Aerobatic plane that I can crop dust with?

Discussion in 'Aerobatics' started by Michflyer, Sep 24, 2016.

  1. Michflyer

    Michflyer Filing Flight Plan

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    I own a farm and I'm currently establishing a small grass landing strip on it. I'd like to use that landing strip for my own personal use and own an Aerobatic plane to fly on weekends. During the week I fly a pressurized twin out of a real airport.

    Here's the catch. I need a plane that I can also do crop dusting with. I dont need to do that much crop dusting but in order to justify the need for the airplane I need something with that capability. Some of my flights can be aerial surveying and maybe once a year I'll apply aerial spray to justify the aircrafts use. Even if the sprayer or its capacity is marginal, that's fine.

    What are my choices? I need something that can have a sprayer attached or removed. My grass field will have a 2000 strip but I'd like something with the power and performance to get off in way less.

    I'd love a super decathlon or somehing similar. Want to be able to do all of the aerobatics I can. Two seats is also necessary.

    Any ideas?
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
  2. luvflyin

    luvflyin En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Dear IRS,
    I have recently gained knowledge of...........you're confessing a lot here in a public forum
     
  3. Michflyer

    Michflyer Filing Flight Plan

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    Good point, thank you. I edited it. Can you remove the quoted section in your reply.
     
  4. Ryanb

    Ryanb En-Route PoA Supporter

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    FYI, fooling the government isn't a wise idea. As luv said, that's not the best thing to post online.

    A Super D won't be the machine for the job.
     
  5. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Final Approach

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    Have you familiarized yourself with Part 137? If so, do you meet the requirements?

    Since you want to use a Decathlon, have you researched the availability and costs of STCs to add agriculture (crop dusting) equipment to it and the removal of it when you want to fly it for aerobatics?

    Have you discussed any of this with your neighborhood FAA folks?

    Have you discussed with your tax attorney or accountant the costs of the above compliance and outfitting and whether or not the offsetting tax breaks would make it worthwhile, especially when combined with possible legal fees and fines for tax fraud?
     
  6. Michflyer

    Michflyer Filing Flight Plan

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    Wow, tough crowd.

    1. There's no tax fraud. I am extremely familiar with tax codes and what is allowed and what is not. If the flight is for crop dusting or aerial surveying that flight will be a business use. If it's a personal flight to to aerobatics it will be a personal use. But I need something capable of both in order to keep the plane there.

    2. I am also familiar with the FAA regs.

    3. I was hoping to find out if anyone was aware of an Aerobatic plane that had spraying equipment available. Doesnt have to be a decathalon, thst was just an example. In my limited search I have only found experimental category planes.
     
  7. Ryanb

    Ryanb En-Route PoA Supporter

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    The IRS is pretty lenient when it comes to allowing businesses to write off certain things as an expense, but they're not so forgiving when the privilege is abused and/or misused. Not saying that you will, but be very mindful. You might be able to fool them once or twice, but eventually they'll find out and it will come back to bite you, where you don't want it too.
     
  8. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Final Approach

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    Whatever. But when you say you want it for tax purposes but that you won't seriously be using it for the purpose the tax break is for then you appear to be planning on committing tax fraud. Obvious from other posts above, I am not the only one who read your comment that way.

    But hey, you say you know the tax codes and the FARs so there is not much I can add. Good luck!
     
  9. flyingriki

    flyingriki Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Back to OP question....STEARMAN!
     
  10. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Beat me to it.

    [​IMG]

    It would end up in the restricted catogry I believe, which might put a damper on some of your non AG flying fun.

    "
    A restricted category special airworthiness certificate is issued to operate aircraft that have been type certificated in the restricted category. Operation of restricted category aircraft is limited to special purposes identified in the applicable type design. These special purpose operations include the following:
    • Agricultural (spraying, dusting, seeding, and livestock and predatory animal control).
    • Forest and wildlife conservation.
    • Aerial surveying (photography, mapping, and oil and mineral exploration).
    • Patrolling (pipe lines, power lines, and canals).
    • Weather control (cloud seeding).
    • Aerial advertising (skywriting, banner towing, airborne signs, and public address systems).
    • Any other operation specified by the Administrator"


    I also don't know what those spray booms would do for your aerobatic routine
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
  11. Jimmy cooper

    Jimmy cooper En-Route

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    Personally I think a stearman would be the wrong aircraft unless you bought a 450 which is the standard stearman sprayer. Overkill. ( the 220 would be underpowered) I'd used a 180 decathlon. Many different aircraft have been used to spray , from aeroncas to you name it.
     
