Thorp Air Command -

A hello from Belgium, EBGB
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Author:  Tom DM [ Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:38 am ]
Post subject:  A hello from Belgium, EBGB

Hello All,

Greetings from Belgium, more precisely EBGB (Grimbergen Airfield), the actual homebase of N2501A, a T211 equipped with O-200.

N2501A, which whom I acquired some 500 hr of enjoyable flight, will be joined within a few months by N667JS, a T211 Jabiru 3300 powered. I like the aircraft enough
to become a multiple offender.

N2501A has seen the whole of Europe and is welcomed everywhere. Questions range for 'Is this a Baby Junkers?' to ' How could you land it so short?'

After the failure of Indus (the last T211-producer) I am evaluating/ tinkering/ planning to revise the T211 in order to lower weight, building time and thus initial investment for as well the builder as the buyer. The aim is to introduce (again) the T211 to the US- LSA and European ULM-market while giving it a real fighting chance to conquer harts and minds of pilots young and old.

LSA has been described as a leaving path for old pilots, not an entry way for young ones. I guess pricing has a lot to do with this.
My vision links more to HARIBO (a German sweets-making company): 'Haribo macht Kinder blei, und die Eltern auch dabei." The T211 is such great fun while safe and easy to fly, it does not break back nor wallet. N2501A sips around 4.5 USG per hour. It doubles the 100$-hamburger nicely and is hard to beat as cloud-dancer.

All suggestions and information are welcome but I am really looking for a set (new or used) of plans for the T211 as sold by Thorp Aero or Venture aircraft.
T211-info, pictures, pilot-info, for-sale etc are happily received as there will probably be space left in the shipping container.

Coming to the US in November to ship N667JS to its new home.

Best wishes for blue skies from the Brussels (Belgium) aera,

Author:  James Grahn [ Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A hello from Belgium, EBGB

Good luck on your quest. It's a great airplane. But this market is very hard right now.

Author:  Tom DM [ Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A hello from Belgium, EBGB

Thanks, Cubes.

As to the difficult market: any market in (general) aviation seems to be difficult but a lot is self inflicted pain.

Prices of AvGas-guzzlers (anything above /around 180 HP) fall like the proverbial stone. AvGas at 3 Eur / l (± 12 US$ per Gallon) have a mayor impact in Europe. Regulation for the sake of regulations do not make it easier.

The King of Rohan (Lord of the Ring) said: ' The young perish and the old linger.' I suppose when he was not riding horse, he was flying airplanes :)

Concerning LSA / ULM: prices are such that only 'older' pilots can afford them. Nothing worng about that but LSA /ULM was considered to be an entry point and has proved in real life to be just the opposite. The key factor is cost, buying and operational: not many youngsters (me at the age idem) have over 100.000 to spend at a hobby...

The t211 is indeed an often overlooked but very nice and capable airframe. On paper the Thorp T211 (like all John Thorp designed aircraft) is a winner, the design specifications are visonary. However no less than 5 companies have already broken their teeth on it, strangely enough it looks that the same error was at the base of all their troubles. A certain John Thorp noted it even on his 1950 plans...

So I step carefully...

Greets and blue skies

Author:  Ryan Allen [ Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A hello from Belgium, EBGB

I have a sincere question: What was the same error at the base of all their troubles that John Thorp noted on the plans?

Author:  Tom DM [ Fri Oct 02, 2015 6:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A hello from Belgium, EBGB

Hello Ryan,

The first T211s were equipped with C90 and O200-Conti-engines, sourced via military surplus for obvious reasons. However the O200 is not a straight fit: the standard Continental oilsump hits the firewall because JT 'forward cab' design, resulting in excellent visibility, also moved the feet of the pilot and passenger more to the front (the firewall has a provision for this). JT designed a new sump, angled it more forward and more oval compared to the standard round one (drawing 1558 and STC SE8WE). It sits very tight to the firewall. This STC-sump developed cracks on the first model after around 800 Hr of flight.

