Navions

NookyBooky

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Who likes them, who hates them and why? I'm thinking about buying one of the older L-17 style Navs made by North American, preferably with a Lycoming in it. Are they all they're cracked up to be? The only bad things I've heard about them is that they're ugly and most have Continental engines, is there anything else I should look out for?
 
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I think they look pretty neat, personally. Ive sat in one, never flew in one.
 

Jump Pilot

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When I flew jumpers, there were two Navions at the airport. One of them was rumored to be own and flown by an old Navy aviator.

I'm flying jumpers one Saturday afternoon when some nice Texas thunderstorms come rolling in. I just finished tying down my ratty 182 jump plane when the Navy guy with the Navion fires her up. I figure the guy is going to move her from the patio hangars to the metal hangars. No such luck...he taxis to the end of the runway for some pattern work. Unbelievable. The DZ owner, FBO manager, the field mechanic and me hunker down under the FBO roof to witness the rodeo that is about to take place.

He manged to get two circuits in before giving up a PIREP over Unicom consisting of "there sure is a lot of wind and lightining up here." No duh. On his third landing, he gets blown off the side of the runway and sticks the right main. Shuts her down and calls out over the radio for a tow.

Other than that, I know nothing about them.
 

gern_blanston

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Pretty slow, and all hydraulic, so there's a bit more maintenance than, say, an old Bonanza. Nice flying airplanes, though. I've flown 'em with the original C-185, C-225, O-470N. Got a buddy with a 550 hung on the front (after de-mating the wing to beef things up for the mod) that should be entertaining to fly. They're good short-field airplanes, but with the under-cambered wing and all that weight and girth, they're all quite slow for the horsepower.
 

BD King

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Oh, Wow. Trust me, I know Navions, and have never flown one. Let me say this, there are SO many mods and STCs that your average mechanic could never figure them out, and that is good. Slower than dog poop on a December day, and stronger than the Brooklyn Bridge, and for that part I can attest to.

www.bdkingpress.com
 
T

TDTURBO

You better get one with a roll cage, no way I would fly in one after seeing this at my airport. The POS was tied down during a storm and it STILL flipped because the attachment sites ripped loose from the airframe. If you ground looped one of these, you would be DEAD MEAT!






Just take a look at this!




http://photos.yahoo.com/tdturbo2001


BTW: The Garmin is in my 182RG, not bad huh? Sure we had a bit of a tail wind but I made it from MDW to KEYW in 4:55.:D



 
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fr0g

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Having worked on a particular navion for the last 1.5 years, my advice would be to have a through pre-buy inspection. Look over the hydraulic system, make sure everything is working in the "power pack" (valve unit behind panel). Ideally, jack the plane and check the play in all the landing gear linkages. Check out the tail section, specifically where the horizontal stabilizer attaches - there are a few nasty AD's on that part. Also look at the aft bulkhead where the tailskid connects. They are almost always cracked. If the airplane has the original windows held in with the rubber molding, be advised that it is no longer available, and you'll have to get updated windows at some point.
Get someone that really knows Navions to look at it!
If everything looks good, they can be a really nice plane. However, they can also turn into a money pit, more-so than other light aircraft.
From a flight standpoint, I enjoy flying the navion, and find it has a very solid feel to it. Not exceptionally fast, but fun to fly nonetheless.
 
T

TDTURBO

fr0g said:
Having worked on a particular navion for the last 1.5 years, my advice would be to have a through pre-buy inspection. Look over the hydraulic system, make sure everything is working in the "power pack" (valve unit behind panel). Ideally, jack the plane and check the play in all the landing gear linkages. Check out the tail section, specifically where the horizontal stabilizer attaches - there are a few nasty AD's on that part. Also look at the aft bulkhead where the tailskid connects. They are almost always cracked. If the airplane has the original windows held in with the rubber molding, be advised that it is no longer available, and you'll have to get updated windows at some point.
Get someone that really knows Navions to look at it!
If everything looks good, they can be a really nice plane. However, they can also turn into a money pit, more-so than other light aircraft.
From a flight standpoint, I enjoy flying the navion, and find it has a very solid feel to it. Not exceptionally fast, but fun to fly nonetheless.

Until you flip it upside down while parked, get a wind gust, and get crushed to death, aside from that little minor detail, it's a fine aircraft.
 

erj-145mech

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What'd they do, tie the Navion down with bungee cords? Those straps shouldn't have stretched out like that.

The rubber window mouldings are available, they're the same as automotive, along with the lock strip in the middle.
 

fr0g

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I'm sure I could find lots of pictures of other aircraft destroyed by wind.
Until you flip it upside down while parked
That's something I'm not really so worried about.

The Automotive rubber strips are designed for much thicker windows and especially frames. If you were to use those, you run the risk of your rear windows popping out...

EDIT:

TD TURBO: In all fairness I would certainly recommend a 182 RG over the Navion - I just feel like your evidence is inconclusive.
 
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erj-145mech

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fr0g said:
The Automotive rubber strips are designed for much thicker windows and especially frames. If you were to use those, you run the risk of your rear windows popping out...

.
These weren't. They weren't the ones from J C Whitney, they were from an auto restoration supply house. When I put the plexiglass panes in the channel, they were tighter than socks on a rooster. I ended up using almost a half tube of DC-4 lube.
 
T

TDTURBO

fr0g said:
I'm sure I could find lots of pictures of other aircraft destroyed by wind.

That's something I'm not really so worried about.

The Automotive rubber strips are designed for much thicker windows and especially frames. If you were to use those, you run the risk of your rear windows popping out...

EDIT:

TD TURBO: In all fairness I would certainly recommend a 182 RG over the Navion - I just feel like your evidence is inconclusive.

Evidence being inconclusive?

These are recent untouched pictures for christ sake, I don't care what kind of glass you use. the cockpit collapses if upside down, killing anyone inside. You better take a closer look at the pics.

Note to other poster with the Bungie cord comment.

This plane was tied down with CHAINS, they were ripped loose from their attachment points at the AIRFRAME. The tiedown you see in the pic is rope and was put on after the roll-over.
 

NookyBooky

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That is interesting about the weak topside on the Nav. I wonder how it compares to a bonanza, cherokee, or other low-wing plane in that regard. They may be built like tanks but that weakness is something that I'm definately going to have to think some more about.

What are some of the more interesting mods out there?
 
T

TDTURBO

I would think to get that thing certified it would have to have a roll cage. You bring up some good points with the other aircraft types, makes me even happier I have a high wing.
 

FlyJordan

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What business do you have being upside down on the ground anyway? I bet you cant see a thing while taxiing for that dam panel.
 
T

TDTURBO

FlyJordan said:
What business do you have being upside down on the ground anyway? I bet you cant see a thing while taxiing for that dam panel.
It saves on tire wear.:D
 

NookyBooky

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Anybody have any pics or links to pics of other low-wing aircraft on their backs, or have first hand knowledge of how the held up? I really wouldn't give a chit about the canopy strength issue if it wasn't for the fact that I'm going to be flying my father, sister, niece, nephew etc. If it was just me, then I would have already bought it. It's proabably safer than what I do in a Pitts anyway, but its my responsibility to make sure the precious cargo is in the safest situation possible. You would probably have to do some pretty stupid chit to get a tricycle gear plane on its back, but stranger things happen.......
 
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