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kaz3g

A great day to be Austering

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Yeah I stopped flying regularly out of there in 1964. That fits. You are right about the weight in the tail. That sort of thing doesn't help a spin situation. NEv

 

 

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My annual is due 31 March so will get it done a couple of weeks earlier at Transaero. Not many doing R&T these days and they are very good.

Kaz

I use Dent Aviation at Camden - they do lots of R&T as well - very good.

 

 

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Of course Matty Weber at Luskintyre is a champion with R&T and because of that is pretty much booked out for over 12 months. Sigh. You'd thinkni would have got my act together by now and done mine.

 

Daffyd, after that enlightenment about the leading edge structure I am getting inspection holes cut in my wings to check the structure. Mine was rebuilt on 1998 but unfortunately the builder has since deceased so I don't know what they used to rebuild the wing.

 

 

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Of course Matty Weber at Luskintyre is a champion with R&T and because of that is pretty much booked out for over 12 months. Sigh. You'd thinkni would have got my act together by now and done mine.

Daffyd, after that enlightenment about the leading edge structure I am getting inspection holes cut in my wings to check the structure. Mine was rebuilt on 1998 but unfortunately the builder has since deceased so I don't know what they used to rebuild the wing.

I only know of one aircraft that had the pressed (actually hand-formed) nose ribs, and even then it was only on one wing. I think I still have the template for the form block; the block itself may still be somewhere at what used to be Ian Aviation at Archerfield. We hand-formed the LE ribs from 0.050 inch 6061 T4, I recall, using a shrinker (the 6061 was unclad, so the shrinker marking was not an issue). I may still have the EO for it on file. The airraft was VH-WED, as I recall. It's the sort of thing one would consider in a major rebuild of the wing. There's an AD for cracking of the vertical leg of the formed T section from which the ribs were made; it was twisted to form the rib shape, from material that was made by rolling thin strips of metal, and they eventually crack due to stress corrosion where this forming was done - and after that the buckling strength of the rib is severely reduced. You are wise to check for it; now all those wings are covered with dacron, nobody looks there any more . . .

 

 

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There's one of those in the back of our hanger. She not in good shape though "not loved "

what an auster ,i love the look of those planes will have to buy a book about them i think

 

 

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Ducked down to the airfield at lunchtime to go for a quick fly - a guy I have seen round came over to talk - turns out he flew Austers a bit in the early 60s. Took him along and he had a big grin the whole time. Thats what Austers are all about !

what do they sell for if u can find 1 ,hard to fly ? maintenance intensive i suppose

 

 

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hmmmm sounds

 

Let's just set the record straight on that point. I've owned two Austers, and learned more than I really want to know about them as a result of that plus operating them as glider tugs. I also own an STC for putting Lycoming 0-360 engines into J5G Autocars, and I've written lots of EOs for them as a CAR 35 engineer. Yes, one can keep them going almost indefinitely, by the "George Washington's axe" approach. They are not all that economical to operate in the long term. However their weaknesses are largely a known quantity:To be specific:

 

Airframe:

 

1. There is a weakness in the leading edge ribs, which are made from something like oversize umbrella frame material, on the upper surface, just ahead of the main spar. There have been several fatal accidents to glider tugs in the U.K. and one quite remarkable escape in Australia, due to this. The rib fails by upward buckling of its upper truss, under the very high suction load at that point, if the aircraft is exposed to a strong upward gust when flying at speeds above about 100 knots, and the failure propagates instantly to all the ribs in the wing. The cure is to replace all the wing leading edge ribs with pressed sheet metal ribs made from 0.050 inch material. This was done to the port wing of VH-WED, if my memory serves me correctly, after the owner managed to get it back on the ground with the entire leading edge of the wing buckled upwards. MORAL: Do NOT fly an Auster at more than about 95 knots, regardless of what its Vne may be - it is not designed for those speeds.

 

2. The ailerons have to be rigged about 3/4 inch down at their trailing edges, to prevent overbalance causing aileron "snatch" (abrupt hard-over) at the upper end of the speed range; this is caused by stretch in the aileron balance cable circuit, mainly due to extremely poor design of the aileron pulley brackets.

 

3. The flaps are barn doors, certainly - but if you are so foolish as to exceed the maximum flaps-extended speed, they will peel the rear spar out of the wing. The fix for this is to install steel-tube "A" frames, one at each flap bracket, running between the rear spar and the main spar, picking up on the flap bracket bolts, so the twisting load is not applied to the wooden spar.

 

4. Some aircraft have cast magnesium flap brackets, which are prone to rot away.

 

5. The control system pulleys are all too small in diameter for the cables, and they lack ball-bearings. They can be replaced with more modern pulleys, but the diameter problem remains. This shortens the life of the cables, and also causes considerable control circuit friction.

 

6. The main undercarriage pivot bolts bend in service and in doing so, crack the welded brackets on the longerons, because the design of the pivot lacked a spacer tube.

 

7. The main wheels are sized to use tyres made for Hurricane tail wheels, which are now unobtainable. The main wheel brakes are designed to fade completely after taxiing about 100 yards if there is any cross-wind, and the fairlead tubes from the heel pedals to the top of the undercarriage legs acquire a wear groove in them that completely locks up when the brake cables are replaced with new cables, so the brakes become completely useless. The cure is to modify the axles to accept Cleveland 600 x 6 wheels & tyres, and fit hydraulic toe brakes; there are several approved schemes for this.

 

8. The original tail wheel needs to be replaced with a properly-designed fully-castering one with a shimmy damper - a Scott 3200 is best. The tailwheel spring front bolt breaks regularly, in glider-towing it needs to be replaced at every 100 hourly inspection.

 

9. The early-type teilplane stubs had reinforcing tubes silver-soldered into them. The silver solder causes the stubs to crack, in the fullness of time, due to copper diffusion into tjhe grain boundaries of the steel. There is an AD on this; it really needs to be fixed by replacent the tailplane stubs completely.

 

10. The original fuel tanks are soft-soldered Terne plate, and they have an unfixable chronic leakage problem. The only cure is to replace them with made-to-fit welded aluminium tanks.

 

The pitot-static system has enormous errors, especially at low speed. It causes the ASI to under-read by 13 knots at the stall. This is the reason why many people find them difficult to land because they float. The do NOT actually land at 26 knots; when the ASI shows that, the real speed is 39 knots.

 

Engine:

 

1. The original magnetos are dreadful in too many ways to cover here; the worst is that the mechanical advance-retard linkage coupled to the throttle, wears the outside of the contact-breaker cam ring, and it only takes about 0.004 inches of wear here to prevent the points from opening at all. Lesser amounts of wear affect the ignition timing. The cure is to replace them with Slicks.

 

2. The engine anti-vibration rubber mounts - don't.

 

3. You need to wear ANR headsets, if you want to keep your hearing. They were invented too late, for me.

 

Apart from all that, they are quite fun to fly; but do respect their speed limits.

hmmm sounds like a nostalgic plane but mayb i should just settle for something mor modern

 

 

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If you like that sort of thing a Piper Cub is a little more basic and lighter. Some had engines as small as 65 HP but I think that is not quite enough for two people. Later Continental 0-200's ' with a wood prop and Armstrong starter wouldn't be much heavier. Tandem seat though. ( I prefer it myself). Nev

 

 

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what do they sell for if u can find 1 ,hard to fly ? maintenance intensive i suppose

You can get a good one for between $25K and $45K - and the basic ones are actually cheaper to maintain than say a C172. Mine just had its annual and the cost was about50% of what a typical C172 annual would be. They are so basic !

 

 

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