I can't get my hand on the document right now but JT's handwritten note states (I quote from memory):' Due to cracks in the sump to receive 4 welded reinforcement tubes, engine RPM to be restricted at 2500 RPM'. The sumps on N2501A had these reinforcements but pilot handbook states take off at WOT (=2750RPM)

The third sump had just started leaking on N2501A (each one @ 3000 US$ and cracks after 50-80 hours), my options were running out. My aircraft mechanic said ' Sell the plane and let some-one else find out' while I thought 'Torch it.' ... and then I stumbled on the part drawing with the note. Chilling, also 'aha' and not pleased to find this in 2011... I liked even less all the 'specialist advice' covering cause and solution nor the 'some have it and some don't'-response from Indus (where -I guess and fair to them- I was a bit of a PITA while not even a client)

Anyway: the T211 has never been faulted on the airframe-side, there is not an AD since conception, it is safe and forgiving. Yearly maintenance is a breeze: there is absolutely nothing to do on the airframe-side. I quite like 'It is a new airplane' when I pick up the 1991 Thorp T211.
Up to this day -fingers crossed- no one has managed to kill himself with a T211.

This aircraft -which design and engineering solutions I rate higher than Cessna 150/152- has in each of its versions been betrayed by its engine or -better said- by an engine related problem: the cracking sump of the O-200 , the overheating/detonation of Jabiru's, the sheer weight of the WAM-120 diesel.

I find repeated errors strange and certainly in aviation or when several companies fall over them. More so when one considers that the T211 flies happily with the 2500 RPM-restricted O200. Take off @2500 RPM, cruise @ 2350 which implies that the T211 takes off (this at MTOW) with 75 HP. This low power feat is also confirmed as there exists a T211 (N211XH) powered by a C65. I have taken off as test with N1A @2300 (1 pilot, 40 l of fuel)

So JT found out quite soon -mid 1954- the O-200-engine related problem, corrected it and then it seems to be forgotten.

Mid 1990 the T211 (by then named Thorpedo Indus) received a new engine (Jab3300) for cost reasons. I bet JT was yelling from above: Why put in 120 HP if it only needs 75 HP to climb as a home-sick angel? Did you check the cooling properly?

Well, they did not and by 2010 Indus started to wind down. Sales dropping, money pouring out and problems rising, I suppose. Indus has made 28-38 aircrafts which make them the most succesfull T211-builder to date. And now I have bought N667JS (Jab3300) which the owner described as a 'sale-proof aircraft'.
I am not finished yett with the T211.

Greetings from EBGB,

Author:  Thorp1 [ Mon Jan 04, 2016 1:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A hello from Belgium, EBGB

I own N211XH that had a Continental A65 engine an O200 now, and I must say that Tom DM is correct about the A65 performance VS the O200. There is a slight difference in performance but with the added wight the margin is small.
my question is that I am planning to install 2 springs to hold back the rudder paddles in order to add resistance and self center the rudders. is that been done before? any ideas about that?
thanks to all.

Author:  James Grahn [ Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A hello from Belgium, EBGB

Actually the plans call for rudder return springs. If you own a Thorp and do not own plans, please contact either myself of Richard Eklund for a set.

Author:  Thorp1 [ Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A hello from Belgium, EBGB

I own N211XH and would appreciate it if you can help me with a set of plans. all I have now is the manual from indus aviation and the parts catalog. what is you contact info?

Author:  Tom DM [ Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A hello from Belgium, EBGB

First greetings and best wishes to all for a good and successfull 2016 in the best of health. Blue skies, lots of flying and only happy landings.

Also an hello to my fellow-T211-pilot: great to see you!

A question to Cubes concerning firstly the return springs for the rudder: are you sure that you are not mistaken the T211 for the T18? I have never seen these springs on any T211.

As to the plans: Eklund Engineering is the legal right holder for the T-18 but to my knowledge the plans etc for the T211 are still owned by Indus (Dr. Ram Pattisapu). Plans are not available at the moment. Coming around March to the US for N667JS I hope to find out a bit more about the current state of Indus (and its Chinese partners). However there is this deafening silence about them.

I would hope you prove me wrong and that the T211-plans could be obtained through Eklund Engineering in which case I shall contact Mr Eklund at T18-WOT-speed!

Regards from Brussels.

Author:  James Grahn [ Sat Jan 09, 2016 11:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A hello from Belgium, EBGB

That was my bad. I get these posts via e mail and therefore, I do not see the thread. You are correct. Neither I, nor Richard own the rights to the T211. I apologize .

