8 December, 1997
ISSUE # 33
NEWS: I didn't have a copy of the FAA approved Varga 2150A Airplane Flight Manual so Frank Bria, the facilities manager of the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics sent a copy of revision 3 to me. This is a stapled 4 page 8 1/2 X 11 inch document that was furnished with each new airplane. If you need a copy of the 2150A flight manual I can now make one for you. I have had a copy of the Model 2180 Airplane Flight Manual for some time and can furnish that to 2180 owners as well. With the exception of engine, propeller and fuel data and the addition of noise characteristics to the 2180 Manual, the 2150A and 2180 manuals are almost the same. A copy of the 5 1/2 X 8 inch Airplane Operations Manual that was published by Wing Leasing is available from ESSCO. I retyped a new flight manual to cover all Varga models and included it in the center of this issue. Just fold it in half if you want to use it but remember that, although it may have the same information as the authorized version, it is not approved by the FAA or anyone else.
Rosemary DeAngelo is, hopefully, nearing the end of her wing repair ordeal. She has offered to give the outboard rib form blocks to me for you to use in the event that you ever need a similar wing repair. I will store them in my hanger and loan them to you if you are unfortunate enough to need them.
Bill Weaver of Plano, Texas was looking for a place to get a new horizontal stabilizer leading edge bent up to replace the slightly damaged one on his Shinn. The skin is .025 thick 2024-T3 clad aluminum and the bend radius is 0.3125 (5/16") inches. Please tell us if you know of a good place that can do that.
EVENTS: If you want to post any events for next year, just let me know and I will include it a the next newsletter.
Eagle Tail Flyers Breakfast/Social Club: Arizona Varga owner Dave Wells is part of a group that tries to meet somewhere almost every weekend. Call (602) 841-1229 for this breakfast gathering.
Copperstate Fly-In: October 9-12, 1997.
PLANES & PARTS:
VARGAS FOR SALE
Tom O'Harain Paso Robles, California just bought a completed RV-6 and his Varga is for sale:
1978 Varga 2150, 150HP O-320-A2C TTAF&E 1200 hrs. Aircraft in great condition and equipped with King KX125 Nav/Com, King KX-97A Com, KT76A Encoding Transponder, CHT EGT Gauge, Oil Filter, Glider Hook NDH price: $35,900 (805) 237-0219 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org. (same as Trade-A-Plane ad below)
J.R Sheridan is selling his airplane at Danielson Airport in Danielson, Connecticut. Airport manager Mr. Gary Borouff, 70 Airport Rd., Danielson, CT 06241 is handling the sale and can be reached at (860) 779-9421. Nearest Airport, Providence, R.I. 21 miles:
Shinn Serial Number 17 N431MB was bought in 1963. Never cracked, Top Maintenance by Shinn expert at Danielson Airport. Replaced side windows. Top painted in April. Has top radios (Collins)(Narco 120-2c)(Narco AT50 Transponder Alt. Reporting)(Narco 190 Distance Measuring Equip.)(Morrow II Loran)(panel mounted Shure Bro. Mike)(1 David Clark Earphones) 1500 Hours on 150 Lycoming $21,000 Firm.
Philip Van Wyck called and said he has his airplane for sale. It is a 1975 Varga 2150A with the following features:
883 TT. 173 SMOH. Very clean, very low time engine, very well equipped full IFR airplane with dual nav/com-Terra TSN 960 with ILS Valcom 760 channel w/flip-flop selection, RST 504 comm panel w/RST 521 mkr bcn, Narco AT50 transponder w/ack A-30 altitude encoder, IIMorrow Apollo GPS, Sigtronics Intercom, Pointer ELT. NDH. All AD's current. Always hangered. A solid 9 1/2. $38,500. 602-331-1535 or
Philip Van Wyck, 734 E. Belmont Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85020
TRADE-A-PLANE, SECOND NOVEMBER ISSUE, 1997:
80 VARGA, 1635 TT, 1100 STOH, new MX170B digital
NAV/COM, Loran, transponder/encoder, EGT, intercom,
strobes, 7/97 annual. All cylinders 70's, STC Mogas.
Hangered. 9 in and out. Reduced to $32,500.
