been a few years since I wrote my last newsletter and, after reviewing Pat and
Lee’s mailing list, I can see that there are enough new members that it might
be good to reintroduce myself.
My name is
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 (now Boeing) in January of 1989 where I still work. I am currently a
Facility Manager but hope to begin my next career as a professional Airport Bum
when I retire early next year.
experimental Varga (a 160HP taildragger with a bubble canopy), which I built
from parts I got from Varga Aircraft in 1986, was built and first flown the day
after Christmas in 1989.
Saturday, you can find me in hangar RR-2 at Falcon Field in
I took over from Pat and Lee, my first newsletter (#21) was published in January
of 1995. My last VG21 newsletter, issue #47, was published in June of 2002.
Issue #47 is index of all of the previous Varga newsletters that I had copies of
at that time.
Fortunately, for all of us, Pat and Lee Beery took over again and published issue #48 in May of 2004 and their last was issue #59 published in January of 2008. That was several months ago so it's time to catch up...
Mike McNally has his Model 2180 for sale. This is the first certified
180hp Varga. Here are the details:
- (602) 315-4388
Annual 4/08 - Ly
new glass, custom camo P-40 paint scheme, harnesses and interior
- Fighter sticks, canopy modification, panel
current data base, Apollo SL40
250 watt transponder -
3328 - SMOH 1472 - SPOH 105
STANDARD CATEGORY - GREAT FOR TRAINING AND
SECOND MAY ISSUE 2008 :
1977 Varga “LOW COST T-34”, 2016TT, 320 SMOH, SL60
Txp & encoder MBR, EI engine analyzer, strobes, inter
Bob Lucas OH(419) 833-1505.
those of you who don't know, I am the former Varga Aircraft Corporation
engineering manager (1975-1982) and may be able to help you with a problem. I
can be reached at:
2062 West Gila Lane
may also be able to find me at hanger RR2 at Falcon Field in
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
Click on the following link for photos of the Texas Fly-In...
let me know of any Varga events you have anywhere and I will include them in a
newsletter and/or send and invitation out to all on the VG-21 email list]
PLANES & PARTS:
I don’t remember who sent them to me now but I have 3 boxes of the 12-24
screws that are used to plug the 2 filler holes at the top of each landing gear.
12-24 screws are an oddball size so, if you need and can’t find any of these
screws, let me know how many and I’ll send them.
information concerning Varga Kachina_2180
in the evaluation phase of buying a nice 81_2180
newsletters published in your internet site are extremely
for evaluating the history and technical background
I would need are reliable data listings concerning
performance of an 81_2180.
Vno 75% / 65% on different flight level_with adequate
of fuel consumption)
I have seen on your website there are newsletters available
Jesse Ranney. The issues No.1 / July 86 - No.13 / May 87
would be very helpful concerning the questions mentioned above.
it be possible for you, to send me the newsletters, even in
or .pdf format? - Again; the information provided would be
for evaluating the pre-purchase basics.
you in advance for your help and input
Aircraft never did the kind of flight testing required to get the speed data
that you are requesting so it is not available.
the Jesse Ranney newsletters, I think I returned those that I had to Lee Beery
when he took over the VG21 newsletters again a couple of years ago.
can contact them with your request at <firstname.lastname@example.org>
or at their home address.
& Pat Beery
I will be doing the newsletter again next year and after VG21 data is returned
to me, I may be able to help you more then.
luck with your purchase and should you decide to do that, I don’t think
you’ll be disappointed.
in need of a replacement Fuel Strainer, Edo-Aire, G199-105. Varga #
30145-39- any Idea where I could find one?
casting at the bolt hole mount broke.
Associates Inc -
From: Bill Merkin
May 27, 2008 1:28 PM
do you re
This is a nagging problem that even affected new airplanes.
It could be either the over voltage relay, regulator or the alternator. At the
factory, we sometimes had to swap out all three. Changing the alternator always
worked. Prestolite wouldn’t hesitate to replace the parts for free but they
were never able to offer a solution.
