First Oil Change & Weight Savings…

Well Im happy to report I just did my first oil change and have 27 hrs on the clock. Still ironing out some small squawks here and there, but overall I couldn’t be more pleased. I’m gonna bang out another 25 in the next two weeks or so after which I will try to sit down and give some honest critiques of some of the choices I made on the build.089a147732e738a8dfdc0dd0

In the meantime, the modifications have in no way stopped. (slowed perhaps, but not stopped) During the oil change today I took the opportunity to install the Sky-tec I picked up at OSH. Sorry bout the pics… just had the damn iPhone.

Saved almost 8lbs at -4.25″. (welcomed as I have a pretty far fwd CG after all the mods, but more on that later…)


(Old Energizer weight)


(New ST3 Weight)

Weight & Balance…

So the weight:

The net net is that I was pretty bummed out earlier today not getting even close to where I wanted. We weighed her, freaked out, pulled the scales, zeroed them again, and re-hung her. Same.

Like many who have come before me, (and many yet to come) I fell victim to my own hyperbolie and half baked dreams of a bushed-out sub-1700 H model. After a tasty sandwich and a cup a joe, I came to realize that I had done pretty damn well considering all the mods and gizmos I added, so I’m content with where she’s at.


The day before I ripped into the Skywagon I had her on the scales for a baseline. On 8.5x10s with all old seats, junky interior, old radios, 12 qts of oil and 79 gal full of she came in at 2303lbs.  This morning on the scales she weighed in at 2265 (with another 2 lbs getting subtracted for a flashlight and portable GPS that was left inside.) Net savings of -40lbs.

For my standard flying config, I will have the back seats out, which will give me an empty weight of 1802lbs on big wheels, max gross of 3190, and a useful of 1388lbs. (Skytec starter on order to get me under 1800 lbs) Of course my CG will probably be right up against the forward side of the envelope and will have to stuff 50lbs of gear in the ext baggage to get her to land in the sweet spot.  I know I could have saved a bunch more had I forwent the comfy leather, all the powdercoating, used less 1/4″ foam, not painted the interior and not shot base coat/clear coat on the exterior, but I recon it’s a respectable enough weight considering all the mods on the airplane. I think not to shabby for an auto-pilot’d IFR bush plane…

CG paper work tomorrow, then all that’s left is to bleed the breaks and I can start her up…




What self respecting OCD lunatic would not weigh his buggy before a project like this.

It was really important to get a benchmark prior to starting all this madness. Shortly after flying it back from CA I got it up on the scales. She was actually 81lbs heavier than the 30 year paper WB (no surprise.)

The one thing I did before weighing her was install the baby bush and 8.5x10s. I flew it a bit that way before I started the tear down and in that config she was 2303 (this includes 79gal full fuel and full oil.)

So the real question will be what will the magic number be as there was a lot of shedding that went on. 20-30lbs in battery, 30lbs in avionics, 55lbs of interior, 35lbs in back seats, 10-25 lbs of paint, etc etc etc… I guess in the end it really wont matter a hill of beans, but If I can keep her under 1800lbs with bush tires I will be tickled.

Dreaming of Flying…

Still plugging away at the punch list, although she’s really getting close. Gonna weigh her in a week or so. The plan is to weigh her in all possible configurations. Pilot seat only, pilot/copilot seats only, fronts with only one FA Dodge jump, with both jumps, with the 3rd row installed, and the same with the skis. Cant wait for the skis!