423, 458-9959 n3
VARGA 2150A, TTA&E 1545, King GPS Com, KT76
txp, nice paint & interior, $34,050. Call Ron 801, 359-4840
or Larry 801, 394-3400. Always a great selection of used
aircraft. Great Western Aviation. UT/tf
SHINN 2150A, 800 SMOH, 2377 TTAF, MK12D. TTX,
enc & intercom. $29,500. 417, 926-4221 ph/fax. n1
VARGA, 150HP, 1200TT, KX125, KT76A, glider hook,
no damage, This is trouble free, fun flying. $36,000.
805, 237-0219. d1
MEMBERS & OWNERS:
VG-21 Membership: A $20 annual donation will cover all the printing and mailing costs for at least four issues a year and will help pay for return phone calls, letters and postage when you have questions or comments that require a quick or personal response. Beery VG-21 Newsletters: $10 covers most of the printing and mailing costs for all issues. Old Bishop VG-21 Newsletters: $1.00 per issue (includes postage).
I got a letter from Del Lutz who has a model 2180 with 2431 hours on it. In the past he's has some serious problems with nose wheel shimmy which may have been caused to some degree by his installation of a nose wheel pant. He says he may have fixed the problem by adding weight to the nose of the wheel pant and balancing it at its midpoint. Of more interest to me (and maybe to you) was the following: Del says, in part,
Thanks for the information, Del !. I hope this is helpful to some of you who may be having shimmy problems.
A Varga owner called recently to ask how to keep rain from leaking in and soaking his seats. He just bought it and has had to keep it outside until he gets a hanger and can put it indoors. Upon investigation of the problem he discovered that had no canopy seals. The seal material that Varga used was a black 1/8" x 3/8" closed cell rubber with a pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) on one side. Make sure you get "closed cell" strip because "open cell" foam absorbs water. It may be hard to find but if you check enough hardware stores you should eventually run across the right stuff. Aircraft Spruce also has an extruded rubber sealing strip called "P" cell which works pretty well on my airplane and might work for you. The following sketches show where the seal belongs. You may have to use a double thickness on the bottom of the door where it meet the fuselage if the gap is too wide for one strip to do the job.
I have retyped the following Varga 2150A Service Bulletin, SI-2150A-1, that was written before we had a model 2180 or a taildragger but, except for the tail wheel, the information applies to all Vargas.
VARGA AIRCRAFT CORPORATION
Date: 11-9-79 SERVICE INSTRUCTION
LANDING GEAR SERVICE
SERVICE OF THE MAIN AND NOSE GEAR IS REQUIRED EVERY 100 HOURS OF NORMAL OPERATION.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR SERVICING THE NOSE GEAR:
INSTRUCTION FOR SERVICING THE MAIN GEAR:
LUBRICATION OF THE MAIN AND NOSE GEAR STRUT IS REQUIRED EVERY 25 HOURS OF NORMAL OPERATION.
INSTRUCTIONS: Oil through 12-24 screw hole approximately 1/2" from the 7/16" hex head center strut
bolt. Inject 1/2 ounce, approximately, of heavy medium lubrication oil.
Gene Salvay is an engineer that was involved in the design of Bill Morrisey's Nifty which was the precursor to all Morrisey/Shinn/Varga airplanes. I found on the internet that Gene's address hadn't changed from the time I met him when I worked at Varga so I wrote to ask him for permission to reprint this letter to George Varga. A few days later I got a call from Gene who said it was OK to reprint the letter and he added some information about what he's been doing since he wrote the letter in 1979. I'm not very good at taking notes on the phone but I',ll try to summarize what he told me. After he retired from Rockwell, He went to work for Lockheed at the "Skunk Works" and although he couldn't give a lot of details about what he did, while he was there, there were published reports of the development of a spy plane and a space plane. Somewhere in there he spent about a year in Israel helping to develop the KFIR fighter. Needless to say, he's had an interesting career that we are the beneficiaries of.
He also sent a reprint of a 1958 article from an EAA magazine and a 1987 article from Pacific Flyer and some pictures and copies of the 3-View drawings that I have included in this issue.
I also have a copy a May 1981 article about Gene's Skyhopper from a publication called "Kansas City Aviation". The article is titled "The K.C. SKYHOPPER" and repeats much of what Gene says in the following typed copy of his 1979 hand written letter. I can't reprint them well here so if you want a copy of the magazine article or photos just let me know.
