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Old 09-20-2017, 02:02 PM   #1
jbrinker
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Default Introduction and some questions

I'd like to introduce myself as a new Acrosport owner, and maybe ask a few questions.

I'm 48 years old, and back when I was a teenager helped my grandfather build an Acro II. And by helped I mean I helped him build jigs, rig some tubing, built a few wing ribs, and so on. Not any "real" building. I think the build took him 5-6 years. He finished it, taxi tested it, and never flew it (lost medical).

Fast forward to a few years back, and I decided to find his plane. Wrote the current owner a letter, and we started up a conversation over mail/email. He continually invited me to come visit which I eventually did, and flew in it with him. One of the best days of my life. I told him, if you ever want to sell it, you let me know. He always told me that when he was done with it, he would let me know.

I started PPL training soon after that visit, and will be taking my check ride this October. A few weeks ago he told me he's done and will be passing it on to me.

So, I will be the proud new owner of the very Acro that I helped my (now deceased) grandfather build.

I have a nice dry, paved floor, T-hangar rented at a local airport. The plane will be shipped (flatbed) from Michigan to me here in upstate NY (Marcellus Airport) in a few weeks. The prior owner has given me a list of things that need to be done while it's apart before I fly it again. And I don't have any tailwheel time yet anyway, so I will be doing the work over the winter/spring and have lots of time before it has to be back in the air.

A couple basic questions:

1) I plan to "pickle" the engine since it will likely not run for 6+ months. I have the Lycoming procedure, and will buy the appropriate stuff. Anything extra to know here? Since the gas is already drained, can I just change the oil to the special oil, crank it over for a minute or two, and put the desiccant plugs in? Or do I have to actually run it up to temp?

2) The wiring really needs to be replaced, so I plan to re-do all of it. I will get help here, but there's not much electric in it.

3) The belly fabric is getting pretty bad. Was I believe Stitts through the grey coat, then dupont Imron. Thats the problem, paint cracking. Wings are not bad, mainly the fuselage. I plan to strip it, do any maintenance (wiring, checking all rod ends/push pulls/cables, etc) and then recover. Looking at Stewarts system or polyfiber. Considering Oratex too. Wings for a different year probably.

So - any suggestions and advice for all of the above would be greatly appreciated.

My immediate questions are:
- I don't have the plans anymore. Any way I can get a set? I have the serial and original builder info.
- Best way to store the wings while off the plane - thinking of building a rack. Want to be sure to avoid any possible rodent issues.
- Other storage/winter advice

Thanks and looking forward to learning a lot! (Have joined two local EAA chapters)

(Edit: can anyone fix my title, I misspelled Introduction... Ugh.)



Last edited by jbrinker; 09-20-2017 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 09-20-2017, 02:39 PM   #2
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Welcome, what an awesome story! I'll let the smart people answer your questions, other than to say that I believe new plans sets are still available if you want to go that route.


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Old 09-20-2017, 02:46 PM   #3
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Hi and welcome to the forum! I believe you already met my friend Dan Williams. He is an acro 2 owner in upstate NY as well. I would get some of that aeroshell 2F oil and put 6 qts or so in the sump, put a few gallons of avgas in it and run it. then it will be good for awhile. drain the gas and take it home for your snowmachine..... you said upstate ny right we have an avionics shop here so any help with wiring you need feel free to ask. in fact Dan comes down here quite often, maybe you can swing down with him one time. would be great to meet. youll have to contact acrosport inc. to get a set of plans. I made a set of cradles to store the wings in. you could put some pillows down and jus lean them against the hanger wall too..... I would stick with a traditional system rather than oracover on the acro 2. stewarts is nice to work with because you can do it anywhere. anyways, great story and congrats on becoming a biplane owner!

get that sucker done and we can have an acro 2 fly in around here...... that's 5 in the northeast I know of now locally.....
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Old 09-20-2017, 02:48 PM   #4
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Hi Jeff, Dan here. I met you last week at EAA 486. Welcome to the group. By far the best forum on the web, and an extremely deep knowledge base here. There isn't a bad soul in the bunch here.
I have my set of plans that you can borrow and reference if you like. Let me know.
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Old 09-20-2017, 03:10 PM   #5
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Oh.... and let's see some pics of the airplane!
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Old 09-20-2017, 04:00 PM   #6
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Hi Chris and Dan! We will definitely have to plan a fly in sometime after I get mine flying! I'm hoping to have it here (in pieces) around the 20th of October. I'll put up some (3 year old) pics. When I recover I'm thinking of going red on the fuse, and red/white on the wings. The wings are in decent shape, so that might be a couple years. It's all white with the red thin "V" stripes now.

I hear you have a real nice place down there Chris, maybe I can get down sometime over the winter and check it out. To be honest, I don't even know what avionics are in this bird! Not much, I'm sure. I will need a transponder and radio around here, and am pondering the 2020 ADSB mandate while I have it opened up. Might even wire it up for lights (even if I don't install them until I recover the wings).

What I don't want to do is get too caught up in the project part so that it takes me 2 years to get it flying. I want to fly it by the end of next summer if I can pull it off.

