This page last updated  November 22, 2014 at 0026 UTC


In July of 2000 I purchased N5186K, a 1950 Ryan Navion A. After 50 years the poor thing had a leak in one of her fuel tanks, so as soon as she got home she was "demated" (the fuselage was removed from the wings, and the wings were separated). This is the right way (and the hard way) to fix these leaks.
 Demating the fuselage and wings
Another View
And Another

After pulling the fuel tanks out, we found the hole:
Fuel Tank Hole
The aluminum nipple on top of the fuel tank is a vent line, and it continues inside the tank to the corner where the hole is located, where it was originally spot welded. Fifty years of vibration caused the tank to fail at that point, and the repair consisted of having a certified aircraft welder reinforce and patch the weak area. Although the other tank wasn't leaking, it was reinforced in the same area to preclude the same type of failure in the future.

It took over 250 man-hours of labor to pull 5186K apart, remove all the tanks (there are four: the two mains, an auxiliary, and an accumulator), repair, clean, alodine, pressure test, and reinstall them. Along the way some other minor repairs were made. Hoses, control cables, wheel bearings, propeller pitch thrust bearing, propeller diaphragm, switches, root seals, avionics, oil sumps, fasteners, and upholstery are some of the items that were replaced during this major "annual inspection". 5186K is in superlative condition for her age; the air frame is corrosion free and her hangared life, conscientious previous owners, and original Navion engineering all contributed to her longevity.
And she's certainly not the only Navion out there.
 Here's A Few More

The age of these planes can be appreciated by looking at 5186K's original instrument panel
 Instrument Panel
No standard "T" here!


For those of you with AutoCad 12 (or above) capabilities, here's the files for 5186K's new panel design
 Panel AutoCad (zip file; 0.044 MB)
Radio Tray AutoCad (zip file; 0.006 MB)
If you're even thinking about a panel upgrade, grab these files! Any good machine shop can use them to CNC the aluminum, saving a lot of time and effort trying to get the curves just right. I've done the hard part, why reinvent the wheel? Results below.


And here's a photo of the newly completed and installed panel.

 Finished Panel


There are all kinds of gust locks, from the DIY to factory supplied. Ryan actually provided one, and I’ve only seen a very grainy picture of the installation. The Drawing Number is 154-89003, and its installation is covered by Special Instructions Number 21, dated July 1, 1947. The thing is simplicity itself, and works perfectly. Here’s a couple of photos of my rendition, fabricated of carbon fiber, 316 stainless steel, Velcro, blood, sweat, and tears. Seriously, it’s such an easy fabrication and install it should be a standard item on all Navions.

 Gust_Lock (jpg file; 0.359 MB)

Gust_Lock_Stowed (jpg file; ).356 MB)



Here's a bunch of useful Navion files for download. Bear in mind that these may not be (and probably aren't) the latest versions of these documents. Use at your own risk! Some of these files are quite large (many megabytes), so some patience is required.

 E Series Engines Parts Manual (pdf file; 2.696 MB)
  E Series Engines Operator's Manual (pdf file; 4.621 MB)
E Series Engines Overhaul Manual (pdf file; 4.792 MB)
E-185 Type Certification  (pdf file; 0.02 MB)
E-225 Type Certification (pdf file; 0.01 MB)
The type certification for the E-185 contains the legal justification for the use of a Hartzell C-192 accessory "T" drive.
Confused by all the "T" drive stuff? See  MORE NAVION FILES  for the real skinny!

