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Thread: Balast

  1. #1

    Balast

    I have a 1974 Sundowner with which I am very happy. I routinely carry 40
    Lb of sand in the baggage compartment when I fly solo and up to 120 Lb
    when I have company. This inconveniently eats into my useful load to
    the point that I have to defuel to take the family somewhere.

    I have played with a weight and balance spreadsheet and found that if I
    put 10 Lb way back in the tail (5 ft aft of the baggage compartment)the
    CG is much more controllable. My first thought is that the empenage
    structure may not like the weight back there.

    More importantly, has anyone done a legal mod to the airframe,adding
    weight to the tail? Would this be done on a 337? If so, is the
    paperwork available?

    I appreciate any and all thoughts.
    Last edited by Clinderman; 01-12-2018 at 02:33 PM. Reason: c.t.

  2. #2

    Balast

    >I have played with a weight and balance spreadsheet and found that if I
    >put 10 Lb way back in the tail (5 ft aft of the baggage compartment)the
    >CG is much more controlable. My first thought is that the empenage
    >structure may not like the weight back there.
    >
    >More importantly, has anyone done a legal mod to the airframe,adding
    >weight to the tail? Would this be done on a 337? If so, is the
    >paperwork available?

    Beech had various lead weights in the tail to help the CG with just
    pilot/copilot. They had different sized batteries (25 and 35) and placed
    them at different stations in the tail.

    The A23-19 had a 22# weight attached to the aft bulkhead, and other models
    had smaller weights. These weights are NEVER damaged in a crash, so the
    sharp-eyed owner might score one in a salvage yard for practically
    nothing. They have no resale value, except for the scrap lead or to
    someone wanting to adjust the Empty CG.

    You might consider a Sky-Tec starter, which is 8# lighter than the
    Prestolite, and a considerable distance from the CG, so it has a pretty
    long arm.

    If you use one of the Beech weights and mount it per the parts manual, some
    mechanics would consider it a log entry and W&B recalculation, without any
    field approval. YMMV.

    Bob Steward, A&P IA
    Birmingham, AL



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  3. #3

    Balast

    There is a factory counter weight for some of the Sundowners. They
    attach at the tailcone (last bulkhead). There were 2 weights
    avialable, about 10 pounds and 20 pounds. Most are 10 pounds. Some
    can be found in salvage yards. Since they're factory parts all you
    need is a logbook entry and W&B re-do if you're plane is "eligible"
    by serial number or "minor" 337 to cover the FAA legalities. If it
    wasn't available for your plane (by serial number) you'll probably
    need a 337 but it should be easily approved.

    BTW it helps a little but isn't really noticable.


    --- In musketeermail@yahoogroups.com, "pa2822407" <gordon@...> wrote:
    >
    > I have a 74 Sundowner with which I am very happy. I routinely
    carry 40
    > Lb of sand in the baggage compartment when I fly solo and up to 120
    Lb
    > when I have company. This inconveniently eats into my useful load
    to
    > the point that I have to defuel to take the family somewhere.
    >
    > I have played with a weight and balance spreadsheet and found that
    if I
    > put 10 Lb way back in the tail (5 ft aft of the baggage compartment)
    the
    > CG is much more controlable. My first thought is that the empenage
    > structure may not like the weight back there.
    >
    > More importantly, has anyone done a legal mod to the
    airframe,adding
    > weight to the tail? Would this be done on a 337? If so, is the
    > paperwork available?
    >
    > I apreciate any and all thoughts.
    >






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  4. #4
    Guest
    Guest

    Balast

    Before any installation using a 337, remember to
    contact your FSDO first. The weight installation will
    require a 337 and most FSDOs won't issue these without
    requiring flight tests and an OK by the engineering
    department/ similar to a one time stc. The logic that
    one series has them and others don't doesn't seem to
    apply. This might be another good stc project for BAC.

