My 1968 Cessna Cardinal

New modifications, various

Various modifications:

The original wheel pants on the early Cardinals (and other Cessna’s from that era) look nice, but when you scrutinize the aerodynamics, you realize that they probably do not reduce drag at all, and they might even increase drag. Why?

· The lower portion of the wheel pant don't cover enough of the wheel/tire.

· The hole at the bottom of the fairing is way too large.

· The aft end of the hole acts like an air scoop and traps air inside of the wheel pants, thus increasing drag.

I decided that the later style wheel pants (75-78 model) was the best design and the lowest drag.

I decided to buy a used set of wheel pants from EBay. I was also able to find all the appropriate attachment brackets.

The fairings were a bit rough and I had to repair and modify them a bit.

The modifications I did was to lower the bottom edge of the pants and thus covering more of the wheel/tire. I lowered it about 1.25” on the mains and about 1” on the nose.

This took me a few weeks, but the end result was very nice.

Here is a picture of the original wheel pants.










And here are the newer style wheel pants with the brake cover fairings.

























Another kit from Maple Leaf was the “Fancy pants” which is a telescoping nose gear strut cover















I also had the entrance steps removed to decrease the drag. The steps are not really needed as the aircraft sits very low to the ground.
















Other areas of drag reduction includes removal of the ADF and the ADF antenna and replacing the marker beacon “sled” type antenna with a new low drag injection molded COMANT CI-102 antenna.














I re-painted the interior plastic panels a few times and now it looks really good. Here is a picture of what the interior looked like when I first got the aircraft












And this is after paint. The interior is now Beige and black instead of grey and puke gold/green. I also Installed head rests for the front and back seats.