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Aircraft Recognition 2007 Global Flyer, flown solo, non-stop around the world by Steve Fossett. Just one of the many cool airplanes you may see at Oshkosh!
Welcome to the second generation aircraft recognition CD. Several of you have requested airborne photos, a great idea, so again, this year that’s some of what your getting. In many cases I have included nauseating detail about a particular aircraft or similar types. My point is not to be boring or make you memorize it all, but, rather to show you how easy it is to guess wrong; and, guessing wrong is way worse than saying something descriptive like red and white high wing taildragger. Even with a 300 mm zoom lens, these photo’s still had to be cropped and enlarged, so quality is just so-so. Just like at Fisk, you can never see all the details as well as you would like. Consequently, some may be mis-identified. If you catch one, you passed. To take the lesson, you will first see just the photo. Make your best guess, then click the left mouse button once to see the answer. Click a second time for the description, and so on… Suggestions on what to call the aircraft, on frequency, are usually shown in yellow. If you have any problems running the CD, assuming you got this far, give me a call. I’ll send you a new one or try to help figure it out. Jerry Hough, GRR ATCT, work 616 -575 -1905, home 616 -874 -3235, cell 616 -481 -2102, or airboss [email protected] net Have fun! I’ll see you at the greatest aviation event in the world.
Piper Apache Red & White Apache Normally the wingtips are rounded, like the tail. Note the short stubby nose and fat round nacelles. If the wingtips and tail are both squared off and it has a pointed nose, it is either an Apache with the Geronimo conversion or an AZTEC.
Beech Bonanza The gear is standard Beechcraft, wheel on the inside of the gear leg and doors on the outside. Note conventional tail. Makes it either an A-36, B-36, an F-33 (all Bonanza’s) or a Debonair. Light can be in the nose or wings. Nose shaped like an upside down triangle.
Cessna 172 Skyhawk 172 or Skyhawk has struts…single light in wing, may have two lights close together below the spinner. Outboard half of wing is always tapered. If no wheel pants and the gear legs are more curved, it’s probably a Cutlass which is basically a retractable gear Skyhawk. Nose is not as large, or deep, as a C-182 or 206.
Cessna 180 One of several Cessna tail-draggers. Longer, tapered wing makes it a Cessna, not a Piper. Big round spinner covers the constant speed prop and makes it a C-180 or C-185, not a C-170. Light in wing makes it a C-180. C-185 has two lights in the nose. C-185 also has a third side window if you can see it.
Cessna 182 Skylane 182 or Skylane Two widely spaced lights in the nose mean it can’t be a C-172 Cabin is longer on a C-206, with 3 rd side window. RG would have a little curve down in the gear leg near the wheel, and two dark wheel wells in belly. If you can see the rear side window, it tapers top and bottom to a point toward the back.
Piper Aztec Differs from Apache with squared tips on wing and tail, pointed nose and more streamlined cowlings. Actually larger than Apache with 6 -seats Baron would have tapered wing and tail, where Aztec only has taper last couple of feet before wingtip, and no taper in the horizontal tail.
Beech Baron 58 Baron Nose more rounded than Aztec, and Barons engine nacelles are flatter. Baron wing and horizontal tail tapers full span. Gear looks just like a Bonanza’s. Baron 58’s have 4 side windows, Baron 55’s have three, but they’re both Barons. .
Breezy Note the bright pink ATM shirt operating as pilot in command. Fortunately the co-pilot in front seems to have his hands on the controls. Seriously, Arnie will give controllers a ride anytime. Wear your pink shirt and he puts you in the front of the line.
Cessna 170 -B Silver and Red Taildragger or Cessna 170 Single strut and outboard wing taper makes it a Cessna, not a Piper. Exception: C 120 / C 140 and the 170 -A model have constant chord wings and two struts per side. Smaller nose and rounded tail means it is not a C 180 or C 185.
Cessna 180 on Floats Floatplanes are those where the wheels were removed and two long, narrow floats were put in their place. They are not seaplanes. This airplane has amphibious floats which means there are retractable wheels in the floats themselves. Seaplanes have a single boat type hull for the bottom of the fuselage. If they have wheels, they will retract out of the way for water landings.
Cessna 310 Similar to Baron but with Tip-tanks. You can see the retractable lights extended below the tip tanks from great distance. Barons, except the Pressurized ones have a light in each wing, but it is several feet in from the wing tip. P-Baron has a light in each nacelle.
Cessna 401, 402, 411, 414, 421, ? ? Blue and White Twin Cessna Not enough detail to tell which model. Short nose means it is an older 400 series, but could be one of several. If you can’t use color, pretty good chance it’s the only twin Cessna or call it a 400 series.
