Thorp Air Command - T18.net

Supporting Owners, Builders and Pilots of the Thorp T-18 and its variants.
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Ian Ahner
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 9:28 am
Posts: 7
Hello guys!

It is officially annual season for N33TB, and with the first annual of ownership comes the normal head-scratching. With this bird though, the head-scratching is more common than usual. Many things that I am finding on this bird make me wonder who gave a hooligan a wrench. :-\

I am going through things slowly and fixing things one at a time, frantically trying to get her up to MY standards for oshkosh. There haven't been any major airworthiness scares, but while it is apart I am finding a million little things that REALLY should be fixed. I will post some pictures of such things soon...

But here is my actual question to you all. Does ANYONE here know some of the older history of this bird? It was built by a man name Thomas Brown, and sold very soon after completion. It appears that a guy named Roger owned and worked on this plane a good bit, and even submitted a newsletter post about the aileron spades. Also, an NTSB report shows that this plane was flown through a fence with "significant damage to both wings." A man named Ralph Baker apparently made the wing repairs, and signed off a few subsequent annuals. I am still trying to get ahold of him for details, in hopes that he might know more.

According to FAA records this plane has changed hands many times. I am hoping that maybe one of you guys knows more history, or potentially has owned or seen this plane.

My goal is to give it the love that the Thorp deserves, and nurse it back to health. I hate to see these wonderful planes go to die... I have already discovered that in many ways I was mislead during the purchase, and it is sad to find that out later with the plane in your own hangar, but live and learn. I knew it would be a project, but the scale of which is occasionally a bit scary. There are those unfortunate moments where you have to wonder if you could build another from plans easier than fixing everything that needs fixed. This is obviously an exaggeration, but the feeling remains.

Also, to anyone interested, it truly flies wonderfully. Reading the newsletter about the heavy ailerons makes me wonder what that Roger fella was used to flying. It is very possible that things have been changed between then and now, but this plane as it sits now has some of the lightest ailerons that I have ever flown. I would stick it right up there with the RV3 as far as lightness goes. I don't really know that I would want any lighter to be honest, and I enjoy flying purpose-built aerobatic craft, which this is very much not.

Anyway, I could ramble forever...

Can anyone here give me a history lesson on my own plane?

Happy flying!
-Ian Ahner
N33TB


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Rich Brazell
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:43 pm 
Hero Member
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Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:33 pm
Posts: 2772
Images: 64
Location: Jamul, CA (San Diego area)
Ian : I have seen this issue pop up more than once when it comes to an AC that has changed owners more than once . Especially if the original builder is no longer available . As the AC gets passed along important documents, files , annual inspections and a build log gets lost in a giant HABOOB ! Also as the AC gets transferred from one owner to the next repairs , mods and other shade tree mechanic items are accomplished often w/o the supervision of an A & P mech or the original owner who most likely got his "Repairman Experimental Aircraft" certificate for the specific AC (T-18) he built . Needless to say some if not most of these "changes" as the AC gets passed along are often hidden from a prospective buyer , behind an instrument panel or under floor boards or WAY back in the aft tunnel . If the AC has a "solid" airframe then all the "non-standard" crap can usually be corrected with time and $$$ . I know this is not what you wanted to hear , but there are other members that have gone thru exactly what you are going thru and made the changes and now fly a fully mission capable aircraft .

RB O0
BaBaLu


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Rich Brazell
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 8:24 pm 
Hero Member
Hero Member

Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:33 pm
Posts: 2772
Images: 64
Location: Jamul, CA (San Diego area)
Ian : If you come to that fork in the road and need a little help with one of the repairs you are doing please contact me by email or by phone and I'll see if my aging brain can help out ! :o Sending a pic would also help . ;)

RB O0
BaBaLu

(H) 619-669-0583
rx115@cox.net


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