Nanchang CJ-6A FAQ's
This could be you!
NANCHANG CJ-6A AIRCRAFT
If you've been paying attention you've noticed that CJ prices took a big hit during the Great Recession and its aftermath. The USA has pretty well recovered (Seattle is booming), though it varies around the country. Europe has finally stabilized and is showing some slow growth, but China, tho apparently slowing the unbelievable growth they've had is still not bad, just not as good as it was. All this presents a great opportunity to buy Nanchangs at half the price they were selling for before the crash. Chinese suppliers still think the can charge more for an airplane in a crate in China than you can buy a nice, flying airplane here in the US, so nobody has imported any for several years. But parts are still easy to come by and US engine overhaulers (Monte Barrett and Jill Gernetzke--M14P, Inc.) are overhauling the stock Huosai HS-6A engines and building M-14 engines that are perfect upgrades. New engines are also sometimes available.
We haven't been importing airplanes since before the crash, either, because Chinese prices made no sense. However, with prices so low, now is a great time to buy yourself that Nanchang you've been dreaming about. We can help you evaluate the market, decide which airplane is the one for you and then modify it to suit your needs, so you'll have that custom airplane you've always wanted. We can teach you how to fly it and do the routine maintenance that makes the difference between really nice airplanes and the not so nice. Since they are Experimental Exhibition category airplanes it is perfectly legal for an owner to perform maintenance, but you want to make sure you know what you're doing. Annual "Condition" Inspections require a licensed Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic to inspect and certify the airplane, but, if you know what you're doing or with a little help, you can do the work yourself. We can teach you what you need to know to keep your airplane in top condition and keep costs down.
There simply are no other airplanes available anywhere that combine the looks and handling of a WWII military fighter, that great Round Engine Sound, comfortable cockpits, Bonanza speed, baggage space for cross-country cruising, all at a price that's within reach. And you don’t need to own an oil company to keep it fed. The airplanes are dead simple and stone reliable–made to be maintained by illiterate peasants like you and me. You can fly formation and mix it up with your buddies, do aerobatics or take the spouse on those flights to fancy. And they’re so easy to fly! Whether you’re military or civilian, Captain or Private, they are absolute pussycats. The trailing-arm landing gear makes every landing a greaser.
Now that the US economy has finally stabilized and returned to normal (almost), the airlines have stabilized (and they're hiring now), count on a big jump in prices as nervous pilots re-enter the market. You're not going to be stuck with a depreciating asset--in fact, when time comes to sell you'll probably be wondering how to reduce the tax bite on the capital gains! Demand will be increasing because there ain't nothin' out there to compete with these airplanes. None (except maybe one--see below--and that's a matter of taste). RV's? Great airplanes, gotta love 'em, but no, not even close. Yak-52's? They're terrific airplanes, too, bargain-basement steals (tho, amazingly, their prices didn't take the hit CJ's did, maybe because they were pretty low to begin with, so relatively speaking, they're not the bargains they once were). But -52's are the only real CJ rival. They're kinda ugly to some eyes, not very practical--no cockpit or baggage space, no lights for night flying and not enough fuel--though better for aerobatics, after all, the single seat version--the Yak-50--was World Aerobatics Champion. HSAT, -52W's and TW's are another matter altogether, lots of power, 74 gallons of gas, lights, baggage etc, but they're pretty hard to come by and, to lots of folks, still not as pretty as a CJ. But there's no question -52's are better aerobatic airplanes. If aerobatics is your thing, you want a -52--any model. But for general utility and GOOD LOOKS that make everybody drool, CJ's are the ticket. T-34's? T-6's? You gotta love 'em, but no, no way, sorry. Let me re-phrase that--in many ways CJ-6A's are roughly equivalent to to T-6's and T-34's--but without the $$Big$$ price tags and wing separation problems. Performance-wise they're very comparable to big engine, big buck T-34's and leave T-6's in the dust.
