Ag-Cat

Discussion in 'Other Types' started by Dennis5678, Nov 26, 2017.

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  1. Nov 26, 2017 #1

    Dennis5678

    Dennis5678

    Dennis5678

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    Just wondering if anyone is rebuilding an Ag-Cat Biplane.
    I have seen some on Barnstormers but they all still look like an Ag-Cat
    Has anyone made any daydreaming drawings of a better looking one.
    There appears to be some great potential in her to look more like
    a 1930's or 1940's Super Biplane.
     
  2. Nov 26, 2017 #2

    Morphewb

    Morphewb

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    I tried that route. Spent a lot of money and all I ended up with is a really light airplane that looked like an Ag Cat. It's not a ''cheap'' version of a 450 Stearman. The main reason it does so well with Gene Soucy is because it's done so well WITH Gene Soucy!

    Getting the dihedral out of the wings means you'll have to buy a new set of shorter wires and they are big wires (expensive). Although it's well engineered and has nice flying qualities you might be better off starting with a Stearman fuselage and go from there.

    I had mine up and running when I was asked to fly a friend's Stearman. That's the first time I ever thought a Stearman was a small airplane. Seems like the Ag Cat, although shorter, is stockier and quite tall when compared to the 1930's era biplanes.

    Turned out the easiest part was taking out the tank but there is a substantial stainless steel tubular structure inside the tank that has to be re installed as it's part of the fuselage structure which takes some of the wing loads. This is the part that gets in the way of doing a really good dual control airplane. I decided to make the front pit into a two seater without any controls which worked out fine. Don't expect to get any calls for a used Ag Cat tank so disposal of the tank can be problematic depending on where you live.

    I really didn't try to get rid of the AgCat look. I just wanted a ''cheap'' 450 Stearman substitute. Unless you do a lot of cosmetic surgery on the wings and try to slim down a fuselage that was initially designed for a big hopper it'll still look like an Ag Cat. A Stearman fuselage with or without the landing gear would give you a better place to start.

    Kevin Kimball might disagree here but a Stearman fuselage would seem to be a good place to start. The classic Stearman round shape is primarily done by the stringer basket, roundish firewall, and curved panels up front. Anyone with a good eye and some imagination could turn that fuselage into a lot of different final shapes. It's been done before too.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
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  3. Nov 26, 2017 #3

    Dennis5678

    Dennis5678

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    Morphewb
    Do you have any photos of your bird?
    I wish Kevin Kimball would chime in here to receive his opinion.
     
  4. Nov 26, 2017 #4

    Morphewb

    Morphewb

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    Here's one of the finished product.

    402.jpg
     
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  5. Nov 27, 2017 #5

    Morphewb

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    More stuff here.

    686.jpg

    682.jpg
     
  6. Nov 27, 2017 #6

    Chris McMillin

    Chris McMillin

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    Good looking ship, like the wheel pants.
    Chris...
     
  7. Nov 27, 2017 #7

    Knight Twister

    Knight Twister

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    Is that one of the Daihatsu trucks in the hangar pic Ben? I've filled up a 747 with those in the past. Always wanted one.
     
  8. Nov 27, 2017 #8

    VH-ZSJ

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    There’s been a couple in Oz used for joy flights with the 2 in the front conversion. One on floats which was called the Red Baron! Can’t help but have a soft spot for the cat. Something about them.

    F264C1B4-F97D-4C24-95E1-CC726CA8D902.jpeg

    28619764-969A-4E4D-BB5E-4CE8694F7577.jpeg

    154CC778-2E3A-4D22-B2F1-AF27577E1C6A.jpeg
     
  9. Nov 27, 2017 #9

    Morphewb

    Morphewb

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    The truck's not mine. In post #4, there is a gas Taildragger Tug I bought from the truck owner. He brought it to me the day I took that picture. Maybe you brought this one too?

    Chris, those were Wag Aero Cessna 195 wheel pants split down the middle and widened 2 inches.

    I'm the guy who put wheel pants on a Breezy. There was no way the Ag Cat was going out the door without a set on it either! They were reinforced internally and had some ''grit'' added to the area on the top so you could use them as steps for servicing the airplane. Another reason was to fully enclose the brakes. Mega drag reduction program there.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
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  10. Nov 27, 2017 #10

    Lotahp1

    Lotahp1

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    There was a fairly nice one at OSH a couple years ago with the two place front seat. And it was for sale for $35000. That’s the cost of a 985. It’s $16k-20k for a 6101-12 Prop now days.
     
