Thorp Air Command - T18.net

Supporting Owners, Builders and Pilots of the Thorp T-18 and its variants.
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James Grahn
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:40 pm 
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I have a term life policy through USAA. It has a specific rider covering experimental aircraft.
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jtwigg
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:32 am 
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Cubes - thanks - I'll call them and see if they'll quote me even though I'm not in the military.

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John Twigg N12055 SN.79 Pittsburgh, PA (KFWQ)


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Fraser MacPhee
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:16 pm 
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I am 58 and 2 years into a 15 yr. level term policy with Minnesota Life - reasonable rates.
Contact is:
William Fanning
16415 Addison Road
Suite 525
Addison, TX 75001
972-267-5222

Mention my name and get 2 free snickers and a guffaw.

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Fraser MacPhee
N926WM
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Draper, UT


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fytrplt
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:56 pm 
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AOPA might be a source.

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Bob Highley
N711SH
SN 835
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Binder
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:50 pm 
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Oddly I just received an email yesterday from Avemco stating that they have "affordable life insurance for pilots".

Might check their website as well. My life insurance was purchased prior to becoming a pilot and has a grandfathered clause.


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jtwigg
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:53 pm 
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Thanks guys - I'll check into these this week.

N12055 is coming along - the horizontal tail is back on and all the pivots have fresh lubriplate.


Attachments:
File comment: N12055's stabilator is back in place.
20171024_004136.jpg
20171024_004136.jpg [ 1.32 MiB | Viewed 546 times ]

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John Twigg N12055 SN.79 Pittsburgh, PA (KFWQ)
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Binder
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:35 am 
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Looking great. I didn't have the guts to tear all the way down to nothing like you did. Bravo. I wish my paint was as nice and shiny as yours!


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jtwigg
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:49 pm 
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@Binder - your plane looks nice to me - and it's flying! Since my plane sat for 12 years, I wanted to inspect what I had bought before I put put my butt in it. Where have you flown to in yours so far?

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John Twigg N12055 SN.79 Pittsburgh, PA (KFWQ)


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Binder
PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:06 am 
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jtwigg wrote:
@Binder - your plane looks nice to me - and it's flying! Since my plane sat for 12 years, I wanted to inspect what I had bought before I put put my butt in it. Where have you flown to in yours so far?


Well, It took a bit for me to get comfortable with landings so we really didn't start going places until December then in February I pulled it apart to re wire and build a new panel for my old gauges.

Furthest I have flown it is the initial pick up from Maryland to Indiana. We mostly stayed around indiana and illinois although New year's day we went to Kalamazoo Michigan to the air museum which is just under 2 hours. We are hoping to fly somewhere for a weekend get away this weekend since I took Friday off. We were looking either Put in Bay ohio or best case would be Gulf shores. The forecast is saying cloudy though which isn't promising.


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jtwigg
PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:18 pm 
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Hello all, I've been steadily working on N12055 and have a question. Does this tailwheel need replaced? See how it's narrower on one side?

Here are some other pictures of putting the trim block back in now that the horizontal stabilizer is reinstalled. I have other pictures for the rudder pulleys inside the tunnel right behind the seats. Also, the newly painted rudder pedals are in.


Attachments:
File comment: What's up with this?
20171024_002726.jpg
20171024_002726.jpg [ 1.32 MiB | Viewed 384 times ]
File comment: Pulleys behind the seats (dirt not cleaned up yet)
20171104_110505.jpg
20171104_110505.jpg [ 876.64 KiB | Viewed 384 times ]
File comment: All lubed up. Note that I had to remove the right aluminum mounting to get the center bearing block (the silver block with the gears attached) in there (nut not on bolt yet)
20171104_154523.jpg
20171104_154523.jpg [ 1.51 MiB | Viewed 384 times ]
File comment: Trial Fit
20171104_151439.jpg
20171104_151439.jpg [ 1.37 MiB | Viewed 384 times ]
File comment: Close up of the notch to clear the fuel tank support
20171104_174358.jpg
20171104_174358.jpg [ 1.96 MiB | Viewed 384 times ]
File comment: Rudder Pedals
20171104_174345.jpg
20171104_174345.jpg [ 1.59 MiB | Viewed 384 times ]

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John Twigg N12055 SN.79 Pittsburgh, PA (KFWQ)
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James Grahn
PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:39 pm 
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I wouldn't worry about the tail wheel yet. Keep an eye on it. However, it shows uneven wear. That could very well mean that it is not bolted on vertical. Take a good look at that. I'd worry more about that than the condition of the wheel.
The trim block is non-standard. I've never seen one like that before. Not that it won't work. Just make sure it is secure. Also, once the nut is installed, make sure you can turn the jackscrew 5 1/2 turns stop to stop. Once everything is installed, get out the 521 drawing and align your trim system that way.
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fytrplt
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:07 am 
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Maule tailwheels do that. As Cubes said, keep an eye on it. The trim block looks like one I have. Ditto on 5 1/2 turns stop to stop and check travel per the drawing.

