VG-21 Squadron


9 May, 1995



ISSUE # 22


John Vance sold his airplane and is now looking for enough parts from one or two wrecked Vargas or a very cheap one(worn out?) to build a project airplane from. George Geottl told that me Roger Harris who bought John's airplane is keeping it at the same strip as Doug Donaldson (northwest of Phoenix).

Donn Borden, P.O. Box 2605, Carson City, Nevada 89702 called a while back to let me know he was in the process of buying Bob Trapp's airplane. He said he will decide later if he wants to be a VG-21 member.

Don Tate stopped by my hanger at Falcon Field on April 12th for about an hour and we had lunch at Falcon's Roost and a nice chat about our airplanes. They are both experimental taildraggers with lots of differences from the average Varga. Thanks for the hanger flyin' Don. I hope to see you again soon!

In the last issue I asked for suggestions to improve the newsletter. Bill Morrisey said that a shorter letter issued more often than four times a year might be better. I have considered the work it would take make it semi-monthly(six times a year) or monthly(twelve times a year) and concluded that, if I get enough requests, I am willing change to semi-monthly but, with a full time job and nearly full time family(I get to be with the airplane occasionally), the time it would take to print and mail monthly a monthly issue would probably be a bit much for me.

I've sent the photo album off to everyone on the latest mailing list that I think hasn't seen it. I'm asking anyone who gets it to add more pictures it they can, cross their name off the list and then send it on to the next nearest member.

When I took the newsletter from Pat and Lee, they suggested that I ask for a larger donation to make it easier to cover the printing, mailing, telephone and other costs, but they gave me enough money to get started so I decided to wait and see what it would take to do the first one. Now that I know, I have been asking new subscribers for a $20 annual donation. For those who have wanted all the back issues, I have also been asking for $10 to cover printing and mailing costs.


Cactus Fly-In April 2-3, 1995: My airplane was broken and I didn't spend any time trying to get local Varga owners to go to this one. I talked to George Geottl who did go and met Dave Wells from Glendale, AZ (who bought Chet Sweeley's airplane) and Clay Jordan (who bought Dennis Schafer's airplane). He said it was well attended with a good mix of the usual antiques, warbirds and experimentals.

Hi Desert(Joshua Tree) VG-21 Fly-In: April has been very busy for me and I haven't tried to organize anything for this one. I haven't heard from Bill Bolster(who keeps his Varga there) or anyone else interested in meeting there but I think I'll just set a date sometime in the fall and fly over. I'll bring some of my maintenance and design data with me and if someone show's up to look at it and talk shop that will be great. If not, I'll swap war stories with the airport manager for awhile and then fly back to Phoenix.

San Luis Obispo VG-21 Fly-in: I haven't heard from anyone about this one either. Since John Vance is thinking about a project airplane, I think I'll arrange a meeting there with him for another fall weekend. When I get there, I'll take the side and bottom panels off of my airplane to show him the details of some of the changes that I've made to improve leg room and instrument panel space. I'll also take along a bunch of pictures of Don Tate's experimental taildragger with the sliding canopy. I'll post the date in the next letter and hope to see you there too.

Merced Fly-In: I just got my notice of this fly-in in the mail. It will be held on Friday and Saturday the 2nd and 3rd of June. There will also be an Air Show this year on Saturday between 1PM and 3 PM. I should get there about noon on Friday and will be leaving about 7 AM on Sunday morning. I'll bring as much maintenance and design data as I can and make it available if I run into you and you want to see it or talk about it. Just leave a note on my plane and I'll check back there every once in awhile.

Oshkosh: The 1995 EAA Fly-In is from July 27th through August 2nd. As Lee and Pat Beery suggested last year, I'll try to make arrangements to stay in Shawano, just north of Oshkosh. I 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 will leave Shawano/Oshkosh for Phoenix on Monday the 31st. This schedule should leave plenty of time rendevous, weather or other potential delays. I'll try to 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 will be at Williams Gateway Airport (formerly Williams Air Force base) this fall. Williams is about a 5 minute hop from Falcon Field where I keep my plane. Aircraft Spruce is also sponsoring a race called "The Copperstate Dash" from Apple Valley, CA at 7 AM on Friday, October 13. I won't do the race but I will be there all day on Saturday, October 14.