  11. Nov 27, 2017 #11

    bipe215

    bipe215

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    532C8071-8628-4704-83CB-C7DDF015EF27.jpg

    A friend built this up with full dual controls. Very agile
     
  12. Nov 27, 2017 #12

    Dennis5678

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    As for the dihedral, the landing wires could add straps to make them longer.
    For the flying wires, I don't know how the wires attach inside the fuselage. Is the anyway
    they can be put in a different location to make deeper inside the fuselage.
    The tail shape has to be changes along with turtle deck. And as said before the fuselage shape has to be redone. Maybe with stringers unless the metal is a parts of the basic structure. The landing gear has to be faired with a much wider look and wheel pants.
    What about a cowling? One with bumbs for sure. If Hollywood can have At-6 and BT-13 look like Jap planes back in the 40's I sure some smart talented guys can do better. Gene Soucy has come close to what I am dreaming about. Wonder what she would look like in a different pait scheme ? Is it me did he reduce the dihedral ?
    Remember I am just an armchair quarterback with dreams. I use to be a doer but my health has left me with just dreams and memories of better days.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
  13. Nov 27, 2017 #13

    dusterpilot

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    If I remember right, the flying wires attach to the lower longeron, so I can’t see how they could be moved. The side panels are camlocked on and could be changed. Some of the working planes have smooth side panels now as they’re easily made. Not sure you could change the shape of the tail legally.
     
  14. Nov 28, 2017 #14

    RickRice

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    I think Gene's plane came out looking awfully good.

    Gene Soucy ShowCat.jpg
     
  15. Nov 28, 2017 #15

    EAABipe40FF

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    Rick, INDEED.

    Dennis, remember that restricted is not the same as E-AB. I'm not expert but some changes may be problematic?
     
  16. Nov 28, 2017 #16

    Morphewb

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    Jim Swick did the mods on Gene's Show Cat. He reduced the dihedral the way you mentioned and I think there was enough thread on the big wires to take up the slack after cutting off some of the threads. You wouldn't want to re locate the flying wire mounting structure once you see how well it's done.

    Problem is the fuselage is way too deep. It was designed for a large hopper. From the bottom of the cockpit to the bottom longeron is almost enough room to make another fuselage.

    Gene initially tried a cowling from a Twin Beech but it didn't cool very well so he went with the ring which worked out. The Twin Beech cowl might have worked for non airshow usage but Gene's Cat didn't cool as well as expected. I think he went without a cowl of any kind then tried out the ring. I must have done something since it's been on there for a long time.

    You really need to look at one before you come up with all the ideas to modify an Ag Cat. The airplane is deceptively larger than a Stearman and the proportions are different. It'll take drastic surgery to get the ''Cat'' look out of it. I had to cut out part of the turn over structure to get the look of the turtle deck I wanted. Most Cats are 1,000 pounds heavier when working with a load and it looks like the cabane struts collapse in any kind of turn over. Swick figured the cabanes would hold up OK because he pretty much cut out the turn over structure on Gene's airplane also.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
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  17. Nov 28, 2017 #17

    Morphewb

    Morphewb

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    Doesn't matter here. Gene's airplane and mine were re certified in the EXP/EXB category after all of the mods were done.
     
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  18. Nov 28, 2017 #18

    dusterpilot

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    Swick is right about the cabanes. I’ve picked up several wrecked cats and I’ve seen plenty of others. Some collapsed and some didn’t. Looking at the picture it looks like someone could modify a rollover structure. I’d want one.
    From personal experience, mine didn’t collapse lol!
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
  19. Nov 28, 2017 #19

    Morphewb

    Morphewb

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    Good to know! Thanks.
     
  20. Nov 28, 2017 #20

    Larry Lyons

    Larry Lyons

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    I would have loveed to fly some of the aircraft Morph, you and a few others here, have designed. Being sort of melancholy here but I missed your efforts and input/output as I was too busy jumping out of "perfectly good airplanes" back in the 70's and 80's. Not to say I didn't have fun.
     

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