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1962 Jodel DR.1050 Ambassadeur D-EHIE s/n 291

D-EHIE at Nittenau/Bruck Airport in front of her hangar, view from left front

Condition as seen during inspection on February 4, 2000

Airframe, Covering & Paint

All covering seems to be in good condition. As the airframe was last overhauled in Germany in 1970. The fuselage is a plywood box which is like the wing covered with Grade A Cotton and then painted. The paint is mostly in good condition (still glossy, no cracks), but several areas have been resprayed since the overhaul was done in 1970, so that noticeable differences in the color tones, especially of the yellow stripe, do exist. Part of the second yellow coat on top of the vertical stabilizer/rudder has peeled (probably due to inadequate surface preparation before application of the yellow tone), but the white underneath is in good condition. There are also some areas where the paint has cracked, especially along the leading edge of the horizontal stabilizer and near the walkways on the wing. There and on the little wood which is not covered with Grade A Cotton (30 Nov 2001: actually Linen was used for the recover in 1970, the plywood covered parts (horizontal stabilizer, fuselage) are covered in their original silk batiste) no water damage to the wood or covering (staining) can be seen, which indicates that the airplane must have been hangared most of the time. The underside of the wings was clean (unfortunately with two less than perfect covering patches), but the lower surface of the fuselage had a slight oil/dirt coating which made it impossible to detect exactly in which shape covering and paint in this area is.

At the moment it is not known if the airframe was glued with Casein or Aerodux, but this will be investigated at the next possible opportunity. This opportunity came on June 25, and it seems that Casein was used as a glue. The only area which I could inspect was the inner structure of the wing through the inspection holes, and there the wood and glue seems are covered with a slight mist of paint overspray, which make an exact statement difficult. I've never seen a Casein glue joint for real, but the joint do definitely not look like they were done with the dark red/brownish Casein glue.

Another update, 3 July 2000: While at the Nordenbeck Jodel Fly-In, I talked to several knowledgeable people and it seems that neither Casein nor Aerodux was used as wood glue. Although the glue has a kind of cream color, these people said that it is not Casein, but a French 'Bakelite Type' plastic glue. More specific information is not known at the moment.

The final word, 30 Nov 2001: Some repairs by an expert aircraft woodworker revealed that the aircraft was really glued with Casein. When being sanded, it produces a very specific odor, which is easy recognizable. Also, areas which were wet for a longer time are de-glued, which does not happen with plastic resin glues of any type.

Plastic Parts: Wheel Pants, Engine Cowling etc.

The wheel pants (which are probably made from polyester-reinforced glasfiber) could only be inspected from the outside because of the work involved with removing them from the gear. They appeared to be free from cracks and other defects, but are quite bad when it comes to surface irregularities and imperfections. But this has probably been the case since they were built in the 1962, when not much experience was available concerning the production of composite parts. The same is true for the cowling, which is for the same reasons quite thick and heavy. During a recent incident the upper part of the cowling was sucked into the propeller due to the fasteners not being closed properly. The resulting damage to the cowling seems to have been repaired in an acceptable, although cosmetically not perfect manner, and the new paint looks good, too.

Another plastic part on the airplane is on the belly directly behind the firewall. Correction 26 June 2000: The flat area behind the directly behind the cowling on the belly of the fuselage is NOT made from plastic, it is a galvanized sheet metal part. This part is not rusted, but there are several thin layers of paint on it (red, yellow, white), which are all gone partially. This part seems to be free from defects, too, but the paint is peeled and in bad condition (probably due to the hot exhaust gas) and needs to be replaced for cosmetic reasons soon. The last bigger part made from composites is the fixed, highly angled fin in front of the all moving vertical tail. It can be expected that the quality of construction is the same as for the other parts if it is still the original part.

Canopy & Windows

The canopy consists of three main parts (windshield, doors and the wrap around window over the rear seats behind the doors) and is fastened with screws to a tubular steel frame. The plexiglas (or other clear plastic) on the windshield and the doors is in excellent condition with no cracks emanating from the screw holes. The rear wraparound piece is painted white on stripe about 20 inches wide along the top of the canopy to act as a sunshade. In this area there are two big cracks which have been stop-drilled and filled somehow, but which are still very visible.


The interior with the exception of the instrument panel is quite old (probably also dating back to 1970), but generally in good condition and free from defects. The front seats are covered in a red imitation later which was in style during those days. It has held up good against time, with some fading of the red color being the only imperfection. The side panels and the rear seats are partly covered in red leather and red cloth which is somehow attached to interior panels made from thin plywood. The covering material is in good condition, but some of the screws which attach the panels to the airframe are missing. Also missing are shoulder harnesses on the front and rear seats, which are not required to be retrofitted in Germany. This will be done a.s.a.p. if a method for installing shoulder harnesses exists. The seat frames have been rebuild according to the seller as this is a weak point of most Jodels around, even those of much newer manufacturing date. This rebuild should have taken care of a bad seat adjustment mechanism, which often gives way and lets the pilot or copilot slide to the rear stop.

Engine & Propeller

As the engine is probably the most difficult part to inspect for a laymen, no relayable information as to the interior condition can be given. The exterior of the engine looked reasonably clean. The aluminum baffling was in good condition without cracks or repairs. On the other side, the rubber baffling on top of this aluminum frame was in mediocre shape, i.e. the baffling material was quite hard and brittle and showed a lot of cracks along the usual bend line, so that really good sealing against the top cowling is probably not guaranteed. The ignition harness is in good shape, with none of the strands of the stainless steel braiding showing any defects from rubbing against other parts. The carburetor air intake has been retrofitted with a regularly available aircraft grade foam air filter which should increase engine longevity. All carburetor and cabin heat controls seem to be in good condition. Also, a champion oil filter has been added to the engine, which also makes oil changes easier due to the location of the otherwise to be cleaned oil screen on the back side of the engine. But there are also a few negative points. The engine rubber mounts seem to be old and badly sagged which could increase the level of vibration transmitted to the engine mount and airframe. A replacement in the near future seems advisable. The lower side of all four cylinders, especially those on the left side, was covered in a mist of fresh oil which seems to come from the seal where the tapped rods go through the crankcase. Also, there was black oily residue (burned oil?) on the exhaust ports of the two left cylinders which could indicate a bad exhaust seal. It is not known if this is the same cylinder which shows the lowest compression reading of the four cylinders (77-77-77-69) and if any corrective action needs to be taken. The ellipsoidal oil tank was also covered with a mist of clean oil, and a drop of oil was hanging on the screw which closes off the oil tank on the bottom.

The fact that leaded gasoline is still required for the operation of this engine indicates that the valve seats were not converted to the hardened type during engine overhaul in 1987. Therefore, either a lead additive has to be added when using automobile gasoline or a mixture of 25% 100LL with 75% unleaded AVGAS can be used according to Peterson Aviation, which sells STC's for using car gas in the U.S.

The propeller and spinner were replaced in 1998 due to the incident with the top cowling coming off (see above) and are therefore quite new and in excellent condition.

Lutz Gebhardt

Created: Wed Mar 15 18:57:06 CET 2000
Last modified: Fri Nov 30 13:09:09 CET 2001