I bought an aftermarket alternator (my plane’s an
experimental) and, other than a loose wire a few years back that I was partly
responsible for, haven’t had a lick of trouble.
I think some Pipers have the same Prestolite system. You
might call a Piper shop and see what they say…
Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful ;-(
have N5086V Varga 2150. Need to replace "O" Rings in shimmy
dampener. How do you get it apart or where to get a new one?
you have any info please contact Danny Miller at […]
were so disappointed we missed the Texas Fly In. Glad you had a good turnout.
There are no Varga shimmy dampeners available that I know of.
Don’t take yours apart. It is pressed together and can’t easily be
Follow the instructions in Maintenance
Item 15. This method of repair has worked for me several times.
Pat & Lee Beery
Saturday, April 05, 2008 6:35 PM
for some help. The battery solenoid
on our Varga had be
and stupidly, I started the replacement process before I
a source for the solenoid. The
illustrated parts catalog lists
solenoid as an
to cross reference this part number to a current replacement
If anyone has knowledge of a replacement part, please let me
From: Mark &
have any additional sources for Landing Gear Springs for a 2150A? I tried
contacting Century Spring in
our main gear springs are a bit tired so we're looking to replace them.
Additionally, are the main gear and nose gear springs interchangeable? I
thought read in one of the older newsletters that the 2180 used main gear
springs in the nose gear to handle the additional weight of the 0-360? We
are operating the Shinn out of a grass strip and were considering trying a bit
stiffer springs in the nose gear to get a bit of extra prop clearance. Do
you know if anyone else has tried this?
Shinn 2150A C-FIIZ (Formerly N431MB)
You should be able to find the springs at the address
Century Spring Corp.
Please let me know if you can’t.
On all Vargas, the main gear have 2 springs each, an inner
(D125) and outer one (D108). The nose gear on the Model 2150A has only the outer
spring but the Model 2180 nose gear uses both. The reason for the additional
spring on the Model 2180 is to insure additional ground clearance because the
engine is heavier and the prop is longer.
Adding the inner spring to the 2150A nose gear won’t hurt
anything but I doubt that it’ll make much difference unless you are landing on
or taxiing over some very rough ground.
Good luck and happy flyin’ ;-)
Pat & Lee Beery
finished my annual and this year I replaced the nose gear seal and o rings.
Not as easy to do as the mains as some times I needed 3 hands.
I did pick up on one thing I would like to hear what you think on
the subject. I think now I know why the new lube seal does not retain the
heavy oil. It is pushed out by air when the strut is
Sounds like it might be a good idea to me
Let us all know if the gear leg drips less oil. Should work on the mains as well don't you think? (since I have no nose gear... ;-)
I might try just takin' the (12-24) screw out
From: Alex Hasapis
Are there any service or repair bulletins for flap hinge replacement on the
…Here is an expanded
version of the reply I sent to Alex:
There are no service or repair bulletins for the
flap hinge. I made a sketch awhile back showing the addition of a doubler to the
inboard hinge. This is the easiest fix. Later production airplanes had an
inboard flap hinge reinforcement similar to that on the inboard aileron hinge
and you could duplicate that but it is a lot of extra work.
If you need new NAS40-10 hinge, here is a website
may have the replacement NAS40-10 hinge that you need…
From: max schuermann
& Lee Beery
February 25, 2008 4:45 PM
Subject: Fuel flow
wondering if there was anyone in the group that has an Electronics International
Inc., FP-5 fuel flow/pressure instrument installed in their Varga.
My son gave me one for Christmas and I'm getting ready to install it.
The instrument is STCd for the Varga but the paperwork leaves a lot to be
desired and says absolutely nothing about line routing and transducer location.
It just says "between carb and fuel supply". DUU.
has one installed I'd sure be interested in knowing where they placed the
transducer and/or routed the fuel lines. Just a picture would keep
me from having to reinvent the wheel.