Author:  Tom DM [ Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A hello from Belgium, EBGB

and with an update...

Been to Topeka (Kansas) in the beginning of May. It was quite an adventure (going as well as getting back) due to the Brussels attacks but - oh boy- once I got there...

I was met by the finest persons and a Matterhorn white little aircraft at Philip Billard Municipal Airfield (KTOP). The first test flight got me promptly promoted to a Billard Bum as take-off was followed swiftly by the first emergency landing due to perceived too high exhaust temperatures. This is what happens if you don't do your homework properly... :-[
Then the radio decide not to work, so the next flights were performed using a small handheld, capable of transmitting up to 5 NM...

Really liked flying Kansas and its great wide open spaces: Kansas is about 9 times bigger than Belgium with half its population... more room than I am used to. I decide to stay in the Topeka aera as the planned trip to Las Vegas and the West Coast fell into water (literally): television reported Las Vegas flooded and hail storms with grape fruit sized boulders on the way. I may be a fool but not by so much I wanted N667JS dented...

4 testflights and confidence growing I flew the little bird to Moundridge (47K). N667JS wished a fond goodbye to Topeka Tower who advised flight following from Kansas City International but due to the limited range of the handheld: 'Then you're on your own, kid! Have fun!'

The little Thorp(edo) thundered on all 6 cylinders 3000 ft AGL to the South West, a warm day but with some strange fog in the distance. Surely smelled smoke a bit later on, checked the T211 and reported to its sole occupant: "No fire. That is good." Looked at the ground and saw the reason: the prairie gets burned down for revitalisation. This was said to me but I hadn't grasped nor the scale of the operation nor the amount of smoke ;)

Landed without hickups at Moundridge where I left the little aircraft at Southwind Aviation in the expert hands of Mr Patrick Drach. They packed it in a container sending it over the Atlantic towards the Old Continent.
The ship duly arrived at Rotterdam the 6th of June. After forms, more forms and handing hard cold cash to customs N667JS is set to leave the docks for EHHO (Hoogeveen, Netherlands) and re-assembly. The container is scheduled to arrive at ATN Hoogveen this Monday around noon.

If all is well, N667JS should be in the air again within a few weeks and then join its sister-plane N2501A at EBGB.

A word of thanks to all Americans and especially to the Topeka folks and the other Billard Bums. When coming to Belgium please visit EBGB where you shall experience that Belgians also know the meaning of hospitality and warm welcome!



Author:  jrevens [ Sun Jun 12, 2016 11:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A hello from Belgium, EBGB

That is a great report, Tom! Not much to see in Kansas, from my perspective, but there is beauty to be seen most places, especially from a cool little airplane. Yes, there is still a lot of open space in the United States. How very fortunate we truly are, for that and for the freedom to fly as we do. Thank you so much for sharing your experience... may you have many, many wonderful flights in your Thorp!

Author:  svisca [ Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:15 am ]
Post subject:  Thorp T-211 N2535T

Hello all.

I am trying to restore or sell Thorp T-211 N2535T. Does any of you have or know anybody who has a parts list and plans / drawings for the T-211. The FAA Atlanta certification office has provided some drawings but one at a time. I need drawings for the elevator trim tab and actuating rod, the canopy frame, and wing root to fuselage fairings.

Have prepared owners list of every Thorp I have found was built or registered in the USA. List does not include aircraft sold by TAAL in India to the Indian market. If you need info let me know at email address below.

Santos Viscasillas
Charlotte NC USA

Author:  James Grahn [ Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A hello from Belgium, EBGB

You might try Howard Ginn. At least he could take pictures of his. I don't have his number handy.

Author:  Tony Ginn [ Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A hello from Belgium, EBGB

Hi Thorp1, I checked with my Dad, Howard Ginn, and unfortunately he does not have a set of plans for the T-211. He did check and there are no rudder return springs. The rudder pedals are connected to the nose-wheel steering. Proper tension and rudder pedal positioning are done via the turn-buckles on the rudder cables.

Hello Tom DM, I'll be visiting Brussels in mid-November and will sure try to make it over to EBGB. Sometime between Nov 10 - 15. PM me and we'll try to coordinate.

Cheers, Tony

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