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Corsair Ace
07-20-2006, 08:34
Okay, I've got three point landings down prety well. I've even greased a few of them! :D Then suddenly, we're working on wheel landings. Oh man...I thought I knew how to land an airplane! These are NOT easy! I know as I keep working on them, the landings will come, but talk about humbling! If you are getting a little too "cocky" and need your head and attitude adjusted and brought back to reality, go fly a taildragger. That will cure you. If you're up for a challegen, that will do it for you and you'll have fun while you're doing it! :D

pilotman2105
07-20-2006, 08:41
Originally posted by Corsair Ace
Okay, I've got three point landings down prety well. I've even greased a few of them! :D Then suddenly, we're working on wheel landings. Oh man...I thought I knew how to land an airplane! These are NOT easy! I know as I keep working on them, the landings will come, but talk about humbling! If you are getting a little too "cocky" and need your head and attitude adjusted and brought back to reality, go fly a taildragger. That will cure you. If you're up for a challegen, that will do it for you and you'll have fun while you're doing it! :D

Totally opposite anything you would think about landing an airplane. "No, don't keep pulling back once the wheels hit, but rather let go of the pressure or push forward." Wha?!?!?

I miss flying TW.

rayN5432H
07-20-2006, 22:25
Just you wait, you'll work on those wheel landings to perfection, then find you can't 3-point worth a darn :p Then you can start all over. Eventually you get it worked out to being able to convert any approach into a reasonable 3-point or wheel landing within a couple seconds of touching down.

I found it easier to approach fast when learning wheel landings, but then worked the speed/power combinations until I was nearly down to the same approach setup as a 3-point. It works pretty well, though if you anticipate a wheel landing, I suggest some nose-down trim. It's easier to relax pressure on the yoke than push forward :eek:

Let the good times roll!

CraigH
07-20-2006, 22:52
Lee,
I've always found it easier to touch one main just a split-second before the other one. If you're going to have any bounce going, touching one main slightly before the other seems to help dissipate it.

yakdriver
07-20-2006, 23:13
Originally posted by CraigH
Lee,
I've always found it easier to touch one main just a split-second before the other one. If you're going to have any bounce going, touching one main slightly before the other seems to help dissipate it.

What would you know, you have a training wheel now.:D Don

CraigH
07-20-2006, 23:24
Originally posted by yakdriver
What would you know, you have a training wheel now.:D Don :o

07-21-2006, 14:04
Lee,

Not that I'm a super hero when it comes to wheel landings, but this is what worked for me to get over "the hump" of wheel landings.

I don't change my aproach at all for 3 points or wheel landings. They are both 1.3 VSO, full flap landings with just a touch of power (1700 rpms). Although, you can use any configuration you want; point is you don't have to change them. On my aproach I trim for "almost hands off." Specifically, I trim just a little nose down so I have to hold a little back pressure to keep the nose up.

During the flare is when things change. With a three point I always imagine an aggresive pull into your lap to get the plane "all the way back" into a max AOA attitude. During a wheel landing flare, I kind of truncate that into what I call a half-flare. I hold this half flare, or adjust it slightly, to bleed off the last remaining inches of altitude and airspeed. Due to the forward trim I set on final, all I have to do is relax the back pressure I'm holding on the yoke instead of actually pushing forward or "sticking it" to the runway.

Anyways, keep up the good work and keep us posted. Also, if you feel that you aren't progressing in the flare as much as you would like to...just go up and do lots of 1.1 vso slow flight in landing configuration to help you with the feel of the elevator and rudder during flare.

Good Luck,

Bill

acropilot_ty
07-22-2006, 12:07
I put most of my energy into teaching the application for wheel landings rather than the techniques. Without knowing why they need to learn how to do wheel landings my students would just think that I was being mean to them.

The number 1 reason to do a wheel landing rather than a 3 point is for better traction during the rollout. This traction is gained by reducing the angle of attack (lift) after touchdown and placing the majority of the aircrafts weight onto the main wheels. This added traction can be used for better directional control with downwind braking, or to reduce the landing roll with heavy braking during short field or emergency landings in confined spaces. If you were to attempt to use heavy braking in the 3 point attitude you would lock up the wheels, or start hopping because there simply isn't enough weight on the tires.