CJ-6A empty weight is typically about 1000kg (2200 lbs.) and gross weight is 1400kg (3080 lbs.)–lighter than a T-34. The Huosai HS-6A geared, nine-cylinder, radial engine makes 285hp (more power than a stock T-34), so the power-to-weight ratio is good. TBO is about 1200 hours. The propeller is an all-metal, constant speed “J9G1" unit made just for the airframe and engine combination. Takeoff run is about 920 feet at sea level and the rate of climb is about 1300 fpm. You’ll get a normal cruise true airspeed of about 165 to 175 mph on 12-13gph, depending on the power setting and altitude. Stall at gross comes at 64mph and the landing distance is about 1150 ft. The retractable landing gear, large flap, starter and brakes are all pneumatic, so you’ll never leak or run out of hydraulic fluid and cold weather is no problem when starting. The main and emergency air bottles provide plenty of power for operating the systems and there is an on-board, engine-driven compressor to keep the bottles full.
0-SMOH replacement engines--both HS-6A's and M-14's--are available from US shops for prices that are waaaay less than for a Continental or Lycoming of comparable power. Real bargains in the aviation world.
Rate of roll is about 120 degrees per second, and the ailerons are nice and light, so you don’t need two hands to muscle it around. The CJ excels at graceful low-G loops, rolls, Immelmans, snap rolls etc. Even first-timers find aerobatics easy and fun–passengers, too. Spins are a non-event--airplane handling is completely vice-free and predictable. Both cockpits feature non-tumbling electric military Attitude Indicators, slaved Heading Indicators and a full set of controls. Since the gear is tricycle, landings are a snap, and the trailing link landing gear soaks up the shock. You just can’t make a bad landing. Did you know American engine rotation (counter-clockwise from the front) is just about unique in the world? Since the geared, 9-cylinder, Huosai radial engine turns the other way, you'll find yourself automatically adding LEFT rudder on the takeoff roll. Ground steering is by differential braking using the powerful pneumatic brakes, which are operated by a stick-mounted lever. Visibility is excellent and ground handling is easy.
Although we custom build the airplanes to be just the way you want, most tend to fall into a few typical categories we call The Bone Stocker, The Stealth Bomber, The Stunner, the Full-Tilt Boogie Superformer and the Whole Enchilada (whew!). You can call them whatever you want.
You can have a 400hp, custom built airplane for half the price of a new Cessna 172. These airplanes are still unbelievable bargains, and at prices we haven't seen in a long time. Customizing takes a little time, so get your order in NOW!!
THE WHOLE ENCHILADA
Full Tilt Boogie Superformer with 400hp M14PF, Whirlwind or MT 3-blade prop, custom interior, paint, glass panel IFR moving map GPS avionics packages etc. This is the Real Deal for only about $150K!!! Less than half the price of a new 172! This is a custom-built airplane any way you want it, just for YOU!
The Bone Stocker: DIY Special
Since no one has imported these airplanes lately Bone Stockers are hard to come by--but they are out there. We can help you find one that will keep your costs as close to the bone as possible. Bone Stock is the way the airplanes arrive from China. They are, sometimes, fresh from overhaul, some with low-time engines and props, but need new fabric cover on the control surfaces and the paint is ugly, no doubt about it. The Bone Stocker is the Do It Yourself Special. These are project airplanes, ready for a little TLC.
Even if the Chinese fabric on the control surfaces looks good, keep in mind that it is cotton (or linen), so it has a comparatively short life-span. We recommend replacing it with US Stits Poly-Fiber, Ceconite or equivalent. The Chinese paint serves its purpose well, but the finish quality is far below US standards–still, sometimes, with a little effort, you can make it look pretty good. Some folks keep the Chinese paint to be as "original" and authentic as possible. The Chinese remove their com avionics (top secret!), but usually leave the vintage ADF in place. It’s an interesting looking box (dead copy of a US WWII model), the size of a suitcase, and sometimes they even work! It can serve as useful ballast when you fly solo to keep the CG in place, so don’t throw it away. When flying cross-country, it slides right out, saving a bunch of weight and the space adds to the baggage compartment.
The price of a Bone Stocker: as little as $60K, maybe less--cheaper than that gas-guzzling fancy SUV you bought or that new Mercedes your wife wants. But you've got to know what to look for to get a good airplane at a good price, and make the improvements necessary to have a good solid, airworthy airplane--that's where we come in.
The Stealth Bomber looks Bone Stock, with the Chinese paint left in place, but has all of the important improvements, making it everything you want, mechanically and functionally.