Service Manual Part (pdf file; 55.346 MB)
Service Bulletins Part 1 (zip file; 3.108 MB)
 Service Bulletins Part 2 (zip file; 2.349 MB)
Navion Service Letters (pdf file; 3.841 MB)
Navion Special Instructions (pdf file; 8.616 MB)
  Navion A-782 Type Certificate (pdf file; 0.497 MB)
 Military L-17 Pilot's Operating Handbook (pdf file; 4.838 MB)
 Military L-17 Service Manual (pdf file; 15.645 MB)
Military L-17 Erection and Maintenance Manual (pdf file; 9.112 MB)
Ryan 205 Operation Manual - 1950 Edition (pdf file; 24.341 MB)

Annual Checklist #1 (html file; 0.050 MB)
Annual Checklist #2 (pdf file; 0.018 MB)
The first of these is an HTML file, designed to be viewed (and printed) from a browser like the one you're using right now. The second is a pdf file which may be easier for some folks to print. Pick the one you prefer, and use it as a starting baseline for annual inspections. 

Airworthiness Directives (zip file; 0.129 MB)
This file unzips into 17 directories containing all of the Navion specific Airworthiness Directives to date. It does not purport to be complete, and it DOES NOT include AD's for appliances, as they would be far too numerous to list. The unzipped directories contain the AD's in browser viewable (HTML) format.

 Fuel Pump Manual (pdf file; 1.974 MB)
Fuel Pump Service Bulletin (zip file; 1.661 MB)
When was the last time you replaced YOUR drive pin? Check out the vintage Bonanza sites below for replacement parts.

 Bendix PS Series Manual Part 1 (pdf file; 2.617 MB)
 Bendix PS Series Manual Part 2 (pdf file; 3.424 MB)
 Bendix PS Series Carb Manual (pdf file; 12.812 MB)
 Carburetor Flow Chart (jpg file; 0.385 MB)
 Oddly, this manual goes into great detail on adjusting this bullet-proof carb, but it doesn't tell you which WAY to turn the idle mixture adjustment screw! From experience, it's counterclockwise for rich, clockwise for lean. One half turn is a lot.


Hartzell Manual (pdf file; 2.923 MB)
 Hartzell Prop Type Certificate (pdf file; 0.015 MB)

Hartzell_Prop_Manual_2010 (pdf file; 1.077 MB)


This devil-spawned abortion of a prop is subject to a nasty and repetitive AD. In fact, this prop drives a lot of Navion owners to replace their engines so they can use a different propeller.
 A Letter from Hartzell re: The Big AD

And here's a Service Letter from Hartzell to prevent the blade clamp bolts from chewing up your irreplaceable spinner:
Blade Clamp Bolt Service Letter ( jpg file; 0.336 MB)  

Hartzell Lubrication Service Letter (pdf file; 0.017 MB)
Hartzell used to specify a lot of different greases for their props (see MORE NAVION FILES), but now utilizes Aeroshell #6 almost exclusively. Navion owners know that even a recently overhauled 12X20 prop will spit oil, particularly on warm days. I've seen these props return from the big AD inspection, or even overhaul, sealed with all kinds of sticky compounds (silicone, Permatex, etc.), in an attempt to solve yet another on-going problem with these propellers. This service letter allows the use of Aeroshell #5 IF the propeller is placarded against use below -40 degrees. It also gives useful pointers on lubrication intervals and procedures. Aeroshell #5 is a high temperature grease, and less prone to spitting oil when the mercury rises.

Hartzell_Setup (doc file; 0.024 MB)

 One of the most common calls I get is after someone has received one of these wonder-props from overhaul or after a mandated AD inspection, and the plane will no longer make static RPM.

The blade pitch CANNOT be set by the prop shop; it MUST be done on the plane. And to complicate matters, there are half a dozen different pitch angles scattered across various manuals.

I’ve boiled the variables down to a “tried-and-true” process that makes the whole thing pretty straight forward.



If you have stumbled onto this page and have a piston style (non-bladder) Hartzell splined-hub propeller, I STRONGLY recommend that you, your mechanic, or your prop shop contact Lou Gage

at the American Bonanza Society, or at least read ALL of his exhaustive articles regarding how that prop and its oil transfer unit (OTU) mates with the dry sump E series engines!