Pics to come...
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Old 09-20-2017, 04:05 PM   #7
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Heres some pics (If I did it right)
IMG_0519.jpg   IMG_0534.jpg   IMG_0532.jpg   IMG_0527.jpg  
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Old 09-20-2017, 04:13 PM   #8
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Awesome story. Best of luck with the bird. I've got a Starduster Too and I'm in western NY (Buffalo). Anything I can contribute let me know.
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Old 09-21-2017, 03:33 AM   #9
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Congratulations on getting a "family" plane back, very cool!
"The belly fabric is getting pretty bad. Was I believe Stitts through the grey coat, then dupont Imron. Thats the problem, paint cracking."
Cracking paint doesn't mean the fabric is bad.
"What I don't want to do is get too caught up in the project part so that it takes me 2 years to get it flying."
You might want to get an experienced guy to inspect the belly and advise, and go the easiest route to patch it up, or not. Aesthetically it may be ugly to you, but may be fine to fly. A small fix can turn into years real quick, and it's almost spring, in " airplane builders years". Being a new pilot I would recommend you get flying if you can safely, and after a season flying it you will have much better idea of what you want to do. I just hate to see an airplane torn apart to quickly, I have seen too many of them not get back together.
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Old 09-21-2017, 03:00 PM   #10
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Morgan is 100% right, there are no small restorations! I bought a complete aircraft that only needed to be reassembled to fly. Ha, that reassembly took me 4 years. However I'm really slow too and I know that. Plus flying it may reveal somethings that need to be addressed but aren't apparent with a visual inspection.
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Old 09-21-2017, 03:18 PM   #11
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if you would like, I would be happy to come take a look at it for you and give you my opinion on the fabric. I'm on the "fly it for a little while" side of the fence too.
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Old 09-21-2017, 03:21 PM   #12
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Welcome and great story. The Asii is a great airplane. I had one for several years.

The advice above to get an experienced mechanic to look at your airplane before tearing it down is sound advice. You might be able to fly for a while before tearing into it. Airplane projects turn in to bigger projects than expected almost always.
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:10 PM   #13
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Based on everyone's advice I will stop reading Stewart's, Poly-fiber, and so on manuals and get some other folks to have a look-see with me once it arrives. It definitely is not falling apart, but the belly especially has seen better days. I agree completely with the sentiment - I want to fly this thing for a couple seasons if I can and get to know it before getting too far into a restoration. However I DO want to address any safety issues for sure.

As for the wiring, I think that needs to be gone through. That seems like a more concise and reasonable project for the first winter. I'm considering relocating the battery to the firewall as well (currently up front on the floor, hard to get to)

Also, based on some of the things I've read on here (loss of elevator control) I want to check all the linkages and be sure everything is correct and serviceable.

Once it's here I will be sure to contact you local guys and we can look it over. You all certainly have more experience than I!
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Old 09-23-2017, 11:31 AM   #14
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Awesome story! Welcome to the Forum. If it's knowledge and encouragement you are looking for, you have come to the right place. These folks have decades of experience behind them, and they are very nice to share.

Cheers
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Old 09-24-2017, 10:57 AM   #15
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Welcome to the club !

Nice story... great to see you were able to get your Grandfather's ASII back into the family. Enjoy the ride...
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:37 AM   #16
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I have a pdf version of the plans but the file is 99MB. I will upload it on my site and send you the link this evening.

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Old 09-25-2017, 12:44 PM   #17
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Thank you everyone! I'm trying to get everything lined up for shipping now, and the paperwork all set. Christian - I'd love a copy of that file if you would be so kind. I'd love to just sit down in the evenings and start going over the whole set.

Chris- Yes, most certainly I'd love to have you take a look at it sometime. I actually have no idea what shape the wiring is in, other than that the current owner said about 6 years ago some kids broke into the hangar and emptied his dry charge fire extinguisher into the cockpit. Its corrosive, and he said it has definitely corroded the wiring. Last time he flew it the alternator was not charging the battery. So that's the starting point. Might be a full rewire job (also depending on how well it was done originally, and what needs to be added/updated now). One thing I want to look at is moving the battery to the firewall. I've read a number of books about experimental aircraft electrical systems, including "The Aeroelectric Connection".
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Old 10-19-2017, 06:00 PM   #18
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Posting a quick update - well a couple actually!

1) Passed my PPL check ride on Tuesday. Whew! What a looong day that was. All good though and I'm officially a pilot now.

I tried to get my instructor to take me up to KFZY and fly the J3 now, but he said it's still undergoing its annual. So that may have to wait a bit. (Not long though!)

2) Biplane is being loaded up in Michigan in about 3 hours, spoke to the transporter this morning. She plans to be here tomorrow early evening. So with luck I will have a biplane in my hangar in Marcellus Friday night!

Pictures to follow once I get it delivered!
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Old 10-19-2017, 06:04 PM   #19
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Great job Jeff, congrats on the PPL! Look forward to meeting you sometime and it will be great to have another acro 2 in the area!
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Old 10-20-2017, 12:24 AM   #20
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Wow! Big day, congrats.

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