Installing Pierre Girard (PG) 1450 Floats on a Rans S7
And getting everything together at
This plane was purchased by the previous owner in
These floats were purchased with spreader bars but without any rigging from floats to aircraft. At that time, spring of 2014,
PG did not offer stubs and brackets for the Rans S7 so the owner opted to get them and the rest of the rigging from me.
This particular set is a well made and good looking float with wide, flat, non slip tops and storage hatches BUT, in fact, they are over built for this weight of aircraft
For example, my Murphy 1500 floats weigh in at 187lbs while these PG floats are 230lbs. It is also likely that if PG strut material had been used the total weight would be a few lbs more due to the thicker wall streamline tube the company uses compared to Rans strut material. This is one example of “over building” in that dozen’s of 1300lb gross weight planes successfully use the lighter tubing. PG has also used much thicker material than necessary for spray deflectors, water rudders and hatch framing and puts in much more interior stiffening than is optimal for our light aircraft.
Off the water performance may not be quite as good as the Murphys which I attribute to bottom design more than weight.
Finally, prospective purchasers should know that while some purchasers of PG floats have been quite satisfied with all aspects of the product and the purchase; there are others, however, who have had bad experiences due to poor quality construction, poorly designed amphib parts as well as the excess weight of parts as mentioned above. One other curious reaction that we experienced was that they would not provide overall measurements of the floats, spreader bar and step positions ahead of the delivery and that we should “buy a measuring tape and take them ourselves after they were delivered”. There were other difficulties in communicating with Frank, the salesman, which may or may not have been due to language issues (French/English).
Local waterjet company (Scissiontech in Peterborough) and machine shop facilities (Bob Sheward) produced the various plates, blocks and channel from my drawings developed using emachineshop software. For details on these parts and and pictures of them installed on floats see: floatkit
Here they are with test rigging on my S7S:
After testing and ready to take to change over field near Mattawa:
With the floats on the
trailer the next destination was Mattawa
This is Gerry near the end of the installation
And driving me down to the water with the excellent four wheel dolly:
This is Mark and his beautiful PA-12 with all the mods:
Below looking NE with Mattawa top right
Robert, the owner of the S7, hiding the instruments from me during his checkout:
Inspite of these heavy floats and only 80hp, the plane does fly off itself eventually with two of us on board and Robert is pleased with that (while I was just surprised).
Just taking in the beauty of his new machine
You can tell there is a woman involved with the colour coordinated boat, flowers and chairs.
Hopefully next year everything will be yellow.
Visiting in the area: