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Thread: Skis for Cessna 170

  1. #1
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    Default Skis for Cessna 170

    I looked at older threads, but got frustrated trying to find info that likely you guys have already talked about. So, if you know of a previous thread that helps the discussion, can you provide the link? Thanks
    I have a C-170B w/ 0-320 @160hp. The goal is to set it up w/ skis to be able to do some back country flying this winter. Likely I'll start out at FAI Int'l, then will park in front of the house on the Chena, which I can drag and pack. I'll be looking to go to remote spots w/ powder, not just stay in and around FAI and strips that are packed. Assume I'll be operating at gross weight most of the time w/ winter gear and another person in the plane. I do have ski time from about 100 years ago, so am excited to get back out and do it again.
    What manufacturer/model/size skis have you set up for your C-170? What can you tell me about them; weight, pros/cons, like/dislike, etc. If you can provide accurate weights, that'd be very cool and thx for that.
    What are the hidden advantages/disadvantage of larger or smaller skis, i.e. 2500 vs. 3000?
    In general, for any aircraft you've flown, have you seen performance differences between all aluminum skis vs. fiberglass, etc?
    I am a UHMW fan for most things that need to slide and glide. Have you ever extended the bottoms of your skis (what size skis) and if so, how far was the extension?
    Right now I see several different manufacturer's skis and sizes available on websites. I see no reason to re-invent the wheel and not listen to folks that have done this already.
    Anything else to add?
    ARR

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    I thought I had a set of M-2000 Aero Skis made in Minnesota out in my shop. But I must have sold them already. I have always liked them as straight skis.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

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    Max gross t/o weight is about 2200. Would 2000 skis be enough especially since I plan on going out to deep powder? I'd guess there may be a formula for weight to area on the snow and pounds per sq ft?
    ARR

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    Deep powder NO....

    You would need more floatation.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

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    3000s don't weigh much more than 2500s and they float better. Lots of guys extend the bottoms of 2500s to help them float. I'd rather have 3000s but could adapt 2500s well enough. To put it into perspective I had 3000s on my Cub.

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    Aero M3000's with as much extra width from UHMW as your IA will agree to...gets you all the floatation you can desire and not much penalty on turning or airspeed.

  7. #7

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    There is currently a set of Aero M3000s with 170 rigging on Alaska's list for $2000. That might be a great deal... I have Aero 3000s on a cub and they are great skis.

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    I noticed those Aeros for sale. Wonder if they have UHMW or not? If so, and condition is as advertised, they might be a good option.
    Any input on fiberglass vs. aluminum skis? Could be from any aircraft. And what about weight differences, or is there enough difference to matter?
    ARR

  9. #9

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    I'd go with Aero's (3000), having the ski dolly holes are a plus over the landis. 170's don't do well for maneuverability on skis though. If you could find a set of Federal 2500 with the convex bottom that would be a good tough ski and may help the 170 and it's turning woes. They aren't long so maybe that will help with it. Putting UHMW isn't to hard, did a set of Federals last winter and put some on my Aero's years ago.

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    2000's are too small for a 170 if you are gonna be in any real powder
    $2k for 3000s is a good deal too assuming springs/bungees included My .02

    On a side note; A friend has a set of Northland Skis he is selling for an estate sale. They are old of course but in great shape-new bottoms. Obviously been inside most of their life. I think you could pick them up for $650 or so. Located outside Healy.
    If these would work for anyone-PM me with your number and i can text a pic and his phone #. Get ya on the snow cheap.

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    Photos of skis would help me, and maybe others too. Are the Northlands wood, fiberglass, or aluminum? Personally I can't get photos in texts w/ my old but trusted phone.
    Regarding ski dollies. Is that something a guy would tend to buy if he does not have a hangar, or something that shops rent out? I never thought about putting skis on during the annual later this month, but not being able to taxi back to parking.
    ARR

  12. #12
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    They are
    Wood
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13

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    Aero 3000s are nice skis as well as the Landes 2500s for the 170. If you buy used, get Aeros, since the STC is free. If you buy used Landes Skis, you have to buy the STC which isn't cheap. I think Aeros might be lighter but I'd have to check the weights. Having flown both, I think you will be happy with either.

  14. #14

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    Aero/federal 2500 or bigger with UHMW 2 inch out each side. If you are going to deep powder the 3000 would be better you will need tail ski also.
    DENNY

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    Make friends with an experienced ski pilot and get some tips on the dos and don'ts. Ski flying is great fun when it goes well and absolute misery when it doesn't. Spring is the best. Early winter isn't as much fun. Beware of flat light, hard drifts, overflow, and hidden stumps and ice ridges. Frozen-in snowgo tracks can be a problem, too. Your best days will be in good light conditions. When you do return to a hard surface with other planes around remember that you don't have brakes. The golden rule of ski flying. When conditions are good for short takeoffs you'll have slippery long landings. When conditions are good for short landings you'll have sticky long takeoffs. Choose your LZs wisely.

    Don't worry about finding skis with the right rigging. Rigging is easy and cheap. Pay attention to the axle size and plan to rig the skis to your plane. Springs are nice but bungees work well. Lots of guys like UHMW skags but metal has some advantages. Pack a shovel and snowshoes and be prepared to use them. Take a tent and a sleeping bag, too, because sometimes waiting for a strip to harden or overflow to freeze overnight is the best option. Winter flying is fun. except for wing covers, scraping ice, wading in overflow, and preheating the plane! :-)

    Read AC43.13-2B chapter 5 for ski installation and rigging info. No STC is required for straight skis if your mechanic follows the standards defined in the AC. http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/m...2043.13-2B.pdf

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    And by the way, the 170 family of airplanes are approved for skis on the TCDS.

    http://www.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory...FILE/A-799.pdf

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    Good info guys, and good reminders. Once upon a time I checked out on skis in a 7ECA, 7GCBC, and a Cub. Before I was checked out, well, maybe it was somebody other than me, kind of hazy; anyway a guy might have flown a T-Cart on skis w/ his younger brother, neither of who had a license? I never had the money to get the Maule on skis.
    I did buy the Aero 3000 out of Wasilla area. I had a friend check them out and they were straight and clean. So that is a done deal, just need to get them here. Meantime I'll be looking to put new gear on. I have Lady Legs, but would like to go straight to 180 gear. That will help her sit up just a bit higher.
    With the input on my other thread regarding heat, things are coming together. You guys have shared lots of good info, and I for one appreciate it. Any more ski advise? Keep it coming.
    ARR

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    Are you planning on a tail ski? Cessnas don't turn in tight spots on skis unless you get out and horse it around. A tail ski will help the turn radius and more so it'll ease the workload when the yanking starts.

  19. #19
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    Is that your 170 tied up on the north end of the float pond?
    Tim

  20. #20
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    Prob worth riding with some higher time ski guy a couple rides.
    Flat light, overflow, areas req tight turns, uphill/downhill, sinking a ski, bottomless powder (prob not huge threat in interior generally) are better learned from someone else rather than by your own mistakes. Techniques available to counter all and I think you'll be money ahead in the end for a little ski specific instruction. Just a thought. Fly safe.

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