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  • Looking for Rebuild Advice

    Hi all, I’m new to the site and trying to get familiar and seek some advice. My brothers and I live in West Central Minnesota and have a ‘46 BC 12D that we flew off the farm with my dad as our instructor when we were kids - we all got our PPL’s and flew for many years but then life took over and the aircraft has been parked in the farm hangar for about 20 years out of service. It has some nice mods including O200, electrical, 24 gals, etc. We are in our 50’s now with kids of our own living in farm and lake country and are thinking to rehab the plane back into service. Give the cost of alternatives, we have the resources to make it nice and add the best upgrades that may be available. We are thinking bush features for flying off grass strips and farm fields as well as skiis in the winter. The engine is high time and needs work, likely a complete recover and probably some tubing rehab. So basically looking to create a high performance, safe and reliable flying machine to re-invigorate out flying interest and get our own kids flying. Looking for lots of advice on what the best T-Craft mods might be for this vision and if there are experts in our area that could help us plan and execute this project.. Thanks!

  • #2
    Sounds like a GREAT project!! As far as mods, I'd want the skylight, probably at least 8.50 tires and a good cover job. Remember that lighter is better, so be careful adding too many "do-dads". Find a local mechanic that will work with you and keep you on the straight and narrow and help you navigate through all the FAA hoops, and you'll all have a good time and learn more about your airplane.
    Definitely keep us posted on the progress here, and post lots of pictures! There's lots of help here!
    John
    I'm so far behind, I think I'm ahead

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    • #3
      Click image for larger version

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ID:	187266 I am rebuilding my Dads BC12D that he owned for 50years and I learned to fly in also. I live in the very SW corner of Wisconsin...about 3miles from Dubuque (Rigdon Private on the Chicago Sectional)
      Like yours this sat for about 20 years after I took the wings off and stored in the garage to protect my inheritance...I mean the plane...from keeping the hangar from falling in on it ( it hadn’t flown legally for about 7yrs prior to that)
      I am not going the direction you are with yours but we do have some parallel paths to follow if interested stop on in or give a call
      Willy Rigdon
      563 580 8922

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      • #4
        As John notes light weight is King when power and wing area are fixed by design. Put nothing unless absolutely necessary in or on the plane plus the lightest of coverings. Every pound saved an ounce at a time results in lower pounds per horsepower to accelerate and fly plus fewer pounds per wing and tail area to carry and balance.

        Gary
        N36007 1941 BF12-65 STC'd as BC12D-4-85

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        • #5
          It is exciting to hear of your project ,and to hear how you plan to get your family Taylorcraft back into airworthy condition , its nice to hear about new people on the forum and to discover that they really are not far from me in East Central Iowa, I think 50 years ago or more there were lots of farm strips all over the Midwest., uncommon today.Thanks for bringing it to this forum, There is lots of help here. Keep us posted.

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          • #6
            Thanks for the feedback guys and keep it coming! The positive comments about the spirit of the project are especially satisfying. Willy it looks like you are in the thick of the same kind of project and close by, that is very nice to know and thanks for the offer of assistance. We live near Lake Park, MN. I am a Naval Architect and Mechanical Engneer by education and really want to plan this out properly with safety as #1 priority on this kind of rebuild. Things like 75 year old wooden wing spars make me nervous. I’ve seen the Cubs evolve through advancements by CubCrafters, etc. with technology improvements, stronger/lighter materials, and wondering how much technology could be brought into a T-Craft rebuild. I fully understand the comments on weight - but there must be some mods to improve performance and cut weight at same time? Different structural materials? Prop options? Landing gear? Modern engine options? I note Gary’s comment on the lightest of coverings. There will likely be few things that could add weight like hydraulic brakes, etc. What about pulling out all the old instruments and going with a modern touch screen? Hope to not offend any traditionalists here and not that we want to forget how special the classic T-Craft is, just wondering about the options to improve performance. I also don’t fully understand the implications of all the FAA restrictions. Keeping it standard certified will clearly have to follow strict rules but what other options do we have? LSA? Experimental? I think I need to keep reading but I’m very excited to keep planning. The vision we have is to create a modern T-craft that looks the same but has been fully rebuilt under the strictest inspection/quality standards that incorporates technology to the maximum extent to improve safety and performance. Are we on the right track here? Thanks again everyone. Todd Schauer

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            • #7
              I forgot to put a plug in for the Johnson Brothers flying service in Lone Rock Wi. They do incredible work and are great to work with! The have a Facebook page with detailed photos of their work including a Taylorcraft that they did a few years back

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              • #8
                Structurally here's the starting point via Certified Aeronautical Products and especially owner and DER Terry Bowden: http://dc65stc.blogspot.com and https://app.box.com/s/qxv8czv5mwjhjjkyeik3gh27d0i4go6e

                They offer STC SA1-210 plus other proven engineer derived alterations. Once the goals are established a friendly conversation with Terry would benefit your project.

                The CAP products are new and revised.

                Gary
                Last edited by PA1195; 1 week ago.
                N36007 1941 BF12-65 STC'd as BC12D-4-85

                Comment


                • #9
                  Todd, welcome to the Taylorcraft pages! You've come to the right place.

