have the wing area to generate as much lift, but the ability to run a 150/160hp with a Borer prop is huge. They will both be touching down at similar speeds (roughly 50-55mph). I would give a small edge to the Pacer, but again my flying is all in AK near sea level and my Pacer has some AK mods (wings extensions, borer, bushwheels, vgs). I think it would be hard for you to go wrong with a nice version of either one. The only real knocks I have on the Taylorcraft is the stock brakes suck, and the parts availability will never be as good as a Piper product. Which is really too bad because they are such wonderful flying airplanes.
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  26. #26
    WhiskeyMike's Avatar
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    How about a J-3 with a C-90 or O-200. Better take off, and fly from back so you have enough room.

  27. #27
    mvivion's Avatar
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    I would be looking for a good Champ. 7GC has a fair useful load, and cockpits are roomy. Prices are fair. Definitely would want one with a C-90 or O-200, or maybe an 85 stroker.

    As far as seeing if you fit, I know some guys in Bozeman who have a nice Champ, who'd probably let you climb around it and sit in it and make flying noises.

    MTV
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  28. #28

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    A stock 7GC has an O-290, 135hp. I put a 160 hp in mine and it was powerful. 7GCA stock 150hp, 7GCB same plus flaps. My 7GC was 485lbs useful with 29 Bushwheels and Baby Bushwheel, so you can get a little over 500 useful with smaller tires. I have a half share in an 85hp TCraft now and the Champ is better all around for being roomy.
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  29. #29
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK81 View Post
    A stock 7GC has an O-290, 135hp. I put a 160 hp in mine and it was powerful. 7GCA stock 150hp, 7GCB same plus flaps. My 7GC was 485lbs useful with 29 Bushwheels and Baby Bushwheel, so you can get a little over 500 useful with smaller tires. I have a half share in an 85hp TCraft now and the Champ is better all around for being roomy.
    Maybe I was thinking 7EC……All this 7XX designations make my head spin. They’re all great little airplanes in any case.

    MTV

    Just looked at TC, 7EC or FC both had C-90s.
    Last edited by mvivion; 06-05-2022 at 03:34 PM.
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  30. #30
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    The best thing I can can say about the RANS S-7's I've flown for the last 20+ years: they fly a lot like my old T-Craft, high praise indeed. All my 118 hrs was 4500' ASL based, but the one time I had it as sea level, I was amazed at the performance (me at 155 pounds, full fuel, and camping gear), and a good tight A-65. I always think on how it really would perform with a hot rodded Rotax and a 78" prop like I now have, conversly, I have to wonder how the RANS would do with the much bigger T-Craft wing. The brakes did suck though.
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  31. #31
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    The 7GCB has a little longer wing than the others. With a seaplane prop it is a great performer. I installed a set of Ferguson droop wing tips on mine with an 80" seaplane prop. It would perform nearly as well as a stock 150 hp PA-18. And if you miscalculated your weight and balance you would find it will haul anything you can squeeze in it. These were built during the 1960s. If you can find one in your price bracket you'll not go wrong.

    Mine was N8980R. It's in Minnesota now.
    N1PA
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  32. #32
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Hydraulic brakes for Taylorcraft> https://dc65stc.blogspot.com/2018/06...ke-kit-on.html I have a Field Approved set installed prior to this recent DER offering. Un-sucking is expensive.

    Champs...their wing area is less than Cubs and Taylorcrafts. They can get fat over time. Any passengers, cargo, or wing/fuselage fuel adds to rearward CG and a heavy tail. A newer Cub-style landing gear is available to replace the oleo style: https://www.airframesalaska.com/Landing-Gear-s/1514.htm and https://www.airframesalaska.com/v/vs...tabriaGear.pdf

    Champ performance info: http://www.blueridgesportflight.com/Champ_7AC_POH.pdf

    YRMV some no doubt.

    Gary
    Last edited by BC12D-4-85; 06-06-2022 at 12:49 AM.

  33. #33

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    There’s a 4 seat Taylorcraft development made in the UK called an Auster J/5 which I would suggest is well worth looking at. They are generally available in the UK at around $30 000. The front seats are roomy but the issue with a higher eye line will be a tendency to look into the wing root as mentioned in this thread. It’s not a problem for me, but I am only 5.11. That said, I also have an Aeronca Chief and the Auster with it’s clear roof is certainly better for all round visibility. The Super Cub is better than either of course - that’s why they are worth so much.


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  34. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiskeyMike View Post
    How about a J-3 with a C-90 or O-200. Better take off, and fly from back so you have enough room.
    I would love nothing more than to have a cub but I cant afford one of the -11 or -18 variety and the useful load of a j3 is crap. The last one I looked at had a c90 but the useful load was only 327 lbs.
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  35. #35
    Lisa Martin LMartin's Avatar
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    A 7ECA with an O-235, if I remember right, has a good useful load (better than with bigger engines) and is relatively easy to get in and out of. I liked mine. When it sold it was exactly what the buyer was shopping for because he and his son we’re fairly large men.


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  36. #36
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMartin View Post
    A 7ECA with an O-235, if I remember right, has a good useful load (better than with bigger engines)
    This is because they all have the same maximum gross weight. With the lower weight of the smaller engines, the useful load goes up. While this may help his useful load requirements, one must evaluate whether the performance at the higher density altitudes will be satisfactory.
    N1PA

  37. #37
    Lisa Martin LMartin's Avatar
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    That’s true. I decide two people and lots of fuel out of Elk River I didn’t want it to be warmer than mid 70s.


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  38. #38

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    Well I just got back from flying my Tcraft F21 on Baumann 1500 amphib. Hauls my 200#/6’ body around with full fuel, off the water in 10 secs, flies 100mph on floats and used 8 gals in 1.3 hrs with 2 water landings along the way. Best that.

    Jim
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  39. #39
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geewhiz View Post
    I would love nothing more than to have a cub but I cant afford one of the -11 or -18 variety and the useful load of a j3 is crap. The last one I looked at had a c90 but the useful load was only 327 lbs.
    For over 80 years no one worried about what the printed useful load was for a Cub. Almost every plane ever built is over gross if you fill the seats.

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

  40. #40
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    With STC SA1-210 installed (C-85+wing mods) the BC series Taylorcraft is eligible for a GW increase on conventional gear to either 1280#, or 1320# (still Sport Pilot legal with DER approval - http://dc65stc.blogspot.com/2021/12/...-b-series.html), or 1500# - same aircraft configuration. On floats GW is typically 1351# per TCDS or even more via STC's floats. EW on conventional gear is usually 800-850# and on floats about 900#.

    Gary
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