Archive for November, 2020

Skin Wrinkles

Sunday, November 15th, 2020

Bolt In Cross Brace Explained

Sunday, November 15th, 2020

There is indeed a bolted-in section of tubing in the upper (top) plane of the forward-most fuselage “bay”, located immediately between the firewall and the opening of the front cockpit – the area immediately above the front rudder pedals. This bolted-in section is V-shaped, with a single bolted fitting forward, at the center of the forward-most fuselage left-to-right cross tube (immediately aft of the firewall). From that centered forward fitting, two tubes welded to that fitting run diagonally toward the rear of the fuselage, one to the left and one to the right, with their rearward ends each welded to individual bolted-in fittings. These left and right fittings are secured to the upper-most left and right fore-and-aft fuselage tubes respectively, just forward of the junction of the second fuselage cross tube. The base of the forward cockpit instrument panel is clamped to that second fuselage cross-tube.

All Model 75 Stearman aircraft were originally designed and built with a single tube welded into the forward-most fuselage “bay” in that location, oriented and running diagonally from the right side of the fuselage to the left side, across the top plane of that “bay”.  When these aircraft were “retired” from military service and were sold to the public as military surplus at the end of WW II, many were converted from their original two-cockpit configuration into a single-seat configuration in order to be used as crop dusters and sprayers.  That single diagonal tube was cut out without replacement, and the dual controls of the front cockpit were removed in order to mount a tank or hopper into the space that was the front cockpit.  This alternation of the fuselage was made to many Model 75 Stearman aircraft.  In fact, it is commonly accepted that their conversion and use as dusters and sprayers is one reason why so many Model 75 aircraft survive to this day.

In restoring a Model 75 Stearman to its original two-cockpit “military” configuration, a new diagonal tube was commonly welded into place to replace the cut-out diagonal tube, and the front cockpit controls re-installed.

In the case of N49680, that single diagonal tube was not replaced to restore the original fuselage configuration, but rather, a V-shaped two-tube replacement was bolted into place.  Instead of a fuselage tube running in a single diagonal direction from one side of the fuselage to the other, two tubes were put into place. one running diagonally in one direction (for example, from center to right), and a second tube running in the opposite direction (from center to left).  That is, the diagonal bracing in the top plane of the forward-most bay of the front cockpit is double that of the original configuration, resulting in bracing of the fuselage not merely in one direction, but two opposing directions simultaneously.

This non-standard bolted-in two-tube configuration was inspected during the restoration, and has been inspected during every annual inspection since, and found to be acceptable.

Nevertheless, this bolted-in two-tube replacement could easily be removed, and a new single diagonal fuselage tube welded into place to return the fuselage to its original “factory” configuration, as has been done with many “restored” Model 75 Stearman aircraft.

Those who are “very knowledgeable” about the Model 75 Stearman aircraft, their design, configuration, and history, including their extensive use as dusters and sprayers after the war, should be very familiar with this fuselage modification and its restoration.  Indeed, it is widely known among Stearman restorers, experienced owners, and enthusiasts that a Model 75 fuselage that has not been cut is a true rarity.

To substantiate my statement that this Model 75 aircraft was originally designed and built with a two-cockpit configuration, we have copies of Boeing engineering drawings, numerous published reference documents, and the military history for this serial numbered aircraft, prepared by Ken Wilson, Stearman Restorers Association Historian.  Boeing Model A75N1 PT-17 serial numbered 75-2242 was assigned to and served training military pilots at the Contract Pilot School, Bennettsville, South Carolina, after its delivery from the Boeing Wichita factory on 01 October, 1941.  All Model 75 aircraft were originally built with a two-cockpit configuration.

Flymall October 2020 Wheels & Wings Newsletter

Sunday, November 1st, 2020

Welcome to our October 2020 Wheels & Wings newsletter. Click here to view past newsletters.

This month: Who invented the 3 point seat belt, a million mile Honda, a car made by the Indian Motorcycle Company, checkride passes, and much more.

Interested in living at an airport?  Visit our Aviation Real Estate page here.

Want to have your business highlighted on the Flymall???  We offer inexpensive rates to have your business featured on our Wheels & Wings page.  Contact us for more info.

History Trivia: As early as 1959, Nils Bohlin, a Volvo engineer is credited with inventing the 3 point seat belt. Volvo did patent the design, however they basically “gifted” it to their competitors, to encourage mass adoption and to save lives. 

If you enjoy history we have a new aviation history fact each day at the bottom of our webpages.  Some days there may be more than one, just refresh the page.  And if you like Beatles history, checkout our Events Calendar and select the Beatles category.  This is a work in progress, we’re building the most comprehensive calendar of important dates in Beatle history.

For those that like to stick with current news, we have an aviation news ticker on our home page.  This is updated daily to show the current aviation news.

Achievements & Special Recognition: This month we want to congratulate Lusia for passing her Private Pilot Checkride with Harry earlier this month. We surprised her with a cake for the post checkride festivities. She did a great job. She is pictured below with “her plane”. Click here for more pictures from her checkride day.

Instructors, what to highlight your students first solo or other achievement here?  Just send us a short write-up and a picture or two and we’ll post it here for you.  Click here for our contact info.

Aviation/Aviators in the news: The aviation section of the Flymall is full of aviation news, training info, and much more for the aviator.

Hi-Li Lev passed her initial flight instructor checkride with Harry earlier this month. She scored 100 percent on both the FOI and the FIA knowledge test. Great job.

Air show season is always just around the corner.  Want to travel to air shows in your own aircraft?  Visit our used aircraft page on the Flymall to view our inventory.

This month we have 2 very nice aircraft for sale. We have a 1941 Stearman that comes with a hangar full of spare parts, tooling, supplies, and even spare engines. Click here for more information.

We also have a 1977 Piper Arrow III Turbo for sale. This is one of the nicest/best equipped Turbo Arrow on the market. Click here for details.

Car/Motorcycle Show News: Our Events Calendar has the most current info regarding local and national car shows, air shows, and more.  With nearly 30 categories, there is something for everyone.  The Day Tripper section of the Flymall has dozens of day trip ideals and interesting places to visit.  Check it out here.

Here is a cool car for this month in our Car Show News. How about a million mile Honda Accord! Yep, here it is.

Alternate power sources for cars is not something new. Alternate power is as old as the car itself. Here is a wood gas driven Cadillac truck railroad inspection vehicle from the early 1940s.

Click here for a past newsletter where we featured wood powered vehicles.

Barn Finds/Hangar Finds:  Need an appraisal on your barn find?  Visit our Appraisal Page for information on our appraisals.  We maked some changes to our appraisal section, now you will be able to pay online for your appraisal.

This month we have a museum find, and a rare one at that. Indian Motocycle Company made four experimental cars, designated X1 through X4, between 1927 and 1928. This car is the fourth, X4. Click here for more info.

Visit our online store to search for hard to find car parts, aircraft parts, and much more.  You can pay online in our secure store, just click on the Store button on our home page.

Visit the Test Drive section of the Flymall for reviews on automobiles, aircraft, motorcycles, and more. Read about it before you buy it.  You can also research price info on a wide variety of vehicles, collectibles, and more in the Market Watch section of the Flymall.  Our Market Watch section is an online searchable database and it is smart phone friendly. It was set up as a database for vehicle prices, however we have added other collectibles as well. For example, under “Make” you can search for Paul McCartney for data. You can also use the database to see what celebrity ownership of a vehicle does to the value. For example, under “Model” search for Trans Am, click here to view the results. You can also search the Market Watch for famous collections that have sold, for example, here is the data for the Bruce Weiner Microcar Auction. And here is the data for the Lee Roy Hartung collection that sold a few years ago. We have also included price data from TV shows such as Jay Lenos Garage, American Pickers, and others, simply search under “Make” for Jay Lenos Garage and click on search.

If you’re restoring a fabric aircraft, Ira Walker of Walker Aviation is your resource.  Visit his page on the Flymall by clicking here

CFI / DPE Notes: Follow Harry on Facebook for daily updates on checkride success stories.

Visit Harry’s Practical Test page for information on his checkrides.  You will also find useful information there to help you prepare for your checkride.  You can also visit Harry’s Lesson Plan section of the Flymall for other flight training information.  Visit our Flight Training page for information on our aviation training classes.

Weather in the news: The 2020 hurricane season is one for the record books. As of this newsletter, 11 have made landfall in the US.

Three Wheel Association (TWA): How about a three wheeler that is a camper as well as a boat. Meet the Z Triton, a three wheel electric tricycle that is a camper as well as a boat. Very cool in deed!

Visit the Three Wheel Association page on the Flymall for more info on the association.

Want a reproduction vintage 3 wheeler.  Walker Aviation can scratch built from pictures or drawings.  Visit his page on the Flymall.  

Prototypes: This month we present the 1958 Buick XP75. The body of the XP75 was built by Pinin Farina (now Pininfarina) of Turin, Italy. Click here for more information on the XP75.

Animals in the headlines: Do you have a nice story about your furry friend? Send it to us and we’ll post it here.

We close this newsletter with these words: Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.

Today in Aviation History
November 25, 1944: 88 Boeing B-29s made first heavy bomb strike on Tokyo