I flew 87J for the first time for my annual flight review. Pre-flight inspection revealed an immaculate airframe and paint scheme that rivals a brand new aircraft. The entire firewall forward looks brand new and the interior is in excellent condition. It’s hard to believe this aircraft is about 55 years old.
The avionics are outstanding as well. The dual G5 setup provides all the information you need in a reduced instrument scan space. The radios and audio controller are crystal clear.
This airplane climbs very well and has great cruise speed and just a slight pull to the right. While landing, it demonstrated good elevator authority, but slightly less rudder authority as compared to its younger cousins. The windscreen is clean and still visible even when flying directly into the setting sun.
My only critique is related to the design of the seat, seat rail, and yoke position and has nothing to do with the condition, rigging, or outfitting of 87J. The seat does not move vertically and the forward position that I required for full rudder control put my knees squarely in the way of the yoke. Hopefully, this won’t be aproblem for you.