Colonial Skimmer and Lake La-4

The source for references and discussion on all types & marques of these two amphibians: photos, plans, manual pages & documents.

Re: Colonial Skimmer and Lake La-4

Postby skimmerone » Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:16 pm

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#20, N260B parked atop a ramp on Lake Union in Seattle. For years we looked for N260B. It was registered to a company in New York City. Suddenly in the late 60s my good friend and C-2 Skimmer owner in Seattle, Milt Scovill, gets a surprise call from the new owner. It had been tied up in some litigation for years. She did not have many owners and met her demise in 1989 due to a dual magneto failure.

There will be no #21 as this was a C-2 Skimmer, #121 which was converted into the prototype Lake LA-4P N261B. An interesting story here. In 1968 I took a trip to New Hampshire to fly with the new owner of N261B. That same fall I took my Lake and flew out to LA and then up to Seattle to visit with Milt Scovill, owner of C-2 N279B. I was walking across the tarmac at Paine Field and someone said "John Staber, what are you doing here?" It was Brian of N261B. Needless to say we introduced N261B to N260B and N279B and we all went flying.
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Re: Colonial Skimmer and Lake La-4

Postby MrWidgeon » Thu Jul 29, 2010 1:46 am

That was the ramp at Lana Kurtzer's old operation on the west side Lake Union.
As I remember it was kind of long and very steep.
What kind of wing extensions are you referring to John, tip or chord ?
In water flying attitude is everything
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Re: Colonial Skimmer and Lake La-4

Postby skimmerone » Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:38 am

The ramp at Kurtzers definately was high, steep and long. I can't imagine going down it with expander tube brakes.

The Skimmer wing extensions were nothing more than those found on the LA-4. They increased the span from 34 to 38 feet. Each aileron was about a foot longer also, which made for more adverse yaw and a heavier feel. I like the short aileron feel better.
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Re: Colonial Skimmer and Lake La-4

Postby skimmerone » Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:51 pm

#22, N262B, was somewhere in the Dallas-Fort Worth area being used for seaplane ratings circa 1964 and then moved to Tennessee and then was damaged. It eventually got sold to someone on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. I then heard that the fuselage was destroyed in a hangar fire. But what about the wings? When I was looking for a set of wings for number one I visited the cape and spent a full day knocking on doors, and peering into hangars, to no avail. For some reason I was talking to #16 in Michigan about my restoration and needing a set of wings and mentioned the Cape Cod search. He told me that he had bought the wings and had them in Michigan, but they were not for sale. At least I finally found out what happened to them. I have no photo.
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Re: Colonial Skimmer and Lake La-4

Postby Cameraman » Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:47 am

Hi Guys n Gals,

the last time I visited Elstree, I was met with this beauty.

She really needs some TLC and I hope that someone has/will look after her.

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Regards

Reggie
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Re: Colonial Skimmer and Lake La-4

Postby skimmerone » Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:28 pm

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I have known #23, N263B for as long as I have been keeping track of them in 1964. Owned by a newspaper publisher in Minnesota for quite a while and then sold to a good friend of mine. We flew it back to Massacusetts via upper Lake Michigan and Canada with only a Superhomer for radio. Friend got his PPL in her, flew her for a while, then I sold it for him. He later bought a C-2 Skimmer. Meanwhile 63B slowly worked her way right back to Minnesota where she was restored by the present owner. He lives within 10 miles of son of the newspaper publisher. Small world.

I wish someone would buy C-FQIP and fix her up. I see her picture everywhere I look and it is a shame. It is also a shame that people take all that time to photograph her when there are much nicer ones out there
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Re: Colonial Skimmer and Lake La-4

Postby skimmerone » Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:54 pm

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Skimmer #24, N24HA, ex N264B. I have a 1964 photo of her sitting in an open hangar in Michigan with 150 hours on her. She was still there in 1970 with 150 hours. I accidently ran across her in Ocala FL, with not much more than 150 hours. Today she has just under 1000 hours. The last owner decided to replace the engine with the freshly overhauled one that was in the unfortunate #8, along with the metal prop. I have flown her recently and am always amazed how well she performs. The photo was taken on Bantam Lake while teaching this famous magician how to fly her in the 1990s.
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Re: Colonial Skimmer and Lake La-4

Postby TASSE » Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:44 pm

According to Aeroplane Monthly Sept 2010, Lake LA 4 C-FFFV/N85JW is now in germany as D-EFFV.

TASSE.
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Re: Colonial Skimmer and Lake La-4

Postby skimmerone » Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:27 pm

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Skimmer #25, the last of 23 C-1 Skimmers built (#115 and 121 were C-2 Skimmers). She has had very few owners over the years, due to sitting on shore with nose damage for several years. She is now owned by an A&P mechanic and has been for a long time. Sorry not to use one of my own photos, but the Scanner refuses to copy slides suddenly, which will put a slight crimp in my postings.
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Re: Colonial Skimmer and Lake La-4

Postby skimmerone » Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:00 pm

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C-2 Skimmer #115. This is the most famous of the photographs of the 15th Colonial built. Note the addition of a 1 to the serial number. Early photos of this plane show the same air intake that was used on the C-1, later a filter was added. They also show the gasket around the rear window, later flush-mounted. The horsepower was raised to 180 and a different pylon and engine mount used. This is the first airplane to use the outboard trim tabs on the horizontal fin that are found on all subsequent airplanes and the first to use a metal Hartzell propeller. It was sold to a Colonial dealer in the Seattle area and a few years later became a project airplane, eventually making its way to Ontario where I have lost her whereabouts. That dealer's son can be found on this forum today, and for several years owned a Turbo-Renegade.
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