Neville Partridge of Neva-part Aviation Welding in Scone, New South Wales, arrived at Tyabb the other day to collect some parts to repair a damaged Foxbat. As you can see from the photo, it was quite a substantial pile of spares – including a flaperon, wingtip, complete tailplane & elevator, a wing lift strut, rear fuselage section with fin & rudder, firewall, complete nose leg and a set of new engine cowlings, to name but a few. Click on the photo for a bigger view.
Neville was sure it would all fit into his Cessna 185 Skywagon – not for nothing, it seems, called the ‘ute of the air’. More like a truck, I think…He’d brought plenty of foam rubber, felt packing and tape with him and we set about wrapping and loading.
In less than an hour, it was all stowed and strapped down – there was even room to put in all the spare foam packing and Neville’s (precautionary) overnight bag. Not much room for passengers though!
From Tyabb back to Scone took Neville about 3 hours – beats a 12-13 hour drive for sure. Interestingly, the total amount of fuel Neville used for the round trip was probably less than to bring a vehicle & trailer or a flat-bed truck to do the job.
The Cessna 185 Skywagon is renowned for its load carrying capacity and ability to operate out of small bush strips. In this case, neither capability was called upon but I was, and am, amazed at the volume of what you can pack into one of these planes if you really need to.