1981 Model 77 Skipper N3158Z s/n WA-241
photos taken Tradewind Airport in Amarillo, Texas (KTDW) 2009.


Beechcraft factory history, performance and specifications:
Beech flew the prototype model 77 as the PD285, with a low-set tailplane, on February 6, 1975, but it was not until September 1978 that production of the prototype flew. This comparatively long gestation period enabled Piper to announce the rival tomahawk in November-October 1977, and began customer deliveries early the following year. It was not until April 1979 that the Model 77 Skipper began production lines, by which time the design had been modified to incorporate a T-tail. Beginning in 1981 about 12 a month were being built and around 200 had been delivered; by comparison Piper had delivered 1000 Tomahawks in the first year of production, 220 in 1980, and established a rate of 20 a month by early 1981.

The Skipper was designed as a primary trainer for beach Aero Centres, with low initial and operating costs, while simplicity of maintenance was emphasized. Its wing had a high-lift aerofoil developed by NASA, and an unusual feature was the use of torque tubes, in place of cables and pulleys, to activate the flaps and ailerons. Power plant consists of a 115-hp Avco Lycoming O-235-L2C.

Horse power: 115 Cruise speed: 97 kts Top speed: 106 kts Stall speed (dirty): 47 kts
Empty Mass: 1103 lbs Gross Mass: 1675 lbs Fuel: 29 gal
Range: 370 nm Service ceiling: 12900 ft Rate of climb: 720 fpm
Takeoff: Ground roll: 780 ft Over 50 feet obstacle: 1280 ft
Landing: Ground roll: 670 ft Over 50 feet obstacle: 1313 ft

ENGINE: Lycoming 235 cubic inch series - The little engine that could, does and will continue to do. The Lycoming O-235 series engines are four-cylinder, direct-drive, horizontally opposed, wet-sump, air-cooled models. The cylinders are of conventional air-cooled construction with heads made from an aluminum-alloy casting and a fully machined combustion chamber. The cylinder barrels are machined from chrome nickel molybdenum steel forgings with deep integral cooling fins, ground and honed to a final specified finish. Featuring: forged-steel connecting rods, optional chrome kit - nitride-hardened steel alloy cylinder barrels, forged-steel crankshafts - forged-steel camshafts, chromium-modified ni-resist iron exhaust-valve guides, resulting in better wear characteristics. available options: Lightweight starters, Electronic ignition, Spin-on or remote oil filter, Air conditioning provisions.

Go to (pdf file) Detailed Skipper checklist

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