The number 2 reason to do a wheel landing is to prevent a wing from lifting after touchdown. This is useful in airplanes with a lot of dihedral and very little aileron. The tendency for a wing to lift is also compounded if the airplane has soft landing gear like a champ or a stinson.

The number 3 reason is for better field of view during the rollout. In airplanes with no forward field of view I sometimes raise the tail so that I can see better on narrow or curved runways. I also do wheel landings when flying formation so that I can see the lead aircraft better.

Finally the number 4 reason is to allow for touchdowns at virtually any speed. To me this is the least important reason, although it has come in handy. I was once told that I was trailing smoke a minute after takeoff, it was nice to be in a tailwheel airplane so that I could dive down and land at a very high speed which would not have been possible in a trike. It is also useful to save a landing following a too high or too fast approach... this is especially useful on emergencies where a go around is not an option. Being able to land at a higher speed is useful in formation so the leader can carry power all the way in (this prevents the wingman from coasting past the leader).

I think that most instructors put too much attention on the approach and touchdown when teaching wheel landings. As you can see above my top 3 reasons to do a wheel landing have to do with the roll out only. There is no reason why one couldn't do a 3 point touchdown and then raise the tail to get rid of the lift and gain traction/field of view. As far as I am concerned there is no difference in how you approach or flare in a wheel landing, only what you do after touching and more importantly WHY you do it.

RickF
07-22-2006, 20:38
If one flies a conventional gear airplane long enough I believe most people will find that there are applications where a three point landing will have benefits over a wheel landing while other times a wheel landing will have benefits over the three point landing.

Learn and get proficient with both ... diversity can be good. ;)


Congrats on taming the tailwheel Lee, the learning last forever!

hydroguy2
07-22-2006, 23:49
aahhh, wheel landings.....Definitely a different feeling. Mine were lousy, but I figure since we moved to wheel landings, I must have finally figurd out the 3 ptr's.

Corsair Ace
07-23-2006, 20:12
Thanks for all the good information/help guys. Certainly a challenge, one I'm enjoying very much. I'll keek you posted on my progress! :D

Corsair Ace
07-23-2006, 20:14
Originally posted by RickF
If one flies a conventional gear airplane long enough I believe most people will find that there are applications where a three point landing will have benefits over a wheel landing while other times a wheel landing will have benefits over the three point landing.

Learn and get proficient with both ... diversity can be good. ;)


Congrats on taming the tailwheel Lee, the learning last forever!
Hey Rick, Where you been? Good to see you again my friend! :D

bgib
07-25-2006, 20:16
Thats great to hear about you learning to fly a taildragger. I have recently learned to fly my dads stinson( I have about 20 hours in it ), and today I took my flight review in it. My wheel landings are pretty good, but we did a couple of 3 pt landings, and man, I couldn't do one worth a crap. Pretty frustrating, but it all worked out. Just keep flying, and eventually it will all come to you. Oh, don't just stick with one type of landing, practice them both, it will make you a much better tailwheel pilot. Good Luck and have fun!

RickF
08-06-2006, 07:44
Originally posted by Corsair Ace
Hey Rick, Where you been? Good to see you again my friend! :D

How in the heck are you Lee? Man I didn't realize you have been taming the tailwheel ... looks like somebody may have misplaced a few post in the 'Tailwheel' forum since I was here last. :eek:

Staying very busy with work and trying to do a complete remodel of our house has kept me very busy over the past couple of years. The house is now finally finished and am I ever glad.

Are you still jumping?

Corsair Ace
08-06-2006, 16:31
Hey Rick,

Things are going pretty good now. We lost mom in June, but at least she isn't suffering anymore. I didn't realize how much pain she was in until the day before she passed, so really, that was a blessing, though we miss her greatly.

Dad is doing very well. He is getting a lot more attention now and that is helping him. He has really come out of his shell. I took him flying yesterday, for the second time and he really had a great time. :D Things really looking up.

