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Piper Vagabond/Colt Question  
User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 5518 times:
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As I understand it, both the Piper PA-17 Vagabond and PA-22 Colt share a very similar (identical?) fuselage with side-by-side seating. One difference, however, is that the Vagabond has control sticks, while the Colt has yokes.

My question - is it possible to convert a Colt to control sticks? If so, is it a relatively straightforward procedure, or is it extensive and complex?

Thanks in advance for any info.


2H4





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12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineThirtyEcho From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 1644 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 5512 times:

That would be major surgery and, mosy likely, require a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from the FAA.

I soloed in a Luscombe 8E that had stick control and I loved it. There are lots of Luscombes out there, go buy one. They are certified for plus or minus 9G; pure iron.

There is a rumor that I looped a Luscombe on the downwind leg one Sunday morning. That is not true.


User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6346 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 5503 times:

Quoting 2H4 (Thread starter):
As I understand it, both the Piper PA-17 Vagabond and PA-22 Colt share a very similar (identical?) fuselage with side-by-side seating. One difference, however, is that the Vagabond has control sticks, while the Colt has yokes.

I thought that the Vagabond was a 4-seater and the Colt was a 2-seater...the Colt was basically a Tri-Pacer minus the back seat and, IIRC, an O-235 in place of the Tri-Pacer's O-320.



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 3, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 5482 times:
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Quoting ThirtyEcho (Reply 1):
There are lots of Luscombes out there, go buy one. They are certified for plus or minus 9G; pure iron.

Wow, I never realized that. I hear that, compared with other small tailwheels, they're very challenging/unforgiving to land. Have you found that to be the case?

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 2):
I thought that the Vagabond was a 4-seater and the Colt was a 2-seater

Not sure about the Vagabond, but the Colt is definitely a 2-seater. I know the Vagabond has side-by-side seating.

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 2):
the Colt was basically a Tri-Pacer minus the back seat and, IIRC, an O-235 in place of the Tri-Pacer's O-320.

That sounds about right.

Here's a shot of the airplane I'm after....serial number 22-8041. I can't find it anywhere. I spoke with the FAA's Registration Branch, and learned that it's last known location was Cheboygan, Michigan. My grandfather owned it back in the sixties, and is shown here with the aircraft, sporting some seriously stylish pants:





I'd put together a reward for any information leading to it's current location. I'd like to purchase it and restore it someday.


2H4




[Edited 2007-04-24 16:56:11]


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User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6346 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 5476 times:

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 3):
Here's a shot of the airplane I'm after....serial number 22-8041. I can't find it anywhere. I spoke with the FAA's Registration Branch, and learned that it's last known location was Cheboygan, Michigan. My grandfather owned it back in the sixties, and is shown here with the aircraft, sporting some seriously stylish pants:

I have a friend down in El Paso who picked up a Colt for a song after it was blown over in a thunderstorm and ended up in a tree...the plane is, of course, a basket case  Smile It has been sitting at the back of his hangar for about 10 years now...but I doubt it's your bird.



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineRyanair737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5450 times:

Quoting 2H4 (Thread starter):
My question - is it possible to convert a Colt to control sticks? If so, is it a relatively straightforward procedure, or is it extensive and complex?

Thanks in advance for any info.

2H4,

There is a Colt stored nearby me in UK, I'll ask the maintainence guy and see what he says about your query and if its possible.

Regards
737


User currently offlineJetstar From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1642 posts, RR: 10
Reply 6, posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 5433 times:
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Quoting 2H4 (Thread starter):
As I understand it, both the Piper PA-17 Vagabond and PA-22 Colt share a very similar (identical?) fuselage with side-by-side seating. One difference, however, is that the Vagabond has control sticks, while the Colt has yokes.

My question - is it possible to convert a Colt to control sticks? If so, is it a relatively straightforward procedure, or is it extensive and complex?



Quoting ThirtyEcho (Reply 1):
That would be major surgery and, mosy likely, require a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from the FAA

An STC is only required if you plan to sell the conversion commercially. If you just do it on one airplane the minimum requirement is an FAA form 337, major repair and/or alteration form and compliance with FAR part 43.

If you can prove to the FAA that both fuselages are the same by part number, and the same part numbers on the Colt fit in the Vagabond than this can be accomplished on a Form 337.

But I am sure that there is enough differences between the 2 airplanes that it would take more than just a sign off to accomplish this. If there is any structural modifications made then the FAA would probably require structural engineering data and also you would have to prove to the FAA that you have not altered in any way the amount of control surface movement, so the flight characteristics have not changed. Any major changes in the airframe could result in the airplane being reclassified in the experimental category and then you would have a long road to get it approved back into its original category.

I have a 1964 Cessna 150, which came with a small baggage compartment and a large hat shelf in the rear. In 1966 Cessna opened up the rear with a larger baggage compartment. I researched and found that the rear fuselage section was the same by part and dash number from 1964 to 1966, even though Cessna installed the swept the tail in 1966. Because of this information, I was able to convert my airplane to the 1966 baggage compartment and I had it approved by the FAA under a Form 337 field approval. I used all the 1966 Cessna parts and showed the FAA that removing the hat shelf did not affect the structural integrity of the fuselage, because Cessna never changed the rear fuselage, had they reinforced the fuselage to eliminate the hat shelf, then the rear fuselage would have had a the same part number, but a different dash number. To my advantage I am an A&P mechanic with an IA rating so I was able to do sign off all the paperwork and inspections myself. If I wasn’t an A&P, I think it would have been very costly to have an outside company do this work and I probably would not have done it..