  12. N3368K

    N3368K Line Up and Wait

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    Odd, hundreds of Stearman dusters/sprayers used 220 engines in the 40-60s. Or are you saying 220 is under powered for acro? If so, have you ever seen John Mohr perform?
     
  13. Acrodustertoo

    Acrodustertoo Ejection Handle Pulled

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    piper cub j-3 through the pa-18, many are still doing dusting duty in other countries today. Clip wing or not they are acro friendly.
     
  14. Jimmy cooper

    Jimmy cooper En-Route

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    Yes I've seen him perform. I owned a 220 and I stand by what I said. They are underpowered. The 450 pw was and is the stearman sprayer of choice. the video " delta sprayer pilot" is a classic example.
     
  15. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yes, the 220 hp Stearman is most definitely underpowered for both acro and ag work.

    The 450 Stearman came about after WWII for two reasons: the 220 was underpowered and there were tons of R-985s available from all the leftover BT-13s that no one knew what to do with, so they started slapping them on the dusters.

    Yes, you can do ag and acro in a 220, but it takes more skill and finesse than the average pilot has. Doing acro in a stock PT-17 requires perfect energy management.
     
  16. RoscoeT

    RoscoeT Cleared for Takeoff

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    Not trying to attack, but that's overblown. Doing a sequence of basic maneuvers in a 220 Stearman just requires hitting the right airspeed for each maneuver. Doesn't require special acro talent at all - just some basic ability and experience in the airplane. Folks often wax poetic about airplanes on the low end of the performance spectrum requiring more skill and "energy management" than more higher performing airplanes. What's lost is that depending on the sequence of maneuvers you're flying, even high performance acro planes can require some serious "energy management". It's just that most folks with limited experience and interest in acro don't see aerobatics as anything more than basic loops and rolls. And yes in this primitive framework, a Stearman does require more "energy management" than an Extra 300. But you don't see Extra 300's at air shows doing nothing but basic loops and rolls. A 220 Stearman won't do a great loop from cruise flight, so you dive for airspeed - simple as that.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
  17. Jimmy cooper

    Jimmy cooper En-Route

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    The 450 stearman was popular at airshows as it made lots more noise, it had allerrons ( spelling) on all four wings, i.e.: making it much more responsive in a roll compared to a 220. On a hot day, full fuel , the 220 is just not anywhere near as responsive as a 450. It's a simple matter or power to weight. The stearman is a heavy aircraft with lots of drag. Drops like a stone when you cut the throttle. They were throwing anything they could find on trainers during ww2 and there were lots of cont. 220s as they also used them in the Sherman tank. They also used the 300 hp. Lycoming.
     
  18. Unit74

    Unit74 En-Route

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    By a Thrush.
     
  19. Mike Smith

    Mike Smith Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    You will learn, if you stick around long enough, to phrase questions very carefully here. There are some on this board who much prefer to tell someone what they are doing wrong rather than just answer the question. You will learn.
     
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  20. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Seriously, an "you might want to make sure you're up on the tax codes" would go a lot further than "You are a liar, a cheat and you are defrauding the government and oh by the way your mother is a whore."

    Sheesh.
     
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  21. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You are probably right. My main point though is that the 220 Stearman is underpowered and can't really power through maneuvers like the 450 can.
     
  22. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The 4 aileron mod was its own separate STC. Not all 450 Stearmans have 4 ailerons. The 450 I flew only had the stock ailerons on the bottom wing.
     
  23. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    What can you do acro-wise with a supercub?
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
  24. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Final Approach

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    I am willing to bet that if the OP had not thrown in the following statement he would have gotten a better result.

    I won't seriously be doing crop dusting but for tax purposes I need something with that capability. Some of my flights can be aerial surveying and maybe once a year I'll apply aerial spray to justify the aircrafts use.”

    To me it is quite apparent that he wants to be able to crop dust not so that he can actually crop dust but so that he can make it look that way so that he can write the aircraft off as a business expense. I am sorry if I misinterpreted but I do not believe I did.

    Still, I did try to be a little helpful by asking if he had read Part 137 or if he had researched STCs for his preferred aircraft. Many folks do not know to do this. These same questions (and many others) are applicable for any aircraft he might choose to use primarily for acro and maybe sometimes for ag, not just the Decathlon.
     
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  25. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack Cleared for Takeoff

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    Seems like there's a guy who flies an airshow with a biplane built for crop dusting... what is his name? :)
    [​IMG]
     
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  26. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Final Approach

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    Ahhh, but can you legally crop dust in an aircraft certified in the Experimental-Exhibition category?
     
