Thorp Air Command - T18.net

Supporting Owners, Builders and Pilots of the Thorp T-18 and its variants.
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Doug Frantz
 Post subject: Questions
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:53 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:04 am
Posts: 10
Location: USA
Back in August of 2018, my faithful old T-18C, N58K, was damaged in a crazy accident. A Bonanza owner down the taxiway from me started his airplane at full throttle and for some reason couldn't reduce power or hold it with the brakes, so it hit the side of my hangar going about 30-40 mph(according to an eyewitness). The propeller chewed through the hangar wall, and the corner column stopped the airplane just in time to prevent complete destruction of my Thorp. The prop got the right wingtip, but not the wing structure. However, when it hit the column, it spun the Bonanza to the right and the left wing slapped the side of the hangar. On the inside of the wall where the wing hit were shelves holding some heavy Drake ham radios, and also leaning against this wall were 2 4x8 sheets of 3/4 plywood that went flying across the right wing of the Thorp, doing some minor damage and then hitting the right fuselage side, putting two dents in it. The worst damage was to the stabilator. One of the Drake radios (which weighs about 15 lbs.) landed on the right stabilator tip, and then poked a hole in the right trim tab. The stabilator itself doesn't have a mark on it, but a laser says the right side is bent down about 3/16 inch at the tip rib. A smart level shows about .3 degrees bend.

So, my first question is, does anybody have a good, undamaged stabilator that they might part with? I didn't build the airplane but I think I could build a stabilator. But my friends who have built T-18s say its the hardest part to build, and they all built two to get a good one. So I guess I am looking for the easy way out!

Question two: Is anyone flying a T-18 with 180 HP that has .025 fuselage side skins rather than .032? I have owned 58K for 35 years, and have always wanted more than 150 HP, but my builder friends told me that 180 horses is too much power for the thinner skins my airplane has. Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance for any leads or input!

Doug Frantz
Mustang OK


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ljkrume
 Post subject: Re: Questions
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:16 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:33 pm
Posts: 181
Images: 213
Location: USA
Sorry to hear about that Doug,

Wow, what a freak accident. To reply, I'd like to say that the stabilator isn't a hard thing to build. The only challenge is bucking rivets for the extra stiffener tube that goes inside the stabilator spar tube. It's a required safety item, but skins are also attached here too. For that, I used a long solid heavy round bar with a flat filed at top, along its length. It should extend beyond the stabilator on both ends. Support it and the whole 'clecoed' assembly between two saw horses, certain that there's no twist in the skins. Start with innermost rivets and work outward. Form and inspect the 'shop' head on each rivet with a small mirror and flashlight before going to the next. You'll have to pull the bar out and reinsert it quite often. Leading-edge weights are also installed for completion. As you've certainly read, stabilator installation and proper adjustment of trim tabs is important, but you'll see it's not difficult.

Les


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James Grahn
 Post subject: Re: Questions
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:55 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2009 7:16 pm
Posts: 1060
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Location: USA
Phil Albee has a spare horizontal I believe.
Cubes


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Rich Brazell
 Post subject: Re: Questions
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:55 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:33 pm
Posts: 2932
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Location: Jamul, CA (San Diego area)
Shazam ! :o Hopefully the accident guy has insurance to cover this . If it is covered I would at least charge him (insurance or cash out of his pocket) for enough parts from Thorp Central to make a new stab and whatever else is necessary to make you whole again . As Les said the hard part is the tube spar and setting the rivets . ::)

RB O0


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Doug Frantz
 Post subject: Re: Questions
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:04 am
Posts: 10
Location: USA
Thanks for the responses, gents. The guy was insured through Falcon, and they have taken care of all obligations. The hangar is repaired, now to fix the T-18! Cubes, could you send me Phil's contact info please? Text to 405-905-1857, or my email is dougbarb1@cox.net. If that doesn't pan out, I will build a new one. Thanks again!


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1albee
 Post subject: Re: Questions
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2015 6:58 pm
Posts: 168
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Doug,
I have a horizontal with a trim tab. There are 2 small dings in the leading edge. It came with a bunch of extra parts I bought. I would sell it for $150.00 plus shipping costs, picking it up would be best. I live near Sacramento ca. My phone / text # is 5303206758 I go to bed early (get up for work at 0200)
Thanks Phil


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