Many Navions still sport their original Delco generator and its attendant regulator. The maintenance and adjustment of these regulators has become something of a lost art due to their relative rarity. Here are the manuals, which even cover the proper way to "neutralize", and "polarize" these generators.
Delco Regulator Manual (pdf file; 1.553 MB)
Delco Generator Manual (pdf file; 5.121 MB)

Delco_Remy_Repair (pdf file; 23.180 MB)

Delco_Remy_Regulators_115 (pdf file; 1.762 MB)

Delco_Remy_Regulators_116 (pdf file; 1.802 MB)

Delco_Remy_Regulators_118 (pdf file; 1.766 MB)

IG_180 (pdf file; 0.858 MB)

IG_185 (pdf file; 0.587 MB)

IG_186 (pdf file; 1.251 MB)

IG_187 (pdf file; 1.541 MB)

IG_188 (pdf file; 3.933 MB)

Delco_Remy_Generator_Regulators (pdf file; 13.510 MB)

The Eclipse "E-80" starter series was the workhorse of the late radial engine era, and carried over into the E-series Continental engines (the "E" is strictly coincidence). These starters come in 12 and 24 volt versions, with various clutch torque settings and both grounded and un-grounded stators. Here's the parts breakdown, exploded diagrams, and overhaul manuals for these expensive machines:
E-80 Starter Manual (pdf file; 14.544 MB)

Specific to my plane, a 1950 Navion A with the Continental E185 engine and a Hartzell constant speed prop, this nifty color-coded checklist fits on one card. Edit it using Microsoft Word to reflect your own needs, print it in high resolution, fold in half, and laminate.
Navion Checklist (doc file; 0.098 MB)


As you can see, 5186K had a pretty primitive panel. Like everyone else I wanted the latest and greatest moving map, IFR, approach certified GPS. But I also wanted full ILS capability as a backup, and I wanted dual VOR's for everyday navigation and to keep me from using the GPS full time as a crutch. I also figured that DME and ADF were pretty much passť these days. And finally, I wanted dual comms. All of these mutually exclusive requirements led to the panel I finally installed. Why not a Garmin 430 or 530? Admittedly, the cost would have been comparable. But consider this. When the fuse blows or the breaker pops on one of those magical does-it-all boxes, everything is gone. No GPS, no ILS, no VOR, no Comm. No way.

The most interesting part of this entire installation was the approach certified GPS. Unlike a normal radio install, an IFR GPS is a field approval. This means that you must first submit 3 copies of Form 337, unsigned by your mechanic, along with 3 copies of the IFR GPS Flight Manual Supplement, along with whatever other supporting documents your local FSDO may require. The FAA then reviews this stuff, approves it, and only then may the actual installation proceed. When completed, the installer then signs and stamps the pre-approved 337's for return to service. You get a copy, he gets a copy, and the FAA gets a copy for their archives. Herewith is what my 337 looked like on approval. Your mileage may vary.

Form 337, side B (doc file, 0.021 MB)

There were a few strange things about this process. The FAA didn't want anything listed as an attachment, hence the odd wording on the 337 ("herein incorporated by reference"). Ultimately their goal was to only record the microfiched 337, and not a bunch of weight and balance sheets, flight manual supplements, etc. I was also surprised that they didn't require a flight test, which used to be a religiously observed part of any approach certified GPS installation.

 Canopy Navions predate the requirement for shoulder harnesses. There have been various modifications, and even STC's, designed to address the retrofit of this lifesaving equipment. But first, there is the legality issue. Fortunately, this is one area where the FAA has seen fit to err on the side of safety; evidently someone decided that some kind of shoulder harness, even any kind, is better than none at all. While the Feds would ideally like to see an STC or Field Approval, they acknowledge that as long as the airframe is not structurally modified or compromised, you can install shoulder harnesses with a simple log book entry. They don't even have to be approved aircraft harnesses.