                  If your Dad's aircraft already has the 0-200 and both wing tanks approved, I would do no more, except perhaps a cross-brace on the MLG diagonal strut (for ski operations) and bigger tyres for the summer and a skylight (as already mentioned by John). My understanding is that these mods are easy to get approved by 337 or STC. Don't go for a gloss-coat paint finish...they add weight, crack after a while and detract from the originality; stay with a dope or poly-fiber finish (others are available).

                  But don't do anything else. Keep it simple. Scott wrote a brilliant blog on his Canadian Taylorcraft rebuild Blog here: c-fclr.blogspot.com

                  Keep asking questions; we're a small group dedicated to the type and will help you any way we can!

                  Rob

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                  • #10
                    I never use dope. First off it's heavy, second and most importantly, it's flammable. I know of 2 instances personally where the victim had non-life threatening injuries and died in the fire. Stewarts is extremely flexible, Polytone is flexible for a long while, and Oratex is flexible from what I've seen so far.....plus none of them are flammable.
                    Wood spars are no big deal at that age if they're one piece. Mine were over a dozen pieces in each spar and the "hyde" glue was letting go. I replaced with new Spruce, sourced locally that meets all the criteria in ANC-19 and AC43.13-2A. Not tough to do.
                    John
                    I'm so far behind, I think I'm ahead

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                    • #11
                      OK I’m already starting to focus the vision a bit based on the great feedback. Gary - the CAP information is eye opening. Clearly I need to get into the weeds with the log books and figure out exactly what STC’s are already approved and in place. Rob, I’m starting to appreciate the ‘simple is better’ approach and will likely correspond directly to lighter and better performance The project of Scott’s is incredible - a masterpiece it seems, would be tough to set that beautiful bird down in a hay field or bounce across snow drift covered lake on skiis. We will be leaning towards practicality I think. John - your insight on wood spars is really helpful - I’ve been having difficulty envisioning how some of the older components of the plane can be vetted from a safety perspective. Overall, I’m sensing that there are strict limits on what is possible on the technology/modification side, but would still like to keep exploring things. For example - the O200 engine - do we have to use the same 50-75 year old technology or have there been improvements or other options? If we bought a new engine, would it be the same as it was 50 years ago? The modern engineer in me is struggling with the idea that we have to be locked into old technology with this project. I think that remains my biggest concern. The alternative of course would be to go out and buy something like a modern Carbon Cub (the FX3 is an awesome machine). Maybe its a bridge too far to think of the old T-Craft project in this way, but we are still in dreaming phase here and trying to clearly understand the most that is possible.

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                      • #12
                        Your project Todd will be one of questioning and ultimately a reflection of family goals. If you have the engine overhauled at a reputable place it can have currently available parts which should be the latest design and construction. The airframe can be restored....I did that to a Piper PA-11 but bought my current Taylorcraft which has some nice non-standard features but isn't perfect. It also lives outdoors in Alaska so is more of a utility aircraft than a weekend afternoon beauty.

                        Basically it becomes one of putting new clothes on an old airplane. I also was born in 1946 and despite routine maintenance I'm still 74. Nothing wrong with that but it is what it is.

                        I've owned and flown several used and new single engine aircraft. Today If I had the inspiration and expectation of extensive further flying I'd not hesitate owning a Cub Crafter or similar but light plane. They have come a long way in technology and construction, enough so to make flying quite enjoyable and safe. The Taylorcraft has its place but there are others that are better for some in my opinion.

                        Edit: Here's some afterthought. The Taylorcraft for it's design and size is a superior floatplane. But that may not be your criteria. I guess if it were my long term family possession and my goals were off airport ops I'd focus on mods that support them. However there are better planes that are designed for high performance and rough fields plus skis. Maybe think about that some. Having two aircraft for different purposes is not uncommon.

                        Gary
                        Last edited by PA1195; 1 week ago.
                        N36007 1941 BF12-65 STC'd as BC12D-4-85

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Definitely get in the logs and see if indeed the O-200 is already approved on a field approval or what.... if it is, you need to do nothing more. I'd put money on it that it is.
                          No matter what you do, like Gary says, it's kinda like putting new clothes on an old airplane. The new manufactured stuff really isn't that much advanced, and for a fairly good reason...the old stuff still works. It's kinda like magnetos...yep, 1920's technology, but they still work great. Not that some of the new super razoo electronic stuff doesn't reduce fuel burn, or give a few more horse power....but being an engineer, you have to know that as soon as you complicate anything, the opportunity for a failure of reliability increases.
                          John
                          I'm so far behind, I think I'm ahead

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            One thing to consider is that you will not recover the cost of a fabric job in an increase in value of the airplane once you factor in your labor. You need to want to do it because you want to.
                            N29787
                            '41 BC12-65

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                            • #15
                              My take on this is it appears you have to make up your mind what kind of aircraft you want, a Taylorcraft fits well with most of the 2 place single engine fabric airplane of that vintage, and they are a wonderful airplane of that type a bit hard to get into but very capable easy to fly not to fast and easy to maintain. If thats the kind of airplane you remember and you want you should pursue it. But they are not really meant to be to high tech to fast or to expensive. If you want something of that type you should look for one that would be a good fit for you. Remember that by the time you have all that money into a restoration you would have easily been able to buy an airplane that would be faster easier to get into and modern by comparison.

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