Piper Vagabond Flying Again

We’re happy to announce that our PA-15 Vagabond is flying again. The path this airplane has followed over the past several years has been a tough one as this is the second restoration in the several years. The airplane only had 1.5 hours on the last restoration before an accident totaled the airplane. We’ll have the rest of the story up here at some later date, but a hint is the airplane’s nickname, “Freeflight.”

Our Vagabond is a Deluxe model that has also been converted to a PA-17. The deluxe model included several amenities from the factory in Lock Haven not found on the budget conscious base model Vagabond. A few items include gear and strut fairings on the outside of the airplane and carpeting on the inside. And the conversion from a PA-15 to a PA-17 was accomplished with the addition of dual controls and it also has a 75 horsepower Continental.

The amazing finish on the dope is evident in the reflection on the bottom of the Vagabond's wing.

Over the past two years Andy has worked incredibly hard on this airplane and the effort really shows. Like the rest of our short wing Pipers, most who see the airplane up close do not believe that the finish is only dope. And by only, we mean many, many, many repetitions of sanding, and polishing to give the dope a mirror like finish.

Andy got a chance to go flying in the Vagabond and he really enjoyed getting some flying time after spending much of the past two years working on the airplane.

The day after the first flight Drew flew the Vagabond down to Paine Field for Vintage Airplane Days, a growing airshow put together by John Sessions and his Historic Flight Foundation. We’ll have some pictures from the visit up soon.

The interior is all original, except for the dual controls making our PA-15 a PA-17.

The wheelpants add a deluxe touch to what was initially a basic airplane from Piper.

Every corner of the Vagabond looks great.

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2 Responses to “Piper Vagabond Flying Again”

  1. Edward Moore August 10, 2012 at 11:57 pm #

    I’m trying to help a guy get the paperwork legal on his PA-15 engine conversion to the A-65. What did you use? We have a copy of a Griswold (sp?) Connecticut STC and a copy of a Piper Engine drawing but don’t have both the lPiper letters referenced in the STC. Also need the Piper drawing #11550 for the shock bungee referred in the TCDS optional equipment #211. These mods were done years ago but no Form 337s on file! Would like to talk to someont to discuss – any help will be appreciated. Thanks Edd Moore A&P/IA Chattanooga TN 423 605-4474 I can call any of you at any time you specify!!

  2. Martin Goldfarb July 10, 2013 at 4:06 am #

    Andy, your restoration looks great. I bought my PA15, 15-230, in 1975, and it had the gear conversion but not the Gross weight increase. I have since changed the engine to a Continental C-85-12F and installed dual controls. I found and have downloaded the 1961 Piper letter and the back of the 337 from Andya’s post. Is it possible to get a copy of the front of that 337 to use for the prior reference. Have any other examples of 337s or Piper letters surfaced since the last post?
    Thanks for the help.
    Martin Goldfarb

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