We replace the fabric on the control surfaces with US Stits Poly-Fiber or Ceconite (your call), install US airspeeds, altimeters, rate-of-climbs and manifold pressure gages, in both front and rear cockpits. We put fire sleeve on the fuel and oil hoses, install wingtip strobes, Hooker four-point harnesses (seven-point harnesses are also available), a new sealed lead-acid 24v battery, powder coat the instrument panels, add an ELT with front cockpit annunciator, Hobbs meter, custom engraved switch and instrument labels, assemble, test fly and license the airplane. It’s ready for you to take home and have the time of your life. Five hours of ground and flight instruction is included at no additional cost.
Fly-away price for a Stealth Bomber can be as little as $75K--about the price of a decent used 172 or a fifty-year-old Bonanza. WAY Cheaper than a new Light Sport Aircraft.
Lots of great "experimental" avionics can give you what you need at a price way below what the TSO'd stuff costs.
OK, the Stealth Bomber is the Real Thing, but to some eyes, she’s not a real knockout. She’s attractive enough, but she needs a party dress and some war paint! She needs that custom paint job, maybe with some custom nose art and some interior refinements, like custom leather upholstery. The Stunner is what you want--a real knock ‘em dead sweetheart! Although the cost of paint varies, depending on just exactly what you want, typical cost runs $10-20K for a multi-color polyurethane paint job in your scheme. Leather upholstery usually adds about $1K. Gorgeous! You want to talk to folks and do a little navigating every once in a while? Add a com and transponder to go with your handheld GPS, a panel-mount GPS/com or IFR moving map GPS/com Avionics Package--you name it..
Total cost for your Stunner, with custom paint and interior: about $90K. Avionics packages can be installed to suit your needs. Try to find a comparable airplane at a similar price--ain't none nowwhere! Get rid of that second home you never use and get something a lot more fun than those property tax and maintenance bills.
Full-Tilt Boogie with The Superformer!
Alright, she’s a beauty, a real Stunner, but you want something MORE? 285hp’s not enough? You say you want more...power? We got MORE POWER! No doubt about it, the Vedeneyev M14P with 360hp is one awesome engine. If 360hp won’t set your hair on fire, try the 400hp M14PF! Either way, when you put the pedal to the metal this beauty really gets with it. The rate of climb doubles. Top speed goes up. Aerobatic vertical performance enters a whole new dimension. Totally awesome! US overhauled M14P’s cost about $35K and a 3-blade Whirlwind or MT Aerobatic propeller is about $15K. Want to save a little money? The Russian "V-period" 2-blade saves about $5K. The 400hp M14PF costs about $45K. Installation adds another $5K. An inverted fuel and oil system can be added if you want it. This transforms a CJ-6A into a Whole New Thing. Full-Tilt Boogie barely begins to describe it! Superformer!
The Full-Tilt Boogie Superformer w/360hp, V-period 2-blade prop and a basic com/txp package is about $145K, depending on the options you select.
But what about utility, you say? Sometimes, you just want to go places. You know, straight and level, with only an occasional loop and roll to keep your blood circulating. And sometimes there are clouds to be penetrated. What about that? Bags? Where do you put the baggage? No worries--Piece of Cake. We add a good-sized externally-accessible baggage compartment where the old Chinese avionics used to reside. We can also add long-range fuel and a well-equipped IFR panel for a comfortable, stunningly beautiful, custom airplane that is as useful for cross-country flying as it is fun for hairballs with your mates. Want a glass panel? No problem. Autopilot? Sure thing. The options list goes on forever. The sky is literally No Limit. Turn your Stealth Bomber, Stunner or Full-Tilt Boogie Superformer into a Super Transformer! (Am I getting a little carried away with this name thing? Nah!)
Well, that gives you some idea of what can be done. Regardless of how you equip your airplane, you won’t find anything to match the bang for the buck anywhere, new or used. Your airplane will be custom built just for you, with just the options you want and you’re going to love it! And the price is right. That’s why there are more than 200 CJ’s in the US. They are absolutely, positively, the most fun, top value available anywhere in the world of aviation today, bar none.
You've earned it--take it!
So, what are you waiting for? Better HURRY UP 'cause life don't wait for nobody.
Wild Blue Aviation
18228 59th Dr. NE, Arlington, WA, 98223 USA
Arlington Municipal Airport (KAWO)