Propellerhead Takes Flying to a New Flight Level in Mexico

The Panama Jack project was one of the most diverse and fun projects for the Propellerhead Team.  We have worked with many theme parks, movie sets, and tv shows, but this was a challenge in itself!  The team had to not only build a float plane on a pole, but it was to be assembled in another country. We worked with engineers, resort architecture directors, and the Panama Jack team here in Orlando, FL to make this dream a reality.

The aircraft we used for this project was a 1958 Cessna 172 straight tail. This aircraft is commonly used as an amphibious aircraft, a lot of them with an upgraded 180hp engine. The 172 had to be modified to become a float plane, as it originally did not come with the float kit.

Getting creative for transport to Mexico was a whole other adventure.  She juuuust fit in the container! Propellerhead has containerized many aircraft but not one with a 6′ steel pole sticking out it’s belly. The joke around the shop was different ways to “fly” her to Mexico, including towing her behind a boat while we all rode along.

Flying into Cancun, Mexico is an amazing experience whether you’re from the passenger’s point of view or the pilot’s point of view. THIS is why we become pilots and fly:
to be able to travel around the world and see it from the best seat in the house. 
Who wouldn’t want to become a pilot? At the resort, we had pilot’s from all over come up and start talking to us about the PJ plane. No matter where you are, you feel connected in the aviation community.

The Propellerhead Team gained some new friends while we were there, including Bob the Croc.

It took 4 full days of assembly, 3 trips to town, movement of agriculture to finish the job.  Every single part that travelled from the USA was bagged, tagged, and a location for assembly. We would call this a successful adventure for the Propellerhead team!

You don’t want to miss this video of the PJ assembly in Cancun!

Fun Facts & Statistics

1 > Person knocked over by a tree. (We love you JV!)

1.5 > Years it took from idea to completed project.

5 > Full grown palm trees that had to be removed and transplanted.

6 > Hours in the rain was spent during assembly.

12′ > The depth of how far down the pole had to be set into the ground.

18 > Propellerhead Team members were included in this project from start to finish.

30’> The height we needed to lift the PJ plane by crane to lower onto the pole.

1,232 > Man hours involved in this project.

Interested in an out of the box project? Click here for more information!

Did this inspire you to fly? Click here for more information!

Beechcraft Bonanza V35TC Rebuild or Part Out?

Propellerhead Aviation, in conjunction with Fast Aviation and HangarSwap, will be restoring this V35TC Beechcraft Bonanza OR parting it out – all depending on the initial inspection and cost assessment.  Follow us for the technical aspects of this Beechcrafts fate.

Delivered and unloaded at Propellerhead Aviation

Upon arrival at Propellerhead the fuselage was carefully hoisted off the trailer and placed on the floor.  Unfortunately, we DO NOT have the genuine Beech fuselage jack which would make things a lot easier so we’ll adapt and fabricate a similar structure to support and manipulate the fuselage until the wings are installed.

The next order of business is to gather all information on the airframe, engine and propeller.

Here are the airframe specifics:

N4881J 1966 V35TC SN: D-8359

It appears to be somewhat of a rare model of the V35 being a first year factory turbocharged unit with Beech building only 79 airframes during the 1966-1967 timeframe.

Does anyone have the data to determine which of these year airframes are still flying?

Watch this video and help us determine whether or not this airplane should be restored or sold for parts.

Questions? Email bill@propellerheadaviation or