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Commonwealth Skyranger 185

Posted By:
Stewart Smith
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberHomebuilder or Craftsman
2
Posts
1
#1 Posted: 11/22/2009 21:17:52

  I just completed a restoration of a 1946 Commonwealth Skyranger 185, N34130.  Has anybody out there ever flown one ?  If you have , tell me about your experiences with it. By the way, mine flies great.



Wayne Forshey
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberWarbirds of America Member
1
Post
1
#2 Posted: 11/25/2009 20:11:39

Hi Stewart,

     I've owned my Commonwealth Skyranger NC92940, S/N 1672 since October 1979.  I learned to fly in it and took my private pilot checkride in it at Wheeling, W.Va.   You should check out www.rearwin.com and go to the S.P.A.R.S  link you can get hooked up with us.  David Cohn heads up this network.  S.P.A.R.'S   stands for the Society for the Preservation and Restoration of Skyrangers.  We have had a booth in the VAA Type Club Tent at Oshkosh for the last 9 years or so..  You can contact me at w.a.forshey@sbcglobal.net  Just put something in the subject line about Skyrangers or airplanes so that I know it isn't spam.

 

Wayne



Joseph Hannum
1
Post
0
#3 Posted: 11/25/2009 21:02:39

Hello Stewart Smith

     I have a 1946 skyranger 185 that I fly every time the weather is good and I'm not playing golf. N90697 is my second Commonwealth. My first skyranger was N92988 this airplane is now being rebuilt .

I have been flying Skyranger 185 airplane for years. The one I have now I flew home to PA from Texas, it took five days,

it was a great expearance. I realy like this plane.

I hope you good luck with your Skyranger. Send some photo's.

skyrangerfly@comcast.net

Joe Hannum



Files Attachment(s):
Commonwealth Joe Hannum Flying - Skyranger 185 N90697______1.doc (457216 bytes)
1__JRH Standing Hanger__042_20a.jpg (323849 bytes)
3__JRH Taxi near Hanger__001_24a.jpg (433723 bytes)
Robert Kusterer
Homebuilder or Craftsman
1
Post
0
#4 Posted: 11/26/2009 13:28:58

Hi Stewart, the first plane I ever owned was a Skyranger. I bought it in 1963 in partnership with two non-pilot friends who owned a motorcycle dealership. They figured that the 85 HP Continental was so similar to a motorcycle engine that they could maintain it themselves. That turned out to be correct even though none of us were A&Ps. Although I was not a CFI at the time, I taught both of them to fly the skyranger and they used to go off solo without a student license or medical. The plane ran out of annual but they continued to fly it anyway. Real shakey operation but we survived and never got caught. The only thing I didn't like about it was having to fly left handed from the left seat; it would have been nice to have a repeater throttle on the left side wall. Also, for dual instruction, it would have been nice to have brakes on the right side. They taught me how to race motorcycles in return so it was a good arrangement and we had lots of fun. Bob K.



Alonzo Gillette
2
Posts
0
#5 Posted: 10/20/2010 14:20:17 Modified: 10/20/2010 14:22:50

Well here is a little story for you.  1962/1966 I was assigned to the Field Training Detachment at Wright Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio, their was about 23 of us.  I was in Electronics, one was An Airframe Instructor, one Engine, one Air Frame and our commander was a Instructor Pilot, we were right close to the old Air Force Museum.  (you might guess where this story is going....)

In conversation we all talked eachother into getting into flying, so we found a Skyranger 185, sn N92932, and it was a bucket case, we paid $400 for it, and got it back to FTD building in two trucks and a trailer.

With a few connections at the Museum, and the talents of the other instructors we re-stored the old girl to its orig glory, not a cent out of pocket, just personal sweat.

Got it out to Springfield Mun Airport and we all started taking lessons, got licensed, and had one heck of a good time.

I transferred out of the FTD 1965, sold my part to the others and the last I heard the Old Girl  was in a Garage in Fairborn Ohio.

She was a lot of fun to fly and was very forgiving (lucky for me)

Regards to All:  Alonzo D. Gillette, M/Sgt, USAF (Ret)  (1chrivia65@sbcglobal.net)

 



Jim Capra
1
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0
#6 Posted: 12/3/2010 00:54:26

Hi Stewart,

I've been the owner of N90686 for a bit over a year and a hundred hours now.  The aircraft has been up here in Alaska since the beginning of the logs in the early 50's.  First in a flying club in Fairbanks and a little North.  Since 1993 it's been in our little bush village and has seen a lot of beaches, gravel bars and dirt strips.  She's very forgiving to the new pilots who've flown her and being a bit tail heavy with 21" tires helps.  No one will mistake the performance for a Super Cub, but I am really looking forward to putting on the skis for winter.  As long as I don't push the weather it is a great starter for a low budget pilot like me.  I know of 3 other Skyrangers in the state and lots of student pilots in them.  I've heard a few ground loop stories but never heard of one put on it's nose like most other light taildraggers.

