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Old 08-21-2012, 04:37 PM   #15
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Jack,
Thanks for the explanation of 195Pilot and other information and the pictures. Your trailer is due for a new frame and the new one looks like it will be superior to the original (even when it was new). The new outriggers are way better than the original. As an aside, I now look at the frame of an Airstream as a connecting link between the shell and the wheels that also serves some other functions.

Hang in there my friend!

Steve
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Old 08-21-2012, 04:50 PM   #16
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All,
Here's a picture of a Cessna 195 making a fairly high speed pass down on the deck (probably over a runway). It should be plain to see that anyone who likes Airstreams would also like the Cessna 195. They were (and are) great airplanes.



Jack,
You and I have more in common. I was born in Tennessee and went to the Univ of Tennessee...so we have a southern heritage that is common. I was an avionics engineer at Beech Aircraft who also did some mechanical design. Also, I was a flight instructor years ago (single, multi, instrument).

Steve
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:05 PM   #17
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Thanks for the complements
In addition to the tube main frame and tube cross members I went with .250 axle plates. I did use the AS A-frame with its front bracing. I used the Z frame that hold the fresh water tank.In retrospect I wish I had not. The metal was so pitted and corroded even after cleaning it up it was hard to weld.
I can't understand a Structural Engineer designing the Airstream frame. My belief is the original design was good enough for the small 40's and 50's models. Then someone ask for one bigger, no problem, Hey Bubba,"make that frame longer".
My wife has had to walk away from this project. As I would uncover each layer I would try to analyze why AS did what they did. This has made the job 3 times longer than it should have taken.
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:14 PM   #18
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Here are a couple of pictures of a frame that I built about 3 months ago for my 1969 Avion C-11 camper.





Here is a picture underneath it with 32 gallons of extra water and a space for 20 gallons of gasoline.


This single axle is rated at 7000#. Axle alignment is one of the most important parts of a trailer build. The alignment is even more critical on tandem and triple axles, because the axles can start working against each other. On a single axle, it will just pull to one side.

If you keep the axle alignment within 1/16" and the trailer within 1/8", especially having the coupler centered properly, the trailer will tow great (assuming that it has the right tongue weight and weight distribution). I have seen folks spend a fortune on WD hitches when their real problem was a frame that wasn't built properly and axles that were out of alignment. I don't care what they spent on their tow vehicle and hitch assembly, the trailer will never tow right.
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:19 PM   #19
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Steve,
Did you have anything to do with the Starship? That was one awesome machine.
I am commercial Multi-engine instrument rated with over 8000 hrs. Never cared to have students scare the daylights out of me. Aviation is my first love and my wife knows this so she tolerates my toys and my rebuilds. I sure keeps you out of the Bars at night. I tell everyone I've spent most of my adult life in an airplane or a hanger.
Although I love the 195 my favorite(never meet an airplane I didn't like) is the Aero Commander Twins, Big Ugly and consumes vast amounts of fuel but they sure do fly good.
Avionics is one area I stay away from. My hats off to you I guess my brain hasn't enough diodes.
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:28 PM   #20
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M2HB,
You do good work!!!

I have tried to stay within 1/32". Maybe Im a little anal.

When I opened up the belly pan some of the outriggers had broken from the main frame so long ago that it was difficult to determine were they mated to the frame rail. So some of this is guess.
Folks are having all kinds of problems with tires on AS, I can't help but wonder if they have more axle alignment problems than tire problems.
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:51 PM   #21
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M2HB,
You do good work!!!

I have tried to stay within 1/32". Maybe Im a little anal.

