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Topic Options
#35305 - 05/05/11 12:13 PM WHAT'S GOOD AND BAD ABOUT THE STRAIGHT TAILS?
BIG LEE Offline
New Member

Registered: 05/05/11
Posts: 10
Loc: VA
I have always thought the straight tails were cool, and am thinking about looking for one. What are the pro's and con's?

Thanks,

BIG LEE

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#35543 - 05/06/11 11:27 PM Re: WHAT'S GOOD AND BAD ABOUT THE STRAIGHT TAILS? [Re: BIG LEE]
Cessna Dude Offline
Diamond Pilot

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 6628
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Pros:
1) Look very cool
2) You own a classic

Cons (so I hear):
1) Slightly less desirable handling than swept tail
2) A bit more prone to spin

Great question by BL. Anyone else have any input?
_________________________
Due to certain economic uncertainty, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off until further notice.
Cessna 172, C172, C-172, Cessna Skyhawk fan.
www.cessna172club.com



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#35572 - 05/07/11 02:54 PM Re: WHAT'S GOOD AND BAD ABOUT THE STRAIGHT TAILS? [Re: Cessna Dude]
Lee T. Hargic Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 08/13/10
Posts: 1631
Loc: Louisville, KY
A friend of mine called me about a 1961 172. Anyone have one and can give me some insights?
_________________________
"A smart man learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others" -Anonymous

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#35755 - 05/08/11 01:14 PM Re: WHAT'S GOOD AND BAD ABOUT THE STRAIGHT TAILS? [Re: Lee T. Hargic]
Leo O'Farrell Offline
Safety Pilot

Registered: 01/16/10
Posts: 29
Loc: KOAK Old T's
Having owned a 1959 Straight Tail for nine years, several strong points:

1. Simplicity. Manual flaps, six cylinders, gravity fed fuel with only three full drains, few AD's, etc.
2. Many upgrades are available, I've added: Cleveland wheels and brakes, an AirWolf remote oil filter; changed the 35 amp generator for a 50 amp alternator; new radios, but not in a center stack due to the T vs U shape of the control systems.
3. The 0300 is a good engine with new or rebuilt cyclinders available. This powerplant produces 145 hp and is very smooth. You can run at 2,450 rpm and really lean out the mixture to conserve fuel and get a good fuel burn.

That being said, these aiplanes are over 50 years old. However, there's little plastic used and these machines were built by American craftsman with real pride, in other words, they are built to last and share much heritage with the C170
_________________________
1959 C172 based at Oakland, CA
Airwolf remote oil filter
Cleveland Wheels and brakes
Jasco 50 amp alternator
Garmin SL 40 and 250 XL
PCAS

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#35756 - 05/08/11 01:14 PM Re: WHAT'S GOOD AND BAD ABOUT THE STRAIGHT TAILS? [Re: Lee T. Hargic]
November X-ray Offline
Club Sponsor
Gold Pilot

Registered: 08/15/10
Posts: 1589
Loc: Brookshire, Texas, USA
Mine is a 1962 "C" model, but the date of manufacture is 12-1961. The "B" models were 1961, as far as I know there are no differences. The "C" model was the last year of the razor back as the rear glass, or Omni-Vision, was introduced on the "D" models. The 1960 ("A" Model") was the first year of the swept back tail. A friend of mine had a 59 straight tail and claims it was faster than the swept back tail, he never mentioned anything about less desirable handling or being prone to spin, but I guess it could have been.
_________________________
N. X.




www.cessna172club.com

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#35757 - 05/08/11 01:17 PM Re: WHAT'S GOOD AND BAD ABOUT THE STRAIGHT TAILS? [Re: November X-ray]
Cessna Dude Offline
Diamond Pilot

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 6628
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Originally Posted By: November X-ray
he never mentioned anything about less desirable handling or being prone to spin, but I guess it could have been.


I have no direct experience of knowledge of the straight tail's handling/spinning characteristics but have only read and/or heard this a few times in the past.

Your results may vary. smile
_________________________
Due to certain economic uncertainty, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off until further notice.
Cessna 172, C172, C-172, Cessna Skyhawk fan.
www.cessna172club.com



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#35759 - 05/08/11 01:25 PM Re: WHAT'S GOOD AND BAD ABOUT THE STRAIGHT TAILS? [Re: Cessna Dude]
Leo O'Farrell Offline
Safety Pilot

Registered: 01/16/10
Posts: 29
Loc: KOAK Old T's
I have never spun my Cessna straight tail. I've done slow flight, power off and on stalls, falling leaf stalls, and other airwork without issue. The straight tail is larger and has more control authority, usually a good thing.

