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  1. #1
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    Airplane resto/annual project

    Here's the recap of my airplane annual turned restoration project that I did over the winter. Hope some of you find it interesting.

    I found this 1963 Beechcraft Musketeer up in Michigan. It's got a 160 hp O-320 and basic equipment; comm/comm, nav/comm, single head VOR, and an OK audio panel.



    The previous owner was moving on to a Mooney, which is a little faster, and he also has an Ercoupe if he wants to go slow. He'd had this one for 10 years. Before him it did a short 2 year stint in Kentucky and before that it spent its first 40 years with one owner in New Mexico.
    After quite a few hours of chatting with the previous owner on the phone off and on, I had pretty solid confidence about the plane. I had a pre-buy inspection done by an A&P that was not affiliated with the PO in anyway, supposedly. The A&P didn't find anything to cause much worry. As a new pilot, I opted to have the previous owner fly it down here to KC instead of taking a long VFR cross country in a new-to-me plane. I ended up taking delivery in November of '18. It had had a recent annual inspection so I got to fly it most of a year before I started the project.





    OK, on to the project. I started with the tail and moved forward, so that's how I'll tell the story...
    Midwest Boat Party - Technical Operations

  2. #2
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    One time while pushing the plane in to the hangar I managed to introduce the stabilator to the wall. I was pretty freaked out because there were only 553 of this particular stabilator made, so sourcing a replacement would be difficult. I had two A&Ps take a look. Their assessments concurred that all I'd done was basically cosmetic damage.



    However, any time you cause damage to an extremity on an airplane you want to look very closely at the attachment point. In this case, one end of the stabilator is 4' away from where it attaches to the airframe so you can imagine the leverage it has. In looking there we found some pre-existing cracks that were concerning.





    The Musketeer has an amazing type club (basically a volunteer support group for the airplane type, all antique types have one). A member of the club had a stabilator that was missing a spar. He gave me the stabilator for free, I just had to get it here from Arkansas. I planned to deskin both and have an A&P build one good one out of the two for me. As it got closer to time to start the work the A&P fizzled out, I guess there's easier ways to make money than this very time consuming type of work.
    There's an airplane boneyard here in KC, which I figured was a long shot but, surprisingly they had another one of these stabilators. There are now 3 of the 553 stabs in my hangar, in case you know of anyone that needs one.

    The ball finally got rolling by removing the old one.



    New one. Some of these planes were used as trainers at K-state, maybe this one was or someone just has interesting color taste...



    Time to learn how to strip airplane parts. PITA, btw



    About 40 hours later.

    Midwest Boat Party - Technical Operations

  3. #3
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    Oh yeah, that crate by the fan is an extra Sea Doo engine. I guess that was at the same time. At one point I was going to replace the engine in mine but I rebuilt it instead.

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  4. #4
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    Please keep the saga coming!
    OF ALL THE THINGS I'VE LOST IN MY LIFE,

    I MISS MY MIND THE MOST!!

  5. #5
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    My buddy painted the stab for me and I did the wingtips. It came out great.



    After discussions with multiple A&Ps and a lot of reading, we learned how to balance it, set the degrees and everything using some specialty tools. I guess I haven't mentioned it yet but this is all being overseen by an A&P every step of the way but I still seek second and third opinions because nobody knows everything.



    K, that's done. I won't go in to so much detail on everything, but this was one of the big parts of the overall project and in very interesting territory so I wanted to share.

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  6. #6
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    That is awesome! I love it when people tackle challenges themselves instead of just “writing the check”. All of the knowledge learned will make you a better rounded pilot.
    One of the reasons we sold our plane was that damn annual every year! (That and I could not get affordable life insurance to cover some indebtedness) Not that I did not want the inspection, but they always found something that was expensive (that they did not see last year). The way you are doing it is much, much smarter. Enjoy!

    I have often said that the way to make boating look cheap is to own a plane for awhile!!!

  7. #7
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    MWBP private jet!
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  8. #8
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    Great post Dredd. That Aircraft Paint Remover isn't what it use to be! I use to work on a Sierra when I was in college. Great airplane.
    Between two evils, I always pick the one I've never tried before.

  9. #9
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    Keep it coming! Is that a CBR 900 in the back of the hangar? I had one of those about 25 yrs ago also.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2Ton View Post
    Please keep the saga coming!
    Will do. I have lots of pictures. Glad there's interest.

    Quote Originally Posted by 36Tango View Post
    That is awesome! I love it when people tackle challenges themselves instead of just “writing the check”. All of the knowledge learned will make you a better rounded pilot.
    One of the reasons we sold our plane was that damn annual every year! (That and I could not get affordable life insurance to cover some indebtedness) Not that I did not want the inspection, but they always found something that was expensive (that they did not see last year). The way you are doing it is much, much smarter. Enjoy!

    I have often said that the way to make boating look cheap is to own a plane for awhile!!!
    I'm way more in tune with the machine now and a safer pilot than I was before, that's for sure.
    I've heard/seen you say that about the expense and I had that quote in mind when I dove in. Having a mentor, a great type club and an A&P that I can work with are all big advantages that I'm fortunate to have.


    Quote Originally Posted by AV8N View Post
    Great post Dredd. That Aircraft Paint Remover isn't what it use to be! I use to work on a Sierra when I was in college. Great airplane.
    Nope, it's not. I had a little of the old stuff to compare it to. I learned patience is the biggest trick with the new stuff. It takes keeping it wet and a lot of waiting. I think it took 4 gallons to strip that 8' long stab. I can't imagine doing an entire airplane.
    Midwest Boat Party - Technical Operations

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Average Joe View Post
    Keep it coming! Is that a CBR 900 in the back of the hangar? I had one of those about 25 yrs ago also.
    Yup! '97 900RR. I pieced it back together in 2008 after it had been wadded up a little in Arizona. I got it as an unfinished project another guy had started.

    Looked like this when I got it.



    I kinda started over on it.



    It came out like this. It has carbon fiber look everything that was available, full Vance & Hines exhaust, K&N filter, polished frame, chromed wheels, LED lights, yada, yada. I haven't really ridden much in a few years, got tired of about getting killed by other people all the time.



    Midwest Boat Party - Technical Operations

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dredd View Post
    Yup! '97 900RR. I pieced it back together in 2008 after it had been wadded up a little in Arizona. I got it as an unfinished project another guy had started.

    Looked like this when I got it.



    I kinda started over on it.



    It came out like this. It has carbon fiber look everything that was available, full Vance & Hines exhaust, K&N filter, polished frame, chromed wheels, LED lights, yada, yada. I haven't really ridden much in a few years, got tired of about getting killed by other people all the time.



    Nice! I had a 1995 from 95-98...and a lot of other sport bikes prior. Now I'm too old so have Harley Dresser that mostly sits in the garage.

  13. #13
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    What’s an a&p?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrdonnellyjr View Post
    What’s an a&p?
    Not my thread but I am sure it is air frame and power plant. or propulsion. Or something.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by infield View Post
    Not my thread but I am sure it is air frame and power plant. or propulsion. Or something.
    Correct....it's an approved mechanic as the FAA doesn't allow just anyone work on planes; so they have to be licensed.

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