The Solution to the Parts Mystery

Dick Rank found some unusual parts in 125C that he hadn't seen before and asked for help in identifying them. From our Mitetalk discussion forum, here is Garry Gramman's explanation. 

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Picture No. 1. The seat back was probably contoured in this manner to allow the pilot to reach the baggage compartment contents. He might have been a little overweight or have had muscular arms! It was not the original shape. But Mooney did use horsehair in the seatbacks.

Picture No 2. The wheel covers look like they covered the wheels completely, and they would probably have been located inboard of the wheel wells, like a P51. Sandy Sanderson had this type of covers on his Mite, serial 41, N380A, now owned by Jerry Jenny, and he hooked them up to the gear retraction system, but they were so difficult or maybe impossible to operate that he designed a lever to operate the doors independently from the landing gear.

Picture No. 3. This is a nice way to prevent scalloping. The Mooney factory used nitrate dope on the Mites, and the scalloping was brutal! When I rebuilt N119C in 1955, I had to straighten out all of the tubing in the control surfaces and even replace the wood at the trailing edges of the wings and tail feathers, which was crushed and bent. I used 1/4" x 1/4" spruce to brace the control surfaces, and 3/8" x 3/8" on the longer spans in the wings. But Mooney did recognize the problem, and the C and LA models have twice as many ribs in the flaps as the L model.*

Picture No. 4. Looks like hydraulic brakes, but I don't think any Mites were originally equipped with hydraulic brakes.

Another anti-scalloping measure is not to use nitrate or butyrate dope. I used the Stitts Polyfiber process and I don't have ANY shrinkage.

* And here are Tony Terrigno's comments on dopes:

"Garry's approach to preventing scalloping edges on control surfaces and any trailing edge on the Mite are acceptable ways to help minimize the problem. But don't be discouraged in using nitrate and butyrate dopes because in the earlier days those dopes were used for the purpose of tightening the linen (fabric). Nowadays nitrate and butyrate dopes are non-tightening and have very minimum shrinking qualities. Being that I am allergic to Stitts finish materials I have used Randolph products of nitrate and butyrate on various aircraft I've restored with no problems regarding excessive shrinking. However, like Garry, I too reinforced all my trailing edges on the Mites that I have restored in the past. It's your option as to which process you desire to follow through usage."

April 9, 2001