Univair is offering a Fabric Piper Restoration Seminar in September taught by Clyde Smith, Jr. Here’s some information on the seminar. Be sure to check it out and, if you are interested in the seminar, sign up soon!
2013 Fabric Piper Restoration Seminar Hosted by Univair
By Clyde R. Smith, Jr.
As the fabric Piper fleet ages and newer, younger owners and restorers take over, I find an ever increasing need to educate the current and future generation of owners and rebuilders on what the standards were when these aircraft were built, the oldest of which are now near 70 years in age. I can sense this lack of knowledge by the questions that I am asked and all the phone calls and letters that I receive. The “Type Clubs” are doing a great job passing on information and experiences among the membership, but there is still a missing link, especially for those who don’t belong to an owners’ club. It is for this reason that I have decided to put my restoration work to the side and conduct a field training program where I can go to the people, along with various training aids, and work with them in small groups instead of one on one by mail or over the phone as I have been doing for nearly 30 years now. By using slides, video tapes, technical diagrams, and actual “hands on” methods of instruction and demonstration, there is not a more effective way to pass this information across. An additional advantage is the camaraderie and friendship among the participants and the sharing of information and experiences of other students. That’s what it’s all about.
Nearly nineteen years of my life was spent working for Piper Aircraft Corporation in such capacities as engineering drafting, technical writing, technical instruction, and product support on all the older models at the Lock Haven plant. I also worked as a manager and creator of the PA-18 Super Cub Kit program at the Vero Beach plant. With all this experience and exposure, I feel well qualified and capable of conducting these restoration and maintenance programs. I have also owned five fabric Piper models myself, consisting of a pre-war and post-war J-3, PA-12, PA-15, and the original prototype PA-16 Clipper. I have won major Oshkosh awards with my PA-12 and a client’s 1938 J3C-50 Sport. This is my goal, to preserve the past for the future, and pass this information on so that these fine aircraft may be preserved, maintained, and enjoyed well into the future.
Now, more about the seminar. By the way, if you don’t even own an airplane yet, this is a fantastic way to familiarize yourself with each of the models and find out everything from service problems to performance specs. We’ll begin the first day with a presentation of the genealogy of the early Pipers. We’ll discuss the FAA Airworthiness Directives that pertain to the airframe, engine, propeller and accessories. As the class progresses, we’ll go over the whole restoration process in detail from tear down to the final inspection and test flight. We’ll discuss cleaning, inspection, fabricating parts, and where to get parts and supplies. We’ll also talk about covering, painting, upholstering, and final touches. There will be demonstrations and a chance for some “hands on” experience. We’ll end up with an exercise on rigging. A few of the demonstrations will include rib repair methods, wing panel trammeling, and fabric covering and stitching. Each student will receive an information packet including a notebook, pen, and a generous supply of very informative handouts. Tail decals and some small parts that I manufacture will be displayed for sale during the seminar. Old photos and factory reference books, along with currently published books on Piper history will also be displayed. Videos pertaining to Piper history will be shown during evening hours and some will be for sale. If desired, workshop duties may continue after the final day, and I will be available, for a fee, for small duties or consulting. Complimentary coffee and doughnuts will be supplied each morning.
Don’t delay and miss out. Class size is limited. This year’s seminar is September 20-22 and will be hosted by Univair Aircraft Corporation in Aurora, Colorado. The tuition for the year 2013 is $395.00, with immediate family members under 21 years of age and spouses at $245.00. Returning students from previous seminars will also be $245.00, if space allows. Payment can be made the first day of the seminar by check or credit card. The instructor reserves the right to cancel a class if attendance is not sufficient. All funds received will be returned, in that case. An information packet with registration, lodging and transportation information as well as directions to the seminar site can be found on Univair’s website, http://www.univair.com/events-and-fly-ins/ or by calling Mike Wotovitch or Jim Dyer at 303-375-8882. Come join in and be a part of this friendly and informative session, and bring some photos of your aircraft or project with you. I’m looking forward to meeting you.