As Pat said in the last newsletter, you now have a new editor/publisher. I will do my best to live up to her
standards. My name is Max Bishop and, as some of you may know, I worked for Varga Aircraft for seven years and was Varga Aircraft's engineering manager when they closed in June of 1982. After Varga closed, I worked as a product and project engineer for a laminated glass and mirror manufacturer here in Chandler. In December of 1984 I went to work in the flight simulation department at McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems in Mesa Arizona. There, I was responsible for the design of simulator cockpits and related equipment. In 1986 I bought enough parts from Varga Aircraft to build my own airplane. In December of 1987, I went to work for Montanair to build a new Varga prototype that they called the Montanair "Spirit". I returned to my job at McDonnell Douglas in January of 1989 where I still work. My own experimental Varga was flown the day after Christmas in 1989. You can often find me in hanger A-9 at Falcon Field in Mesa. If you come to Falcon Field in the day time, just call me at 891-6152 and I can be at my hanger in about 10 minutes.
As you can see, I have changed the format. My writing experience has been mostly technical so the style will also change. I hope the end result will be acceptable. I welcome any and all questions and comments.
I have enclosed a copy of the VG-21 mailing list. I need an update of this list so I can be sure I have all of your information correct. If there is anything that needs to be changed, added or deleted please let me knowas soon as possible.
I would like to suggest that as many of us as possible attend the following events. I have chosen them by proximity to me and from my personal experience. Please let me know which ones you can get to or give me some alternatives if you like! I would also like to know what kinds of events are most likely to attract you to a fly-in.
Cactus Fly-In: This event is held each spring in Casa Grande, Arizona, originally an antique fly-in, many experimental and general aviation airplanes also attend. Lots of airplanes come in from California. This years fly-in will be held from March 3rd though March 5th. It's fairly close to where I live so if someone wants to fly in from out of the area and can give me enough advance notice, I can arrange transportation and lodging. If you write or call soon, I will provide you with more details about this event. I may be able to arrange a parking area just for Varga's.
Hi Desert(Joshua Tree) VG-21 Fly-In: Bill Bolster sponsored a Varga fly-in there in April of 1992. Jim Moyle and his wife Jeanine flew over in their Shinn with me and we met Bill, Carl Sigg and Bill Clark. The airport has a nice club room, game room, honor bar, a BBQ area, some rooms for rent, a bunk house and a swimming pool. There is tie down space beside the runway. Jeanine Moyle took care of us helpless guys by shopping for dinner and the manager went out of his way to fix it for us. It's just west of Twenty Nine Palms and is a short flight for those of us who live in Phoenix and for you southern California folks. Lee Beery stopped by on his way back from the Salome maintenance seminar and thinks it would be a perfect place for a get-together. We can schedule this fly-in again in April if you'll write or call with your plans to attend.
San Luis Obispo VG-21 Fly-in: John Vance can probably be persuaded to help us arrange a fly-in at this airport. It's a short flight for both northern and southern Californians and not too bad for us Arizonans. He says there are many nearby activities and we could probably count on a good dinner, group rates and a
conference room for a get-together at a motel and a nice breakfast before we flew out the next morning. Let me know how many of you think you can make this one and I'll give John a call.
Merced Fly-In: I have been at this fly-in every year since 1990, hoping to meet California Varga owners. So far, the Varga turn-out has been small, although I was very happy to meet those that did show up. It's about a six hour flight from Mesa to Merced and the weather has always been pretty good but those long flights always remind me that I should have spent more time on seat design. I will try to make it again in 1995 because my brother always comes down from Santa Clara and we have a nice visit. I don't have a schedule for this event yet but will let you know as soon as I do. Perhaps someone from the northern California area could arrange for special Varga parking.
Oshkosh: Pat and Lee Beery tried to help me arrange a flight of Varga's to Shawano Wisconsin (just a little north of Oshkosh) last year, but the response was as weak as my effort to to talk you into it, so I had to cancel the two motel rooms that I had reserved about three weeks before Oshkosh and I didn't make it. I will try again! The 1995 EAA Fly-In is from July 27th through August 2nd. I will plan on leaving Phoenix on the Saturday the 22nd or Sunday the 23rd of July(depending on arrangements to meet someone along the way) and arriving in Shawano/Oshkosh on Wednesday the 26th. I plan to leave Shawano/Oshkosh for Phoenix on Monday the 31st. This schedule should leave plenty of time rendevous, weather or other potential delays. I will make motel reservations in Shawano for at least two rooms(more if you plan on going!). Please let me know if you think you can make it!
Copperstate Fly-In: This annual Arizona fly-in has always been held in the fall at various airports in the the Phoenix area. aIthough the 1994 fly-in was kind of rained out, it may have finally found a permanent home at Williams Gateway Airport (formerly Williams Air Force base). I'll let you know about this one later in the year.
