Friday, August 03, 2012

OK. What now?

Well, it's here. Richard and I flew from the Western North Carolina Air Museum to Avery County last Saturday and picked up the Callair. Ryan has been working with FAA and vendors to see about a new and different set of brakes for me, only because I'm a little edgy about the old Goodyears. There have been an awful lot of delays, so we decided the airplane needed to be flown more than it needed a change in brake systems. SO here it is now, perched in front of the hangar and therefore first in line to be airborne.

Here's the view looking backward into the depths of the hangar ... Cliff's LongEZ is in the back, disassembled in storage for now ... The Cub is just biding its time, waiting its turn to fly ... 

The Callair's baggage compartment has access from the cabin but a modification to add a battery in the 60s resulted in this access panel on the side - very handy for servicing control cables, Emergency Locator Transmitters, and so on. 

 Looking from that access panel, first left toward the tail, then right, the inside of the fuselage is really clean. I didn't find any rust or corrosion even in the far reaches of the tail, even though there are signs of water accumulation.

The instrument panel is as original as they come. The major improvement, if you can call it that, is a turn and slip indicator. The airplane didn't come with that as originally built. Funny thing, once settled in the cockpit for the first time I felt as if I'd been there forever. It's a very friendly airplane to fly, light as a feather on the controls - unlike the Cub - and a good 15-20 miles per hour faster. I have yet to take a long enough flight to get a good set of numbers for speeds, power settings, and so on. 

The Interstate Cadet, which is the type certificate for this airplane, was originally designed as a trainer and liaison airplane for the military at the outbreak of WWII. The Army didn't deploy any to the theatres of combat because the airplanes were significantly more expensive than the military versions of the Piper, Stinson, Taylorcraft and Aeronca liaison airplanes. Some of the airplanes built for the military were sent to South America on Lend-Lease. The civilian models of the Cadet were used extensively in the Civilian Pilot Training Program and the design survives today, re-engined and beefed up here and there, as the Arctic Tern.

The flaking paint shows some shiny bare aluminum. 

This airplane was always civilian and was built for Mr. Reuel Call, a trucking executive and airplane manufacturer in Afton, Wyoming. Mr. Call bought the Interstate Cadet type certificate and produced two of the design: The first one, built in 1950, came before the Calls owned the TC and shows on ancient FAA papyrus as an Interstate; the second, my airplane, was built after the TC was acquired and is, thus, the one and only "Callair S1A". This is the only one flying; I was once told the other Call-built airframe is being restored in Alaska. The others of the type certificate, no matter their various names, are tough birds with a solid reputation as good bush airplanes.

More later.