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Bob Highley
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jrevens
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:15 pm 
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Hi John,

Regarding the tailwheel - I'm sure Bob is right, but you might want to check that the tailwheel assembly is exactly vertical, and perpendicular to the ground. The relatively wide rubber tire will wear and show it more easily than some narrower tires if it isn't. You can shim the wheel at the spring to get it just right if you want to. The misalignment, if any, is more than likely in the spring.

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T-18 N71JE
Kitfox 7 SS N27JE (building)


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jtwigg
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:04 pm 
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Thanks to Cubes, Bob, and John for the info on the tailwheel. I have looked at it a little and it appears vertical. I'll check it in more detail when I work my way back there.

I apologize for not posting more, but I HAVE been busy on the plane, working every Saturday from 9am-6pm and Mondays from 6pm-2am. As I'm sure everyone will agree, it seems that as I make progress the road ahead stretches ever further. For those who are thinking of buying an older Thorp or any other older plane, I'll post here what I have learned so that I can help others a little for things to watch out for. (By the way - I absolutely love this airplane and am enjoying the epic journey).

FAA AC 43.13 states that if the outer clear coat of aviation wiring cracks when bent it needs replaced. Guess what - my wires in the engine compartment cracked when bent (the clear coat, not the outer insulation, ). So I've changed all of them to be in compliance.

Behind the instrument panel, one of the wires for nav lights came out of the non-aviation ring terminal attached to the switch with just a few ounces of tugging (by accident) - so now I'm replacing all wires and terminals too. None of the terminals back there are modern aviation terminals that grip the insulation as well as the conductor.

The electric trim would intermittently only work in one direction and I traced the problem to a loose solder joint on a pin of the trim switch. Could have been from me moving the center console to which it's mounted. But, that needs repaired and rewired now.

I charged the battery while it was connected to the aircraft's electrical system. Should not have been a problem because several of my buddies have their charger cables permanently mounted on the batteries with a plug at the other end to plug the charger into. After charging though, none of my nav or strobe lights worked and it took about 15 minutes of head scratching, a multi-meter, and a good friend to figure out why. Guess what - several circuit breakers had tripped but are so old THEY DIDN"T POP OUT! Everything worked fine when I manually reset them. Now I'm replacing all those old circuit breakers.

Another example was two weeks ago when I got to the point of opening the bulkhead behind the baggage compartment so me and some EAA buddies could see what was back there. (In case someone doesn't know, I bought this beautiful T-18 from a nice man at our EAA Chapter 45 airport.) In any event, when we looked back there we saw little black things on the bottom skin that we thought looked like rat crap. So, we did what any Thorp builder in his right mind would do - we sent a younger kid back there with a camera and a vacuum to see what these things were. After he extricated himself and we looked at the pictures and went through the vacuum bag, we found out that the rat crap was actually pieces of several grommets. What we surmised had happened was that probably somewhere in the '80s the aircraft underwent modification to change from manual flaps and trim to electric flaps and trim. Whoever was hired to do the work was a little too "expedient" and decided to "fit" the new trim and tail light wires into existing holes - and to do that they took out a section of each grommet to fit these wires. The wires themselves look awfully thin to me - maybe to make them easier to wiggle into the hole. As a result, the wires are against the metal of each hole. See the picture.

The point I'm getting to is that is if you're acquiring an older plane, Thorp or anything else, look at everything to find things (even by accident) and address them now. Basically, I'm almost to the point where all rubber parts, electrical wiring and breakers, coax cables, and pitot/static tubing are all new. Got a new iPad Mini 4 (has anti-reflective screen) with RAM mount and a Stratux for the plane two weeks ago too!

Image

Image

Image

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John Twigg N12055 SN.79 Pittsburgh, PA (KFWQ)


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Binder
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:48 am 
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Looking good!

I found quite a bit of that cutting corners junk in my wiring when I pulled it apart. Wires with multiple splices into different colors. Some where just twisted around each other and electrical taped. I'm not sure how anyone with a pilot certificate could ever do that and not think twice about safety.

So I tore it all out and started fresh. I only kept a few wires that appeared to be good such as the large wires from switch to trim motor and the factory Whelen harness to my strobes. All else was removed.

I see you have a good amount of insulation on your thorp. Have you been in thorps with and without that insulation and noticed a difference in sound? I assume it's mostly for sound deadening. I pulled all mine out and didn't plan on putting any deadening under my new vinyl interior in order to save weight.


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