NOSE WHEEL SHIMMY: If you own a Varga, you have probably experienced a nose wheel shimmy at some time. I think the most common cause is the loss of fluid in the shimmy dampener, but this can be aggravated by loose or worn parts in the nose wheel steering system. This can include compressed(worn out) or broken steering springs, loose or worn steering tee rod end bearings, a worn steering tee shaft or bushings, a
loose or worn steering tee steering arm, loose or worn steering link, a worn steering yoke loose or worn torque links and/or loose or worn attaching bolts for all of the above.
The easiest way to look for nose gear steering wear and tear is to have someone hold the tail down while you turn the nose gear through it's travel and check to see ifeverything is tight. You can also try to move the nose wheel fore and aft and from side to side to see if the plastic bushings inside the strut are still in good condition. If anything moves in the wrong direction(up and down instead of fore and aft, for example) then you should take it off and examine it's attachment holes and fasteners for wear. Repair or replace any parts that need it. When you lubricate it and put it back together, it's probably better to have just a little friction than totally free movement.
Steering Yoke Inspection and Repair: The Steering Yoke is kind of a special case. I haven't seen one yet that didn't need to be shimmed a little. Making a shim isn't hard ( I usually cut up a beer or pop can) but you must remove the lower strut to install it. This removal procedure is described in paragraph 6.4.1 of the maintenance manual. Worn shimmy dampener, torque link and steering arm attachment holes can usually be drilled oversize and bushed by you or your repair shop.
Shimmy Dampener Inspection and Repair: The shimmy dampener was not made to be disassembled, but I finally figured out how to replace the push rod "O" rings which are the most common source of a problem. If, during inspection of the shimmy dampener, you do find a leak around the pushrod holes, you will need to have at least two (2) AN6227B-8 "O" ring seals on hand for the repair.
∑ Before reinstalling the pushrod, inspect the set screw dimple and the ends for burrs and/or sharp edges. Remove them with a file or fine emery cloth as required. Any sharp edges left on the pushrod may cut the "O" rings when the pushrod is reinstalled and cause premature failure.
∑ Lubricate the "O" rings with hydraulic fluid and reinstall the pushrod opposite of removal.
∑ Fill the cylinder with hydraulic fluid, check for leaks and smooth operation and put the shimmy dampener back on the airplane.
PLANES & PARTS:
Larry Tiffin needed some NAS40-10 inboard flap hinge and couldn't find it. I could only find MS20001 hinge, which is similar but not interchangeable, at Bandy Hinge Co. where we used to buy it. Larry called Doug Donaldson who was able to give him a source. Doug said he can get it for you if you need it. He also has other Varga parts but his list is computerized and too long to put here. If you need something, I suggest you call or write Doug at the following address:
Aircraft Parts of Arizona
21629 N. 9th Avenue
Suite E 5
Phoenix, AZ 85027
Wally Nissen, who bought Don Sparrow's airplane, called and asked if I knew where to get a functional trim control because his control appearantly slips when trying to trim nose down. I couldn't find one but maybe one of you can help out. His address is in the "Member & Owner" column. He also needed a working right fuel gauge. I sent him one that I had and started looking for a place to get one fixed. I didn't need to look very far. I took a right fuel gauge, a left fuel gauge and an ammeter to Marv Corsbie at Varga Enterprises who was able to repair and calibrate them all. The repair of the fuel gauges was $65 each and the ammeter was $45. They aren't yellow tagged because their is no design data available, but I assume they will work. If you have a similar problem, you can write or call Marv at the following address.
2350 South Airport Boulevard
Chandler, AZ 85249
George Varga has no Varga manufactured parts left but he does have some Varga nuts and bolts and lots of other generic airplane parts such as instruments and hoses. If you know of other places to get Varga parts repaired, please let me know and I will list them in the "Planes & Parts" section.
I get one issue of Trade-A-Plane each month. The latest (second December Issue) had the following Varga ads:
1978 2150-A, 820 TTA&E, 12D Navcomm, 618 TCA
Loran/ external CDI, txp w/encoder, vertical card com-
pass, ELT, Airwolf remote oil filter, flight custom II
tires, chrome brakes, intervox intercom, corrosion
proofed, hangered. New: vacuum pump, oil lines,
brake pads. White with blue and red trim. Complete
logs, NDH, auto gas STC. With fresh annual, $32,000.
813, 263-1890. FL/d2
1978 Varga Kachina, 2100TT, 150 SMOH, 9/9
P&I, MK12D, KT78 encoder, Super sharp, will fly at
130mph at 75% and will take off and land w/Super
Cub @ half the cost $38,300. (Excellent value for lease
or rental, think about $45.00x1850hrs = $83,250).
Ridgeaire, Inc., 903,586-1521; FAX 9521. TX/tf
Pat Beery got a note from Bob Trapp saying he is looking for a "Bonanza" and has his 1978 Varga 2150A, N8270J up for sale. If you're in the market, he can be reached at:
8 Skyway Drive
Naples, FL 33962
Bob also sent Pat a copy of a FAA 337 for installation of an Airwolf remote oil filter on the left side of the
firewall underneath the voltage regulator. If you're interested, I will send you a copy of the 337 or, if you need
more information, maybe it would be OK with him if you call at the above phone number.
