January 17, 2021 at 12:11 am #2152
I’m a newby, looking at procuring a Meyers 200D.
I’m looking at a Meyers largely because of personal connections to the aircraft, first my Wife’s Grandfather who had run the TaylorCraft plant pre WWII was hired by North American Rockwell to establish the assembly line in the new Albany Ga plant.
I was born and raised in Albany, met my wife there etc, but joined the Army in 82 and Retired in 02
After retirement from the Army I became VP of Thrush Aircraft, Chief Pilot and Test Pilot from 2003 until I retired in 2017.
Thrush is built in the Albany Ga plant of course, the same plant the Meyers as well as the Lark, Darter, Quail, Sparrow and of course the Thrush is built, also the 112 was designed, built and Certified there.
I’m very familiar with the plant and the construction techniques, which are the same now as they were in 1965 when they were accepted by the FAA, you just don’t change welding techniques, or anything else, because if you do then they are no longer Grandfathered and you simply won’t be allowed to do things as they were done in 1965.
The same Hydro Press, Alodine tanks etc that were installed in 1965 are still in use today, A few changes have been made, like they water jet thicker steel now, and use a laser to cut sheet metal where a router used to be used.
The Hydro is a HUGE press, built in if memory serves in 1943 by Defense Plant industries, it’s so large that Rockwell had it installed before the building was built, the foundation goes down to bedrock and the roof of the plant is built so that if needed a section can be removed to service the Hydro Press.
I can explain if anyone is interested the way we formed metal parts, heat treated them, the welding processes employed, Normalizing of stressed welded structures, how plastic parts are formed (windshields etc)
One thread I noticed was about Landing light covers. All transparencies in the Albany plant are formed by hanging a sheet of plastic in an oven until soft, quickly removed and laid over a form covered in pool table felt and formed by hand, wearing cotton gloves, no vacuum forming, double molds etc.
When I was there, there was only one person that was still working that was there when the Meyers were built, his name is Ken Gum and he’s in Quality control now.
If I find a good 200, I’ll be sure to go back to the plant with it and take pictures, Ken Gum still has photos of all the Commander employees out in front of the plant etc.January 18, 2021 at 9:54 pm #2158Andy NixonParticipant
Very cool! When I started in business aviation I did sales for National Flight Services, they are a Honeywell Service Center (TPE331) so I was able to attend several of the NAAA shows and chat with the crop dusting crowd.
AndyJanuary 20, 2021 at 1:04 am #2161Ed PulliamParticipant
Jody-wonderful history and thank you for sharing! I own one of the few C models (8 I think?). These are great airplanes. I certainly hope your search goes well. Please continue to reach out as there as a wealth of knowledge with these owners.
Best-January 26, 2021 at 6:41 pm #2166
Thanks, hopefully I will be signing a purchase contract very soon, maybe today? and arranging for an annual as opposed to a “pre-buy”, I don’t believe in pre-buys, for one to be any good it should cover everything an annual does, and if you do that, why not reset the clock?
Anyway one member is handling the sale, and another the annual.
I don’t know protocol here so I didn’t post names, don’t know if I shouldn’t.
But if all goes well, I hope to have a D model at home in my hanger in a few weeks.
I plan on taking her “Home” to the Albany plant where she was born and taking some pictures on how they were built. What’s called the manufacturing specs are identical to what they were in 1965 when Commander built the plant, so all welding and Alodine, heat treat etc are identical, as you don’t change an accepted spec unless you have to.
I don’t know the new owners of Thrush, but know all the workers and surely the new owners won’t mind me visiting.
I’ve kind of always wanted to at least fly a Meyers, well at least since working at Thrush anyway, never really considered owning one though.January 28, 2021 at 4:23 pm #2167Ed PulliamParticipant
Jody-your posts are great! Couple of comments. They are great 2 person airplanes and 3 if all are not too big. The 3K# gross weight is definitely a factor, especially if you are full fuel on 80 gallons. I have less concerns about CG (Maybe I should?) but in fact have a 50# bag of sand on the back since 90% plus of my flying is just me.
I have a legacy Century III and in fact it is on the fritz and I am getting it looked at in 2 weeks. My A/P is old school and loves the C III’s but he fully acknowledges their are better options. The biggest thing for the 200 fleet are enough folks putting up the $$ to get and STC approved. FWIW, my guy says Tru Track are not quality products and we as a fleet would not be happy. His opinion of course but he has been an A/P guy exclusively for 40+ years.
These are cool old birds that have their eccentricities but are fun to fly and are always a ramp conversation. High sink rate at lower airspeed on final and you have to keep some power into the flare. Low flap speed so gear first and then approach flaps. I have had some fun lately by dropping gear on DW, getting to FE speed, dumping in full flaps and 15-16″ of MP and doing the base to final. She will stop pretty quickly!
I hear you on airframe parts. Not sure what is out there in the salvage yards, but guessing not much since fleet is so small. Everything else is very findable or on the shelf somewhere. My A&P/IA is a young guy but very good with metal and he has done some good fabricating to add bushings, etc. where needed.
The seats are awful and several of the guys have done a 337 to add a mounting plate on the main spar and substitute Bo seats. Much better solution and one I want to do. I just need to find the seats and get TC Cromer to do his magic.
Good luck on the buy and keep us in the loop!
#285February 4, 2021 at 1:18 am #2184
Ref seats, Maule’s seats are absolutely horrible, a lot like maybe a 60’s VW seats or some other budget automobile way back when seats were flat.
Anyway Oregon Aero absolutely transformed my seats, I didn’t think it possible, but where my back was hurting in that flat seat that if anything was caved in some in the middle in an hour I could fly comfortably for hours with the Oregon Aero seats.
Has anyone sent the seats to Oregon Aero?
On the sand, we will need 100 lbs with both of us and full fuel in the baggage compt, puts us at 100 over max gross, but at the edge of CG limits, of course off loading fuel puts us within CG and below max gross.
I don’t worry as much about max gross, a 10% overload used to be easy to get the AK FSDO to buy off on, over gross tells me to back off some on turbulence penetration speed and maneuvering G’s, but we don’t fly that way anyway, and would be below max gross on landing.
But CG, depending on what set the limits, could maybe be trouble.
I’ve been told by one of Aero Commanders test pilots that was at the Albany plant why the airplane is so restricted on CG range at higher weights, but as I’ve not seen an Engineering report, I can’t be sure.
However those Engineering reports should still exist
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