It is placarded against slips with the flaps extended but I found it slips nicely with 20 degrees and even with 40 degrees during crosswind landings the the rudder and strong authority.
_________________________
1959 C172 based at Oakland, CA
Airwolf remote oil filter
Cleveland Wheels and brakes
Jasco 50 amp alternator
Garmin SL 40 and 250 XL
PCAS

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#35773 - 05/08/11 02:52 PM Re: WHAT'S GOOD AND BAD ABOUT THE STRAIGHT TAILS? [Re: Leo O'Farrell]
Lee T. Hargic Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 08/13/10
Posts: 1631
Loc: Louisville, KY
Good info guys, thanks.
_________________________
"A smart man learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others" -Anonymous

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#36000 - 05/10/11 03:04 PM Re: WHAT'S GOOD AND BAD ABOUT THE STRAIGHT TAILS? [Re: Lee T. Hargic]
Zobex Offline
Safety Pilot

Registered: 05/01/11
Posts: 28
Loc: California, USA
The straight tail with vortex generators is VERY stable and in particular in a cross wind. Hands down beats the later. The later was a marketing ploy. New designs or shapes generate new buyers, they had to follow the market trend.

We are now looking into the prospect of late 172 wings with the 52 gallon tanks onto an early straight tail. Anyone done this conversion and what did they have to go through ??

Dan

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#36570 - 05/15/11 08:59 PM Re: WHAT'S GOOD AND BAD ABOUT THE STRAIGHT TAILS? [Re: Zobex]
Russ Farris Offline
Second in Command

Registered: 08/15/10
Posts: 148
Loc: Charlotte, NC
I'm not positive, but since the early 172s have manual flaps and the later ones with the 52 gallon tanks tanks have electric, that might be a problem. Early 175 wings might be a better option.

Russ Farris

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#36591 - 05/15/11 10:09 PM Re: WHAT'S GOOD AND BAD ABOUT THE STRAIGHT TAILS? [Re: Russ Farris]
November X-ray Offline
Club Sponsor
Gold Pilot

Registered: 08/15/10
Posts: 1589
Loc: Brookshire, Texas, USA
My "C" model has 19 per side (36 useable) and I cannot imagine having 52 gallons available as my bladder would never be able to appreciate the extra fuel capacity!
_________________________
N. X.




www.cessna172club.com

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#36594 - 05/15/11 10:16 PM Re: WHAT'S GOOD AND BAD ABOUT THE STRAIGHT TAILS? [Re: November X-ray]
Cessna Dude Offline
Diamond Pilot

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 6628
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Although it doesn't address jack diddly about straight tails, I must concur with NXR. With 22.5 gallons usable and a burn of roughly 5.0 GPH in the 2/3 scale 172, it's tough to go 4.5 hours without a break. I remind myself of this when I wish the plane had larger tanks/longer range!
_________________________
Due to certain economic uncertainty, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off until further notice.
Cessna 172, C172, C-172, Cessna Skyhawk fan.
www.cessna172club.com



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#36811 - 05/17/11 07:48 AM Re: WHAT'S GOOD AND BAD ABOUT THE STRAIGHT TAILS? [Re: November X-ray]
vettdvr Offline
Club Sponsor
Diamond Pilot

Registered: 06/24/10
Posts: 5840
Loc: Slidell La
Originally Posted By: November X-ray
My "C" model has 19 per side (36 useable) and I cannot imagine having 52 gallons available as my bladder would never be able to appreciate the extra fuel capacity!


My issue exactly.

52 gallons fuel @ 6.5 g/h cruise is way more than bladder stops with no bladder reserve. shocked
_________________________
Vettdvr

Single/Multi/instrument/type/commercial But then I am still learning.

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#37799 - 05/26/11 09:12 AM Re: WHAT'S GOOD AND BAD ABOUT THE STRAIGHT TAILS? [Re: vettdvr]
Peter Mrowiec Offline
New Member

Registered: 05/26/11
Posts: 1
Loc: Canada
you could bring a pee bottle

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#37804 - 05/26/11 10:12 AM Re: WHAT'S GOOD AND BAD ABOUT THE STRAIGHT TAILS? [Re: vettdvr]
Willie Offline
Platinum Pilot

Registered: 12/28/10
Posts: 2773
Loc: Ft McMurray Alberta Canada
Originally Posted By: vettdvr
Originally Posted By: November X-ray
My "C" model has 19 per side (36 useable) and I cannot imagine having 52 gallons available as my bladder would never be able to appreciate the extra fuel capacity!


My issue exactly.