John Vance says he is selling his 1975 Varga 2150A, N5065V. At his request, I am including his ad in this newsletter so that VG-21 members will have the first opportunity to take him up on his offer.
I got a call from Scott Patterson who said he has his airplane, Varga 2150A, N4614V up for sale at $36,700. It has a Military USAF T-34 paint job, 2600 hrs TT and 161 hrs since a complete Cermichrome top overhaul. Always hangered, the annual isn't due until January 1996. It is a well equipped VFR airplane. It will be advertised in Trade-A-Plane. He can be reached at:
P.O. Box 799
Selma, AL 36701
MEMBERS & OWNERS:
I got a Christmas card from Pat Baylor whose new address is:
Patricia L. Baylor
216 North Long Rifle Drive
Fort Worth, TX 76108
(What's your phone number Pat?)
Gabriel Demunck is looking for information to help him with the purchase of a Varga. I sent him copies of all past VG-21 newsletters but if there is anyone in his area who give him personal advice I'm sure he will appreciate it. He can be reached at the following address.
40 South Lakeshore Drive
Lantana, FL 33462
Dr. J. S. Hoerster at the following address said he is in the process of buying Varga 2150A, S/N VAC93-78,
J. Steven Hoerster
204 West Windcrest
Fredricksburg, TX 78624
Wally Nissen bought Don Sparrow's Varga. His address is:
1107 24th Street
Paso Robles, CA 93446
Larry Tiffin has his Varga 2150A available for rent in Nogales, Arizona.
HCR Box 197
Nogales, AZ 85621
Ken Batey is the new owner of 1980 Varga 2180, N56180. His address is:
6646 E. Telegraph Street
Yuma, AZ 85365
I would like to take up some personal space in this, my first newsletter, to semi-publicly thank a few people, most of whom you will never know, but I will never forget, who have helped to make this airplane, and myinvolvement in it, possible.The first, of course, is Bill Morrisey, who is responsible for such a fine airplane. Next is Mr. Varga and his son George, who's faith in the airplane kept us going for as long as we did.Wayne Flannery, who helped Bill Morrisey get things going at the start was also helpful to me when I needed it. Clifford Shinn, who took up where Bill left off, and stopped by at Varga Aircraft a few times with advice and counsel. Harold Dale and Sandy Friesner, are consulting engineers, who's help I couldn't have done without. Mario Trenti was hired by Varga as a business consultant. He taught me more about manufacturing and production planning in a couple of weeks than I would have learned on my own in seven years. Former FAA flight test pilot, Carl Jacobson was always helpful and a pleasure to work with. I'd also like to say thanks to Jim and Ernie Smith and family at Montanair for letting me try to make the improvements I thought would make the airplane better. And last, but not least, I'd like to thank Al Wilson, my friend and the man I think most responsible for the successful completion of the 140 airplanes that we made at Varga Aircraft.
On a slightly less personal note, after I spent some time looking at the photo album that Pat and Lee haveassembled and reviewing the FAA 337's that they have accumulated, I was reminded of the changes to the Vargas I have seen that make almost every one unique. In 1990, I got a chance to look at several changes that Joe Conner made to his airplane, including a canopy sunroof, a storage area under the rear seat and a chart storage area attached to the battery box. Don Tate's airplane is a taildragger with a sliding canopy and, from the pictures, I can see many other changes I'd like to know more about. The inside of John Vance's airplane has been significantly redesigned to suit the beautifully done military paint scheme on the outside.
Unfortunately for me, a quick look on the ramp isn't enough to satisfy my curiosity about how and why these changes were made and how well they work for the pilot/owner. I would really like to hear, in some detail, about the changes that you and previous owners made to your airplanes. I would then like to put a description of those changes in this newsletter. Please write to me as soon as you can and tell me more about your airplane. Send more pictures of the design details if you can.
When I found out that Larry Tiffin of Nogales Arizona had his airplane for rent, I happened to think that maybe it would be a good idea to list anyone else who has a Varga for rent, either at an FBO or as a club airplane. This would be a good way for a non-owner and/or potential owner to get some front seat time and enjoy the ride even more.
I also noticed in past letters to the Beerys that some owners were selling their airplanes, at least in part, because they weren't flying enough to justify owning one. My airplane is in a partnership. This has worked out very well for me and, I think, for my partners. I know sharing an airplane with four others seems like a lot but, so far, it has worked out very well. Although I have had to do all of the maintenance myself (all my partners do is get in and go), if I owned the plane by myself I'd still have to do that anyway or pay to have it done. At least with this partnership, the cost is split five ways. We all fly less than 30 hours a year and almost never have a scheduling conflict. I know that partnerships can sometimes get a little sticky, but I have had a good one for many years. I suggest that if you take the time and trouble to find the right people, your flying hobby (habit?) can be just as enjoyable and considerably less expensive.
Who is next on the list to receive the VG-21 photo album? I gave it to Jim Moyle and Henry Rogers, who arepartners in Shinn N5128V, for a few days but when they're done with it, I'll ship it to the first person who calls or writes.
Over the years since I left Varga, Iíve had several inquiries about where to get plastic landing gear bushings.