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Thread: Vermont Clipper

  1. #1
    VTClipper's Avatar
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    Cool Vermont Clipper

    Greetings to all. This is my first post of my very recently adopted PA 16 Clipper 5640H S/N 16-251. It seems to be a well cared for/maintained VFR airplane with the O-320 conversion. I’m a VFR Private Pilot SEL & SES with a little over 700 hrs lifetime flying, just under 600 tailwheel with 450 of that in the Luscombe 8E I owned for 17 years (and flew coast-to-coast & back) and the remaining time spread out between J3 Cubs, Clipped Wing Cub (on wheels and skis) C170, C180 and 7KCAB Citabria. I found this little gem while window-shopping in craigslist late one night and it just reached out to me and made me fly over to Maine and bring it home to VT. I have to admit, it humbled me right away. I thought with all my TW time and 50 hours in the Reed Clipped Wing I should have no trouble saddling up to the Clipper and figuring it out right away. Yeah...I was pretty quickly disabused of that notion on my first takeoff as I clumsily sawed at the rudder pedals trying to keep it straight. It reminded me of when I bought my Luscombe as a 100 PP with a fresh 15 hour TW signoff and couldn’t keep it going straight either. The Citabria I have been flying the past 2 summers wants a pretty solid boot on the rudders to make it do what you want but the Clipper apparently wants a very light touch. We’re descending into dark winter here now so my chances of good flying days will be pretty limited over the next few months so I already bought the Micro-Air VGs, a Steve’s Skylight STC and I want to upgrade the panel with Trig radio/transponder/ADSB & Garmin 275 PFD & Engine Monitoring gauges. That will help me clean up the sort of scattered panel and allow me to remove 6 of the old gauges and tidy things up to my liking. But it sure is pretty and wow...fast. And it feels just like a big Clipped Wing Cub with those long ailerons. Now I just have to learn to settle my feet down in take off & landing. I really enjoy the forum and have been lurking, soaking up info for the past 2 months. Thanks everyone...

    5ABBCD3B-BA49-47F8-B24E-ED660FF73FE5.jpeg 761B8C46-B3BE-41F3-AF3E-A33E7F4BB30B.jpeg 7FDCDB4C-32B4-428F-B4D1-AE2DBB2A4D50.jpeg

    -Doyle
    Last edited by VTClipper; 11-15-2020 at 12:55 AM.

  2. #2
    Clayton Harper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Show us your Shortwing! (Pictures)

    You might have a bent landing gear or two. Make sure you have only a slight toe-in, but no toe-out.
    The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
    Socrates

  3. #3
    walt.buskey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Show us your Shortwing! (Pictures)

    Where in VT?? Stop by 2B3 (Newport, NH) some time on your way through! (What are those ... STICKS in there?)

  4. #4
    Administrator Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Show us your Shortwing! (Pictures)

    Welcome, the Clipper is Piper's best kept secret. I use a little pressure on both pedals and small inputs.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Show us your Shortwing! (Pictures)

    If you are rearranging your panel, Clyde will make one to your specs.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    andya's Avatar
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    Default Re: Show us your Shortwing! (Pictures)

    looks like a nice find for you. If you've flown a luscombe you will transition quckly, sounds like you have the basics.
    Had I known more about the Clipper series while I was looking for my first airplane 30 years ago, I would have loved
    to have found one similarly equipped as yours vs my 22/20. I hadn't flown tailwheel in 30 years at that point and took
    a while to re-establish the foot work needed to keep it in tow.
    "Progress is our most important problem"

  7. #7
    VTClipper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Show us your Shortwing! (Pictures)

    Thanks Clayton. I had read of that potential situation in this forum and my AP/IA, who is very experienced and knowledgeable of SW Pipers also brought it up during the pre-purchase inspection and measured accordingly. When I flew it home I did so with my instructor who has 500 Pacer hours, 260 or so in a Pitts S2B and owns a C180. He had no trouble keeping it straight, take-off, 3pt or wheel landings and remarked how straight it tracked. So...the adjustment is all me. I just think I’m too heavy footed with it and as Steve commented below, light pressure and small inputs are what it wants. I have spent some time recently just taxiing it around and doing long, tail-flying 30-40 mph taxi runs down the runway (weather’s been a little crappy for actual flying last couple weeks here) and am starting to relax a bit and get the feel for it.
    Last edited by VTClipper; 11-15-2020 at 11:43 AM.

  8. #8
    VTClipper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Show us your Shortwing! (Pictures)

    I’m at Knapp State (KMPV) in Montpelier VT. And I will for sure swing by next spring/summer. Like when I started flying the Luscombe I plan to fly to as many ‘around the neighborhood’ airports as possible as I get to know the Clipper.
    Last edited by VTClipper; 11-15-2020 at 11:36 AM.

  9. #9
    VTClipper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Show us your Shortwing! (Pictures)

    Thanks Steve. When I first saw the Clipper advertised I did an immediate google search and one of the first hits that popped up was Gilbert’s pretty red Clipper. Reading his story led me to this forum which went a long way to making the decision to adopt 40H. I really appreciate your advice and all the knowledge in this forum. I am a bit daunted by the idea of diving into the skylight install but I really want the head-room and the visibility. I spent time working as an apprentice aircraft mechanic on Pitts, Decathlons & Citabria in my younger days and assisted in the re-cover of several so I have some fabric experience and a very Piper SW knowledgeable AP/IA to work with now. I went fishing back thru all the posts looking for as many photos as I could find of skylight install last night as I’m not on FB to see all the photos Steve’s has posted. Any direction to a good thread to follow is very appreciated.

    -Doyle
    Last edited by VTClipper; 11-15-2020 at 11:40 AM.

  10. #10
    VTClipper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Show us your Shortwing! (Pictures)

    Thanks... Im thinking Ill to try to re-use as many of the current holes as I can then cap the remainder. Im still evaluating what I want & where I want it. And as the new guy Im not sure who Clyde. I have seen some photos of very sanitary, organized panels in Clippers and Id like mine to be that. The mixture, carb heat and throttle all scattered about is not ideal and the turn & bank sounds like it has rocks in it so its on its way out.

    -Doyle

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