Stagerwings: Just For Fun Off Topic  -- Current Events Health Happiness Discussion Forum and Review Stagerwings: Just For Fun Off Topic -- Current Events Health Happiness Discussion Forum

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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Just For Fun Off Topic Forum

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 03-31-2002, 06:43 Post: 36908
TomG

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Well, guess we've chastised and rightly so perhaps. I guess this is the place. However, I'll still try to avoid self-indulgence and stay pretty close to tractor things.

Jim's comment about reactions to somebody's basic question posted on another board is a case in point. Pretty good board here, and we have managed to mostly avoid excesses that sometimes are apparent other places. Despite the lack of response to my methanol post, I think we do pretty well at working down misinformation as well.

Finally about Stagerwings: I was a long time ago and I thought of all the biplanes flying out that airport as spray-planes. Some of the high wing singles as well.

True enough that when I think about the plane, I remember that it was bright yellow and beautiful, but I can't visualize any spray equipment. Now that I think about it, it's possible that fabric covered wings would make a plane unsuitable for spraying. I think fabric is the issue related to standing on the wing.

Iím almost certain that a Stearman there was used for spraying, but I canít remember if they had fabric or metal wings. I can't remember which plane had a metal fuselage but retained fabric wings for their better lift I believe. I think my dad pointed out one of those as well.






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 03-31-2002, 07:58 Post: 36914
Peters

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 Stagerwings

Tom;
It has been a long thime since I have been next to a Stearman, but was watching JAG the other day and noticed that the Stearman that Harman has was metal body and fabric wings. It had me wondering if the shot was a prop for a moment.
During the war may of the planes were hybrids of some sort and not all metal. The Mosquito was all wood laminate. It ended up being used in many stealth raids as it was had to spot on earlier radar. Due to the construction few remain.






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 04-01-2002, 10:52 Post: 36949
greenjeans
2002-04-01 00:00:00
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 Stagerwings

In the countryside where I grew up, I was blessed with a niehbor who was a cropduster. He had all kinds of planes at one time or another. I do remeber a stearman with cloth wings and a metal fusalidge.

The spray boom was mounted near the rear of the wings on the underside, and was not noticable from the ground.

He never did own a new plane, so I could be reporting something that was not OEM.






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 04-01-2002, 12:51 Post: 36954
Charlie Iliff



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TomG:
I think the vast majority of spray planes were/are fabric covered. A lot of Piper Cubs were modified with hoppers and booms, as were the Stearman trainers, and various other 30's and 40's vintage biplanes. There were a lot of the Stearman conversions, because a lot of the aircraft were available surplus and cheap until attrition reduced them to collectors' items. The Pawnee and some others were purpose designed and built with fabric all around. Some were "metallized", as were some non dusters, like the Cessna 120/140, where originally fabric wings were covered with aluminum. I'm not sure about recent stuff, like the Grumman/Schweizer Ag Cat.
Fabric was initially cheaper, and often lighter, but until the introduction of good synthetic fabrics, the airplanes had to be recovered periodically. Fabric was initially cheaper, but more costly maintenance.
The problem with the kid on the Staggerwing for photos was that the airplane had a show-quality fabric and paint job which was vulnerable to scratching, especially if someone walked on it with sandy feet.






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 04-02-2002, 04:12 Post: 36975
TomG

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I didn't think a person could stand on fabric wings but I guess that could mean 'not supposed to stand' on them. Kids can form some funny conclusions. I probably thought it was like walking in an attic. Step off the tie-beams and fall through the ceiling.

I recall my dad mentioning that Stearmans were so stable that they were sometimes fitted with spoilers to do show acrobatics. I guess stability would make they good for spraying in addition to being cheap.






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 04-03-2002, 20:34 Post: 37033
DRankin



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Tom, I would be kinda surprised if a Staggerwing Beechcraft would be used as a crop duster, but anything is possible. Click on the web site below, it has construction details. I always thought it was the Lear jet of its day.






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 04-04-2002, 05:45 Post: 37043
TomG

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Thanks Mark. It was good to see the pics and read about the construction. I think you guys are right. Now that I've recovered bits and pieces of the mental image after 40 years, I see other planes with spraying equipment but not the Stagerwing. I remember it from my short career with a solo permit. I flew a Luscombe 8E, which is a small piece of history in its own right.






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