52 gallons fuel @ 6.5 g/h cruise is way more than bladder stops with no bladder reserve. shocked

You don't have to burn it all before stopping
_________________________
Flying is the 2nd greatest thrill known to man
Landing is 1st

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#37806 - 05/26/11 10:40 AM Re: WHAT'S GOOD AND BAD ABOUT THE STRAIGHT TAILS? [Re: Willie]
Showboatsix Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 12/04/10
Posts: 1030
Loc: KUAO, Aurora, Oregon
Mine holds $230.16, with $115.08 per side, with $104.12 usable per side,this is $38.36 per hour, at this rate my pocket book empties out long before my bladder fills up!
_________________________

Note: "Speed and 172 are not used in the same sentence!"


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#37927 - 05/28/11 01:46 AM Re: WHAT'S GOOD AND BAD ABOUT THE STRAIGHT TAILS? [Re: Russ Farris]
Zobex Offline
Safety Pilot

Registered: 05/01/11
Posts: 28
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By: Russ Farris
I'm not positive, but since the early 172s have manual flaps and the later ones with the 52 gallon tanks tanks have electric, that might be a problem. Early 175 wings might be a better option.

Russ Farris


Russ, electric flap wings can be converted to manual flaps. In fact there is a conversion procedure for converting electric flap aircraft to manual flaps. The 175 wings, because of the fuel tank configuration and fuel pickup arrangement can only drain the full fuel when totally flat and no inertia. This was another Cessna slight of hand stunt to get the 175 certified. Because the go-300 burned more fuel the aircraft had to be designed for more fuel. BUT that does not require the full fuel to be available while maneuvering in the air. 9 gallons of that 52 gallons is considered NOT available while in the air but on the ground it will drain out. I BELIEVE there is an approved modification to get the full 52 gallons from the 175 wings while in the air but the cost of wings and the modification probably is greater than the later electric flap wings with a modification.

I prefer to have extra fuel that I don't use to not having enough fuel when I need it. But then I carry a gas can in my vehicle and when driving across the USA carry a spare carburetor, alternator with belts in my truck with a full tool kit and I keep a tool kit with spare spark plugs in the aircraft.

Dan

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#39176 - 06/13/11 04:01 PM Re: WHAT'S GOOD AND BAD ABOUT THE STRAIGHT TAILS? [Re: Showboatsix]
RodneyHooverCFI Offline
The Cessna Sensei
Gold Pilot

Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 1645
Loc: Pasadena, MD
Originally Posted By: Showboatsix
Mine holds $230.16, with $115.08 per side, with $104.12 usable per side,this is $38.36 per hour, at this rate my pocket book empties out long before my bladder fills up!


Ugh, painful way to look at it!

Filled my brother's diesel trailer up for the tractor and combines several times over past couple weeks. Fuel pump would shut off at $900. A few times we would reset the pump and put another $900 in it before we headed to the field. Put one run in it nearly every day!
_________________________
Flight Instructor- ASEL and Instrument Airplane
Commercial Pilot with Instrument Rating- ASEL & AMEL
Assistant Chief Instructor at W00, Freeway Aviation.
States I've flown to-

Airport list map:
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#39680 - 06/19/11 12:14 PM Re: WHAT'S GOOD AND BAD ABOUT THE STRAIGHT TAILS? [Re: BIG LEE]
gutwrencher Offline
New Member

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 18
Loc: wichita, ks
Reply is a little late in the game, but I have a '59. Cruise left me a bit wanting. It rarely breaks 100mph at 2450 over 1800lbs, but in hotter weather it trues close to book values at altitude (can't complain). As for handling, I've done half turn spins in mine in both directions. Rotation stopped in about 90 degrees, and pulled out without breaking 120 at a comfortable load factor....good rudder authority without being twitchy (not like Aeronca Champs). With straight ahead stalls....feels like a parachute with a buffet. Tall gear reduces chances for the diamond prints in the forehead (for me at least) and feels like landing a marshmallow. 6cyl is smooth, and if you have ever stuck a valve in anything, 5 cyls run MUCH better than 3! Overall, I'm happy with mine...it's a big slow puppy dog with wings (just another 5mph would be nice). Ditto on what the others have said.

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#65653 - 01/27/12 11:21 AM Re: WHAT'S GOOD AND BAD ABOUT THE STRAIGHT TAILS? [Re: BIG LEE]
Leo O'Farrell Offline
Safety Pilot

Registered: 01/16/10
Posts: 29
Loc: KOAK Old T's
Met a pilot a couple of weeks ago at Auburn, Ca when I flew in for food. He liked my 172 and had one of his own, also a 59 straight tail. His name is Don, but I didn't do a good job of getting his contact info. Not sure if he's on this board.

I have one friend at KOAK (Bob) with a straight tail 172 but he's not flying too much any more.

