'48 Metalized Wing Owners/Operators

A place to relax and discuss flying topics.

Moderators: GAHorn, Karl Towle, Bruce Fenstermacher

'48 Metalized Wing Owners/Operators

Postby cessnaford » Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:05 pm

Gentleman,

I have read the posts about the metalized wings, but I can't find anyone listing specific pros/cons (other than originallity or future repairs)

If you own or have flown a metalized 170 (or maybe even the 120/140 clan) please give me a call. I would like to hear some first hand accounts. If you are phone shy then post your comments.

I am wondering how much it cuts down on speed? ( i have read up to 15 mph)
How much usefull load does it take away?
Does it screw with the rigging of the plane? (causing unwanted stall characteristics)

The benefits are no fabric to worry about ( I can't afford a hanger yet)
And.....? well I can't think of any others.

Thanks Bill
208-681-8757

Or should I spring for a fabric wing? (bear in mind I am after Functionality and Practicality)
cessnaford
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 3:57 am
Location: Pocatello, ID

Re: '48 Metalized Wing Owners/Operators

Postby Bruce Fenstermacher » Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:09 pm

Bill,

I realize your looking for first hand experience from an actual owner and I am not one. You have also read other threads and it is likely I posted there. But being there were only about 714 1948 170s made and even few of them covered with metal it is unlikely you get to talk to to many owners.

I think you hit the potential problem on the head when you mention future repair. There are a lot of modifications that have been done to many aircraft and it wouldn't matter which one I was looking at. Most of these modifications are not well documented. What I mean buy that is there may have been modification documentation but that is no longer with the aircraft. We are left with only the knowledge it has been done.

So whether you are flying an aircraft with a transplanted engine, or metalized covering, converted landing gear, you are flying a one of a kind aircraft. No instructions in most cases for continued airworthiness, no repair parts or manuals and no expertise to call. You are on you own.

Of course many of these things can be said for many of the unmodified 60 year old aircraft we own and fly, modified ones just are that much more specialized in those modified areas.

So if I decided I wanted a '48, they are good aircraft, and I came across one that was metalized that I otherwise would like to own, I would first have to believe in my mind that the workmanship was satisfactory and I believed airworthy. I would have to come terms with the fact the wings are one of a kind and many of the things having to do with them when it came to parts and repair will have to be understood and treated that way.
CAUTION - My forum posts may be worth what you paid for them!

Bruce Fenstermacher, Past President, TIC170A
Email:
N7A '49 170A -More original than most making folks GREEN with envy
N42532 '45 J-3 Clipped Wing Cub
User avatar
Bruce Fenstermacher
 
Posts: 9833
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2002 11:24 am
Location: Telford, PA Based at UKT

Re: '48 Metalized Wing Owners/Operators

Postby flyguy » Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:48 pm

You might get some help from a member of the "Short Wing Piper" club. Because of the more numerous types of Piper aircraft with fabric wings, you may find several owners have "metalized" their wings. Just a thought. . .
OLE GAR SEZ - 4 Boats, 4 Planes, 4 houses. I've got to quit collecting!
User avatar
flyguy
 
Posts: 1046
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2002 6:44 pm
Location: Toledo Bend, Louisiana

Re: '48 Metalized Wing Owners/Operators

Postby GAHorn » Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:59 pm

cessnaford wrote:Gentleman,

I have read the posts about the metalized wings, but I can't find anyone listing specific pros/cons (other than originallity or future repairs)...Or should I spring for a fabric wing? (bear in mind I am after Functionality and Practicality)


Here are a few pros/cons:

Pro: 1- No more need for regular replacement of fabric.

Con: 1- With modern fabrics OR metal, not much opportunity to see inside the wing because no more need for regular replacement of fabric. (One advantage of fabric wings is their easy/fequent-access for deep interior wing inspections and repairs. This opportunity is virtually lost with metallized wings, consequently the additional, necessary structure of the wings does not receive the regular inspection/repair it's designers originally expected it to receive.)

Con: 2- Metal skins are not only heavier than fabric, ...the entire wing-design is now heavier than it needs to be for it's relative strength. (Compression struts and brace-wires and associated hardware not required in all-metal wing designs, but they are required in fabric-wing designs. Therefore a metallized fabric wing is unnecessarily heavy. As a matter of fact, when Cessna went from the fabric winged 170 to the all-metal 170-A the aircraft LOST approximately 20 lbs of empty weight.) 8O

Con: 3- Modern fabrics and coatings are much more durable than original cotton/linens and new/recent recoverings are likely to outlast present ownership periods, even if stored outside. (With modern materials, the emphasis from damage due to, the outside storage is generally more damaging of the entire airframe....same as with all-metal aircraft.)