Link to Vendors / Parts / Service / Tools  

Bill Morrisey said a gentleman named Bob Thornton has an array of Varga parts and structure pieces and can be reached at:

Mr. Bob Thornton

615 N. Miller

Vinita, OK 74301

(918)256-7708 (evenings)

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.


The last two Trade-A-Planes that I got had the following Varga ads:

VARGA(For Sale)

1977 VARGA 2150A, 940TTSN, Narco Mk12D+ with

glideslope, Narco Com 111, Narco transponder with

mode C, 3LMB, EGT/CHT, Telex intercom, new glass,

new interior, new military paint, teakwood grips, corro-

sion proofed, like new condition. $42,000. OBO. 316,

945-9351 days; 316, 722-9568 eves. Ask for Doug.



1977 VARGA KACHINA, N4618V, 1016TT, KX155,

Apollo 604, 3LMB, txp-C, WW-II colors, photos avail,

orig. beauty. Pgh., 412, 327-6743. $39,000. mr2


1978 VARGA KACHINA Taildragger with the heart of a

Hawk XP, IO-360D, Collins Nav/Com, Mode-C inter-

com, spats, pants, 50 hours on total rebuild, 10 in-

side/out. $48,000 OBO. 314, 243-3502.ap3


1978 VARGA KACHINA, pristine Warbird paint

scheme, STS Loran, dual NavComs, w/GS, Mode C,

ADF, NDH, $38,000. 409, 848-1141. TX/my2


1981 VARGA 2180, 450 total times, KX170B

Nav/Com, KT76 transponder with encoder, strobes,

intercom, excellent condition, $36,500 firm. MD,

301, 698-9217. ap3



Forest Dr., Monroe, LA 71203. 318, 343-2339. ap1


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. If you're interested, his is address and phone number are also on the mailing list.

Dick Pedersen asked me to list his airplane for sale and sent the following information:

1980 Varga 2150A, N8422J, serial # VAC 167-80. 850 T.T.A&E, Annual 10-94. King KT76A Txp with encoder, KN62A DME, KY197 COMM, KN53 NAV, KI204 Glideslope, KR87 ADF, Davtron DVOR, Intercom, Alcor EGT, Astrotech Quartz Chronometer, Pointer 3000 ELT, Fire Extinguisher, Engine Heater, Canopy Cover, Winter Front, Strobes, Shop and Parts Manuals, Heated Pitot, Chrome Clevelands, New Tires, Autogas STC, Rear Seat Heat, Military Stick Grip(front), Push-To-Talk on both sticks. New tinted glass all around, Prop recent reconditioning. New Military Paint with Stars & Bars, is Korean War Bird Dog Design. Like New yellow vinyl & plaid cloth interior. $43,500

Dick Pedersen

N6460 CTH I

Tony, WI 54563

(715)532-6276 (evenings)


Ken Bunker asked me to note that his airplane is for sale. He has it listed in Trade-A-Plane for $38,500.

1978 VARGA 2150-A Ken Bunker

1140 TTSN King 760 Comm Narco Loran 117 Kellogg Way

and Trans. Intercomm - Very Clean - Santa Clara, CA 95051

Looks Like New. (408)248-6932


Pat Baylor has got her airplane up for sale. Her Spec Sheet reads as follows:


LYCOMING O320 (150 HP) TTSN 1650 SMOH 850





















PRICE: $38,500 FIRM


PAT BAYLOR, 216 N. LONG RIFLE DR., FORT WORTH, TX. 76108 (817)246-4760


Mark Palesh also sent the following "For Sale" notice:




OWNER: Mark R. Palesh

800 "F" Street # R-2

Juneau, Alaska 99801

(907)586-2128 Home

AIRCRAFT: 2150A S/N VAC-134-79

Collins AUD251, Collins VHF-251, Collins VIR-351,

Trans-Cal TRD950 & D120-P2-T Transponder/Encoder,

Pointer 3000 ELT

Complete glider towing package installed; climb prop.

