Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude

Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude
Where Great Intelligence Goes To Be Insulted

Friday, 16 September 2016

Friday Wind In The Wires: The Bowers Fly Baby

The Bowers Fly Baby is one of the most beautiful home builts a fella could ask for. This one was up over at Barnstormers awhile back. Might even still be there.

This one is a straight forward rudimentary build that
evokes images of the old Navy PT19's.

Construction is wood and fabric, with build time estimated at around 1200 hours for a scratch build. It is such a popular homebuild now that specially ordered kits can cut that time in half.

Propulsion provided by a 75~100 HP Lycoming or Continental.
Fuel burn rate is a miserly 4~6 gallons/hour

Pikers like yours truly are often drawn to homebuilts not knowing what they're getting themselves into. Most people that start these projects don't finish them because you have to learn the skills involved. You will be doing close tolerance work with wood, metal, engines, instruments, etc etc. An experience builder will often need years to complete a project like this.

A business like, orderly VFR instrument layout

This is a project that is reserved for the old fart that has mastered engine mechanics and has built up years of experience with tools. A build like this WILL challenge him and keep him off the street - often for years. Sometimes they become labours of love where these men will build the aircraft not for themselves - but for the next owners. They are often donated to flying clubs and museums and are built from the finest materials available, and made as perfectly as human hands can make them. Even so they can often be bought for ridiculously low prices. This one's going for 8 grand. Damn - I wish I had a farm and a grass landing strip...

As always, the buyer MUST beware. These wood and fabric planes MUST be hangared when not in use, preferably in a heated hangar. If they are subjected to constant temp and humidity changes the wood may begin to rot and if that happens - it's time to scavenge the parts and send the wooden airframe to the dump or fire pit.

If you have the skills to build, and prefer your aviation Al Fresco - this is a bird to consider.

Vintage Nose Art.

1 comment:

  1. I now own the FlyBaby you have pics of on your blog. In San Diego area.
    John Collins