Round the US tail dragger

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by sterlingmossy, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. sterlingmossy

    sterlingmossy Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Wilmette, IL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    sterlingmossy
    Hi, this is my first post here and I am hoping somebody can help.

    After a lifetime of dreaming I got my PPL (172) last year and pretty soon after that my tailwheel (J3) and performance (182) endorsements. I am loving flying and learning and at the end of the month am going to the Finer Points mountain flying course in CA (182). After flying for about a year I have around 120 hours under my belt.

    In a few years time I plan to retire and one of my dreams is to fly around the USA with my wife. I am from the UK and I met my wife riding a motorcycle from Sydney to London. She is up for an adventure and this time we are thinking a taildragger around the USA would be fun.

    So my questions:

    1. Which taildragger (assuming IFR)
    2. Which general route (assuming it will change with the weather)
    3. Which time of year (assuming it might take a month or two with stops).

    I apologize in advance if this has been asked and answered. Feel free to refer me to the links.

    Feel free to answer any or all of the questions if you are so inclined. Thanks in advance for your guidance and advice.

    Cheers

    David
     
  2. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    17,385
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bro do you even lift
    Okay, I have to ask...

    How do you ride a motorcycle from Sydney to London?
     
  3. JCranford

    JCranford En-Route

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2015
    Messages:
    2,550
    Location:
    North TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    JCranford
    And did you do a 1200nm cross country before you got your PPL?
     
  4. AKBill

    AKBill En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2014
    Messages:
    2,986
    Location:
    Juneau, AK
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    AKBill
    C180, AK to Black Hills to Biloxi to Key West, Start in Key West in May end up in AK in July....:)
     
  5. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2016
    Messages:
    1,792
    Location:
    CT & NY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dana
    1. I, of course, would suggest a biplane, but they generally don't make the best IFR platforms. Still, you might want to read Stephen Coonts' The Cannibal Queen and Richard Bach's Biplane for inspiration (two very different airplanes and eras).
    2. Depends on what you want to see and where you want to stop.
    3. Depends on #2.
     
    Hacker likes this.
  6. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    20,310
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    James331
    What experience are you going for?

    I mean you got the full 155kt IFR 185 experience

    Or the following roads and rivers in a J3 or S108 or C170 VFR

    If it's a bucket list, I'd do it in a Stinson, low and slow, follow the coasts down and the rivers and roads over, weather sucks, land and make friends and explore.
     
    Tantalum likes this.
  7. sterlingmossy

    sterlingmossy Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Wilmette, IL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    sterlingmossy
    Ride Sydney to Fremantle overland. Pack and ship bike to Singapore (sail up to Singapore separately). Singapore to Bancok. Crate and fly to Nepal (can't go through Burma). Ride Nepal to India. Crate and fly to Syria (no visa for Iran in 1989). Syria to London (with a few ferries here and there).
     
  8. sterlingmossy

    sterlingmossy Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Wilmette, IL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    sterlingmossy
    Why?
     
  9. sterlingmossy

    sterlingmossy Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Wilmette, IL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    sterlingmossy
    Thanks. Very clear.
     
  10. sterlingmossy

    sterlingmossy Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Wilmette, IL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    sterlingmossy
    Thanks. on the reading list.
     
  11. sterlingmossy

    sterlingmossy Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Wilmette, IL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    sterlingmossy
    I was thinking Aviat Husky. Interested in why Stinson?
     
  12. sterlingmossy

    sterlingmossy Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Wilmette, IL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    sterlingmossy
    Or a Maule
     
  13. sterlingmossy

    sterlingmossy Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Wilmette, IL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    sterlingmossy
    I am looking for the romantic taildragger low and slow experience with the opportunity to escape the fog if needed IFR and keep on going.
     
  14. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    17,385
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bro do you even lift
    I figured as much.

    By the way Stirling Moss is one of my heroes.
     
  15. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Messages:
    4,696
    Location:
    Eclectic, AL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Hank
    I second Stephen Coonts' Cannibal Queen. He flew to all 48 contiguous states in a Stearman. Man, I need to reread that book!
     
  16. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    17,385
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bro do you even lift
    Get some experience with IFR and decide if you want to combine the two.
     
  17. sterlingmossy

    sterlingmossy Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Wilmette, IL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    sterlingmossy
    Mine too!
     
  18. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2013
    Messages:
    2,172
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DFH65
    I have thought about this a lot and really want to do it in a Champ or J5 maybe a Super Cub but my plan would be to have no plan. Each day wake up see what the weather is like and go the way that is best. If you like a place stay put for a bit if you don't move on. Take three months or so to just go.
     
    sterlingmossy likes this.
  19. sterlingmossy

    sterlingmossy Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Wilmette, IL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    sterlingmossy
    I like your thinking. That is how we travelled on the motorcycle. It took me 6 months to get from Australia back to England.
     
  20. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    15,365
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Fearless Tower
    It's a lot cheaper to acquire a Stinson than a Husky.

    If money is no issue, then go all out. My preferred coast to coast taildragger is a Beech 18, but that is not going be cheap.