Attempting to tame the tailwheel is awesome! A lot of fun, but man, it really makes you pay attention to what you're doing. I flew this morning and the wheel landings are coming along. My last two were very good the CFI told me. Did one three point before we started working on the wheel landings and it was a good one, so what I learned so far is sticking! :D

Yes, I'm still jumping. :D Still as awesome as ever. :D Might make a jump down at Zephyr Hills in a couple of weeks, if I get to take my girlfriend down to visit her mom like we're planning. That will be cool.

Great that you got your house finished. :D Hopefully, you'll have a little to be here more now. :D

That's about it from this end. Take care my friend, I'll see you around here. :D

Your friend,
Lee

jlong16
08-16-2006, 16:09
I had this incredible experience in a tailwheel aircraft and wanted to share it with you all.

“You want to have some SERIOUS fun,” my friend asked one Friday afternoon?

It had been a long day, in a long week and long month. So I said, “Sure. Let’s have some fun.”

My friend, Shawn Okun, Managing Partner of Float Planes and Amphibs in Sebring, Florida, threw open the hanger doors and revealed his concept of fun. It was a most unusual airplane. Part rocket, part glider, and all fun, it seemed like the Float Planes and Amphibs A-20 Vista Cruiser, couldn’t be categorized in any of the traditional ways.

It was sleek but angular and somehow but not quite, very different. The cockpit was close but on second inspection, as I began to familiarize myself with the instruments and controls, everything was handy and nothing was truly out of place. After a few minutes of pushing and pulling levers, twisting dials and rotating the stick, I began to experience a feeling of comfort. It was like someone made an airplane so uniquely different, that they incorporated all the things I wanted but couldn’t put into words.

The styling was Spartan. Everything on and in this plane absolutely had to be there. Even though the look said, strange, the plane felt really good.

I climbed out and walked around, taking in the oddity of the pod style cockpit and the long tube flowing back to the rear stabilizer. The engine mounted above and behind the cockpit, had a nifty cowling that clearly looked great.

My commentary became a series of questions. How come the canopy looks so much like the canopy of a fighter jet? Won’t the tail strike the runway on a hard landing? How does it perform in a stiff crosswind? Can you fly far? How much fuel does it hold? What’s the takeoff roll? Are their many of these around? Who is flying these? How fast? How high? How soon can we find out?

When something looks this different, the questions pour forth. You can’t help it. Every pilot knows the excitement that comes from seeing something special, that first time.

I had a lot of questions but the final one told the tale. “Shawn?” I asked, “Where do I get one?”

You see we hadn’t flown yet. I hadn’t even taxied. How could I be so sold on a product to which I was just introduced? I had lots of questions but I forgot to ask about price. Now that’s unique.

Another friend, Test Pilot Bob Hurd, had remarked how amazing his first flight in an A-20 Cruiser had been. He talked excitedly about selling one of his personal aircraft to make room in the hanger and the family budget for an A-20. I heard the comments but they didn’t register. At least not in any way I was prepared for. This was a remarkable departure from ordinary and I couldn’t wait to fly it.

As we taxied into takeoff position at Sebring Regional Airport, home of Float Planes and Amphibs, the busy work of getting ready to fly took over and the Christmas morning wonder temporarily receded. We stopped to run up the 100 hp Rotax, then looked around and seeing no traffic in the pattern, and no one moving on the ground, I let the plane roll out onto Runway 14 and gently pushed the throttle forward.

The change was immense. We leaped forward. I pushed the nose down to lift the tail wheel and felt the A-20 charge forth like a thoroughbred, exploding out of the starting gate. We went from zero to flight in less than three seconds and that fast we were climbing like we were magically, miraculously outside gravity.

Before we reached the halfway point in the 5,000 foot runway, we were passing thru 1200 feet and climbing at 75 mph. Shawn suggested a better climb attitude might be accomplished at 65 and I eased the nose up to comply.

On a later flight, I took off on 14, just behind a Cessna 182 that chose to go out on runway 18, and as soon as the 182 passed the point where both runways intersect, I throttled up and took off. I was alone on this day and long before I reached the end of my runway, I looked to see where the Cessna was, in case he turned hard left for any reason, and realized he was just beginning to lift his nose wheel. I started long after him and was already passing thru 1200 feet and he was straining to get off the asphalt.

It felt good!

Don’t let anyone tell you the A-20 Cruiser is anything but the Ferrari of Light Sport Aviation. This plane can get it done in ways I can’t report and do justice. It just flies.

