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Thread: Best Cessna 180 Floats?

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    Default Best Cessna 180 Floats?

    Hi everybody. I'm getting ready to re-float my 1955 180. I have several thousand hours on a set of PK3000s. These are for sale on the East coast as they were not ready when I was. So.... the big question is do I seek a field approval for Aerocets, or go back to the tried and true 2870s? The PKs made a good boat and a clumsy airplane. Tough floats. Anybody want to weigh in? I'm a civilian pilot that ranges from Kodiak to Talkeetna.

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    I don't have the experience to steer you one way or another, but the Aerocets are STCd for the 180 (SA00137SE) so no field approval would be needed. If I had the money I'd be after the Aerocets for my 180 but that is based on reputation rather than experience.

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    Default Hmmm...

    One thing aviation has taught me is that there is more to know than what I know. The STC covers back to 180A models. They got a little different starting then, 1957 I think? I bet they'd bolt right on though. Thanks for your input.

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    So The question is do you want to spend $30K on Aerocets or <$10K for a good set of 2870s? I'd put the $20K difference toward a power upgrade.

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    Yup, hard to argue with that. The Aerocets are swanky but spendy. It seems like a LOT of float for the little 180. You can buy my excellent PK3000 floats for 7,500 dollars and they did very well for me. Just my opinion, I don't consider myself an expert. Thanks for you perspective, an 0520 some day sure would be nice!

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    The PKs ( PeeKay is back in business) are made in Maine and they are generally a rough water and salt water type float. Great for running into docks and rocks, not so great for getting out of the water and they weigh more than most other floats.

    Your 1955 C-180 is one of the old nice and light 180s, ( unless somebody filled it full of heavy electronic junk)
    ( A friend of mine up in Soldotna filled his clean older C-1780 with all sorts of computer screens. So he can tell you the time and temp in New Deli, but he can't step turn to save his butt.)

    A set of EDO 2870s is pretty nice on a lightweight C-180. They are short enough to allow rotation right after breaking free of the water and they step taxi-TURN very nicely. Plus I like how the Chime cuts into the water and acts like a keel if you have to make a one float turn on a tight river.

    The money save compared to the Aerocets would pay for LOTs and LOTs of AV-GAS. An experienced float pilot with EDO 2870s will still be a better pilot than a Guy with expensive Aerocets who can't afford to put fuel in his plane.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

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    I think there is iron in your words. Float Pilot. Those PK floats are rugged, slow, lots of flotation aft, sidewalk tops, good for clumsy pilots. I'll look for some 2870s. They are a lot bigger than the first 180 floats and were considered huge in their day. They have got to be a little quicker in the air too. I can feel that cold water now when I fall off. At least the Aerocet floats have put some good aluminum floats on the market at reasonable prices so guys like me can afford them. Thanks for your input.

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    I have a 1957 180 on 2870s and a PPONK conversion. I have never flown aerocets but have flown PKs as well as 3430s on a 206, and 2960s on a 185, Also Beavers on 4580s, and 4960s.

    I LIKE Edos .

    The 2870s are a great float for the 180. Not much of a boat (wouldn't take them into any big swells in salt water, or overload it aft too much) but their performance and relatively light weight help the anemic 180 get in and out of shorter lakes. As Mr. Pid said, if you have 30K to spend on Aerocets, I would buy a nice set of 2870s and put the extra 20K towards the PPONK engine and slip joint exhaust.

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    My poor old anemic 180s EW on a real set of scales was 1606 pounds before I spilled my last cup of coffee. I stretched the wings, stayed with the J engine, 25 pounds less than a K, mine tuns an 88 inch McCauley at 2600 on a good day. Worked pretty good on those chunky PKs, hard to sink. I bet the extra weight of an 0520 is worth it though. I never saw the benefit for the weight in the angle valve O470. I've run 2 J engines to 1600 hrs top overhaul on both at 800, not to bad for J is junk.
    Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience. 2870s look pretty good, though there are some swanky Aqua 3190s around too- different beast,

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    Quote Originally Posted by canoeless View Post
    One thing aviation has taught me is that there is more to know than what I know. The STC covers back to 180A models. They got a little different starting then, 1957 I think? I bet they'd bolt right on though. Thanks for your input.
    Interesting, you may very well be right, but the STC lists the 180 as well as 180A-H, J&K. There certainly is much more to know than what I know too.

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    Cool, thanks!

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