Buying a Warbird

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wloving
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Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2008 12:28 am

Buying a Warbird

Postby wloving » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:43 pm

I am a 500 hour pilot of mostly Piper and Cessna variety. I have owned my first airplane for about 2 years, a 93 Piper Saratoga II HP. It's an awesome travel plane...3 kids and a wife to many destinations without a problem (albeit the kids are all 10 and under currently). I enjoy it as a travel plane, but I need to satisfy the other reasons for aircraft ownership (the fun plane and the upside down plane). I am choosing to combine those 2 desires in one purchase - a Warbird. I have spent the last 2 years at Sun-n-Fun hanging out with the Warbirds of America guys - Link Dexter and crew. The first year, I flew my Saratoga in on the wardbird arrival (sweet) with his son, Greg Dexter, my instructor. Then I flex with Link in a T-28B to Punta Gorda to drop off the T-28. Greg flew my Saratoga so I got to take aerial shots from the back seat of the T-28.

I am interested in spending $150k or less and get a restored and well maintained airplane. I am focused on the T-6 (not G) and T-28A variety. Does anyone have any suggestions of what to watch out for, or avoid, or are willing to talk me out of this ridiculous thing I am getting ready to do? :)

Thanks.

Will Loving
wfloving@me.com
N9202Q - homebase: KOFP

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baswell
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Re: Buying a Warbird

Postby baswell » Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:50 am

Does it have to actually be a WW2 vintage aircraft? How about a more modern warbird like a YAK-52?

Heaps of fun, well below your budget to buy and if it needs maintenance, easy to get parts for.

Dave Higdon
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Re: Buying a Warbird

Postby Dave Higdon » Sat May 08, 2010 5:49 pm

The Yak is a decent option, but so is the T-6 -- and lots of 'em still around...think you'll find your budget won't touch a decent T-28...

suggestions: start looking for a mechanic that you can depend on -- someone with experience in the airplane or at least its engine...and a good Warbird-experienced CFI for the transition training and, if it's required, to serve as your SIC for whatever time your insurer sets...

Have a friend with a Zero-modified T-6 (done for the Movie "Tora! Tora! Tora!") and he doesn't seem to have any overarching issues with maintaining the airplane...but he's got mechanics to match his needs...some in other parts of the country.

One last suggestion -- if, that is, it doesn't have to be WWII vintage: Beech T-34...ADs of some consequence apply, but if you find one up to date, it's a good airplane; not sure how prices break down, but expect it'll push the limits of your budget...

FWIW...

Dave

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champguy
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Location: Florence, (Coastal) Oregon

Re: Buying a Warbird

Postby champguy » Sat May 08, 2010 10:42 pm

If you've got that kind of bucks to spend, get-r-done.
It is a sin to leave money festering in the bank. Spent, it will put some people to work, inspire others, and keep the economy going for the rest of us. Be safe, but enjoy.
I'm just greatful my parents didn't think that way. Their frugality bought my Champ, and puts gas in it.
Remember, not all who wander, are lost.
Image

wloving
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Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2008 12:28 am

Re: Buying a Warbird

Postby wloving » Sat May 08, 2010 11:12 pm

Thanks for the comments. I did look at some Yaks which are neat airplanes and a little less expensive.

But I think I've found the T6 or rather SNJ-5C I am going to buy if everything checks out. It's in great shape and I have a T6 owner/IA lined up to do the pre-buy inspection this week. If all goes well and no big surprises, I am going to take the plunge. I have been talking to a few different people about transitioning to the SNJ and I have been getting recommendations to build some tailwheel time in a Citabria or Cub first to get the hang of the tailwheel operation before getting too far into the SNJ.

Does anyone have any good tips or comments about flying or maintaining a T6 or some links to good information on the web or in print?

Thanks for your comments Dave. I met you, Jeb and Jack in the rain on the last day of Sun-n-Fun this year. I'm the one who had to stop in Keystone, FL to pick up the Notam even though I was flying into Winter Haven.

Also - I was in Minneapolis last week and had my first Leinenkugel..it was great.

Will

Dave Higdon
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Re: Buying a Warbird

Postby Dave Higdon » Fri May 14, 2010 11:35 am

Remember meeting you, Will...thanks for the memory jog...and congrats on the find.

If you haven't yet found one, there are user groups from which you should be able to get tips, meet like-minded/like-owner pilots...

Here's one:

http://www.northamericantrainer.org/t-6.htm

Hope it goes well!

Dave

wloving
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Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2008 12:28 am

Re: Buying a Warbird

Postby wloving » Fri May 14, 2010 8:05 pm

Dave,

Thanks for the tips. I closed on the SNJ-5C last week and have it "tucked" in a borrowed hangar of an airport colleague. I am hoping I can keep it there for a while...these things don't fit very well in standard T-Hangars :(.

It is so exciting...can't wait to fly it, but have to read, study and do a ton of training first...but that's the fun part! I attached picture of it if anyone is interested.

I have already found the Warbird community to be very helpful and am joining NATA and EAA Warbirds, etc. Once I learn how to fly it, I will take you for a ride!

Thanks again for your help and support....I'll keep you posted.

Will
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SNJ5C.jpg
SNJ5C.jpg (65.62 KiB) Viewed 3716 times

JHWellington
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Re: Buying a Warbird

Postby JHWellington » Sun May 16, 2010 9:08 am

Will:

Congratu-friggin-lations!! That is AWESOME! Jealous does not come close to capturing my feelings right now, but it will have to do.
_____________________________________________
John (KHPN) Trinidad TB-20 N242GT
jhwellington on Twitter

wloving
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Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2008 12:28 am

Re: Buying a Warbird

Postby wloving » Mon May 17, 2010 6:09 pm

John,

Thanks...I will take you for a ride in it if you'll take me up in your Trinidad!

Will

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jackhodgson
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Re: Buying a Warbird

Postby jackhodgson » Thu May 20, 2010 10:32 am

What a beautiful airplane. Congrats.

-- Jack


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