For Sale / Wanted

Discussion in 'For Sale & Wanted' started by Spin Doctor, Jul 16, 2019.

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  1. Jul 16, 2019 #1

    Spin Doctor

    Spin Doctor

    Spin Doctor

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    Regarding the Wittman Tailwind for $4,000. I have 20 photos. I can only send ten at a time, so I'll send the other ten in a few minutes.
    If you are interested in this airplane, I did 4,000 miles of legwork to look at and photograph it for you. Drove there from northwest Indiana. This machine is in a hangar on a dust spot halfway between Kingman, Arizona and Boulder City, Nevada (by Las Vegas). Identifier is AZ50. Triangle Airpark. It was 106 degrees standing outside in the wind. About 142 degrees inside the hangar. Everything was hot to the touch. And darkish. Not many windows. There is no electricity in the hangar. It was shut off a while back.

    I was told that the gentleman who built the airplane (Frank Partridge) put about 150 hours on it and died in a car crash a couple of years ago. His family decided to sell it, and Bill Reid is handling the sale.

    Did I mention how hot it was?

    Bill is not a fountain of information. Quite the contrary. Apparently he is an I.A., but doesn’t know much about the logbooks; does know it has an airworthiness certificate. Do not ask him to inspect it or give any information regarding its condition.

    I shot pictures until I was panting. Airplane is not really a tailwind. It is a modified version of a tailwind. It was registered in 2010 as a Frankenstein I, serial #001.

    When Frank died, I was told he was chasing a fuel leak. As you can see from the photos, his tools are still laying right where he left them, along with the fasteners and other bits.

    The airplane has a couple of years of dust on it and the tires are flat. As you can see from the photos, the passenger door, front panel and cowl are off. Those pieces and the cowl are there. I was told there is a com radio. It is not in the panel, nor does there appear to be an electrical system other than a battery and the pull-the-T-handle-in-the-dash starter. There are no nav lights.

    Welding that I could see looked ok. I climbed into it and pushed the rudder pedals and the brakes. Controls worked. Brakes had some feel to them, but with flat tires, I couldn’t move it to see.

    I had a full three-gallon air compressor with me, but the wheels have hubcaps on them and I didn’t want to fool with them in the heat.

    Getting out was another story. I don’t have arthritis, back pain or any other ailments, but with the airplane leaning way back on its tail, it was a project getting my leg over the stick, and climbing out.

    I tapped the fabric in several places and it is tight. Didn’t see any tears. Vortex generators on the wing are a nice touch.

    Pulled the 3-blade composite prop through eight cylinders. Three had good compression. One not as much. Impulse couplings appeared to snap at the right time.

    It is going to take a some time to put this machine back together. The nearest room is in Kingman or Boulder City, both about 45 minutes away. There is n o electricity in the hangar. Don’t go out there without talking to Bill Reid. Airport has a card-operated gate. I was told they have had some theft problems, so the folks who live on the airport are armed and dangerous. Though who would steal a Corvair body shell or the remains of a VariEze… I don’t know.
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  2. Jul 16, 2019 #2

    Victor Bravo

    Victor Bravo

    Victor Bravo

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    The folks out there at AZ50 will more than likely not be caught short-handed if a firefight breaks out.

    There's indeed more going on there than just a gate card... definitely call ahead first and don't open the gate yourself. Airplane people are very welcome there, no need for panic or fear, they just want to be the ones that let you in and know whose hangar you're headed to.

    But if you're looking around for an airplane to vandalize at midnight, and you're driving a Prius with "Bernie in 2020 !!!" bumper stickers on it, I'd honestly have to recommend you pick another place :)

    Bill Reid is a good guy, and he is probably telling everything he knows, but he may not know a lot. I've spent some time at AZ50 with him and never heard about this airplane either until I heard it was for sale.
     
  3. Jul 16, 2019 #3

    Winginitt

    Winginitt

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    I'm not interested in the airplane but I have to say you did an excellent job presenting the information for anyone who might have an interest. This ought to be a template for other people who post info about airplanes for sale.
     
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  4. Jul 21, 2019 #4

    David Moxley

    David Moxley

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    What is all that staining along the lower edge of the fuselage? Looks strange? Is there something going on there under the fabric, maybe the tubing??
     
  5. Jul 25, 2019 #5

    Darnpilot

    Darnpilot

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    I agree...looks like rust?
     
  6. Jul 26, 2019 #6

    Toobuilder

    Toobuilder

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    So Spin..

    I'm guessing you drove all that way with the intention to buy but it didn't quite measure up to the $4k price? Did you make an offer?

    Thanks for the report!
     
  7. Jul 27, 2019 #7

    Victor Bravo

    Victor Bravo

    Victor Bravo

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    I just called Bill Reid in Boulder City to ask about the color stain in the fuselage fabric. Yes, that part of the airplane got wet somehow, and the stain probably is discoloration because of that...... BUT -

    Bill saw that immediately too, and he went after it with an automatic center punch in several places, and NO the center punch did not chip, puncture, collapse or otherwise damage the tube (beyond what center punches normally do for a living).

    So although you certainly may find yourself holding some sandpaper and zinc chromate spray and fabric patching material, you are probably not going to be welding tubes.

    The one cash offer he got on the airplane was a typical "lowball" fishing expedition, not nearly the value of the four engine cylinders by themselves. The guy didn't have enough money to make an "actual" offer, so he threw a handful of change at it to see if he could steal it. This airplane is certainly a bargain, but it's not a crack-ho addict selling her wedding ring for ten bucks worth of drugs.
     
  8. Jul 27, 2019 #8

    David Moxley

    David Moxley

    David Moxley

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    Well no one will know for sure the extent of it until of the rusty spots on the fabric is torn off,How bad it is? How did it get wet that far up, is a mystery? It couldn’t have been good. As for the motor? When was the last time it ran? Aircraft motor don’t like to sit around not being run, they can get moisture on the inside, that can lead to a pitted cam. Now you have a wet plane with a motor that who knows when it was run last? Not a good combination in my book.
     
  9. Jul 27, 2019 #9

    Victor Bravo

    Victor Bravo

    Victor Bravo

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    We are all absolutely free to purchase a brand new aircraft from Icon, or perhaps a "Van Bortel" refurbished Cessna. The only combination relevant to that is the combination to the safe at the bank. For many of us, the opportunity to save thousands and thousands of dollars would be worth a little extra effort. If I waslooking for a Tailwind this one would be a lot of bang for the buck, even if it needed new fabric and a good look at the structure.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
  10. Jul 28, 2019 #10

    Spin Doctor

    Spin Doctor

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    Driving our ex-cop, '08 Impala, we left northwest Indiana Tuesday at noon. Was at the airport late Wednesday afternoon. I had the cash in my pocket, but decided it would take too much work in the heat to get it home. And there is no electricity in the hanger. Plane is priced reasonably enough. I did not want to insult him by making some lowball offer.
    If you want this airplane, and plan to fly it out, you should probably have some serious taildragger time, because if you didn’t notice the “High Wind” signs that are posted, you’ll know it when you stand outside.

    Better idea: Take a trailer, $4,000, and a couple of friends. Pull the wings, put it on your trailer and take it home to work on it.
     

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