Thought it time to start a thread on the restoration of CTX #19 of 20 built (only 1 (CPW) currently airworthy) From what I can gather, right from the start CTX was a bit of an ugly duckling. She sat for over a year after construction waiting for a motor (IO 470 E) and was in fact the last one to fly, as #121 was in service before CTX was even delivered. Unfortunately the paint job on arrival was less than good and this no doubt aided its rapid aging. CTX was in service from 1967 to 1971. Never had an accident and accumulated just over 2000 hrs. I suspect the main reason for withdrawl at this time was the engine out of hrs and of coarse the dreaded Fletchers were taking over. She then sat outside till 1975 when she was finally disassembled and placed in storage. And there she sat and sat... About 10 years ago she was uplifted and moved to new storage in Gore and it was here that I recently viewed the remains. Because of space issues with the storage in Gore I offered to store her in a shed her at our farm. However it wasn't long till the sight of slowly crumbling bits got too much for me and a deal to purchase was made!
The first thing to do was have a bit of an inventory to see what we had and what we didn't. Surprisingly I have new spares of a lot of the Mag alloy castings which would have been difficult/$$$$ to replicate. The major bits missing are the entire front cowling, the dorsal fin, main instrument panel and the hopper of all things. Where these items are is a mystery. As I have said the aircraft was WFS intact and undamaged. In any case I have been able to source replacements from Australia. But would love to know where the originals are? The wings are a bit sad and will certainly need re skinning. However the internals look pretty good. The spars are made from bent alloy rather than extrusions so if needed should be rebuildable. In any case the wings are in the tooo.. expensive basket for the moment. I have sprayed them in CRC marine and wrapped in plastic. Hopefully this should prevent any further rot until it is their turn. I have decided to focus on the fuse first, as if the tube frame is beyond repair the whole project reverts to static display. So have stripped everything off the frame and delivered to Southair for repair. Since then it has been blasted and areas for repair identified, Just waiting on tube and repairs can begin.....
Post by FlyingKiwi on Oct 31, 2012 20:14:39 GMT 12
Best of luck, I've said before on this forum but I think the Cropmaster is an awesome looking aeroplane - much nicer looking than pretty much every other ag aircraft (although I do have a soft-spot for the dreaded Fletcher I must admit) and I agree it has a real warbird look to it. CPW looks fantastic and it would be great to have a few more in the skies.
Well the tube frame is nearly ready for pick up 54 hrs welding and counting!
Just a bit of history which perhaps explains my interest in this aircraft.
My father was chief pilot for Southern Aviation and in this role flew 4 of the 6 Cropmasters imported to NZ. CLW 573.6 hrs COE 29.6 CPW 1712.7 CTX 1598 A total of almost 3914 hrs aboard Cropmaster aircraft! I on the other hand have never flown one. 20 years ago as a young CPL and no tail wheel rating I got to sit in CPW and dream... This year, I again got to sit in CPW and dream... This is no good. Planes and pilots are ment to fly and God darn it, CTX and I WILL fly.....
Awesome job Craig! Now you have the fuse frame repaired, might I suggest you have her primed and top-coated asap. Priming for obvious reasons, but I have heard several stories of the top coat going on at a later date and there being adhesion issues with even using the same 2k paint brands etc. Just my 2c worth.
Awesome mate! It looks like I can help you with some bits as well...stay tuned
Last Edit: Nov 23, 2012 6:12:01 GMT 12 by agalbraith
Hi Anthony The frame was primed after blasting about 4 months ago and it has taken the intervening time for them to get around to repairing the tube. I think the whole thing now needs a light re blasting good clean off then painting ASAP. Prior to this we will inject either fish oil or linseed oil into tubes run out the excess and seal. The engineer wants to powder coat but I wonder if a thicker coat of more conventional 2 pack may be more robust and easier to touch up scratches etc which will no doubt occur before final assembly. What are your thoughts. PS the Venturi arrived today thank you.
Post by agalbraith on Nov 23, 2012 10:28:34 GMT 12
Hi Craig, glad the venturi arrived.
I would recommend 2k paint over baked on. The reason I have mine done this way is for 2 reasons 1: Thats what JEM Aviation wanted to do and they are the rebuilders/engineers etc. and 2: I spoke to several people and was advised not to go down the powder coat option as it aparently has a tendancy to chip more than 2k and in some cases if it cracks at an intersection can trap moisture etc.
Good to hear you are protecting the tube interiors as well!