Paperweights are BS…


Had a real productive weekend with the Skywagon.

Everyone keeps telling me that the Skywagon will “carry anything you can fit inside it,” but we all know that weight equals performance, and since the aim is to get this thing to perform as best as possible, the weight has to be managed.

In no means do I want to have an airplane that is has no modern conveniences, is foolishly loud, cold and uncomfortable, but aside from learning to fly this thing proper, weight is foremost on my mind.  On this project, form will follow, and a utility minded line is what is being followed.


Before really digging into the project, a baseline was needed from which to judge all the mods that will take place.  Armed with the sellers last paper weight, I tossed everything back in the airplane as I purchased it out in L.A., jacked it up to flight attitude and got it on the scales.

People always seem to have a visceral opinion when it comes to weight and balance. So many guys say “never weight the airplane…,” or “you don’t want to know.” This makes no real sense to me as I always have felt it important to know what I was dealing with.

I think you can pretty much take it to the bank that most paper weights are bullshit.  The passage of time always adds the pounds, and in my case, the Skywagon had not been on scales since it left the factory in 1966.  When I bought it, I laughed at the seller when he showed me his W&B.  “There is no way it weights that.” I remember saying.

Regardless, a benchmark was needed from which to judge all that was going to be removed.  In this case, at 1796 lbs, my 66 was 81 lbs OVER what the paperwork stated.

Let the gutting begin!

(Note: the weight was corrected with 6.00×6 tires, original TW and tire, 5 gal of fuel, and 12qts of oil.)