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My new Amphib project

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My new Amphib project

Unread postby akavidflyer » Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:49 pm

Many moons ago I was a wee lil lad on the way back to Kenai from a 3 month commercial fishing trip off the Kodiak Islands. There were 3 boats in our group of 32' gill netters that had been long lining for Cod and were headed home to get ready for the Salmon season. We hit a nasty storm that made us seek refuge in a well sheltered cove for 5 days till the storm blew itself out. While exploring the area and doing a little dear hunting we found a small log cabin / hunting shack and on the table in there was a copy of kitplanes with a feature article on the "new Avid Amphibian". I was instantly in lust. It is not the best looking plane in the world by any means, but it had my 15 yr old attention instantly. I almost had Dad convinced that we could not live without this plane by the time the trip was done but Mom put a halt to that real quick.

Fast forward 25 years or so... I got a call from a buddy of mine who was on vacation in California and he asked me if I could take a 3 hour drive to go pick up the plane he had just bought. He just told me it was an Avid. I have an Avid C model and he had 3 other kitfox aircraft so I figured he just found another plain ole avid someplace that was wrecked he just had to have (Ole Bob is an airplane project hoarder). I grab the trailer and head up and when I pull into the guys house I got an instant tent in my trousers.. this sumbitch done sent me to pick up a plane that he knew I had spent more time looking at and dreaming about than a 15 yr old with a new penthouse magazine. The plane was a project for sure and the feller that bought it from the original builder had just let it set around and rot away in the weather. I loaded it up and on the drive home started trying to talk Bob into selling it to me. Ole Bob told me I was stupid, why would I want to buy it and rebuild it when he had already paid for it and he would rebuild it then I could just fly it anytime I wanted to... ok, made sense when put to me that way. Things were progressing at a rapid pace once he returned from vacation. In no time at all he had fixed all the rib tails and had the wings and tail feathers covered and sprayed up to silver. Then he started working on the fuse and retract system and installing much better brakes. Fiberglass work was 98% done and the fuse was covered up to silver, then life got in the way... This poor bird just sat in his shed for the next 4 years. About a week ago I got a call from him to come pick this damn airplane up and get it out of my shed so he could make room for another project. I bout broke my legs running down the stairs to get the trailer hooked up to the truck and get over to his house. I had time to unload it at the house then had to leave the next morning to come to work for 2 weeks.

Below are a few pics from the day I brought it to Bobs house up till last week when I put it in my garage to get to work on finishing it up. My teenage fantasy came true last week and I now own an ugly but oh so cute Avid Amphib. I will keep the this updated as the work progresses.

avid at bobs1.jpg


avid at bobs 2.jpg


avid 3.jpg


avid strip down 1.jpg


Avid in the garage 1.jpg


avid in the garage 2.jpg
Leonard Perry
Avid C Heavy Hauler
Avid Amphibian

"I would rather die trying to live, than live trying not to die"
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Re: My new Amphib project

Unread postby akavidflyer » Mon Dec 21, 2015 6:04 pm

The original engine was a Rotax 582 making 65 HP. I am going to install an Arctic Cat 800 engine on it that will be making right around 120-130 HP on take off. Should be a nice little boost to the take off performance! I talked to the original builder today and he said that at full gross (1200 lbs) he was off the water in 600' with 65 HP. This should be fun!
Leonard Perry
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Avid Amphibian

"I would rather die trying to live, than live trying not to die"
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Re: My new Amphib project

Unread postby RKittine » Mon Dec 21, 2015 6:07 pm

Very nice. Looks a little like a Sweitzer Glider Trainer. Look forward to seeing it finished and you having a blast with it.

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Re: My new Amphib project

Unread postby jjbaker » Tue Dec 22, 2015 4:55 am

She'll be a beauty when you're done.

Isn't a 120-130 horse engine a tiny whee bit overkill? She might plow water at full power?
Partial power takeoffs and go-arounds maybe? She'll have a tendency to put her nose down...

Gotta love this stubby nose!
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Re: My new Amphib project

Unread postby akavidflyer » Tue Dec 22, 2015 11:21 am

Overkill??? Never heard of it before... its not really much more power than the 912 and 914s that have been put on these planes, just a lot less weight. I may have to fly it like a girl friend not a New York City hooker. Ease into the power not just slam it in LOL
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Avid Amphibian

"I would rather die trying to live, than live trying not to die"
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Re: My new Amphib project

Unread postby jjbaker » Tue Dec 22, 2015 12:44 pm

I didn't know there was 912 & 914s installed in them. What color is in your imagination?
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Re: My new Amphib project

Unread postby akavidflyer » Tue Dec 22, 2015 1:07 pm

jjbaker wrote:I didn't know there was 912 & 914s installed in them. What color is in your imagination?


They have had every thing you can imagine powering them over the years. Subies, 912s etc. I stick with light weight and more power :)

Since Bob had all the upholstery done in red, I am thinking I will paint it up to match my other Avid.

DSCN0668-1.jpg


Matching planes may be kind of cool. Will see what I come up with as the time to topcoat gets closer.

:beer:
Leonard Perry
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Avid Amphibian

"I would rather die trying to live, than live trying not to die"
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Re: My new Amphib project

Unread postby KlausNW » Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:43 pm

I'm a little (or a lot) simple minded and like those straight line paint schemes. The fancy wispy, swoopy paint schemes can be hit or miss.

It is always nice to have enough power to get out of the water and into the air, especially when it's windy, gusty and trees all around.
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Re: My new Amphib project

Unread postby RKittine » Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:56 pm

Or those, Not as Light As Claimed" Passengers. Matching Paint schemes would be cool to, sitting next to each other like almost Twin Brothers. Power wise, I was happy for my Don's Dream Machine converted C-85-12, which is supposedly between 105 and 115 HP, but would have even loved a 125 HP 0-235 even more.