…I don’t have any information
about fuel flow/pressure instruments installed on Vargas but will ask around…
If I wrote it down right, you asked for the following Varga
1 each 12000-24 Steering Horn
1 each 12000-3 Axle
1 each 12000-97 Fiber Washer
1 each 12000-98 Washer
1 each 12000-69 Steering Rod
2 each 30145-28 Steering Boot
1 each 26025-63 Cowl Bracket
I have a pair of 12000-69 Steering Rods that I was saving for
my experimental project Varga but since it will be a while until I need it, I
will send one to you and make another for myself later. It’ll probably cost me
about 20 bucks to make another and that’s what I’ll ask for it but if
you’ve got some 5/16” 4130 round bar laying around and want to thread it
5/16-24 about 1” down at each end, maybe you can make one cheaper. The factory
had them Cadmium plated but that’s now considered a hazardous material and
it’s harder to find someone to cad plate. ChemResearch, the local plater that
did most of Varga’s stuff, recommended electro-less nickel plating as an
alternative and that’s what I’ve been using. Good epoxy paint would probably
also work very well if you don’t want the plating time and expense.
I have one old 30145 Steering Boot that’s badly
deteriorated but they were made from rubberized asbestos fabric which is now
also considered a hazardous material and I don’t know if you can even get it.
McMaster-Carr has some rubberized fiberglass products that should work well http://www.mcmaster.com/
. Aircraft Spruce has some cowl seal material that might work well too. http://www.aircraftspruce.com/
If one of the old Steering Boots that you have can be used as
a template, you could buy some of that material and make them yourself. Once cut
to shape, they assemble pretty easily with four 1/8” rivets and some back up
I have no 12000-97 fiber washers but Aircraft Spruce has some that
The screw at the top of the gear is 12-24 and these are for 10-32
screws but they should still fit if you drill them or file them a tiny bit…
Phenolic insulating washers for #10 screws.
13/64" I.D. x 7/16" O.D. x 1/16 thick.
I have none of the 12000-98 washers for the top of
the gear that I can find. I think the washer may have been aluminum to help seal
the retaining bolt and keep the hydraulic fluid in but 7/16” is a common spark
plug size (7/16"-20) and a spark plug gasket that size might work as well
or better. ;-)
I can find no 26025-63 Cowl Bracket either. The
26025 drawing that I have is a marked up engineering revision that doesn’t
list it so the part number may have changed. I can’t explain that with the
data that I have and don’t know what the P/N changed to. I don’t remember if
it is steel or aluminum but if steel, it is 4130, if aluminum, it is 2024-T3. If
not repairable, it should be easy to measure and duplicate in either material.
I have both a 12000-24 Steering Horn and a 12000-3
axle but they are installed on the engine mount and nose gear of my project
airplane and I am reluctant to give them up.
The Steering Horn is made from stock 4130 steel
tubing. You should be able to measure the diameter and wall thickness of the
material, get it from a tubing supplier and remake or repair it without much
difficulty. The factory TIG welded them with 4130 weld rod and stress relieved
the welds to a dull red with a torch. Acetylene welding will work as well. The
assembly was cadmium plated but, again, electro-less nickel, or good paint job
should work well.
The axle is stock 1 ¼” 4130 as well, cut to
length, threaded for an axle nut on one end, with a stop weld on the other end.
Again, just measure the damaged part for diameter and wall thickness and order
what you need from a tubing supplier. Plating/painting is the same issue as the
other parts but on the axle, you need to remember that too much plating or
painting may add thickness that won’t let the axle slide through the wheel
Let me know if you have questions or comments or
if I can help in some other way…
I’ll wait to hear from you on the Steering
is my first issue in several years but, knowing that it’ll
can’t I trim nose down with someone in the back?”
the answer is that you can, it’s just hard to turn the handle.
few things happened along the way from Morrisey to Varga to make it that way…
of the things that happened along the way was a Center of Gravity (CG) shift:
and Shinns came standard with no paint. During manufacture, the skins were
protected with a thin, water soluble film so that the aluminum stayed shiny and
wouldn’t be scratched and, at the end of the production line, the film was
washed off and a decal added to each side of the plane.
