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Leveling a Wag Aero Sportsman 2+2

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Jamie King

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Dec 29, 2019
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I purchased a Wag Aero sportsman 2+2 last summer, from the second owner of the aircraft.

It's on amphibs, being swopped out for the tail-wheel set up for winter.

As a result, I need to do W&B/leveling exercise - but do not have info specific to the airplane, on where to hang a plumb bob from and what to line it up with, to achieve accurate information.

Does anyone have info that may help? Greatly appreciate it.
 

Victor Bravo

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Put a 3 degree wooden wedge under the root end of the wing (thicker part of the wedge facing the leading edge of the wing) and put a level on the bottom of the wedge. That will get you reasonably close, unless you get a more accurate method from the plans, or from Wag-Aero.

This is a half-educated guess, and take any official source of information over my opinion. I do not think they used plumb bobs to level the Piper airplanes (2+2 is a clone of the PA14), i think there was a steel tube at the upper cabin, or something under the wing, that you put a level on.

If you cannot find an official source, get on the www.supercub.org and www.backcountrypilot.org discussion groups, and somebody there will know the "real deal" way to do it.

Or send a PM to wwhunter on this forum, he's a great guy and also part of the back country group, and he can easily find the best source from that group (I'm banned from that group or I'd be happy to get that info for you).
 

TFF

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Along with VBs suggestions, I imagine the longeron that would bisect is the door is the level point. I wonder if the floor runs parallel to this too? A couple of degrees off will not lead to too much of an error. A set of the drawings is pretty cheap and would be good addition to the log books. Also check the J3 forum same people mostly as the super cub forum.
 

Mcmark

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You might also check in on the J3 forum. There are a bunch of knowledgeable folks over there.
My Cubby used the upper fuse structure to level from. It puts the Tail WAY up in the air!
Good luck.
Tom beat me to it.
 

Jamie King

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Along with VBs suggestions, I imagine the longeron that would bisect is the door is the level point. I wonder if the floor runs parallel to this too? A couple of degrees off will not lead to too much of an error. A set of the drawings is pretty cheap and would be good addition to the log books. Also check the J3 forum same people mostly as the super cub forum.
I've been hunting for the drawings for a couple weeks now. Much tougher find than I had anticipated. Will definitely checkout the J3 forum. Thanks
 

Jamie King

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Thx TFF. I have these drawings. Oddly, they do not have info specific to leveling. I reached out to Wag Aero - they told me they didn't have it, and to ask around. So, this is me asking around. Strange answer, but one none the less.
 

TFF

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It’s probably in there but not going to be a flag. Building the fuselage has a zero line of reference to set the jig up. That is your level line.
 

BJC

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If all else fails, you could weigh it, calculate the alpha needed to fly at cruise speed, and set the fuselage to provide that alpha. As Mark commented, Super Cub type aircraft, with anything more than the original 90 HP , fly with the tail way up. Of course, a builder may have adjusted the incidence for that.


BJC
 

Victor Bravo

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IIRC there was a long lurid detailed discussion on the Super Cub forum about how all of the angles of incidence and wing attach fittings, etc. were different between several of the Cub derivatives.

"The J-5 is different than the J-3 which is different than the PA-18 which is different than the PA-14 which is different than the Pacer which is different than the Vagabond which is different from the Cruiser which is different from the Boeing 747..." ad nauseam.

The underlying purpose of the discussion was, IIRC, to quantify how and why the Cub Cruiser (J-5/PA-12) didn't make quite as good of a bush plane as the Super Cub (PA-18), assuming all the same Alaska mods and same power between the two. But those guys were picking the fly's dandruff off of the fly poop, which was 10^6 X resolution as picking the fly poop out of coarse ground pepper.

FWIW I have no experience with those small differences, never flew the PA-12 or PA-18, owned a J-3 for a year or two but got nothing to compare it with. Maybe there are highly experienced Cub and Super Cub pilots here that can speak from experience.

As far as the OP goes, understand that the Sportsman 2+2 is almost an exact E-AB copy of the production PA-14, so unless Dick Wagner or someone from Wag-Aero can provide anything more accurate, I'd say that whatever is on the PA-14 type certificate data sheet would be plenty good enough to use for the 2+2.
 
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Chilton

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Ragwing Piper types usually have a hole in the top of the door frame from which to suspend a plumb line and a centre pop mark on the lower frame to show the level point. Whether the Wag aero version has the same marks I do not know.
 

soneraifred

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On my Wag-A-Bond, it turns out the firewall and the vertical tail post are perpendicular to the horizontal centerline of the fuselage. I believe the Cubs are the same, so I would suspect that 2+2 is the same. When I did my weight and balance, I put a digital level on the firewall, and lifted the tail until it said 90 degrees. The only piece of tubing in the fuselage that is parallel to the horizontal centerline Is the piece between the landing gear fittings.
 

Jamie King

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I was thinking the same thing with regards to the PA-14 type certificate data sheet - which talks about plumb bob location within the door frame. Thanks Soneraifred - I will look at this as a way to verify the work. Really appreciate the commentary.
 

DreamersE/AB

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Hi Jamie,
I have a plans set from Wag Aero for the 2+2 (purchased back in the early 90s I think). Leveling instructions are found on the back of sheet 17.00 under the instructions for "Rigging The Sportsman 2+2".
"Laterally: Using a level 30 inches long, place it across the center of tube US-1 between the front spar fittings. Adjust the props under the landing gear to bring the bubble to center.
Longitudinally: Open the right hand door and place against bottom side of upper fuselage door channel. Raise or lower the tail to bring bubble to center. Open the left hand door and repeat procedure to verify level condition."
Best,
John
 

Jamie King

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Dec 29, 2019
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Hi John,
this is great. Do you happen to have a pic of the page, assuming there are reference images?
 
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