    A lot depends on how much stuff you plan to carry. You have more room for stuff in a 4 seat aircraft like a Stinson 108, Cessna 170 or 180 than in a 2 seat tandem bird like a Husky, Cub or Citabria.
     
    GRG55 likes this.
  21. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2013
    Messages:
    2,172
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DFH65
    The nice thing about a beach 18 is you could probably rig a hammock on the inside and sleep in it like a camper.
     
  22. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    20,310
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    James331
    Romantic and IMC ain't the same deal.

    Also a Stinson is like a big ol caddy, fly her with two fingers, lands anywhere, AWSOME suspension, for two people and "stuff" it's perfect, great low and slow bird
     
    GRG55 likes this.
  23. sterlingmossy

    sterlingmossy Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Wilmette, IL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    sterlingmossy
    Great advice. So sounds like I should put flying a 185 and a Stinson on the list to try out. The Beach might be a little much for me.
     
  24. skier

    skier Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    762
    Location:
    CT
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Skier
    How about one of the new-production WACO YMFs. You can get them IFR and with full glass panels. A little different that Bach's biplane, but it's still a biplane.
    http://www.wacoaircraft.com/waco-ymf-5
     
    sterlingmossy likes this.
  25. N659HB

    N659HB Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2013
    Messages:
    2,491
    Location:
    Lather, rinse repeat!
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pops
    Got a hankerin' to do the same one day in the Luscombe. Will definitely be VFR, and only after I retire. Doubt my wife will want to come along, but we'll see. The Maule seems a good choice for your mission.
     
  26. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    15,365
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Fearless Tower
    You can fly a Twin Beech with two fingers. And it will do romantic and IFR at the same time.

    And with the bar in the back and cabin seats that fully recline, you can get real romantic if you want to......
     
    Shepherd likes this.
  27. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    15,365
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Fearless Tower
    Yup. Try a 170, Stinson 108, and a 180 or 185 and see what you like best.
     
    James331 likes this.
  28. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2014
    Messages:
    6,730
    Location:
    Wasilla, AK
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    stewartb
    Speed. Cabin size. Comfort. Endurance. Stability. Lots of factors to consider. Figure out what's important to you. You may like the romantic idea of a taildragger but a good nose dragger may be the better airplane for your mission.
     
    mondtster likes this.
  29. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2014
    Messages:
    2,873
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jack Fleetwood
    Just find one that doesn't have a Franklin or have someone standing by with a spare engine... just my opinion!
     
  30. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    15,365
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Fearless Tower
    As someone who owns a vintage biplane, I'd have to say that while romantic, unless it's a cabin Waco, a biplane is the last taildragger I'd suggest for a 'round the US' trip with two people.

    First off: where are you going to put the luggage for two people for a two month trip?
     
  31. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    20,310
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    James331
    Why?

    As someone who owned a Stinson for years and actually did fly it all over the country, engine ran just as well as any other aviation engine and was plenty smooth too.
     
  32. jnmeade

    jnmeade Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Messages:
    1,142
    Location:
    Eastern Iowa
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jim Meade
    Staggerwing Beech
     
  33. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2014
    Messages:
    2,873
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jack Fleetwood
    I've seen way too many issues with them over the years, but there are people like you who have had good luck and loved them. I know that's the preferred powerplant on a Velocity, but they overheat when in a pusher configuration.
     
  34. ebetancourt

    ebetancourt Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Messages:
    553
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ernie
    Assuming that you want IFR for short periods, consider an ACA Citabria (7GCBC). Truly the Swiss Army knife of airplanes. 120mph cruise, comfortable for the class, can be IFR if properly equipped, reasonable STOL, aerobatic, big baggage compartment.
     
    sterlingmossy likes this.
  35. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    20,310
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    James331
    Stinson isn't a pusher as you said, and I owned one, just the same engine issues you'd have in anything else, plus they are much smoother running engines, most of those engine conversions also take the light feeling out of the S108 which really is what makes it such a nice airplane.
     
  36. Shepherd

    Shepherd En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2012
    Messages:
    4,464
    Location:
    Hopewell Jct, NY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Shepherd
    Beech Model 18
    It's got it all.

    The Air America guys in Laos had a Model 18 with a working gun turret with twin 50s in it. I bet that would get some attention arriving at the next Pancake Fly-in.
     
  37. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2014
    Messages:
    2,873
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jack Fleetwood
    Like I said, the people who love them, love them. I wouldn't own one, but that's my opinion. Not the first time we've disagreed, and certainly not the first time you've had a contrary opinion on something!
     
    James331 likes this.
  38. sterlingmossy

    sterlingmossy Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Wilmette, IL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    sterlingmossy
    Now that is cool.
     
  39. sterlingmossy

    sterlingmossy Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Wilmette, IL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    sterlingmossy
    Nice Idea. I flew a 8KCAB in Park City and really liked it.
     
  40. sterlingmossy

    sterlingmossy Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Wilmette, IL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    sterlingmossy
    A gun turret would be cool but I also like the idea of STOL in the backcountry.