This shows that a conversion can be done on just a 337, but it depends on the amount of changes Piper did to the Colt. It could be as easy as a 337 or a major can of worms, personally I think it would be the latter, especially of you have to redo the entire instrument panel to allow for the control wheel to pass through and install all the cable brackets and pulleys for the control cables. Both airplanes are of a tubular frame construction and if any welding is required this alone can cause major problems because if its fabric surface and possibly weakening of the metal.

One thing to look for if anyone has an STC already out there for this conversation, if so then someone else has done the engineering work for you and it is just a matter of installing the conversation kit or following the instructions. If not then I would do extensive research before undertaking a major conversation like this.

If you not an A&P mechanic or are very good friends with one, this could be a very expensive conversation


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29791 posts, RR: 58
Reply 7, posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 5412 times:

Quoting ThirtyEcho (Reply 1):
That would be major surgery and, mosy likely, require a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from the FAA.

Probably, the FAA has been noticably stingy with it's 337's in recent years.

Quoting Jetstar (Reply 6):
One thing to look for if anyone has an STC already out there for this conversation, if so then someone else has done the engineering work for you and it is just a matter of installing the conversation kit or following the instructions.

I would be shocked to find out that an STC for this conversion didn't exist. And I will give you odds that it was filed back in the 1950-60's. But that being said there is a good chance you might not be able to locate the STC holder or gain their permission for the conversion. He might not want the liability risk or it could be an old one and the holder is dead and the estate doesn't want to deal with it.

I want to say there was one for the Pacers but don't hold me to that.

But that being said, I would suspect that despite the fact that this involves the controls, it might be a pretty simple STC to get. Fabric tube frame, and several different sources of approved parts for similar model of aircraft.

Quoting Jetstar (Reply 6):
I was able to convert my airplane to the 1966 baggage compartment and I had it approved by the FAA under a Form 337 field approval. I used all the 1966 Cessna parts and showed the FAA that removing the hat shelf did not affect the structural integrity of the fuselage, because Cessna never changed the rear fuselage, had they reinforced the fuselage to eliminate the hat shelf, then the rear fuselage would have had a the same part number, but a different dash number. To my advantage I am an A&P mechanic with an IA rating so I was able to do sign off all the paperwork and inspections myself. If I wasn’t an A&P, I think it would have been very costly to have an outside company do this work and I probably would not have done it..

I think you just repeated everything I said. My sheetmetal instructor was trying to get an STC for an extended baggage compartment in his 170. I had another instructor who wanted to open up a spot in his panel for some gizmo so he decided to get rid of the card compass and mount the center windshield compass out of a C-152 into his Franklin powered 172. He said it wasn't too bad, all Cessna parts involved, and he got a statement from an engineer at Cessna who said that the metal wouldn't be affected by the two screwholes involved.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3148 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 5412 times:

Luscombes are a little unforgiving, but a good stick will have no problems with one. I did ok with it while getting my tailwheel endorsement so it can't be too bad. The one I've flown has the old-school mechanical brakes so they aren't the strongest and that little engine and prop don't make a lot of torque. They're cheap to buy in relatively good shape and cheap to fly because they don't carry the "cub factor".


DMI
User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 9, posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 5410 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR



Thanks for all the info, guys. It's greatly appreciated!

Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 8):
The one I've flown has the old-school mechanical brakes so they aren't the strongest

That's probably a good thing for a new tailwheel pilot, eh?


2H4





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User currently offlineThirtyEcho From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 1644 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 5398 times:

"Wow, I never realized that. I hear that, compared with other small tailwheels, they're very challenging/unforgiving to land. Have you found that to be the case?"

Yes, they are; Luscombes force you to be a PILOT. They are propelled down the runway, on landing, by the pilot fanning the rudder.

"The one I've flown has the old-school mechanical brakes so they aren't the strongest."

And this one still has a straight prop, right? In a full-stall landing you are stopping with an airspeed of 30kts. Are you landing on your driveway?

This bird has hell-for-stout landing gear that can take some real slammers onto the runway. That same ability can lead to some super bounces.

A real plus: if you ever blow a tire, two beefy guys can get out on the wingtip and lift the offending tire off the concrete while you taxi to the ramp. I know, I've done it. Well, skinny 17 year-old me and a guy named "Archie."


User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 11, posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 5389 times:
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Quoting ThirtyEcho (Reply 10):
Well, skinny 17 year-old me and a guy named "Archie."

Heh heh.....my favorite line guy during my initial training was named "Fleck".  Smile


2H4





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User currently offlineTimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6794 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (7 years 3 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5354 times:

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 2):
I thought that the Vagabond was a 4-seater

Jane's and the Air-Britain book say it's a two-seater-- 650 lb empty, 1150 gross.


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