Piper Cherokee Archer Cherokee Wheels on outside of gear leg means it can’t be a Bonanza or Mooney. Only outboard half of Cherokee wing tapers, Bonanza and Mooney wings taper full span. Only Cherokee has a non-tapered horizontal tail. NOTE: Early Cherokee’s had short, stubby wings with no taper. Grumman wing is longer and narrower with no taper. Also Grumman gear originates near the fuselage and extends out an an angle.
Cirrus Easily confused with Lancair Columbia, but Cirrus is much more common. Lancair 4 has much narrower main gear and there is a lot of curve to them. Cirrus main gear comes out of the wing, Columbia gear comes out of the fuselage at a greater angle and looks narrower than the Cirrus. Columbia nose gear goes straight down while Cirrus nose gear curves forward like a Grumman. From the side, Columbia’s main gear has a sharp forward angle to it.
Citabria or Red & White Taildragger Not a Piper because wing is too long and narrow. Champs are similar, but with rounded wingtips and tail surfaces. Same rounded belly to the fuselage. Decathlon looks the same, but with symmetrical wing, bigger engine and constant speed prop. You’ll need to look real close to see these.
Comanche Not a Cherokee Arrow because entire trailing edge of wing tapers forward. Also, horizontal tail on Cherokee is constant chord, I. e. no taper. Not a Mooney because front of Comanche’s horizontal and vertical tails sweep back. Just the opposite on a Mooney.
Beech Debonair or Yellow Retractable Deb pilots will usually answer to Bonanza, but: Slightly rounded wing tips mean this is not a straight tailed Bonanza.
Diamond DA-40 Diamond Star Front and rear of wingtip tapers to a point. Aft fuselage is really skinny, with a T-tail Smaller two seat version is a Katana or Eclipse. Looks like this but with two wing mounted engines, and a pointy nose, it is a Twin. Star
Glasair II FT Glasair FT = Fixed tricycle gear, also available as RG= retractable tricycle gear or as a taildragger. Aft fuselage not as severely tapered as a Lancair Glasair III has longer nose and is always RG.
ATG Javelin Prototype may be here. It was last seen as an all gray speedster with a somewhat clunky canopy framework. Easily confused with the Viper. Jet, which is shorter and with a single vertical tail.
Viper. Jet Also similar to an L-39 Albatross, but smaller. As of last year, this was the only one flying.
L-39 Albatross Czechoslovakian jet trainer. Very Popular, you can buy 5 or 6 for the price of a P-51. Probably be 8 -12 of them at Oshkosh. If pilot calls in as an Albatross, find out if it’s the jet or the big Grumman Seaplane.
T-2 Buckeye An older Navy jet trainer used to teach carrier landings.
Lancair Except for the Columbia’s, most all Lancair’s have retractable gear. Similar to Glasair II RG, but with smaller aft fuselage and tail.
Long. Eze EZ Type Bad picture of a very hard to see type of aircraft. Even the camera couldn’t find it to set the focus. Skinny fuselage like this is either a Vari. Eze or a Long. Eze. Don’t think they’re any Berkut’s left. Wider, side by side fuselage is either a Cozy or a Velocity. All three gear retracted = a Velocity
Luscombe 8 A Silvaire Luscombe or Yellow Taildragger Similar to Cessna 120/140 series, but: Luscombe has a longer, narrower wing with a double taper at the tip and a cutout on the inboard trailing edge. Luscombe vertical tail is smaller and less rounded. Luscombe gear legs appear much wider due to fairing.
Mooney Wouldn’t be Oshkosh without at least one! Tail should be obvious. From head on, gear legs are very short and fat, compared to an Arrow or Bonanza Wing and horizontal tail have straight leading edges and the trailing edges slope forward, just like the vertical tail.
Pitts or Red & White Biplane Rounded tail is classic Pitts, but can be confused with that of a Steen Skybolt. Can’t be a Starduster II, which has a squared off vertical tail. May or may not have enclosed canopy.
RV-10 Very similar to RV-6, but with four seats. Hence larger fuselage and noticeably taller tail. Only available with fixed tricycle gear. Like all RV’s, can pick it up to 200 mph if you need it, but slows down to 60 to land.
RV-4 Silver RV Looks like the RV-4 cowling with bulges (cheeks) on each side. RV-8 cowl is full width with no bulges on the sides and usually no air intake underneath. Looks like RV-4 gear which come out of the motor mount at a rearward angle. RV-8 gear legs come out of the wing with a similar angle outward. RV-4’s are taildraggers only, RV-8 can also be tricycle.
RV 6 A or 7 A Yellow RV Wider fuselage makes it an RV 6, RV 7 or RV 9, Instead of an RV 3, RV 4 or RV 8 Nosewheel makes it an “A” model. Longer and narrower wings would make it an RV-9.