|Above is a photo of the business end of the plane. The motor mount design is one that we've used before
on other flying airplanes such as Gary Coppen's Skycoupe. When the engine has to be moved forward in the
airframe for weight and balance purposes, this is my design of preference. I have also used this design to
meet the mounting requirements of other airframes like the Midget Mustang. Dave's airplane has a dummy motor
supporting our nosebowl and a Vans 13" spinner. He'll be flying his plane with a 2-blade
68" Warp Drive prop. Since this photo, he has carefully made a three-piece windshield similar to the one on a
Fairchild 24. Although you might think that this windshield and cowling might be of dissimilar styling, they actually
blend very nicely. Dave has also converted the rudder pedals to hydraulic toe brakes since this photo was taken.
|Here's a view of the front landing gear attach fitting. Both the landing gear legs and these attach fittings
had to be fabricated from scratch. There is a myth that says you can turn stock PA-22 landing gear legs around
and use them as taildragger gear. Yes, they bolt on backwards, but no, the axel is not in the right location.
The chain in the photo is holding the gear leg in place. Since the photo, Dave has fabricated beautiful struts
utilizing internally held die springs. More photos soon.
|Many of you will recognize the tailspring and tailwheel unit above as an RV unit. You can purchase this complete
assembly from Van's Aircraft for less than $300. It is a swiveling tailwheel with very positive steering action.
If you're building a two-seat taildragger, this tailwheel setup deserves serious consideration. Did you ever
wonder why there are hundreds of hangar stories about taming the taildragger, and yet every year at Oshkosh
there are 200-300 taildragger RVs on the field? Have you ever heard one of these horror stories involving an RV? A big
part of the answer of why you haven't is the quality and operation of this tailwheel. A 1 1/8" 120 wall tube was
welded into the fuselage as a socket for the spring.
|Another view of Dave's plane, above. People frequently ask how large of an airplane the Corvair engine will power. Here's a good example of the capabilities of the engine: When done, this aircraft will have a 29-foot wingspan, 725-750 pound empty weight with electric start, and a 1,500 pound gross weight. I'm sure the plane will have good performance even on a simple direct drive 164cid Corvair. We've only had one visitor to the hangar question this, but I pointed out to him that the original PA-15s and 17s were identical in size to the Wagabond, and flew quite happily on 65hp Continentals. You can check out our Thrust Testing Page and see how the direct drive Corvair motor will more than match the output of C-85s and O-200s. This is why I'm sure Dave's plane will be a good performer and an efficient flyer. And the icing on the cake? Dave has a little more than a year of part time work in the plane, and he'll have less than $8,000 in the airplane the day it flys. A hard combination to beat.|
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