it was optional, we never sold a Varga without paint. That matters, at least a
little, because at 17-20 pounds of dry weight for the usual polyurethane paint
job, most of that weight was aft of the center of gravity (CG).
also made a difference. Morriseys and Shinns came with only seat cushions. Varga
added carpeting, to the floor and rear deck, upholstery on the front seat pan
and a headliner. Again, with much of the weight aft of the CG.
much paint and upholstery, the typical Morrisey/Shinn empty weight was close to
the advertised 1125 pounds. A typical Varga was closer to 1175 pounds, as I am
implying, most of which was aft of the CG.
thing that happened when the plane became a Varga is that the trim handle got
shorter. What I remember is that early on in Varga production, someone didn’t
like the potential interference between the trim handle and the front throttle
in the closed position so the standard GM window crank handle was swapped for a
vent window handle which was about half as long and, consequently, with half the
leverage. The FAA did flight tests
this change and didn’t find the trim forces objectionable and that’s the way
third reason may have to do with aerodynamics. It’s only speculation on my
part but it is possible that there is a difference between the Morrisey and the
Shinn and when Shinn created a fixture for its installation, the horizontal
stabilizer angle of incidence got changed. The Varga and Shinn should be the
same because Varga Aircraft used the same stabilizer installation fixture that
Shinn made. Before the fixture, Morrisey stabilizer’s may have been located in
position and installed by hand with a different angle measuring and locating
the angle of incidence between the wing and horizontal stabilizer was made less
between the Morriisey and Shinn, that might account for an increase in nose down
can fix some of that problem by making a trip to an auto parts store and buying
a longer trim control handle. Just
look or ask for one that fits a Chevrolet. The one’s I’ve seen look just
like the one on your plane with a knob that
The only thing you have to watch out for is whether on not the trim handle hits the throttle handle in any position when the throttle is all that way back. If that’s the case, you’ll probably have to remove the left side panel and adjust the aft position of the throttle a little farther forward.
Horizontal Stabilizer angle-of-incidence problem is a little trickier…
not sure when or where it started but, in order to increase the incidence,
someone began installing shims at the front Horizontal Stabilizer mounts.
I noted in Newsletter #22 each 1/16" shim added to the forward stabilizer
attach bracket increases its angle of incidence relative to the wing (and the
rest of the airplane) by 0.28 degrees. Unless readjusted, the shim also
increases the elevator travel by about the same amount. If you add a 1/4"
shim without readjusting the elevator, you will increase elevator travel by more
than one degree (1.12). This may improve control at the forward CG limit, will
possibly reduce the force needed to turn the trim handle and, in some cases,
owners have reported increases in top speed. Alternatively, it may make the
and make an inadvertent spin entry more likely when the airplane is loaded at or
near the aft CG limit.
option is to make
the center of gravity (CG) shift forward. This is the most difficult
(expensive ;-) solution…
the airplane I designed in Montana, for more leg room, I stretched the fuselage forward 3” and back 1.25”. This
was the maximum stretch I could easily make to keep the new plane within it’s
old CG limits.
Adding 2 or so inches to the engine mount and cowl of a standard Varga would not be physically too difficult or expensive but the engineering and FAA flight test requirements would probably make an STC for the stretch cost prohibitive. With only a hundred or so airplanes out there, there probably wouldn't be enough buyers of such a change to spread the cost enough to make that change affordable.
I will provide the VG21 Newsletter on this web site and will expand and improve the it as time and circumstances permit.
Hopefully, I will be able to publish at least four issues a year. For those who request it, I will also email a copy of the email in a Microsoft Word format. Those on the membership list who have not provided an email address or who just wish to have a hard copy, will receive a hardcopy of the newsletter in the mail shortly after they are posted here on this web site. Maintenance Items may be done on separate schedule as needed or as provided by Varga owners and will be mailed either with, or independently of, the newsletter, upon request.
Please don't hesitate to provide suggestions or corrections at any time.