Wag-A-Bond Project

My son (David) and I decided it was time for a new project. We built a Wag-A-Bond from Wagaero. This plane is a copy of the Piper Vegabond. Nice as it's a proven design and as a homebuilt it has been improved upon. You will notice such add ons as two doors, electrics and oil filter.
After doing the first few flights I wish I would have put the skylight in the plane. It it quite blind in turns. Oh well something that may get added later, we will see.

The Wag has had many improvements over the past couple of years; VGs added, which reduced the stall speed by over 8 mph. She is very controllable at 45 mph now, and before it was stalling! New windshield added, with just a bit of tint, which I've found with other planes works very well. One thing I'm still working on is the oil cooling. I added an external oil cooler, which works well, but isn't very aerodynamic, but talk about low cost. C90 external oil cooler and adapter, under $100, and I never see oil temps over 185C!

Wag-A-Bond has now been completed and has around 160 hours on it.
She flies hands off and it a very sweet aircraft. No bad habits at all.

Just before first flight. Cleaned up to ensure a good pre-flight

Flew hands off!!!

Electric Wheel Skis for the winter

Fat tires for the summer

All photos below are from 2015

Wings finally on

Panel done

Stencil for letters

Spraying letters

All photos below are from 2013

I ended up redoing the cowl 3 times to get it right

At least the cowl looks nice, before I cut it up again


All photos below are as of June 2007

Fuse after much work. The blue shag carpeting has been removed at this stage. The project originally started in the 70s and the carpet showed. Also the firewall had to be removed as there was a large cutout in it to allow for the mags on the larger C90 engine, which meant there was really no fire wall at all. The large fuse tank is being replaced with a small (2 gal) header tank and two (13 gal) wing tanks being installed. Also the single control system is being replaced with a dual control system (this is probably the most complicated part of the project). Fuse is intact and in good shape.

Rear of the fuse. Tail wheel assembly will be rebuilt and all cables will be replaced.

The ailerons. Intact and OK, but a little rough. I ended up rebuilding one almost completely. The other came covered in cotton, and I don't plan on using cotton on the project, I plan on using the Stits process.

Wings. All inboard ribs were in very bad shape. Thought about rebuilding them, but in the end, they will all be replaced with new units from Wag Aero. Also the spacing has to be modified to fit the wing tanks.

2007 - 2008 Progress

We decided to try something new on this project. Instead of Stits, we are going to use Hipec from Falconar. Chris was a friend of mine and we thought this might work better for us.

This is a test frame we built to see how the whole Hipec system works. This is now ready for colour, but it is just a test so no colour for it.

Here we have completely sanded the fuse down to have a good look at all the welds.

We didn't like the single door, so we made a pilot's side door.

Fuse primed and then final colour. This grey will be the interior colour. You will also notice the mount for the header tank. The nose tank has been eliminated and two wing tanks are going to be used instead. Trying to keep as much fuel out of the cockpit as possible.

The interior also had to be fabric covered. Then we added flame proof insulation to the outside of the fabric and glued down with Hipec Sun Barrier.

Starting to cover the bottom of the fuse with heavy fabric. Easy going here. Sides will be another story due to the way it pulls in at the vertical stab.

The original firewall was a galvanized unit, and I felt stainless steel would be better. Besides the original was full of holes that were no longer needed.

This is the co-pilot's control column. All had to be built from scratch. Should be interesting, basically both elevator controls run all the way to the elevator, if a cable breaks (yeh right) you can just reach across and use the other column.

Baggage floor. Had to build a new one as well. Below the floor is the battery mount. I will be able to situate it for ideal W & B.

Wing tank installed. All inboard ribs replaced. Fitting the leading edge skin here. Tie downs worked great, just ratchet, adjust, ratchet, simple.

Wing primed and ready for covering.

This is the wing with the first coat of Hipec HSB. It glues the fabric to all surfaces underneath.

Then to get a nice even finish, David is rollering on the second coat of Hipec.

I covered the right wing first. Inboard rib ended up bending under the covering when I shrunk it. I learned on the left wing and added a small brace between the rib and the tank.

This is the final colour and scheme. Both wings are completed.

Tail feathers and landing gear complete.

The engine was originally hand prop, but because we are making this plane for David to build hours in, we elected to install a starter. When the starter arrived I could see I had a problem. Both the starter and the engine had a pin. I had to cut off both. Not a big deal, just took a while in the engine as I used a Dremel tool due to the small space.
This is one major flaw of the Continental engines. Who builds the starters inside the engine case? Ever looked at a car starter? Lots of chips taken out. Where do those chips go? On a Continental, right into the engine to wreak havok! Worse, remember this engine has the starter right on the top of the engine.