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Re: My new Amphib project

Unread postby cubdriver2 » Tue Dec 22, 2015 10:12 pm

RKittine wrote:Or those, Not as Light As Claimed" Passengers. Matching Paint schemes would be cool to, sitting next to each other like almost Twin Brothers. Power wise, I was happy for my Don's Dream Machine converted C-85-12, which is supposedly between 105 and 115 HP, but would have even loved a 125 HP 0-235 even more.

Bob


Bob, at the RPM you had at takeoff you might have seen 90 to 95 hp

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Re: My new Amphib project

Unread postby RKittine » Wed Dec 23, 2015 6:57 am

Glenn, Notice the Word "Supposedly" and I know that the actual horsepower is RPM related. With the prop that Dick had installed though, unlike most of the engines I have owned, the engine actually developed full RPM (2,750) on the take off roll, so much so that he was always rechecking to make sure that it was not over red-line during takeoff and back to 2,500 after clear of climb out obstacles. Pretty slow in the air though. In any case, it is all relative as usually the same is true of the lower HP rated engines, not hitting their supposed max during take off due to limited RPMs, so there is a relative increase in power.

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Re: My new Amphib project

Unread postby jjbaker » Wed Dec 23, 2015 7:07 am

Are you going to leave the panel basic or are you planning to go all out glass and digital?
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Re: My new Amphib project

Unread postby cubdriver2 » Wed Dec 23, 2015 9:26 am

RKittine wrote:Glenn, Notice the Word "Supposedly" and I know that the actual horsepower is RPM related. With the prop that Dick had installed though, unlike most of the engines I have owned, the engine actually developed full RPM (2,750) on the take off roll, so much so that he was always rechecking to make sure that it was not over red-line during takeoff and back to 2,500 after clear of climb out obstacles. Pretty slow in the air though. In any case, it is all relative as usually the same is true of the lower HP rated engines, not hitting their supposed max during take off due to limited RPMs, so there is a relative increase in power.

Bob


Ok, my bad. On a standard day at sea level you supposedly could have been making 100hp :cowwave:

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Re: My new Amphib project

Unread postby cubdriver2 » Wed Dec 23, 2015 11:04 am

akavidflyer wrote:Overkill??? Never heard of it before... its not really much more power than the 912 and 914s that have been put on these planes, just a lot less weight. I may have to fly it like a girl friend not a New York City hooker. Ease into the power not just slam it in LOL


I like power as long as you don't gain any weight getting it. I would be more concerned about getting used to reverse power during your first couple flights. The 1931 Curtiss Jr I have flown was not that hard to get used to but I have heard stories of pilots who got into trouble during the first few flights

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Re: My new Amphib project

Unread postby akavidflyer » Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:28 pm

jjbaker wrote:Are you going to leave the panel basic or are you planning to go all out glass and digital?


I am thinking the mini EFIS extreme and my tablet with garmin pilot. I will keep a steam gauge ASI and Alt for back up as well as the water temp and EGT's

With the EFI set up I will probably end up putting the original Arctic cat gauge pod in the panel as well. This will give me the RPM and the engine codes should the sensors pick up anything.

The plane originally had a 625 empty weight and 1200 gross. We did a few things to take a few pounds off the empty weight, then added some of it back by reinforcing the sponsons and adding hydraulic brakes. Most of the time it will be flown with just me and my daughter and gear in he back seat so I don't think weight will be an issue.

With the overhead engine I know it will have some thrust issues to get used to. They recommend quite a bit of high speed taxi with lots of power changed to get you used to the pitch changes.

I talked to the original builder and he said he liked flying this better than his searey as this was easier to fly but didn't cruise as fast as the searay does.

I am stoked to get it in the air and play with it ASAP
:cheers:
Leonard Perry
Avid C Heavy Hauler
Avid Amphibian

"I would rather die trying to live, than live trying not to die"
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Re: My new Amphib project

Unread postby akavidflyer » Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:32 pm

I have flown quite a few different amphib RC models that the power change / pitch could be negated using some upthrust in the engine. A couple washers here and there to chance the thrust line made a huge difference in the flying of said models. I don't really see where this would be much different and as an experimental I can change the thrust line etc all I want. Will be something I play with if it becomes an issue but I am not too worried about it at this point as this is a well proven design.

:cheers:
Leonard Perry
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Avid Amphibian

"I would rather die trying to live, than live trying not to die"
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Re: My new Amphib project

Unread postby jjbaker » Wed Dec 23, 2015 3:27 pm

As I said, if the plane is flown with a 912S or 914, you're already looking at 100+ horses.
Like the planned panel. The choice is to stay completely nostalgic or go all out on glass.
With your wallet and my schedule, this thing should fly next week.

Whats your estimated time to get her airborne?
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Re: My new Amphib project

Unread postby akavidflyer » Wed Dec 23, 2015 3:36 pm

jjbaker wrote:As I said, if the plane is flown with a 912S or 914, you're already looking at 100+ horses.
Like the planned panel. The choice is to stay completely nostalgic or go all out on glass.
With your wallet and my schedule, this thing should fly next week.

Whats your estimated time to get her airborne?



It will fly this spring for sure, hopefully before then. Having a 2 yr old by myself when I am home cuts into the time I have to spend in the garage working on it, but in all honesty, its pretty much just build an engine mount (unless I say screw it and put the 582 back in it just to get her in the air) run all new wiring (2 days tops), rivet the sponsons back on and paint / final assembly so in reality, a few weeks of good work and she would be flying.

:beer:
Leonard Perry
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Avid Amphibian

"I would rather die trying to live, than live trying not to die"
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