A bit of background, going back to June, 1940, is in order to understand what led up to the arrangement for the design of the "Nifty". This writer arrived at Rearwin Airplanes in June of 1940, fresh from aeronautical school and anxious to try his hand in the engineering field. I met a fine young engineer by the name of George Stark, who had started at Rearwin, several years earlier, and as aviation was progressing very rapidly in those pre-war years, offered me considerable guidance. Before long, George and I were creating the next version of the Rearwin "Skyranger", which subsequently was manufactured in 1946 and 1947 as the Commonwealth 185. With war signs all around, I went to work for North American on the airport in Kansas City, Kansas and Mr. Stark joined me. We participated in the growth development of the B-25 Bomber through all its variants. However, by 1944 we were anxious to get back into small airplanes. It was decided in the spring of 1944 to design and build a small single seat general aviation airplane and with the help of the local CAA branch, obtained the necessary priorities for material and tools. In the spring of 1945, the "Skyhopper" flew and was properly documented as a historical fact in all the aviation trade journals. It became obvious that financial backing was going to be a difficult proposition. By March of 1946, it was dropped as a business venture and George Stark and I split up. The plane was retained by myself and subsequently flown to Los Angeles where I was now a senior engineerinig executive on a Navy Bomber being designed by North American Aviation. The Skyhopper received considerable attention in local aviation circles, since experimental small planes were nowhere as abundant as today thanks to the efforts of the EAA.
One Saturday I was repainting the Skyhopper in the "Navion" delivery hanger at the LA airport when in strolled Bill Morrisey. I noticed the he had flown in with a "Cub". I chided him about his J-3 and in the course of the discussion discovered that he, too, was from Kansas City, and we had mutual friends. Bill was a former CAA test pilot and currently was a test pilot at Douglas Aircraft. It was the start of a very pleasant but sometimes difficult relationship. Bill approached me a short time later, with the idea of designing and building a modern trainer to replace the Cub's and Aeronca's currently in vogue. It had to be tandem but tricycle gear, snappy in performance and attractive. Tailored around the Continental C-85 engine could I come up with a good idea and would I design the plane and oversee the construction? After several meetings in Bill's apartment in Long Beach we signed a mutual assistance pact and I rented space in an engineering office and started the project as an evening venture. Not being encumbered with a family made the situation easy for me. I spent 3 evenings a week and Saturday at the task and within 6 months had completed the preliminary design, the Aerodynamic report, the Basic Loads report, enough drawings to start fabrication and had done my work well with the CAA, so that they "blessed" everything to date. Morrisey assembled a crew and space to build the prototype at Long Beach airport and the parts started showing up. Many hours were spent driving to Long Beach keeping track of construction and assuring compliance with the design. My memory tells me that Wayne Flannery was a fantastic craftsman, who fabricated the majority of the plane. Bill gave impetus and leadership to the program and was the financial father of the effort. It is difficult to evaluate the teamwork necessary complete an undertaking of this magnitude. This was not a "homebuilt", but a full fledged type certificate undertaking. Peoples personal lives were involved as well as their families and these suffered, too. The prototype was a beauty and flew just like Bill wanted it to, thanks to a good basic aerodynamic configuration. The help received from several of my aero friends a North American payed off quite well. The original prototype called the "Nifty", had elliptical wings and tail with steel, wood and fabric construction. Bill gave the plane a very thorough flight test, at which he certainly was well qualified to do. Minor changes were made and finally the project was identified as ready for the next phase. "Money". What a difficult object to induce out of banks. The task that Bill undertook was time consuming and nerve wracking, and more than I was interested in being involved with. Time was getting on with me to stop being an airport "rat", and to latch on to one of the lovely girls I was seeing between evenings at the office, factory or airport. My involvement with Bill Morrisey ended around 1950, about a year after first flight. The Nifty was considerably ahead of its time in concept but good enough to withstand the change in times in aviation. The fact that it is still around attests to its good approach to flying qualities and details design. Unfortunately I failed to make copies of all the drawings and reports I prepared on the Nifty, so have no record of the original design. However I did save all the layouts and sketches which I have stored away for some historical fact that as yet has not matured to date.
Encino, CA 91316
Much water has gone over the dam since 1950. My two most formidable projects were yet to come, Chief Engineer of the Sabreliner and Director of Structural Design for the B-1. So you see the "Kachina" did have a very good "family tree". After the Nifty, I brought out the plans to build the single seat Skyhopper in 1958 and in 1962 I brought out a 2 place Skyhopper. By 1963-64 I was too deeply involved with the Sabreliner and had to forego my love relationship with small planes.
Gene says he still makes weekly flights in his Cessna 182 but, at his age, it sounded like the annual medicals are getting to be kind of a hassle. Call me or write to Gene if you want more information about him or his airplanes.