When you come for your first lesson, or a demo flight it is important to have an idea of what to expect. Of course that depends a lot on which aircraft you are wanting to fly in and what the weather conditions are. In either case, it is important to wear comfortable clothes that are flexible, especially if flying in the Taylorcraft. Climbing in and out of the Taylorcraft for the first time can be a bit awkward, but becomes easy with a little practice. Shoes should be soft and flexible such as tennis shoes or something similar. Shoes with heels and bulky boots do not work well in airplanes. You should dress according to the temperature and which aircraft you will be flying. Below is some helpful hints for both new pilots and transitioning pilots. If some of it is confusing to you, don’t worry, we will explain it all when you are here. Everyone’s frame of reference is different based on their experience.
1938 Taylorcraft BC-65:
The Taylorcraft is a true classic aircraft from the golden days of Aviation. Produced in both the prewar period and the post war industrial boom along with so many other light aircraft, it is an iconic symbol of simpler times. Our Taylorcraft is a prewar model, originally a BF-50 with a Franklin engine. In 1974 it was converted to a BC-65 with a more reliable Continental A65. She is an honest and simple aircraft to fly with no bad habits. Cruising at about 90 mph on 4 gallons per hour, it is also a very economical aircraft to fly. With a semi symmetrical airfoil with a large span and no flaps, it likes to fly! Even with the little 65 hp continental, it will take off in a few hundred feet and climb nicely even when heavy, and it will float a long way down the runway if you come in too fast.
Many people today seem to be afraid of tailwheel airplanes, but there is nothing to worry about. They are superior to tricycle gear airplanes in many ways and are simply an additional skill to be mastered, which adds to the fun. And like they say, you just can’t swagger away from a tricycle gear airplane! One thing you will soon discover when climbing into the Taylorcraft, is that apparently people were smaller in 1946. It is not as roomy as some of the modern LSA aircraft, but will accommodate people up to around 250 lbs. or a little over, and even up to 6’4 or so. Once inside, it’s comfortable but cozy. This aircraft is not equipped with an electrical system, which means it must be started by hand propping. We will train you to do that if you are going to solo in this aircraft or would otherwise like to learn. It is a simple procedure that seems to frighten people, but is safe and routine if done properly.
We do fly the Taylorcraft year round as it does have cabin heat, but it’s not particularly warm on a cold day, so dress warm if you are flying in cold weather. The Taylorcraft is an amazingly fun airplane to fly, and if you are looking for an inexpensive, two-seat Sport Pilot airplane, they can commonly be found in nice condition for under $20,000.