marine air wrote:
So you guys are rebuilding an O-58A/ L-3A? They are a blast and can turn on a dime. My friend has one that we flew for the last 20 years until he totaled it last year. A few suggestions for the rebuild;
1) check the rudder horn, ours was cracked and started fluttering at high speeds.
2) Please upgrade the engine from the anemic 65 hp to 75 or 85. I have flown the 7AC, 11AC, 11BC, 7BCM, 7EC, and several others and there is something unique about the O-58A. It has a hellish sink rate at idle and when at best glide, it sinks at what feels like 800 fpm.
No clue where all the drag comes from. Some say the engine cowling design. It climbs poorly on 65 hp. compared to the J-3, Champ, Chief, BC-12D, BL-65, AND L-2. I'VE instructed in them all and the O-58A has the best turning radius and can maneuver at the slowest speeds. It just needs more horsepower to realize it's potential.
Thanks for the great comments, I would love to put an 85 in the plane but currently the STC only applies to B and C models with wood wing ribs, the A model came from the factory with metal ribs. The L-3s I have flown remind me of the L-4E that I restored that was also heavy it also needed the extra HP and I upgraded it to 85 with a O-200 crank
there are currently no A models flying and only 4 left on the FAA registry of the 20 that were built. Most of the L-3s that have survived are B models and a handful of C models. The A has a greenhouse that only extends back to immediately above the rear seat and the framework is made of spruce vs the heavier metal framework on the B and C models. The fuselage frame is also lighter. The A will build up probably 20 to 25 lbs lighter than most other L-3s flying.e
When it left the factory it only had one throttle and a 2nd throttle was only added in 1945 after it was sold as surplus. I have included two shots of the L-4E I restored as a replica of DP-852 a L-4E with a colorful history.