Post Lights, Strobes

Never Damaged, Hangered

New Interior within last eight months; light gray.

Paint in very good shape; black and silver stripes on white.

Purchased new and maintained by U.S. Air Force (100 hour inspections)

Current Annual


ENGINE: Lycoming O-320-A

TTAF&E 1470(2000 TBO)

PRICE: $33,000



New members include the following:

John(Jack) and Joan Adams, 18 Old Orchard Road, Wilbraham, MA 01095, (413)596-8357 own a Champ but are looking for a Varga/Shinn/Morrisey.

Philip Vanwyck, 734 Belmont, Phoenix, AZ 85020, (602)331-1535 owns Varga 2150A N5064V.

Reg Engleson, Box 1593, Taber, Alberta, Canada TOK-2GO.

Mike Zimniski, Rt. #3 Box 114, Bridgport, WV 26330, (304)842-4892, owns Varga 2150A N8299J.

With several changes in ownership and the addition of new members, I've had to make many changes to the the mailing list. I will keep it up to date but it's too long to include with each newsletter so, if you want one, drop me a post card and I'll send you the latest version.

PERSONAL NOTES: I got a great batch of photos and copies of five of J.A. Humphrey's FAA 337's from

Don Tate. Thanks a lot Don!

I'd like to thank Bruce Geottl for trying to get me going to organize a Varga get together at the Cactus fly-in, but I broke the wood propeller on my airplane and it was down for almost two months while I was doing the annual, installing a new intercom and waiting for a new (metal) propeller. I also had several other obligations that got in the way so I'm off to a bad start on organizing Varga events.


J.A. Humphrey's 337's that Don Tate sent to me are for a sliding canopy, an oil cooler relocation to the left air inlet, a battery relocation forward of the firewall where the oil cooler was, tail wheel airplane main gear relocation and a Cessna tail wheel installation. The photos are 8 1/2" X 11" Xerox color copies and probably won't reproduce well so if you want the 337's and to see the photos let me know and I will sent them to you.

Bob Trapp(813)793-5587 sold his airplane but before he did he sent 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.

New member Mike Zimniski sent a 337 for landing gear area wing rib repair.

The following list of 337's are those I inherited from Pat and Lee Beery:

1. A Trans-Cal Industries model # SSD120 encoder installation.

2. Another landing gear area wing rib repair.

3. A model 2180 engine mount repair and reinforcement.

4. A model 2180 carburetor heat box reinforcement.

5. A Northstar model M1 Loran installation.

6. An aileron rib repair.(I'm not sure if this is an aileron rib repair or a wing rib repair at the aileron hinge.)

7. A rear seat storage bin installation.

8. A nose wheel fairing installation.

9. A main wheel and gear fairing installation.

10. Additional nose wheel steering spring installations.

11. Overhead canopy glass installation.

Lee Beery said he is also sending a 337 for the glider tow hardware that was once installed on his airplane.

Bill Morrisey:

Bill sent a nice long letter with lot's of information and I've decided to reprint most of it here(Bill's comment's are in bold print). I've included my own comments where I think I can add something from my experience at Varga.

... Fuel vents - the T on the bottom of the fuselage was developed along with the static system to vent the stand pipe fuel gauges. There were no fuel level sensors which could operate in series until Stewart Warner heard our appeal. (The angle of the tank (7 degrees) was a problem)

It took lots of flight testing to develop the static vent on the fuselage bottom, with the "tunnel" having the right size orifice. Although I had developed the electric gauge tank, it was left to Shinn to implement.

My being in the Orient when they finally got an airplane built left me out of the picture...

... "slipping spring clutch" - TRIM. Perhaps this can be remedied by insuring that oil is not in it - dry it out well. If the spring is weakened or contracted, try restretching or replacing.

