“Canoe” wheel pants out, K2U pants in

Several of you have remarked on the Crossover Classic’s wheel pants. These pants, sometimes called “canoe” pants, were installed on older Cessna 182s–but midway through the 1974 model year Cessna replaced them with more modern-looking designs. Obviously, our sweepstakes 182 came out early in the 1974 production run, because it has the early-style wheel fairings.

Seems that you either love ‘em or hate ‘em. I’ve heard people say they look sleek. I’ve heard people say they look aerodynamic. And I’ve also heard people say they date the airplane, or just plain look weird. Most of the chatter around the office–and on the street–seems to line up behind the “dated and weird” opinions. Moreover, I’ve heard Cessna experts say that while the old fairings may look sleek, they actually aren’t. The more bulbous designs of recent years, on the other hand, actually are aerodynamically efficient. To the tune of adding a couple knots to cruise speeds.

Enter Knots2U (“K2U”) of Burlington, Wisconsin. Knots2U has been in the business of providing speed-enhancing aftermarket wheel fairings and many other fiberglass parts for years. You can check them out at www.shopknots2u.com . Knots2U’s John Bailey kindly offered a set of his STC’d gear fairings for the sweeps 182, and we’re hoping to pick up a few knots as a result. The fairings look good, too, and have some important advantages. One is an access door that lets you air up the tires without removing the fairings. Ditto access to the brake assemblies. Even if you do have to remove the fairings, it’s easy. That’s because the fairings are assembled in two pieces. This means you don’t have to jack up the plane or remove the tires in order to remove the fairings.

K2U is also providing new wing strut fairings. These will replace the cracked and worn fairings at the wing strut attach points.

Other badly-needed replacements fiberglass parts will come from Willy Stene of Stene Aviation (www.steneaviation.com), who is supplying wing root, stabilizer tip, elevator tip, and dorsal fin fairings, along with a new tailcone and vertical fin cap. It’s also providing a new landing gear-to-fuselage strut fairing. This is a fairing that’s subjected to a lot of stress, and prone to cracking.

So who says fairings aren’t important to a restoration? You can fix everything else up, but even a casual glance will zero in on discolored, cracked, or otherwise beat-up fairings. Thanks to K2U and Stene for joining the Crossover Classic rejuvenation.

5 Responses to ““Canoe” wheel pants out, K2U pants in”

  1. J. F. Reat says:

    The newest Cessna 182s (restarts after 2004 or -05) have a different, more bulbous design main and nosewheel fairing. It has a “pressure recovery” profile and does not have the separate brake fairing. I assume these are still more efficient yet since they were part of the aerodynamic cleanup Cessna did (different cowl and air intake, etc.).

    Do any readers know whether these can be retrofitted to older Skylanes and whether they can be purchased from anyone besides Cessna ($$$!).

  2. John S. Allen says:

    Go with the newer pants. Get rid of as many old parts as possible. Makes for a more modern look!

  3. Albert Marks says:

    float kit ??????

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