And here's the official FAA policy statement that says so:
Shoulder Harness Policy Statement (pdf file, 0.156 MB)

Never a bureaucracy to let a simple statement run around naked, here's the FAA's discussion of the ramifications of the policy statement:
Policy Statement Discussion (doc file, 0.081 MB)

So I eagerly placed an order for two 2D5630-3 harnesses ($40 each) from
Hooker Harness

These mate with the 206340 seat belts, also from Hooker, that are legal replacements for the front seat belts.
The entire get-up looks like this:
Shoulder Harness Installation (jpg file, 0.073 MB)

and is anchored behind the rear seat like so:
Harness Anchor (jpg file, 0.077 MB)

The shoulder harnesses are capped off with stylish sheep skin pads from Wal-Mart, and they don't even interfere with the rear seat passengers.

 There is one tool that a Navion wrench swinger cannot do without. While we all get creative at accessing hose clamps, hoisting jigs, and the like, the bolts on the main gear trunnions require a wrench so bizarre it is specifically illustrated in the Navion manuals. And rightfully so. I don’t remember where this sketch came from, but many thanks to the originator.

Trunnion_Wrench.jpg (jpg file, 0.015 MB)


Here's a list of links which may be of interest to Navion owners:

ACK EMMA LLC / Ripley Quinby III
The creator of the biggest Navion link of all; the page you're on (and those that follow). In addition to being the proud owner of  N5186K, I'm  an A&P mechanic, IA, and instrument rated commercial pilot located at DXR in Danbury, Connecticut. Folks in the New England area in need of an annual, a pre-buy inspection, assistance with ferry permits or ferry flights, or just general help with parts or questions should feel free to get in touch with me at my shop, Ack Emma LLC, where you will also find a link to our manufacturing division, General Technics.

 We make the CYA-100, a simple and inexpensive TRUE angle of attack indicator.
The best way to contact me is to click here to send me an e-mail, or phone me at (203) 798-6622 or (203) 431-9056.
I'm always happy to meet with Navion owners, or potential owners, at Danbury airport in western Connecticut. "Ack Emma" is World War I British phonetic for "Air Mechanic".

Sierra Hotel Aero
The current owner of the A-782 Navion Type Certificate
Sierra Hotel Aero
or here

Tom DeLuca
Tom doesn't have a website, but he does have everything you could possibly want for a Navion. He's in Cabazon, CA,
and his phone number is (951) 849-7594. His fax is (951) 849-0084. Seriously, if you need anything, call him.

Jeff Bontz
Jeff’s shop, Classic Aero Service is in Aurora, Nebraska, and is stuffed with Navion parts and expertise.
To access it, call him at (402) 694-0171.

 American Navion Society
This is the link to the major Navion type club. Potentially good source for parts and information.

American Bonanza Society
The link to the Type Club for the other aircraft that uses E series engines and Hartzell splined propellers. Their “tech guru”, Lou Gage, is the go-to guy for info on installations unique to Beechcraft.

  Vintage Bonanza
Another good source of E series engine, accessory, and Hartzell prop info.

  Yahoo! Navion Group
Frankly, these are the new type clubs; they just haven't realized it yet. Post a question, get an answer. A good answer?
You decide. Use anti-virus software religiously if you download from these groups, and please make darn sure your files are clean before you upload! Personally, I think that as parts availability shrinks, these user groups will provide a better database for parts than the "official" type clubs. After all, if you holler for a part on a user group, you're bound to get a response from several folks in the same predicament. The type clubs only have one guy trying to accomplish the same function. These groups saved me $1K on insurance, and I paid it back by saving someone $600 on an A-38 bearing.

Golden Gate Navioneers
Bill Putney's website for the Golden Gate Navioneers has a library of 337 forms submitted by Navion owners.
PLEASE forward Bill a copy of all of your 337's for inclusion in his publicly accessible library. It makes it much easier to file a 337 if you can show your FSDO
that a modification has been accepted in the past,  and we need all the help we can get to keep these classic airplanes flying! Also, my sincerest appreciation to Bill for generously providing the storage and bandwidth for the Navion Files Site you are reading right now!

This WebSite is available on CD  
If anyone has items of interest, click here to send me an e-mail

If you're a real glutton for download punishment go to:




This webpage Copyright 2000 by Ripley Quinby III