Letters: May 2012

Real Men Indeed
I enjoyed Coyle Schwab’s article about Cessna 195s. I wanted to let you know that real women fly them also and I am one of them.

I learned to fly in a Luscombe 8E in 1980 and have always had a love affair with the 195. I would always ask to have my picture taken in front of beautiful 195s at Oshkosh and Sun ‘n Fun. About 17 years ago, my husband and I finally got our own N9895A. It is truly a part of the family.

Another great thing about the airplane is the 195 community. There is great fellowship and always a helpful hand when you need it. Thanks Coyle!

Tia Robertson
Via e-mail

Out of Focus
I was amused at your comment about overhead electricals in the Gippsland AirVan being too close to read. I experienced the same thing the first time I got into a Tobago. There were many overhead placards. I told the sales rep showing the plane I was too old to fly it as my eyes would no longer focus that close.

I later encountered a professional Sabreliner pilot who had bifocals in the top of his flying glasses so he could see all the overhead important stuff, a solution I would have never thought of.

Unrelated, but same issue: Most fuel totalizers I have installed and flown in many airplanes for many years are usually very accurate if installed with the transducers that came with them. The factories these days do a good job of K-factor matching right out of the box.

I had a Skymaster customer during my Riley days 20 years ago who kept a one-year record of purchases vs displayed used. His accuracy using 5.85 pounds per gallon the avgas company said was real computed out to 0.8 percent error for a year for two engines on a Shadin system. I would much rather have that than a couple of 30-year-old Cessna/Beech/Piper fuel gauges!

Bob Ferguson
Autopilots Central, Inc.

Corrosion and Engines
I had the ACF-50 corrosion treatment applied to my 1978 Piper Seneca II in 1991, and there is still a bit of weeping around rivets to this day.  Maybe it was applied too heavily.  Had a fuel bladder replaced in 2000, and there were no signs of corrosion in the wing. 

I purchased the aircraft brand new in 1978, and it has always been based within 6 miles of salt water and has flown hundreds of hours at or below 1500 feet AGL over salt water as a Coast Guard Auxiliary aircraft, but always hangared. 

The only signs of corrosion I’ve seen have been in the wheel wells and adjacent structures, but this could have been caused when it was temporarily ramped over a weekend at the old Fremont, California, airport, which was inundated with salt water from San Francisco Bay in the mid 1980s.

Regarding bulletproof engines, I’m on my third set of TCM TSIO-360-EB1Bs. The original pair went past the 1800-hour recommended TBO.  The second set (factory remans) were replaced by Chevron (with only 250 hours on them) because of the 1994 fuel contamination issue. I had no problems with them.  I used the Mobil One synthetic oil in them, but discontinued its use after learning (in your publication, and others) of its lack of lead scavenging qualities. 

My current set of TCM factory remans have about 1760 hours on them, with compressions all in the 70s, oil analysis is clean, and they consume one quart of oil (AeroShell 15W-50) each every 50 hours. At every oil change, I also add (to each) one can of AvBlend and one bottle of Lycoming additive. Maybe that’s overkill, but they are running sweet. I fly them conservatively, have never had any heating problems and have Merlyn pressure deck controllers. Those devices work as advertised. 

Gordon Evans
Via e-mail

In your last issue, I see you really like the Lycoming IO-360-L2A and the Dynon Skyview.  It got me thinking—could a person put the Lycoming on an LSA-type airframe like the Arion Lightning LS-1?  Any ideas on that? With the 180-HP engine, light airframe, and Dynon Skyview, you could have quite a fast, two-place airplane. Or could you?
Russ Fagg
Billings, Montana

Well, maybe. This is sort of the idea behind the Carbon Cub by CubCrafters. It has a 180-HP CC340 engine, which is an ASTM-approved engine built specifically for the Carbon Cub. There’s no horsepower limit for LSA, but larger engines do have a weight penalty and for some airframes, this makes them non-starters.

Then there’s the 120-knot indicated speed limitation for light sports, the most roundly ignored number in aviation. In reality, the better way to go is with an experimental. Getting manufacturer approval to swap a 180-HP engine in an airframe designed for 100 HP—if that’s what you have in mind—seems unlikely.

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