[At Varga we ran out of the Shinn/Morrisey inventory of Chevrolet? window regulator (Elevator Trim) clutches shortly after I started working there and I had to find a replacement part because the original part number was from a 50's vehicle and was no longer available. An acquaintance at the GM proving grounds pulled a similar part from a wrecked GMC truck and got a Fisher Body part number for me so I could order some. I remember that for a quantity of 200 parts the clutch/spring assembly and the shaft cost about $.50 a set. We had to make the sprocket shaft and attach plate ourselves. Neither the GM or the Varga parts were made to very close tolerances and Al Wilson and I often worked hours to assemble them so that they wouldn't bind or slip. The GM parts came packed in grease so we always filled the clutch drum with grease when they were assembled. Whenever I've disassembled one for repair of slippage I've found the sprocket engagement flange (a part manufactured by Varga and located inside the drum) to be either worn or out of tolerance, and this may be the problem. A worn shaft or clutch drum hole can also cause this problem(that's what happened to my '78 Mazda and my '65 Chevy pickup truck when the window wouldn't roll up or down). Max]

... The trim system: I can imagine that the C.G. has traveled off on some of the birds, as it was pointed out in the last memo you reprinted. Another fix that will do no harm - and certainly help to trim nose down - is to put a 1/4" shim under the leading edge of the stabilizer. Make two of them, round about the size of a quarter, drill a #10 hole in the center(or is that a 1/4" bolt?[Yes, it is 1/4", Max] A 3/16" was adequate but I think we put in a larger bolt to impress the public) [The distance between the front and rear horizontal stabilizer attachment bolts is 12.75". Every 1/16" of shim at the front stabilizer mount changes it's angle of incidence 0.28 degree. A 1/4" shim would change the angle of the stabilizer 1.12 degrees. It might also require a longer bolt. This will also have the effect of giving the elevator 1.12 degrees more up and 1.12 degrees less down travel(relative to the horizontal stabilizer). It would probably be a good idea to check and adjust the elevator travel after you make this change, Max]

... be careful installing the shims: loosen the rear bolts, too, so that the front are easier to access.

A trim wheel from a Cessna 150 series may be adapted instead of the crank. This also provides an arm rest while the hand rests on the throttle - comfort.

You might add wheel balance to the list of remedies for shimmy...

Someday I hope to gain the time to finish the steering dis-engaging device, which works once the nose wheel is off the ground. I suspect that the steering - snubber system restricts rudder travel which demands so much right pedal force in the climb.

Landing gear - I was never told how the sleeves/bushings in the landing gear became nylon instead of the bronze bushings used in the certification. No evidence was offered to show that drop tests were conducted to prove them adequate.

The record shows that the plastic was not a good idea. The inherent ability of the airplane to land softly deceives the pilot/owner. It appears that the shock absorbing strut is operating fully, when it isn't. I have found them stuck part way due to the nylon sleeve being swollen/broken. This transmits shock into the structure and has, after repeated landings, caused damage in the rib(s) joining the spars.

The original gear, as on the Morrisey 2000, has three tubes: (1) the upper truss attached to the wing, shorter than the 2150 (2) an inner tube extending to where the 2150 truss tube now ends...(3)inside this the oleo extends and retracts. We are flying an aircraft using this gear installed in 1955. This same gear will be used on production 2000 aircraft.

Perhaps you will recognize that steel against steel, with lubrication, works well. The nylon/bronze sleeves can also be made from steel(4130) if the welding process can be finessed. Adequate clearance on the sleeves - outside on the top one, inside on the lower one - must be provided. Oil must be dropped in with proper frequency.

Whatever system is used should be checked regularly to assure that the gear is free - that it falls out, all the way, without delay.

I think you should spotlight the inaccurate fuel gauges. My letter on the subject, [included in this issue, Max]

...explains what we found. Too many people depend on accurate fuel gauges...others proclaim that no one should depend on gauges! Why, then, do we have them? If they are there they should be correct within 5%, supported by a wise, smart pilot who checks time in flight. I have found some of the Varga gauges showing 1/4 full when they were dry! It's surprising that the FAA hasn't AD'd some of the airplanes.

It seems that Lee Beery explained that an electronic phenomenon exists to cause this inaccuracy...

[Lee Beery's Maintenance Item #3. I will attempt a detailed explanation of the Varga fuel gauge system in another Maintenance Item, Max]

WHAT'S NEXT: I'll have a maintenance item on landing gear design, care and repair. I hope to have a report on the Merced Fly-In/Air Show.