OCT 2014

Experimenter is a magazine created by EAA for people who build airplanes. We will report on amateur-built aircraft as well as ultralights and other light aircraft.

Issue link: https://experimenter.epubxp.com/i/401344

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Page 11 of 46

12 Vol.3 No.10 / October 2014 THE GA-11 "I WAS SITTING AROUND the 'O' Club at Dover Air Force Base where I was fl ying C-141s when another pilot started talking about this little airplane he was building. It was called a Cassutt. I knew nothing about EAA and was unaware that people were building their own aircraft. I was fascinated. I joined EAA, ordered plans and materials for a Cassutt, and began building an airplane. The Cassutt followed me from base to base and I fi n- ished it in 1978." And that's how Gary Green's fascination with homebuilt aircraft began. His aviation career includes 733 hours over the "Steel Tiger" area of Laos as a forward air controller in a Cessna O-2A Skymaster and wends its way through a variety of U.S. Air Force hardware during his 20 years in the service. That includes C-141As, two tours as a T-38 instructor, a tour in C- 5As, some time as a T-37 instructor, and a distasteful turn in the barrel behind a desk. Then he spent 15 years with the airlines before retiring in 2003. With the exception of his O-2A time and his T-41 time in training, all of his "professional" fl ying was in jets. Some fast, some of them really big. His personal fl ying was the opposite, with some quite small and relatively fast—and all taildraggers. Which brings us to the airplane he had at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014—the GA-11. The GA-11 is not his 11th airplane; it is only his fourth. After the Cassutt, he completed a Thorp T-18 in 1980 and another one in 2006. "GA-11" is a play on the designation of the airplane it represents: a sorta-but-not-quite clone of a Piper PA-11 Cub Special (Piper Aircraft/Green Aircraft, get it?). The PA-11 Cub Special is the almost forgotten link between the J-3 Cub and the PA-18 Super Cub. It was produced for only three years—1947, 1948, and 1949—and although slightly more than 1,500 were built, it is seldom seen today. And when it is, it is often mistaken for its later sibling, the Super Cub. The PA-11 is a J-3; it's just wearing dif erent clothes. It is a typical postwar Piper design in which every ef ort was made to carry existing components from one airplane to the next but combine them dif erently. They all shared many of the same components, including wings, tails, and internal subcomponents. Gary said, "I've been deeply involved with EAA since the Cassutt and have fl own to every Oshkosh fl y-in since '74, ex- cept for two years. I have built three scratchbuilt aircraft and had stated that I'd never build another plans-built airplane. I wanted to build a kit where you just rattle the box and an airplane falls out. But I'd had my eye on this Cub project for several years. Claude Jochmans of Chelsea, Oklahoma, started it but sold it to a good friend of mine, Gary Cotner, as a project. We both knew he'd never fi nd time to fi nish it, and I fi nally badgered him to sell it in the spring of 2008. And then I hauled it home to Arkansas. "Claude Jochmans had done excellent work. The welding was beautiful and the woodwork was like fine cabinet work. All I had to do was clean the dust off the wings and repair the trailing edge of the left wing where the inboard ribs had been damaged. Photography by Craig Vander Kolk Gary Green knows what he likes and how to build it. A Wag-Aero spring landing gear kit replaces the traditional Cub's bungees. The O-200 has had a C-90 cam installed to improve its torque curve.

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