I received the message below from John Easton who is looking at a V-77 in Illinois. First, can anyone answer his question about the wing spar? Does anyone know an IA with V-77 knowledge near Huntley, IL? What to look for on a V-77? I will forward information to him, or his phone is (717) 597-9473.
Logan, The Stinson I am looking at is a 1944 V-77, N5443N. The owner is Ron Hankin, 9110 Loch Glen Dr., Lakewood, Il 60014. I have gotten conflicting information about the wing spa and whether it was heat treated or not. Apparently if there are cracks and it is heat treated, the crack can not be welded and the wing must be disassembled to fix the problem. I need to know if this is true and how hard is it to detect cracks on a pre-buy? If the club has an AE close to the home base of the craft I would be glad to use him. The aircraft is located at 19n058 Aztec Lane, Huntley, Il 60142. This is just west of Algonquin in McHenry County. Anything that I should look for on a pre-buy will be appreciated. Thank you for your time, John Easton
I wish I could help on this one, but I don't have adequate experience on a V77. I do know that the spars are an area of concern but don't know if they were heat treated or not.
One of the things that I have found most important on any pre-buy is a detailed look at the FAA records on a plane on the CD that is available from the FAA and a very critical review of the paperwork, 337s, STCs, and logs with an airplane, not only for what is written, but also what is not found! Sometimes, one can figure out from what is written, what may have happened that should be written, but was not.
Don Maxfield at L'il Red Aero was very experienced on the V77, but I understand, sadly, that he is in failing health and I don't think he has ever used e-mail or internet for commucications. Don took me for my first and only ride in a Gull Wing in his beautiful V77 many years ago.
Larry Wheelock, A&P/IAStinson 108 N584LW 180 LycTexas in Winter; Indiana in Summer
This is a bit late, but hopefully it will help someone else.
The main spars on all Gullwings were welded steel and heat treated, as were the landing gear legs. Any welding done on them requires re-heat treating. Very difficult and expensive, if not impossible in this day and age. I know there are some Gullwings flying around out there that have welded spar repairs on them without the heat treat. That makes the airworthiness certificate null and void. If I came across one I'd pass it by and keep looking.
Hope this helps.
From George Alleman, NSC President, I got information that there were many changes the military required for their version of the Reliant...which became the V-77 after WWII. Among those was that the V-77 spar is not heat treated, so military field repairs could be made.