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Old 10-20-2012, 12:28 AM   #1
Bradschu
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Default I have Wollam floats

When I purchased my '46 J-3 project, it came with a set of the old plywood Wollam 1200 floats. Unfortunately, I didn't get any of the rigging, but the floats are in descent shape and I have the data tags. I wouldn't fly with them, but maybe someone more brave that I would.

My question is, are these things worth anything? The Piper museum is interested in them, but they asked me to restore them and include the rigging before I donate them. I'm not sure how much work and money I want to put into them to give them away. Additionally, there isn't much information online about these and I haven't had any success in finding anyone with information on them.

If you know anything about these, other than the fact they are Type Cert'ed for the cub, please help me!

Thank you,
Brad



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Old 10-20-2012, 10:15 AM   #2
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If you fix'em, fly'em. Sounds like the museum is trying to rip you iff.



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Old 10-20-2012, 03:06 PM   #3
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if you fix'em, fly'em. Sounds like the museum is trying to rip you iff.
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Old 10-20-2012, 04:09 PM   #4
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I had the same experience with the museum. I emailed them regarding info on the Skycycle. Their response was. When you get one built and are ready to donate it let us know. How am I supposed to build one without the info on it. They never emailed me anything back.

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Old 10-20-2012, 04:32 PM   #5
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You have to love when a organization thinks they can dictate the condition in which you must have something in order to donate it.

Wonder if we offered them a wadded up and tattered bundle of $100 bills if they would ask us to exchange them for new bills first?

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Old 10-20-2012, 07:02 PM   #6
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Don't donate to that museum.

My other hobby is model steam locomotives. I offered the local museum some of my work for display, and got a cold shoulder. No way I will leave them stuff when I croak.

I offered them a complete series of these - called "Cab Forwards" by the railroad industry, to display during the museum's "Cab Forward" month.

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Old 10-20-2012, 08:13 PM   #7
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As the former Director of an Aviation Museum,I will step up on a soap box and say that you wouldn't believe the crap that people sometimes want to drop off just to get a donation slip. NOT saying that anything that has been mentioned here is crap.

All well run museums should have a collections policy. This keeps things under control as dollars and physical space are often limited. Decesions have to be made as to the relevance of each item to the collection as a whole.

MOST museums are not as well funded as one might think. It costs real money to accept anything that is not in immediate displayable condition, and even then decesions have to be made. For an item NOT ready for display, you have to spend money restoring the item and you have to spend money storing the item until there is a place for it in the collection.

It costs real money for display cases for smaller items. For larger items one has to make decisions on how the item will fit into the available space.

Most of us visit the Piper Museum during Sentimental Journey. We see a lot of people in the museum at that time all of whome have paid admission for which I am sure the museum is greatful. How many people do you think visit the museum in Feburary? I'd bet their total revenue from admissions is less than $10K per year. They have to rent the space, pay the utilities bills, fund upgrades and restorations maintain the archives and pay a small salary to one or two key people. $10K doesn't go far in paying all that. Where do you think the rest comes from? Generous donations from a few.

Personally, I'd love to see the Piper Museum expanded to really cover all the years of existance in Lock Haven. I have a personal interest in the J3 "era" and would love to see examples of things like Wollam floats, "alternative" engine installations FWF and accurately restored, complete aircraft like a J4 in the collection. Is it likely to see any of this? Only if someone cares enough to do a donation "right" for little more than a small plaque saying they are the donor OR people like US make sizeable cash donations to the museum.

Museums DO depend on the generosity of people to build their collections. While I understand the reasons behind the actions of the Piper Museum, I too am disappointed at their decesions. Somehow, I think this group can pull together and find a set of rigging for Wollam floats and get them put together so the museum WILL accept them. Other items too ( I know EdG has talked about donating a FWF Franklin installation ). Make it worthy of display and having your name attached.

Stepping down from the soap box.

John Scott

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Old 10-20-2012, 09:48 PM   #8
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Thank you all for the posts, especially John. Ultimately, I would love to see these things in the (or any) museum. I don't throw if anyone would consider these airworthy enough to use them, based on the age of the wood and the availability of superior aluminum floats now a days.

However, I still don't know anything about them! I can't find anyone who knows anything about them, or where I may be able to get rigging. I have found some rigging locally (western NY) that the gentleman thinks were from plywood floats, but he's not sure. Additionally, I understand there were more than one manufacturer of plywood floats, including Piper themselves. If anyone has pictures or drawings of these floats please get in touch with me. I would like to in sure everything is correct before I donate them.

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Old 10-21-2012, 12:32 AM   #9
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Donate them to our museum. They have a staff of volunteers that puts a great deal of effort into making donations display worthy.

I agree with John to a point. But a museum should figure out what it wants, and if it doesn't want an item in poor shape it should be policy to simply turn it down with the comment that at present the museum is not capable of restoring these items for display.

That leaves it up to the owner. A lot of times it is how you say something, not what you say.

Opinion.

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Old 10-21-2012, 12:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
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A lot of times it is how you say something, not what you say.
Absolutely!


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