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Doug Evans

Any lightwing pilots out there

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I've been lucky over the years to fly the GA-55, GR 532, 582 and 912 which I currently own, plus Dougs' 25-032 which is the first factory produced aircraft, and also very historically the one that crossed Australia from West to East with two Flight-stars, supported by the Australian army.Most of the GA 55 LWs (smaller Saphire type wing-single strut) have flaps standard, however there is one up here (kit built) without flaps. My 2000 model GR 912 has the same flaps as the GA model, ( factory option) and make it a much nicer aircraft to land than the standard wing without flaps. First image below is my GR 912 next to a GA 912 and you can see the difference in the wing size and shape, plus one strut Vs two. Same cabin and tail.

 

The GA is faster in cruise (especially with the reflex flap) but harder to land with the smaller wing. You can stuff up with the larger GR wing a dozen different ways, and still look good !..it just has the acreage !.....

 

The late Bill Starke turned me onto Lightwings as he was the dealer for Howie up this way, and he loved them. I first flew Pat McGraths GR 912 trainer (no flaps) with over 3000 hard training hours on it, and then flew his GA912 with flaps. Two quite different birds, with very different landing characteristics. The GA wing is 20 Sq Ft less in overall area, so really needs the flaps come landing time. In cruise the flaps reflex up about 5 deg for a free 6 kts of cruise speed. Why someone would kit build one of these without the flaps is beyond me !...Howie seems to think there were about 14-17 GAs built. We have three in this area now.

 

I flew Dougs GR 25-032 up years ago from Rockhampton to Townsville when it had a 532, and just a few months ago after a complete rebuild, and now a new 582 Bluetop. It is just a lovely little aircraft to fly and land, and after the recent rebuild is ready for another thirty years of fun, cheap, and safe flying.

 

We'll soon have another oldie rebuilt here, as a friend has just purchased an early GR 582 after 3000+ hours of hard station work. I know this mans work, and it'll come back looking like new, and in fairly short time also.

 

I've flown my GR 912 Heliview for about five years now, (600 hrs) and still look foward to jumping in her every chance I get !....The only way I could possibly improve her would be to clip the wings, or put her on floats. The things that I really like about the Lightwings are:..they are a classic taildragger, they have a really big cabin, they are tough, and they are heaps of fun to fly !....

 

Bit like an FJ Holden...., rugged, simple, easy to maintain, good to look at, and they just keep going !!...........My favourite model. ?...........love them all !........Maj....012_thumb_up.gif.cb3bc51429685855e5e23c55d661406e.gif

Thanks for the very informative and interesting post Maj. Drove a couple of hundred miles today and got to inspect the object of my most recent brain fart. The project 'potential' was 93% in my imagination (unless someone has a GA55 fuselage surplus and cheap). Perhaps for the best as I need another project like I need a third nostril! Back to tinkering with the Gemini and/or the Sapphire. Keep well cheers

 

 

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Thanks for the very informative and interesting post Maj. Drove a couple of hundred miles today and got to inspect the object of my most recent brain fart. The project 'potential' was 93% in my imagination (unless someone has a GA55 fuselage surplus and cheap). Perhaps for the best as I need another project like I need a third nostril! Back to tinkering with the Gemini and/or the Sapphire. Keep well cheers

I would suggest that your chances of finding a surplus GA55 fuselage is about as high as stumbling on a disused Bugatti !........but it does happen.......any photos ?..............Maj......

 

 

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I would suggest that your chances of finding a surplus GA55 fuselage is about as high as stumbling on a disused Bugatti !........but it does happen.......any photos ?..............Maj......

Dangerous analogy there Maj as I can take a photograph (from the street 'cause old Jim is a bit of a funny sort) of a dis-used type 37 Bugatti that's been sitting in a open carport about 6 miles from my place here in Perth for the past thirty years. Sans bonnet, sans radiator, sans car cover and sans any hope of getting back on the road under it's present stewardship. I doubt however, that this makes my chances of finding a good cheap GA55 airframe any better. Didn't take any photos of the badly bent L/Wing as the fellow wasn't awfully proud of what he had allowed happen to his machine as a result of test flying off a rough & windy paddock. An elderly acquaintance here in the West will be putting his quite 'speccy' GA55 (with a freshly rebuilt Aeropower donc) on the market early next year for ca $25K but I know the cost of acquisition of both plus the p/plant conversion in making one out of two would be prohibitive. As aforementioned, it's not like I was needing something to do but dreaming doesn't cost much and demands no physical output so I dream on. cheers

 

 

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Fix Or Repair Daily....which I don't on my Lightwing.....................008_roflmao.gif.692a1fa1bc264885482c2a384583e343.gif

Fastest on race day ,,,,,

 

 

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Just Holden together. (About to fall apart.)

 

Found On Rubbish Dump.

 

Cheers

 

Mike PS I am a true blue ford fan. 019_victory.gif.9945f53ce9c13eedd961005fe1daf6d2.gif

 

 

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