J-3 Cub, stored outside

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Brad W, Jun 26, 2022.

  1. Brad W

    Brad W Cleared for Takeoff

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    just a daydreaming thought.....

    IF
    you were to be given an old J-3 cub (or I suppose same question for something like an Aeronca 7AC Champ)
    and IF
    you had ZERO chance of getting a hangar to store it it
    and IF
    you lived in the SE US

    what would you do?
     
  2. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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  3. DFH65

    DFH65 En-Route

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    ^this then fly it some more.
     
  4. Tools

    Tools Line Up and Wait

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    There’s no shame in regifting…
     
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  5. texasclouds

    texasclouds Pattern Altitude

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    Fly it weekly
     
  6. DaleB

    DaleB Final Approach

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    Find some guy in Nebraska that has a hangar and offer it to him for a modest fee.
     
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  7. Brad W

    Brad W Cleared for Takeoff

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    yeah, ok...fair enough. Fly it...easy answer
    or
    re-gift it...yeah nice try ;)

    For those of you in the fly it camp.
    just buy some ropes and tie it down between flights?
    cover it?...just the cockpit? cover as much as they make covers for?
    Any special treatments or inspections you'd do over what you would do for say a cessna 150 in a similar situation?
     
  8. Tools

    Tools Line Up and Wait

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    Tough question. Most things are fine getting wet, if they can get dry again.

    I’d get the best cover you can, that “breathes” and try to keep obvious water intrusion under control, and keep UV out of the cockpit.

    How recently covered? Modern fabric coverings really are VERY durable.

    Definitely tie down.

    Inspect a lot as you get to know how she does outside.

    Frankly, if well used, I don’t think it’ll be a problem. Frequent use gets airflow through everything and keeps it dried out.

    Congrats on your new bird!!
     
  9. Daleandee

    Daleandee En-Route

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    Let me day dream along ... if we were close together in the southeast and you were willing to share the plane, I'm guessing I could find some hangar space for it. :D
     
  10. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Metal is very vulnerable to hail damage and expensive to repair.

    Fabric can be sensitive to UV damage - a lot depends on the finish. If you have enough silver on a Dacron fabric it can last a long time. But not forever.
    Cotton can rot.
    Wood spars can rot if they get wet. If there are issues with the covering, they will get wet.
    Fabric repairs can be easier than metal, but a lot depends on the choice of finish.

    It used to be typical to leave airplanes on a tie down - fabric or metal.
     
  11. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Pattern Altitude

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    I think you should re-evaluate that no hanger thing. Cubs land better and easier on short grass fields than they do giant long concrete runways. If you can't find somebody that either already has a private strip, or enough land to make one, and would be willing to let you park a cub there under a simple enclosure, I'd be surprised. There are little private airports all over the place, and who wouldn't want a cub on there? We're not talking about yet another 172/pa-28 with the paint falling off that is an eyesore. Everybody loves cubs.
     
  12. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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  13. Brad W

    Brad W Cleared for Takeoff

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    I wish!

    to be clear.... I don't have one.... just a total daydream question.
    I had a lot of fun years ago flying a champ for a handful of hours. Never did master that tailwheel thing though.
    But the thing is I've just always imagined these old birds as indoor things.... (most or all? ) have wooden spars and while I know wooden boats live in the water for years it has always just seemed like these fabric birds would be not very durable for outdoor storage. Maybe fabric with properly protected metal spars and structure, but fabric over wood just seems like a bad idea to me intuitively.....
    & Hangars around here are hard to get it seems....

    so agin... I was just daydreaming....what if sort of questions?
     
  14. Dana

    Dana En-Route

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    I kept my Taylorcraft mostly outdoors in the 1980s. The wood spars weren't an issue, but I did have to replace some rusted tubing at the bottom of the fuselage at the tail. Gotta make sure all the drain holes are clear.

    That, and faded paint (red's a bad color for outdoor storage, it fades like crazy).
     
  15. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    Hire out a re-cover and typical corrosion repairs on an airframe? $60K won’t be out of line. Depending on its history it may need extensive tubing repairs now. That’s an old airplane made with corrosion-prone mild steel tubes. I’m a Cub guy and I’d definitely hesitate to park one outdoors in the southeast US.
     
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  16. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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    In 1966, I bought a new Super Cub and picked it up in Lock Haven. One of the options checked was "metalizing" mostly because it was going on floats. If you are re-building a cub.....the frame should be metalized.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Bell206

    Bell206 Final Approach

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    There can be a lot of variables to whether the fabric lasts outside. For example, quite a few fabric aircraft are parked outside in Alaska with some getting many years out of the fabric. Several years ago we recovered a Super Cub that spent its entire life outdoors and it had the original fabric from 1976. It was definitely wore out but not bad for 40 years. If the fabric was installed properly, park it on asphalt or concrete, and you maintain the exterior finish properly, no reason why you shouldn't more years out of it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2022
  18. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Get some custom covers ,and go fly. I would however have an IAFF do an inspection on the aircraft.
     
  19. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer En-Route

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  20. kaiser

    kaiser Cleared for Takeoff

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    A cub? buy a couple acres of flat land and park it on your property - then build a hail shed or hangar.
     
  21. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Bro do you even lift
    How about getting one of those popup tent type canopies? Obviously you have to fix it down pretty good for the wind, maybe lag bolt it in to the tarmac. They aren't that expensive.
     
  22. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    In the old days, the 50s and 60s and even the 70s, people couldn't afford hangars then, either, and those airplanes were outside. All the time. And most survived. Of course, labor was a lot cheaper and recovering wasn't nearly as expensive as it is now, but the modern fabrics and finishes, if they're done right, will last a long time. The UV blocker is most important. If it's too thin, that job will suffer.
     
  23. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    For those who are fabric curious...
    https://www.conaircraft.com/download-manuals