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Old 09-10-2017, 12:07 AM   #1
Lotahp1
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Default Starduster Too seat belts

I'm looking at upgrading the harnesses or at minimum having mine re webbed. Mine currently are old military ones best I can tell but I see something on the leather of the seat belt like "Rupperts Safety Belts" ??

Here's my questions.

1) this is for the Range Duster. So Acro is not going to be beyond Primary type of aerobatics. (Yes I really am thinking of pursuing primary, as a way to become a better biplane pilot overall and become confident in doing "gentleman" type aerobatics). Seems to many airplanes (Biplanes particularly) are lost because the pilot is not up to speed on basic acro and succumbs to the urge when they aren't properly trained. Allllll that said. I want harnesses to keep me firmly planted in my seat. Is ratchet type required(preferred etc) for this level of Acro? Or is that more for the crazy snaps and tumbles I will not be doing in this plane etc.

2) I like the idea of dual belts...but again is that overkill for the level I want to do?

3) any advantages over each brand? Hooker VS Alan Silverman (spelling?) etc etc.

4) I'm assuming a 5 point (mine does not have the crotch strap) is needed?

5) not wanting to add a bunch of extra weight or complexity to the the belt system, but want what's best recommended for my intended mission.

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Old 09-10-2017, 12:21 AM   #2
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Default Starduster Too seat belts

From the rule book.

Dual seat belts with separate attach points and a shoulder harness are mandatory for Advanced and Unlimited (power and glider) categories. The same equipment is strongly recommended for Primary, Sportsman, and Intermediate power categories, but is not mandatory except when IAC Technical Monitors deem them necessary for the sequence being flown in these categories.


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Old 09-10-2017, 12:59 AM   #3
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I flew a decathlon with no ratchet seat belts. It works just fine. You just have to work a little to get the belts good and tight. Ratchet is better, but not a requirement...at least in my opinion.
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Old 09-10-2017, 01:04 AM   #4
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Looks like my belt. I also have a cessna lap belt. I am glad I did as I get a little lite sometimes. My sleeve caught that release lever like you have and released it.

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Old 09-10-2017, 01:13 AM   #5
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I use the same setup as Castleman , with a crotch belt on the military harness..... +1 on catching a sleeve on the primary belt release lever.

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Old 09-10-2017, 03:35 AM   #6
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I think a secondary belt is very important. As mentioned, the latch on the primary is a single point failure which could be fatal. I have never experienced a ratchet belt system, they came out about the time I was finishing my competition phase. My belts did get loose during sequences but there was no way to tighten them during flight, I just got them as tight possible and used a fairly hard lap belt 'cushion'.

Crotch straps were like shoulder harnesses for me -- they're more for crashing than for negative G support. The seat bottom in my project airplane is a little longer than an S-1 seat partially in hopes of making the crotch strap more a part of the negative G support system without getting complaints from my 'boys'.
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Old 09-10-2017, 05:05 AM   #7
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as a big fan of Stardusters in general and anything with a Ranger motor, can't imagine a nicer combination of the two. how about giving us an update on where this rebuild is at? did you ever get the engine back and where are you on airframe work? I know it is hard to predict when it might fly again but what is your best guess? any pics of current status would be nice also. looking forward to seeing it in the air again.
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Old 09-10-2017, 04:24 PM   #8
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If it were me I would sell the ones you have on Ebay, and buy some 5 point Hookers. Some warbird guy will buy them, and I would think a 5 point system is all you would ever need in a Ranger Starduster Too.
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Old 09-10-2017, 04:31 PM   #9
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Navybipe,

Thanks for the kind words! I'm getting VERY anxious to get it done.

The engine is all ready to assemble as in all parts are back from their rebuilds etc. except Cylinders. STILL. I am making a trip to Brown Cylinders in the near future to get them. It's going on year two and I am out of patience for a simple cosmoline clean up and paint, install of new valve seats and install of springs and valves. These Cylinders were military overhaul. I was talked into having new hardened Stelite seats installed. Sounds like a great idea but I'm out of patience. I have another local shop that will do it now. They wouldn't earlier but because of issues with the other place Caleb Curry of Radial Engines LTD said he would take care of them for me if o can get them back.

The lower wing is still apart! I first waited Way to long on a guy who volunteered to CNC cut the ribs.
Now another buddy volunteered to do it (he has a full wood shop and I do not). Well after about three months and nothing I am actually picking the old ribs up, all the new wood I delivered to his house, and the tracings with detailed notes etc. I'll be cutting and routing these out myself now. Very discouraging as these friends could have done it much easier and VOLUNTEERED there services. (I told both I'd pay for them, although both never took any money or gave a price etc). Anyway his house is about an hour from mine and he now has offered I do it there but I don't like using others stuff and I'd rather just pick it up and make an odd situation better by putting it behind us. He's a good friend and I'm really at a loss on why all of a sudden he's not interested. (I have a feeling a woman (his wife ) is involved...but who knows. Anyway, that is my number one goal now. I have all the wood and once ribs are done I really don't think it will take long to assemble. I already have all the metal pieces back from powdercoat etc. both spars are going to be new and I still have to cut the angle on the end (buddy was doing that also so they are at his place). And drill them.

The plane is sitting on its gear (thanks again Dave! He did awesome on them!) and the alignment is perfected to zero toe in, zero toe out and zero camber. A rod slides nice and easy between the axles.

The brake system is all in and I was disappointed to see the pucks on the brand new Matco calipers seem to be leaking. I have ordered a new set of o rings for them so I will address that.

I picked up a new wheel pant mold on the way to Oshkosh. They were advertised as Fairchild 24 fiberglass molds. Well they aren't. But after much discussion with Steve Culp (he was VERY gracious and VERY helpful!) I have decided to give these larger pants a try. I really like the big wheel pants like on the old Stearman Speedmails, GeeBees, Laird Super Solutions etc etc so I'm giving these a shot. They look YUUUUUGE. BUT Steve says they are the same size as the ones on his Culp Specials. I'm going from 8.00x6 tires to 8.50x6. (Ordering this week) I wanted alittle more deck angle and the bigger tire will look better in the huge pants. If I don't like the huge pants that's an easy change. But I wanted bigger than what it had and since one of the old ones is destroyed I decided to give these a shot. The molds were dropped off Friday and he said it will take about a week and a half to two weeks. He has some things in front of these but promised no longer than two weeks. I'll post pics once I get them back.

I have a 8833 blade Hartzel prop at the shop now. It's getting a look over and reseal (hub was magna fluxed, blades eddy current inspected, etc etc). So I'll have a controllable metal bladed Hartzel that was designed for the Ranger. This is the highest performing prop for the Ranger. Probably not a great prop for Acro with the metal blades and Rangers long flexible crankshaft. It would give great performance but it would be hard on it. This will be my normal prop and I'll investigate a fixed pitch Hercules prop (they have agreed to build one for it, Catto did not) if I really decide to do much Acro.

I'm plugging away. Sometimes it seems forever. But as a single Dad of two and all that, I'm making forward progress. My real world guess is I'll be trying damn hard to be at Blakesburg 2018. Big push now and this winter.
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Old 09-10-2017, 06:10 PM   #10
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Understand the frustration of delay caused by others. The look you are going for should be nice. One bite at a time....


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