Stay safe,

Jim Capra, Yakutat, AK



Nigel Aylmer
3
Posts
0
#7 Posted: 12/13/2010 19:49:41

Hi Stewart

                   I have just bought N92825 sn1621, we spent the Saturday before last moving her to her new home on trailer's. She is now safe in her hanger in Metter Ga. I hope to spend sometime this coming weekend looking her over to see whats missing. I intend to get her back in the air so i can improve my tailwheel flying " i only have 5 hours in a Champ". I am not an A&P but do help out pretty much full time in a Maintenance Shop. Hope you maybe able to help with any problem's i may find.

                                                                                                                                                                                   Nigel Aylmer



Mac Barksdale
1
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0
#8 Posted: 1/29/2011 16:13:49

Hello Nigel;

I do not have a Skyranger at the present time.   I owned one in the past..   N92976 and flew N92992 out of Atlanta Municipal in the 1947, 1948 time period.  

Pete Clay had the "corner"  FBO on Atlanta Muni at that time and he had the Skyranger Dealership.   As I recall he had about six ships on the line there.  Some of them were new with Ferry time only.   A couple were on the Rental line.  

In 1960,   I flew Skyranger N92976 from Olando, Fl to Tallahassee,  Jackson Miss,  Dallas Tx,  Phoenix Az,  Los Angeles, San Fran,  Reno, Lovelock,  Rock Springs Wy,  Ottumwa Iowa,  Chicago,  Baltimore,  Raleigh Durham, SAV,    and back to ORL. 

Quite a nice trip....    One big adventure...  I flew to a place where the Skyranger would not fly !   I flew about 45 minutes in ground effect and made it back to an airport.   At one point I came around a hill about ten feet in the air and met a train!  He had to move over as I could not make any sudden turns. 

Maybe this spring some time,   could I drop in to see you and have a look at the Skyranger ? ? ?  

Metter Ga, airport ? ? ?   

Thanks,   Mac
biggrin

 

 

 

 



Stewart Smith
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberHomebuilder or Craftsman
2
Posts
1
#9 Posted: 1/29/2011 17:18:25

Mac, You are welcome to stop by and see my Commomwealth Skyranger

email      chevvymann@yahoo.com    ,   see the following at You Tube or type " 1946 Commonwealth Skyranger "

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geeyn1dja_Y



Zot Barazzotto
Vintage Aircraft Association Member
1
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0
#10 Posted: 2/13/2011 18:51:48

Dear Stewart,

Since this was last year I hope you have had many successful flights in your Skyranger.  I haven't flown mine since 1968 but I soloed in it and it was easy to fly.  I've been dragging mine around since 1972 and just gave it to a friend.  He will get it together and turn it into a fun machine.  Will probably put it back together as an experimental so we can put an electronic panel in it and update the rest so it is easier to live with (Cleveland brakes, new starter, alternator, lights, etc.  Outside will be perfectly stock but the guts will be modern.

Fly Safe,

     Zot

n92932 - sn1664



Nigel Aylmer
3
Posts
0
#11 Posted: 3/6/2011 15:08:31

Hello Pete

Not sure when i will have N92825 back in the air just yet ,though it is slowly moving forward. I am not doing a restoration at this time just putting her back together. I would like to get comfortable with a tailwheel before i spend a lot of money on her. If you are passing in the week just drop in I am there most days Metter KMHP is next to the I16 exit 104. On a weekend is a bit more hit and miss. I beleive this years Open House / Fly-in is April 23 but try to check that if your thinking of coming that day,it would be a bit busier.

              Nigel



Nigel Aylmer
3
Posts
0
#12 Posted: 3/6/2011 15:16:03

 Hi Mac

OOps sorry about the Slip with the name , wasnt paying close attention.

                                                                                                                       Nigel

                                                                                                   



Alonzo Gillette
2
Posts
0
#13 Posted: 5/14/2011 10:56:45

Zot, how small a world this must be, the Tail NR n92932 was the same that the personnel of the Field
Traing Detachment at Wrigt Patterson AFB, 1963 rebult.  We kept it at Spring Field Air Port after the construction projjet.

A few of us got our training on that one, I sold my share when I transferrred in 1964 and as far as I know it was kept in the area of Fairborn Ohio untill ??

I have a photo of me standing along side it, about 1963.

Regards:  Al Gillette 1chrivia65@sbcglobal.net