  27. N3368K

    N3368K Line Up and Wait

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    My dad dusted/sprayed with 220hp W-670 for thousands of hours over twenty years. He hated flying a 450hp. In his opinion the Jake R-755 was the best engine for ag. More cubic inches for more torque and not all the excess weight of the 450. He built a business around non-450hp Stearmans. He later had Super Cubs, 150 Pawnees and retired from a R-1340 Thrush.

    He did pretty good acro in a stock Stearman as well.

    I've never flown a Stearman with anything but a 220 and certainly never dusted/sprayed with one. Acro did require energy management, but was nothing super human. I'm certainly nowhere near John Mohr though.
     
  28. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Let me put it this way: It's like when I went out and test drove Mini Coopers. I had heard folks complain that the standard models were underpowered. I drove a stock Mini first and thought - "this is a blast, this car has plenty of power". Then I got into a turbo model and thought - "This is even better, no way would I be happy in a stock model after driving the turbo!"

    If all you have flown is the 220hp, Stearman, you'd probably think it was fine and that's just how biplanes are. Once you have something else to compare it to, you realize what you were missing.

    I've flown a couple 220hp PT-17s, my Waco with the same 220 hp W670 and a 450 Stearman. The PT-17 was a great airplane for what it was designed to do, but just can't compare with the power and performance of the Waco or the 450 Stearman. With two full size adults, the 220hp Stearman lumbers into the air and takes you a couple miles just to climb up to pattern altitude. In contrast, my Waco with the same engine is airborne in 400 feet and climbing like a bat out of hell (even with 2 passengers in the front I can outperform a PT-17). The 450 Stearman makes up for the 220's lack of power and performs much more like the lighter Waco......but burns 22 gph in the process.

    Aside from the typical Stearman annoyances (very drafty poor airflow around the windscreen), only thing I didn't like about the 450 Stearman was the noise and fuel burn.

    And just to be clear if I'm somehow offending anyone; I don't hate stock Stearmans. They may not be my favorite biplane ever built, but they are fine airplanes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
  29. N3368K

    N3368K Line Up and Wait

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    I think that is more preference than absolute capability. Thousands of Stearman dusters labored on smaller engines than 450. Less capable, perhaps, but still able to get the job done.

    It is kinda like my brother's S-1S Pitts with 180hp would fly circles around my Starduster Too with 200hp. The Pitts was much more capable, but I could still decent acro though vertical was limited.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  30. JoseCuervo

    JoseCuervo En-Route

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    Get a Pawnee.

    They do fine on acro.
     
  31. Jimmy cooper

    Jimmy cooper En-Route

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    I doubt thousands . Remember this was after ww 2 and stearmans sold for about five hundred bucks never flown or very low time. It wasn't long before the pilots realized the 220 just didn't cut it. If it did, why , with little money would you change to a much more expensive engine. ?! I've owned a 220 , flown a 450. Easy to tell , There is no comparison considering coming up on a power line , fueled up and loaded with spray. Spray company's back then were usual a one man band with not much money. Far different from flying the stock stearman in an airshow after practicing a long time at altitude then flying the same old patterns over and over. The 220, as the other writer described ,is a real pig on takeoff and climb but fun to fly only because of the open cockpit, and the challenge.( it will screw with you if you don't pay attention.)
     
  32. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I'm still trying to figure out which airplane will fit between the rows of cubicals in the standard sized cube farm.
     
  33. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Final Approach

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    Get a drone and install a sprayer.... filled with Febreze if your cube farm is like some of the ones I've worked in.
     
  34. Blueangel

    Blueangel Line Up and Wait

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    Buy a hubsan or DJI drone. I have one and just added the remote pilot rating for making money flying drones. Way cheaper than flying a single piston aircraft.
     
  35. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner En-Route

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    FYI...if you "crop dust" from the back seat of a Stearman, they still smell it up front.

    Don't ask me how I know!:D
     
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  36. Theboys

    Theboys Line Up and Wait

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    So is a Pawnee fun to fly. I wouldn't mind a plane to spray with myself. I know the payload on them isn't super high but I only have four thousand acres or so to spray so wouldn't be deal breaker. Wonder if it would be hard to find one with gps setup on it?
     
  37. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I don't think you know the slang definition of "crop dusting" as applied to cubical farms, if you think it's about Febreeze...

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Crop Dust
     
  38. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Final Approach

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    Thus the need for febreze.
     
  39. N3368K

    N3368K Line Up and Wait

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    This is what I think of when I think of an underpowered ag plane. 85hp Cub.

    J3Sprayer.jpg
     
  40. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    That stuff never works. You just end up with a feeling someone farted in a flower shop.
     
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