When I opened up the belly pan some of the outriggers had broken from the main frame so long ago that it was difficult to determine were they mated to the frame rail. So some of this is guess.
Folks are having all kinds of problems with tires on AS, I can't help but wonder if they have more axle alignment problems than tire problems.
If you are keeping it within 1/32 you are doing great. A simple "X" measurement when you are done will confirm that it is square. I guarantee that your "new" trailer will tow better than it did the day that it left the factory.
I have it made with a trailer jig. I used to have it in a shop where there was an overhead hoist. Now it is on the side of my house. It sure makes alignment easy. Now I have to roll the frames over with a tractor. Not an easy way to do it, but it works. Besides, I don't build that many frames anymore.
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:42 PM   #22
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Yes I have measured X, centered, measured axle length from center of ball. I have just about wore out my slide rule, OOPs my calculator (I just about gave away my age). I was out cutting the C for the axles to fit into and the original frame rear axle cut outs were 1/8" longer on one side than the other from the front axle. Surely not all airstreams have such sloppy tolerance.
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:47 PM   #23
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Yes I have measured X, centered, measured axle length from center of ball. I have just about wore out my slide rule, OOPs my calculator (I just about gave away my age). I was out cutting the C for the axles to fit into and the original frame rear axle cut outs were 1/8" longer on one side than the other from the front axle. Surely not all airstreams have such sloppy tolerance.
From what I've read on this forum, many of the original AS frames are worse than your original frame. You can really be proud of yours when you are done.
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:21 PM   #24
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Jack, I only worked on the Starship a little bit, but I do know a fair amount about the design basics and history. Mostly, I worked on King Airs. But, over the years, I was involved with the Baron/Bonanza, Hawker 987 (for a brief time) and some advance design/think-tank work. Besides engineering (about 60% of my career), I also worked in manufacturing, equipment testing, marketing, technical training and program management.

M2HB, Your Avion frame looks great! I'm looking at the length of the frame and it's pretty long for a pickup camper. What will you be putting on the front? I assume that you have some of the extra length as a long lever arm to reduce the ball weight. That trailer should tow like a champ with its long ball to axle distance! I'm impressed!
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:32 PM   #25
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Steve,
We had a c-90 Baby King Air for a while and I have a little time in a King Air-200 . Flight Safety International on the -200.
The starship was just 20 years ahead of its time, but what do I know I think an ADF is high tech
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:49 PM   #26
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Jack, I only worked on the Starship a little bit, but I do know a fair amount about the design basics and history. Mostly, I worked on King Airs. But, over the years, I was involved with the Baron/Bonanza, Hawker 987 (for a brief time) and some advance design/think-tank work. Besides engineering (about 60% of my career), I also worked in manufacturing, equipment testing, marketing, technical training and program management.

M2HB, Your Avion frame looks great! I'm looking at the length of the frame and it's pretty long for a pickup camper. What will you be putting on the front? I assume that you have some of the extra length as a long lever arm to reduce the ball weight. That trailer should tow like a champ with its long ball to axle distance! I'm impressed!
Steve, thanks. The extra length is for storage and a quad which will ride under the cabover part of the camper. The extra length is also needed to make it tow properly. I don't like short coupled trailers. The camper hangs over the rear of the truck by about 3 feet so the overall length is about 19-1/2'. My wife gave me the option, buy a fairly new AS Bambi, or fix the Avion camper that has been sitting in my back yard for close to 30 years. I chose fixing the Avion because I can't take a Bambi very far off road. Besides, the Bambi only holds 23 gallons of water and 450# of items with a GVW of 4500#. My trailer combo will carry 72 gallons of water, 20 gallons of gasoline, 100# of propane and about 1500# over the wet weight of the rig with a GVW of 7000#. I also have a large propane stove that slides in and out under that front storage area.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:18 PM   #27
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M2HB,
You are going to have a nice go anywhere camper!!

You can put a bike rack on the rear and not worry the whole thing will disintegrate going down the interstate. But the rest of us have a fear a pebble will hitch a ride in the trunk and rear end separation will destroy our AS.
Sounds like a good design.
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:01 PM   #28
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M2HB,
You are going to have a nice go anywhere camper!!

You can put a bike rack on the rear and not worry the whole thing will disintegrate going down the interstate. But the rest of us have a fear a pebble will hitch a ride in the trunk and rear end separation will destroy our AS.
Sounds like a good design.
Once you get yours back together, I don't think that you will have any towing or frame issues. I'm impressed with anyone who will go to the extent of a shell off restoration. It is the way to go, but it sure is a lot of work. I'm looking forward to seeing it as you progress through the restoration.
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