    --- ajpcps <ajpcps@yahoo.com> wrote:

    > There is a factory counter weight for some of the
    > Sundowners. They
    > attach at the tailcone (last bulkhead). There were
    > 2 weights
    > avialable, about 10 pounds and 20 pounds. Most are
    > 10 pounds. Some
    > can be found in salvage yards. Since they're
    > factory parts all you
    > need is a logbook entry and W&B re-do if you're
    > plane is "eligible"
    > by serial number or "minor" 337 to cover the FAA
    > legalities. If it
    > wasn't available for your plane (by serial number)
    > you'll probably
    > need a 337 but it should be easily approved.
    >
    > BTW it helps a little but isn't really noticable.
    >
    >
    > --- In musketeermail@yahoogroups.com, "pa2822407"
    > <gordon@...> wrote:
    > >
    > > I have a 74 Sundowner with which I am very happy.
    > I routinely
    > carry 40
    > > Lb of sand in the baggage compartment when I fly
    > solo and up to 120
    > Lb
    > > when I have company. This inconveniently eats
    > into my useful load
    > to
    > > the point that I have to defuel to take the family
    > somewhere.
    > >
    > > I have played with a weight and balance
    > spreadsheet and found that
    > if I
    > > put 10 Lb way back in the tail (5 ft aft of the
    > baggage compartment)
    > the
    > > CG is much more controlable. My first thought is
    > that the empenage
    > > structure may not like the weight back there.
    > >
    > > More importantly, has anyone done a legal mod to
    > the
    > airframe,adding
    > > weight to the tail? Would this be done on a 337?
    > If so, is the
    > > paperwork available?
    > >
    > > I apreciate any and all thoughts.
    > >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >


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  5. #5

    Balast

    We have an 83 Sierra C24R. Like most Musketeer drivers, we generally do carry stuff in the baggage compartment, but I don't ballast much for solo flight (I'm not too big, if you are, I recommend proper diet and exercise....just kiddin'). With just me and full fuel, I require 20 lbs of ballast in the baggage area for the CG to be at 110.5" with 5 gals of fuel remaining. So, the jumper cables, oil, glass polish, tool kit, red rags, etc. pretty much covers me on a solo flight. Our empty weight at right now is 1825 lbs. with the OEW CG at 111.5" (the Sierra's OEW FWD CG limit is 110") Pretty heavy, but about par for a well equipped C24R. This places our full fuel payload under 600 lbs.

    Wanting to improve the payload and CG situation we came up with the following plan:

    First, the Loran-C and ADF and assorted cables and antenna will be deep six-ed. The light weight starter is next, followed by a lighter alternator (may require field approval). Switching to Slick mags saves a few more pounds (2 1/2 lbs according to Slick). All to be done at our upcoming annual early next year. All told, we estimate that we will recover about 30 lbs. Almost all of it forward of the OEW CG. I don't have the CG calculations with me at the moment, but I recall the result was about a 2" shift aft. Also, it has been my experience that the log book doesn't necessarilly reflect the real OEW of an airplane. If it hasn't been done in a while, you might consider having the airplane weighed to see exactly what your weight and CG really are.

    Three more and you'll have a nickel.

    Marty Vanover
    Phoenix, Az.

    pa2822407 <gordon@acumen-ea.com> wrote:
    I have a 74 Sundowner with which I am very happy. I routinely carry 40
    Lb of sand in the baggage compartment when I fly solo and up to 120 Lb
    when I have company. This inconveniently eats into my useful load to
    the point that I have to defuel to take the family somewhere.

    I have played with a weight and balance spreadsheet and found that if I
    put 10 Lb way back in the tail (5 ft aft of the baggage compartment)the
    CG is much more controlable. My first thought is that the empenage
    structure may not like the weight back there.

    More importantly, has anyone done a legal mod to the airframe,adding
    weight to the tail? Would this be done on a 337? If so, is the
    paperwork available?

    I apreciate any and all thoughts.






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