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Neat Taylorcraft Stuff

This page is a compilation of all sorts of neat stuff associated with Taylorcrafts. It includes special tools and fixtures, model differences, old memorabilia, and stories of past Taylorcraft pilots.

Check out the following items:


Fuselage Fixtures

Fixtures or jigs can be very useful, if not essential, in the restoration of your Taylorcraft. They allow you to work on your fuselage or wings from a position of comfort and allow you to rotate the surfaces to horizontal for working on them or for painting. These fixtures are rather like a large barbecue spit, without the motor. There are some commercially available fixtures out there for both fuselages and wings, but they are not too difficult to make. If you make them yourself, they can be fashioned to the exact needs for your aircraft and situation. These pictures come from Forrest Barber's collection at Alliance, Ohio.

Tail fixture Bottom end Top end Pivot mechanism :Note the angles change as the fuselage rotates, thus necessitating the pivot capability

Firewall fixture Fixture arms :The four arms bolt into the firewall engine mount holes

Pivot mechanism :The firewall fixture must also pivot as the fuselage is rotated. Note the "brake", a bolt screwing into the shaft, to stop the rotation of the fuselage in the desired position.

Wing Fixture

If you like fuselage fixtures, you will love this professionally crafted rotating wing fixture made by one of our Taylorcraft owners, Marcel Mercier. Beautiful Marcel! I want one!!!!

Wing fixture Wing fixture

Rudder Cable Jig

Have you ever wondered how you were going to locate those little holes on each side of the fuselage in your new fabric job for the rudder cables after you take off your old fabric? You could make a real mess of that perfect covering job if you put them in the wrong place! Well, here's a neat idea.......which should be done before the fabric is taken off (but could be done with a "temporary" small fabriced area). With the rudder cables installed and attached to the rudder, make a jig for each side that fits over the horizontal stabilizer fuselage attachment tube stubs marking the exact location of where the cables exit the fabric. Voila!! As they say, one picture is worth a thousand words, so here are two pics!

Rudder cable jig Rudder cable jig after fabric removed

Factory New Tail Clip

Speaking of jigs and fixtures.............. here's a brand new tail clip made from factory jigs back in the 90's. If your tail area is so bad it can't economically be fixed, this may be your solution! It may still be available at Forrest Barber's place in Alliance, Ohio.
Tail Clip

Wheel Jack Stand

It is handy to be able to support the landing gear when no wheel is attached. Numerous different styles of "jack stands" have been built for this purpose. This is what the original factory used in the production of Taylorcrafts. Again, courtesy of Forrest Barber.

Original factory wheel stand

Dual Heel Brake Installation

Many people, at one time or another, have wanted to have those infamous Taylorcraft heel brakes on the right side as well as on the left. At one time the factory made a kit of the necessary "bolt on" items for installation of brakes on the right side. The factory also, on certain models at certain times had the option of right side brakes as well. Here's a look.

Original factory "bolt on" kit Side view

Original factory "bolt on" kit Top view

Of course, if you are doing a complete restoration, it would be the perfect opportunity to weld in a matching pair of pedals on the right side. Jim Baker supplied these photos of his 1946 BC-12D installation. Very nice, Jim!

Welded in right brakes Side view

Welded in right brakes Side view

Welded in right brakes Top view

The F-19 had them on some ships such as this one owned by Chet Kania.

F-19 Dual Brakes Installation

Others ships have had them installed during their restorations such as Scott and Ruth Conwell's BC12-D with model 19 STC upgrade.

BC12-D Dual Brakes Installation

Shielded Ignition Cups

Ignition noise can be a problem at times and many people don't like the looks of the cowling "bumps" necessary to put in a complete shielded harness. There are two solutions, easiest perhaps being the use of the new shorter plug designed for "tightly cowled" installations. The other solution is to install "cups" that accept the plug wire from the side. These two options make for a shorter installation that should fit under normal cowlings without the "bumps". Check with your friendly mechanic with I/A for legalities on any new installations.

Very clean "cups" installation, courtesy Larry Haas, circa 1980
Looking into plug cup
A different design of "cups" installation, courtesy of Dean and Mary Kronwall
Looking into plug cup

Bungee Tool

Bungee replacement can be difficult and even dangerous without the proper bungee tool. There are many tools out there, but one made specifically for the Taylorcraft usually will perform best. The tool on the left is an original factory tool from 1984. The tool on the right is a modernized version of a Taylorcraft bungee tool made by Darren Lucke, a Taylorcraft enthusiast and owner of TUF Industries.