Plus, the loss of originality is a factor to many potential purchasers of future. (It should be pretty obvious by now that I would encourage you to recover with modern fabric and not metallize your wings.) IMO :wink:
'53 B-model N146YS SN:25713
50th Anniversary of Flight Model. Winner-Best Original 170B, 100th Anniversary of Flight.
An originality nut (mostly) for the right reasons. ;)
User avatar
GAHorn
 
Posts: 19412
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2002 8:45 pm
Location: Spicewood (Austin), Texas

Re: '48 Metalized Wing Owners/Operators

Postby Kyle Wolfe » Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:00 am

Bill, I learned to fly in my Dad's 48 170 that had been metalized. It's still on the registry in Alaska N3914V owned by one of our members. You might look him up via the directory.

It had metalized wings by a company in Colorado - Met Co Air if I recall correctly.

It was in the late 70s and it was the only bird I'd flown at the time. Not much to compare and it was metalized when my dad bought it so I can't give you much before/after comparison.

I wish I had the info in my old papers but I've glanced and can't see that I do.

Going off my recollection and comparing to our 170B which has a STOL kit, I don't recall any noticable difference in speed between the two. Sorry I can't offer more comparisons..... :|
Kyle
54 B N1932C
57 BMW Isetta
Best original 170B - Dearborn, MI 2005
User avatar
Kyle Wolfe
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2003 12:30 am
Location: Owatonna, MN

Re: '48 Metalized Wing Owners/Operators

Postby Ray Davidowski » Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:48 pm

I can give some input from the 120/140 perspective...

My dad and I owned a '46 140 with metalized wings for 8 years (just sold it last year). At 1000 lb empty, it was definitely one of the heavier examples (yet only had very basic instruments and radios, no gyros except for the electric turn coordinator). Some say the the metal skin adds 50-100 pounds to 120s/140s, which would make sense because many other owners report empty weights in the mid-900s.

And despite having an O-200 (100 hp instead of the standard C85), its takeoff and climb performance was sluggish to average at best. Cruise was also on the slower side, when it should have been at least as good...indicated 90-100 mph, figured it probably never trued faster than 110 even when pushed, while indicating 100-110 doesn't sound unusual for airplanes with the C85 and fabric wings. The skin also showed some wrinkling on the top surface, maybe because of the twisted shape from washout (if there is any?). I think that wrinkling combined with all those rivet heads and seams didn't help the drag situation.

Luckily we never had to make any repairs inside the wings, aside from tightening a couple dragwires, and there were inspection holes cut at the ends of the dragwires and inspection locations. I don't think it would be too big of a deal to add an inspection hole. Most of ours were just holes in the skin with what looked like flat/u-type Tinnerman nuts to hold the cover plates in place with screws. But that still leaves the issue of never removing the covering unless major unplanned repairs are needed. In that sense I wonder if among classic/antique airplanes the fabric-covered ones will end up being the safest since their structure will at least be looked at every once in a while, as opposed to never.

Other than the suspected weight/performance issues, it was a great flying airplane and I enjoyed it. Probably wouldn't have known any different. I thought it stalled nicely, had a sharp break (I never stalled a 150/152, and I hear they do the same?) but it gave you warning with a slight buffet/"burble" and some "bellowing" sounds as the thin metal covering tin-canned when it unloaded. Even though it had metal wings, my bigger concern for storing any old airplane outside would be leaks.

Ray Davidowski
User avatar
Ray Davidowski
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:30 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Re: '48 Metalized Wing Owners/Operators

Postby ginbug92b » Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:41 pm

I owned a 1947 Cessna 140 and the metal wing conversion added exactly 24 lbs to the empty weight. Really couldn't tell the difference flying it compared to the fabric wing.
Mark 55B N4492B 53PA-18 N3357A
ginbug92b
 
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 4:18 pm
Location: Altamont, New York

Re: '48 Metalized Wing Owners/Operators

Postby 170C » Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:14 pm

I had a '50 model C-140A (obviously metal wings) and my friend had the '48 C-140 (fabric) that I learned to fly in. Both had C-90 engines and the same prop. The '48 was a good 5+ mph faster. (And George, my 140 wasn't even GREEN :mrgreen: ) I suspect it was heavier than the '48. Don't know how a '48 C-170 & a '49 C-170 would compare cruise wise.
OLE POKEY
170C
Director:
2012-2018
User avatar
170C
 
Posts: 3183
Joined: Tue May 06, 2003 11:59 am
Location: Murfreesboro, TN

Re: '48 Metalized Wing Owners/Operators

Postby cessnaford » Sat Jul 17, 2010 4:31 pm

Gentlemen,

thanks for your responses and time. I spoke with a few of you on the phone. Thanks and I have decided to stick with the fabric if I get a '48 C-170 based on more people making comments about little things that were not to their liking.

Thanks Again.

bill ward
cessnaford
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 3:57 am
Location: Pocatello, ID

Re: '48 Metalized Wing Owners/Operators

Postby cessnaford » Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:50 pm

OK, So I found a guy who wanted to sell his airplane really bad and the final price offered reflected his desire. So I purchased a metalized 1948 C-170 and I have 25 + hours in it. I think it flys just as good (and better rigged) than my C120. It only added 24 pounds to the total weight. So if anyone else wants first hand experience with one of these contact me.
cessnaford
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 3:57 am
Location: Pocatello, ID


Return to The Pilot Lounge

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests