Ever dream of doing something really different – daring even? Here is a prime example of such a dream…
Build a real aeroplane that really flies!
The aircraft of my choice is the Piper PA-18, better known as the Supercub. Well, pretty darned close anyway, as I have ordered complete plans and construction manual for a ‘Light Miniature Aircraft’ clone of the original Piper (one of many clones that exist) on the internet and hope to receive them soon 🙂
I am 65 now and can expect around 2500 hrs of building-time spread over probably at least five years (finances notwithstanding), so whether I ever get to fly the bird is another, unimportant, question. By that time 70 years old, maybe one of my children will finish the project and learn to fly in the cub if I go soft in the head in the meantime; maybe it will be sold on unfinished (I really would expect to finish it, though, as far as finances allow).
Of course, in order to build something like this, there are a few things to consider.
First off on the practical side is the problem of space and the equipment to do it, neither of which I have – yet! On the equipment side, I need a drop-saw, bandsaw, a drill-stand, face-sander and a TIG-welding setup. I have most of the hand-tools, drills, measuring tools and such like already 🙂
The necessary manual skills I believe to have acquired over the years – ‘advanced’ woodworking as a qualified industrial patternmaker to the foundry industry and a few of years of very exacting TIG-welding for a living (still). I spent years in Australia working in an aircraft museum restoring warbirds, a bit on a P-38, quite a lot on a P-39 and some more on an F4U Corsair. Electrics and avionics shouldn’t be a problem, covering the frame will probably be a challenge.
I also flew everything I had a chance to, as well, while I was there; training mostly in a Cessna 152 Aerobat, but also in a C172 and a “gutless Cutlass”.
Chances to fly taken up notably in a Harvard, PT 17, Tiger Moth, AN-2 and a Trojan, taildragger endorsement in a Supercub. There’s the link!
A lovely little aircraft for low and slow and with excellent manners and short-field capability built in 🙂
So here, as time goes by, I will note my progress, failures and successes. The Start will be SLOW, as there are things at home that have to be addressed as well – particularly Armstrong, who is completely aircraft crazy at the tender age of 14 months and is actually the one who planted the seed in my brain 🙂