Purchasing the Wingster Airplane – Update
Another amazing day shopping for the Wingster airplane. Today I was able to schedule a viewing of 3 great airplanes, the Howard DGA-15P, Beech Model 17 Staggerwing and Cessna 195. What great airplanes. I was very fortunate and was able to see all three airplanes at the Santa Monica Airport. Two of the airplanes, the Howard and Beech were at the Santa Monica Museum Of FlyingSanta Monica Museum Of Flying, this was a treat all by itself.
The day started out with a low overcast ceiling in Van Nuys. I met my good friend and radial engine buff Jason on the ramp, for our very short flight to Santa Monica, to look at these airplanes. We took off at 9:30 and were in the clouds within two minutes. Air traffic control ushered us along, sometimes the wrong direction, until we were safely on the ground in Santa Monica. We walked from the ramp down to the museum, met our contact and were quickly introduced to the Howard, which was parked just outside the museum to attract attention. Wow, was my first thought, this airplane is much larger than I had anticipated. We looked it over and it was quickly apparent that this was not the right airplane for Wingster’s needs. We need an airplane that is approachable and that general
aviation pilots could quickly learn to fly. The Howard is a big warbird with a big motor and appears tough to handle. Next, we went to see the 195. Oh YES, this is definitely the airplane for us, perfect size, great shape and within budget. Unfortunately the motor on this airplane is seized and will need a complete overhaul before its next flight. This means a new project for me, researching the overhaul procedure and cost for a Jacobs radial. More on that later… Finally, we went back to the museum to see the Beech Staggerwing. Amazing, truly amazing. Unfortunately, a Beech Staggerwing anywhere close to as nice as the one we were looking at would be WAY outside the budget. Maybe it will become wingster plane No. 2.
So that is that, the decision appears final, Wingster will focus on the 195. I will learn everything I can about the airplane, choose the model that works best for us and locate the perfect airplane. It’s not scientific, everyone has their own reasons for choosing the airplane they do. For us, we have wants and needs that all seem to be filled by the 195.