A factory original A modern version

McDowell Starter

The McDowell Starter option allows the engine to be mechanically started from the cockpit for those Continental installations without an electrical system. The hub behind the prop flange has a cable wrapped around it that can be pulled by a lever under the dash in the cockpit. It is said that the system was somewhat difficult to use and few remaining examples are to be found.

The cable hub. Front view of the McDowell Starter

Steering Springs "Mouseing"

Due to the short distance between the rudder steering arm and the tailwheel steering arm, most springs available today to attach the two arms are too long. They don't allow enough distance for the chain/links to be added to the system. Occasionally because of this fact, the springs will have a tendency to "pop off" under certain non specific landing conditions, resulting in loss of tail wheel steering and possible loss of aircraft control. The situation often takes the pilot by surprise and occasionally results in runway departure. One way to attempt to prevent this from happening is to use safety wire to "mouse" the springs to their attach points. Then if they attempt to "pop off" the idea is that the safety wire will keep them from doing so.

Mouseing the tailwheel steering springs

"Bubbleface Compass"

Sometime throughout the years of Taylorcraft production, a compass was used that was a little unique, called the "Bubbleface Compass". I believe they were all produced by Airpath and came in a couple of different varieties with a rounded glass face, including one with a logo plate at the top with a Taylorcraft signature on it. These bubbleface compasses are very difficult to find in operational condition and command a high price on today's market. They do make for a very unique piece though for your "original" Taylorcraft restoration.

Two Bubbleface compasses On the right courtesy of Ray Cook's N43645.

Landing Light Installations

There have been many different landing light configurations. Starting with the Model 19, the lights were in the leading edge of the wing. Here are some various installations.

Rudder Trim Tab

A rudder trim tab may be necessary on your aircraft so it will fly "hands off". The instllation involves fashioning a tab and installing it to the rudder centered on a horizontal rib. The Taylorcraft Owners' Club once published the factory shape, complete with mounting holes, in its newsletter which may still be available by contacting them. A typical installation is shown below.

A rudder tab installation

Lubrication Chart

This vintage Lubrication Chart speaks for itself. Take it for what it is worth and consult your A/I on his/her recommendations for the use of today's lubricants.

Shell Vintage Lubrication Chart (349K)

Record Setting Taylorcraft Aviatrixes

Evelyn Burleson with her Taylorcraft, Miss Liberty after making her record setting Canada to Mexico non-stop flight

Miss Liberty and Evelyn Burleson

Grace Huntington flew her ship, NC26581, on September 12, 1940 to 24,311 feet, setting a new light plane category altitude record.
Grace Huntington

Jack Turner Stories

Jack C. Turner was a Taylorcraft dealer in Grand Junction, Colorado and Vernal, Utah in the 40's. He was also a rancher, using his Taylorcraft to round up the horses. His grandson, Dave Turner, is also a Taylorcraft enthusiast, having owned N22N. Here are a few interesting newspaper accounts of Jack's activities.

Taylorcraft Art

Larry Picking seems to be a master of TurboCad and computer aided design (CAD). Here are a couple of pieces of artwork he has created.

Taylorcraft Toy Airplane Kit!

N94953's Little Sister Project Here's a great way for you to get the little ones into the world of Taylorcrafts. Jim Zangger has developed this cute Pedal Plane for your kids or grandkids, shown here with his own Award Winning N94953. Plans and metal parts available soon---

Pedal Plane T-Craft More Pictures

Taylorcraft Memorabilia

Forrest Barber has contributed these pictures of interesting items.

A patch from the Taylorcraft Flying Club

Merton Meade's Leesburg, VA logo

Feris Flying Service patch, prior to Charlie and Dorothy reopening the Taylorcraft Factory

This pristine postcard of the factory was mailed from Alliance in 1942. Thanks to Jim Brock for loaning it for scanning.

Here's a picture of Bill Miles' "Taylorcraft Solo Certificate" issued on July 1, 1946 for his first solo at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport.

This Christmas card was sent from Dorothy Feris to Walter O'Connor in 1990.

This news article reports the recovery of a submerged seaplane from Walter O'Connor's Seaplane Base in Agawam, MA

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