Back in the days when I got to play with airplanes, old timers would say that I shouldn't consider myself a complete pilot until I had checked out in a tailwheel airplane and gotten the official FAA endorsement in my logbook. -"Hey, kid, if you can't fly a stupid little Piper-Cub, you ain't a pilot!"
By the same token, I explained to my daughter that she wouldn't be a complete driver unless she learned to drive a stick and that if she’d let me qualify her, she’d be appropriately awarded for such achievement.
Perhaps among antique car enthusiasts a similar graduation ceremony should accompany the check-out and qualification on the non-synchomesh crashbox. -Next time I go to an AACA or HCCA meeting, I’m gonna see if there’s anybody there who would be willing to get me properly checked out and certified.
How 'bout one with C-R-B for us Model T'ers?
Bob, if you came out here to the wilds of NJ I could check you out in a '12 Buick. It's the one on the cover of the latest Gazette. There are lots of benign roads here to practice on. But fair warning: Buick gearshifts are backward. Reverse and first are to the right of the H, second and third to the left. That doesn't affect how you double-clutch.
Since I soloed in an Aeronca, I guess I'm a pilot. And with over 700 hours in gliders, I've learned a bit about forced landings. And most of those are taildraggers, too.
P.S. If you bring your daughter, she can learn, too.
And you can't be an old car river if you can't use "The Three Pedals"
Interesting, the '22 Buick shift pattern is like that too.
I believe Buick adopted the standard shift pattern in '28.
I believe Buick adopted the standard shift pattern in '28. For that matter, so did Ford!
I think maybe Bob was referring to a manual shift, but without synchronizers. Or did I misinterpret?
Like it Bob!
Would that '12 Buick be a yellow roadster ???
My dad, RIP (11/24/08)used to fly a "stupid little Piper Cub", until that is, he got daring one day and flew it under a highway bridge and mom "accidentally" put his license in with the wash. Never renewed it after that. Guess that was enough excitement for everyone.
This subject might be beyond comprehension of some of the younger stomp-and-go folks
It looks like there needs to be two pendants.
One for the non-syncro boxes and another for a syncro box. Maybe green and red!
My daughter drives a Mini Cooper with a syncro 6 speed transmission so I'll need to get one that is a little different from the one shown.
My son has a winged midget race car with an in-and-out box. I wonder what that pendant would look like!
Would the C-R-B guys have three legs and a brake handle on it?
No, my Buick is a blue Model 35 touring car, the entry level Buick for 1912. There were two bigger sizes of touring car. Mine has 102" wheelbase and an overhead-valve four with 3-3/4" bore and stroke. A tad smaller than a Model T engine (same bore, shorter stroke), but half again the weight to haul. The engine is more efficient than a side-valve T, but even so it needs that intermediate gear.
Yes, I can stir a synchromesh 5-speed. -I first learned on a a neighbor's '68 Opel Kadett stationwagon which had a synchronized "4-on-the-floor" transmission. -My Dad's '51 Mercury had a "3-on-the-tree" standard shift, and if I remember correctly, 1st wasn't on a synchronizer. -That might have been fun to drive, but Dad unreasonably decided that, as I was only five years old at the time and allegedly couldn't reach the pedals, he'd wait a couple of years to teach me.
Before that could happen, the trusting and impressionable little boy who absolutely worshipped his Dad, thinking the sun rose and set in the palm of his hand, watched in open-mouthed, traumatized horror as said Dad, in an absolutely pitiful act of abdication, bowed to pressure from the newly-licensed Mom who lived in our house and traded in the Merc in for a '55 Pontiac Starchief equipped with an abomination known as "an automatic."
True, the Pontiac was sharp looking in its two-tone paint, and it had miles and miles of chrome and a hood ornament that looked like it had just arrived from Idlewild, but I nearly swallowed my tongue when I spotted the accursed PRNDL sitting atop the column! -I turned my back and walked away, hands in pockets and head down, muttering something to myself about how women wore dresses, used lipstick and drove automatics. -Yes, that sounds harsh in light of 21st-Century, acculturated refinement, but back then, it was considered perfectly okay to be a male chauvinist, even if such porcine individual were only a smooth-faced wearer of Buster-Brown shoes and propeller-driven beanie cap—as long as said propeller were of the variable-pitch type.
The stupid little J-3 is my favorite plane. I learned in a 172, but found an instructor with a J-3 to get my sign off. I love the J-3 for the same reasons I love the T. They are very much alike in ways. The only modification I like on a J-3 is a bigger engine. It needs it to get my fat @$$ off the ground. Other than that, it is perfect. No radios. No starter. No electricity at all except that what jumps the spark plug gap. The brakes suck. It's slow. It's hard to get in and out of. If you don't do it right, cranking it can hurt you bad. And I love every one of those aspects.
Some of the guys on here would convert it to a nose wheel low wing with a starter in the name of safety and convenience. And that's OK. It's your airplane.
Yeah, I like J-3s. And 65-horse Aeroncas on wheels, and 85-horse Aeroncas on floats. But a really neat plane was the 65-horse PA-11, basically a J-3 with shorter landing gear that you soloed from the front seat. All the crisp handling of the J-3, plus you could see where you were going.
Yes and a side slip makes up for the lack of sissy flaps.
Here is a picture of our 1912 Buick we bought for $500 in 1958, how times have changed !
I got to fly a bunch of really good civilian airplanes and one military bird that made them all seem like tinkertoys. -Highlights were the Grumman-American Tiger, which, though a simple, fixed gear, fixed pitch machine, could carry as much as my beloved Navion just as far and just as fast; the Aviat Husky, which, after no more than a four second take-off run, would climb out at a breathtaking angle and rate. -The Bellanca Citabria was a sweet, friendly, puppy-dog of an airplane and if you threw a ball, that airplane would run and fetch it for you. -Took an aerobatic lesson in one and instead of frightening me to the core—which I fully expected—it imparted great confidence though simple loops and rolls. -What fun! -It made a much better pilot of me.
Ah, but the North American AT-6—a magnificent brute of a machine, and yet it had featherweight ailerons. -The little bit of time I spent in that airplane was in no way enough to get even within the same zip-code as mastery, but still; what a thoroughly enjoyable airplane!
On one memorable occasion, I got to fly in the jumpseat of a Razorback P-47, and "Little Demon" felt solid enough to have been on rails. -The Mighty Thunderbolt will ever remain the one I most longed to fly, but never shall.
My Navion, “Starduster*,” was a nosewheel airplane, so I suppose doesn't really belong in this discussion, but this gentle giant was so forgiving and such a sweet angel at the controls, she nevertheless deserves mention. -I do miss her.
*Back when I was a kid, I watched the adventure cartoon, “Space Angel.” -It featured a space ship by the name of “Starduster.” -My Dad built a kid-sized space ship in our backyard and in the cockpit, he implanted the steering column and wheel pulled from a junked truck. -I and my crew of neighborhood kids flew this plywood “Starduster” from one end of the galaxy to the other, and had, as imaginary passengers, such celebrated guests as Superman, Topo Gigio, John F. Kennedy, Shari Lewis and Lambchop. -When I bought the Navion, no other name but “Starduster” would do.
Bob - Arthur Godfrey had a Navion.
Yes. And so did Robert Young.
Here are some Navions for ya...including a twin.
The one on the left belongs to a friend.
They call themselves the Frasier Blues and are based near Vancouver, BC.
They used to do airshows but I think they're slowing down now.