Porterfield Airplane Club

Keep the Skinny Birds Flying Safely

I am restoring a 1940 Collegiate and need to find a source for control cable fairleads. The fairleads are .550 in diameter and 1" long. I have checked all the traditional sources and they all have Piper cub fairleads that are .750" in diameter. Does anyone have a source for Porterfield fairleads?

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Comment by Andy Gelston on July 25, 2020 at 1:49pm


Don't bother with envelopes, they don't work well with the Collegiate fuselage.  Get some heavy fabric for the belly and interior (I recommend heavy fabric for the bottom surfaces of the horizontal tail, also, but you've already covered them) and medium weight for the rest.  Look through the photo section and you will find photos of partially covered fuselages.  There are no sewn seams, just glue the fabric to the structure and to fabric already glued to the structure.  The "seams" are on the lower longerons and the center fairing strip in the turtle deck.  Are you installing a skylight?  Be very careful about attaching the fabric to the structure around the windshield and sky light.  Figure out where you need to place inspection opening rings (some maybe custom shaped like the trailing edge of the horizontal stabilizer) and measure their locations from several points on the fuselage BEFORE you cover her.  Make LOTS of notes of where these rings, etc., need to go.  Use seaplane drain grommets and hold them in place with "dollar" patches about 2-1/2" in diameter.  If you go with plain drain grommets (yes, you can still get them from Plane Jane Lane), put a 1-1/2" diameter dollar patch over it.  Not covering a drain grommet is an amateurish shortcut resulting in the grommet eventually peeling off.

Comment by Victor Briley on July 20, 2020 at 10:15pm

I found a bunch of stuff for this plane tucked away in a box that had never been opened by me. It looks like I may have everything I need for now. Anyone out there have any experience putting a fabric envelope on the fuselage? This is my first time working with fabric. I have covered both wings and all the control surfaces using the Superflite fabric. The place in Ohio can make a pre-sewn envelope but not using Superflite fabric. I wish I had known before I purchased the Superflite materials. As most of you probably know, you are not supposed to mix brands of covering materials including paint and fabric. There are no Porterfields around here that I can look at for reference. Any suggestions?

Comment by Bill Skinner on July 17, 2020 at 6:39pm

Ok, thanks for letting me know....

Comment by Victor Briley on July 17, 2020 at 12:55pm

Thanks for taking the time to list the spruce you have. Unfortunately none of it is the size I need. Tim Talen says he has some he can cut to size for me.

Comment by Bill Skinner on July 11, 2020 at 4:55pm

I haven't found the actual invoice yet, so i created a list in excel. The items are all subject to further review to determine exact dimensions, wood, etc. see attached picture of listing.

This material was ordered at least 40 years ago... and has been stored in a closet. If it is still viable, then it would be nice to get it to somebody rebuilding a Porterfield (since that is what it was intended for originally). However, if not interested I can find an EAA chapter here. I have acquaintances that I worked directly with who are retired and rebuild war-birds etc.

Comment by Bill Skinner on July 10, 2020 at 3:20pm

Picture of the Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co. box / contents.

Comment by Bill Skinner on July 10, 2020 at 3:05pm

update. I have been to my parents old house and looking around for the packing slip from Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co. I have not found it yet.... But i brought the box home and opened it and will inventory it the best i can soon.

Additionally, there are a couple of old main spruce spars at their house. These have had the root ends cut off (that was done by the previous owner, AKA previous idiot). As i recall, my dad had considered splicing the spare to save them. That or sawing them up to use for aileron spars, rib materials, etc. He also wanted them as representative examples of production spars, with the doublers, wire brace blocks, hole patterns, etc. They are still there in the garage. The box from Aircraft Spruce & Specialty was stored in the house.

There is a bundle of brace wires also, and some other parts. I did not find any fairleads. There are some control cables, an aileron spar, bits and pieces of aileron ribs, one "head knocker" counterweight, a single wheel and tire (bad i'm sure), a couple of pieces of streamline tubing (wing drag strut material).....

Gents, it is nearly 100 degrees outside today, with a heat index of about 108. Sucks to be out in the garage.... so i will try to get a brief inventory of the box and post a bit later....

Bill Skinner

Comment by Bill Skinner on July 9, 2020 at 4:35pm

I'm not sure, but there is a box of some wood stored at my parents house that is from Aircraft Spruce. I will see if i can find the packing slip to see what's in it. it will be tomorrow before i can respond further....

Comment by Victor Briley on July 9, 2020 at 3:49pm
Tim Talen in Oregon has some and is sending them to me. Anyone out there have some 1/4" x 1 1/4" spruce capstrip wood. Aircraft Spruce is out of it and won't see any until sometime in August. Shipping on anything over 7' long is outrageous.
Comment by Bill Skinner on July 4, 2020 at 11:43am

do you have one as a representative example? could you post a picture of it if you do?

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