I was thinking it'd be fun to have some Bay Area or NorCal Straight tails get together for a fly out or in somewhere.

Anybody up for this? Could be a good photo opp and a chance to learn more about our early 172's.

Leo
_________________________
1959 C172 based at Oakland, CA
Airwolf remote oil filter
Cleveland Wheels and brakes
Jasco 50 amp alternator
Garmin SL 40 and 250 XL
PCAS

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#65815 - 01/29/12 12:19 AM Re: WHAT'S GOOD AND BAD ABOUT THE STRAIGHT TAILS? [Re: Leo O'Farrell]
Russ Farris Offline
Second in Command

Registered: 08/15/10
Posts: 148
Loc: Charlotte, NC
I really like my '57 straight tail, but I owned a Cessna 170 for ten years, and it's much closer to the 170 experience than a flying a later model 172. I think it's the greatest bargain in a four place airplane out there. N8227B is restored to the polished aluminum and factory colors; it's like driving a classic car, lots of comments and ramp inspections (not the FAA kind!)

Russ Farris

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#65827 - 01/29/12 01:59 AM Re: WHAT'S GOOD AND BAD ABOUT THE STRAIGHT TAILS? [Re: Russ Farris]
Nightowl Offline
Club Sponsor/Speed Demon
Gold Pilot

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 1826
Loc: Northwest lower Michigan
Don't have anything against either configuration as long as the wings are in the right place.

I do like Cessnas with a rear window though, if only to check the position of the elevator trim tab on engine run-up. Our first airplane was a C-150D, one of only two years the 150 had a straight tail and a rear window. Fun airplane. We've also owned three 172s, all with swept tails (and rear windows of course), so I guess I'm now partial to the swept tail just because I'm used to it.

I'm more concerned with the engine than the tail. Given our experience (and YMMV), we much prefer the Lycoming over the Continental, and we've owned both. More power, fewer cylinders, less maintenance, longer TBO, less carb ice, need I go on? Flame suit on.

John
_________________________
CP-ASEL-IA
'77 C172N, AirPlains 180 hp conversion

Our sigmap has been flown entirely using aircraft with capabilities at or below those of the C-172.


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#67042 - 02/07/12 04:51 PM Re: WHAT'S GOOD AND BAD ABOUT THE STRAIGHT TAILS? [Re: Nightowl]
tedh Offline
Safety Pilot

Registered: 03/13/11
Posts: 46
Loc: Dripping Springs TX
I have read one person write that machines of this age have devaluated about as much as they are going to. As long as you don't break it or bend it and give it a little care you can get your money back out of one.
This might be a positive.

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#67066 - 02/07/12 11:39 PM Re: WHAT'S GOOD AND BAD ABOUT THE STRAIGHT TAILS? [Re: tedh]
Russ Farris Offline
Second in Command

Registered: 08/15/10
Posts: 148
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Originally Posted By: tedh
I have read one person write that machines of this age have devaluated about as much as they are going to. As long as you don't break it or bend it and give it a little care you can get your money back out of one.
This might be a positive.


Yes, the prices on the early Continental birds is getting into Cessna 150 territory. I paid 17,000 for a '57 a year and a half ago with a high time engine still running like a swiss watch. Not bad for a pristine,corrossion free airframe. With the new engine going in later this year, the value should run to about 30K or so. The best value in a four place airplane in the world! Russ Farris


Edited by Russ Farris (02/07/12 11:53 PM)

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#67067 - 02/07/12 11:51 PM Re: WHAT'S GOOD AND BAD ABOUT THE STRAIGHT TAILS? [Re: Nightowl]
Russ Farris Offline
Second in Command

Registered: 08/15/10
Posts: 148
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Originally Posted By: Nightowl
Don't have anything against either configuration as long as the wings are in the right place.

I do like Cessnas with a rear window though, if only to check the position of the elevator trim tab on engine run-up. Our first airplane was a C-150D, one of only two years the 150 had a straight tail and a rear window. Fun airplane. We've also owned three 172s, all with swept tails (and rear windows of course), so I guess I'm now partial to the swept tail just because I'm used to it.

I'm more concerned with the engine than the tail. Given our experience (and YMMV), we much prefer the Lycoming over the Continental, and we've owned both. More power, fewer cylinders, less maintenance, longer TBO, less carb ice, need I go on? Flame suit on.

John


I like the Continental. It's smooth running, losing one jug out of six instead of four keeps the airplane in the air. In almost 1,000 hours behind them, I have only experienced carb heat once, in a cold soggy cloud IMC. Right now my current one is over 200 hours past TBO and running like a champ. Oil analyis is showing no issues. And I like using auto fuel, while some Lycomings can't.

Russ Farris

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