The three degree sweep to the wings adds another advantage. Besides better aerodynamics, the plane must be flown in what appears to be nose down to get the best performance. When you level the wings, the nose cone dips down out of your direct ahead view. The canopy is suddenly a window to the entire vista. With nothing to break up the horizon, you get a view like you would in a hang glider. The entire world is just beyond that glass. You feel part of the sky, in a curious way.

For fun and for instruction, Shawn asked if I wanted to put the plane through some standard maneuvers and we flew out away from the airport and did a series of stalls, 360 degree turns, at steep as well as gentle angles, turns about a point, slow flight, fast flight trimmed for speed and slower flight, for economy. It all felt like flying is supposed to feel on hot, summer days, when the sky is heartbreakingly blue and the thermals are popping all around you.

The fun thing about this flight was that it was hot and the wind was howling out of the West at 16 – 20 knots and the thermals were a ride in every direction. We did some crabbing and slipping, for practice and all too soon, we lined up for landing, where I discovered, again, why you have to fly the plane all the way into the hanger. There are no half measures with a tail wheel aircraft, especially on a windy day.

As we set down, I relaxed too soon and the right wing lifted against the crosswind. Reacting too late, I put the right rudder in and had to reset the plane for landing, as we bounced right back off the runway, as if our little A-20 Cruiser was reluctant to give up the sky. A little throttle to get us straight and coming out of the gas gently, I let us come back to Earth, with plenty of runway left to spare.

After an uneventful taxi back to the hanger, Shawn got around to answering my questions.

The canopy indeed does remind you of one in a fighter, because the designer spent his career designing fighters. We had just landed in a strong crosswind without any issues. If you remember you have to fly any tail wheel aircraft all the way to the hanger, you won’t have to land multiple times per takeoff due to bounced landings.

The effective range with 10% fuel remaining is a shockingly high, 754 miles. Do you really want to fly further than that without a break? With 12 gallons of automobile fuel in each wing tank and a 3 gallon reserve, you’re flying far anytime you want. The takeoff roll is stated at 262 feet, or 80 meters, if you will. Landing can be accomplished in under 300 feet. The A-20 will cruise all day at 130 mph and slip through the air burning between 3.5 and 5 gallons per hour depending on your selection of engines.

The sling seat system ended up being very comfortable and the design takes a lot of weight out of the plane.

The FPNA A-20 Vista Cruiser is designed by Yuri Yakovlev, who just happened to be one of the designers of the Soviet Mig Fighter. This is a man who understands aerodynamics, performance and ergonomics. His cockpit grows on you so fast; you can’t remember what you objected to when you first climbed in.

The FPNA A-20 Vista is just being introduced en-masse to America through the efforts of Float Planes and Amphibs, with the first deliveries having come to Sebring in the Fall of 2005. It is a plane if you fly it you will fall in love with it. The performance is incredible and it just gets better as you learn become more proficient and gain expertise.

It is understandable that when one flies new and different planes to write about them, you might fall in love with every one of them. I often find myself amazed and sometimes dazed at what I uncover. In the case of the A-20, the experience was beyond dazzling.

A nicely equipped FPNA A-20 Vista Cruiser is delivered for $69,741, depending on engine choice and whether or not you want a glass cockpit .The thrill is free.

If you use your plane as an extension of the family station wagon, then you won’t discover the wonder of the A-20, though you probably need to. Many slow flyers can hear the wind whispering to them about performance and excitement. It isn’t about danger. This is not for adrenaline junkies. This is about fun flying and flying fun.

If I want to fly slow and low, the A-20 handles it remarkably. I flew the entire runway, in a strong crosswind, one foot above the concrete, without trouble, at 40 mph. You can take your time in an A-20, or it can take your breath away.

Take your pick.

agtruck stuck
01-03-2007, 20:56
How've ya been Rick? Good or bad 06 season? Not hot in my area, but this one'll be better with all the spring work coming. Been in a turbine thrush here in central east ark.

agtruck stuck
01-03-2007, 21:12
I fly ag and land four to five times an hour about three hundred hours a year and once or twice an hour for about two hundred hours a year given I can't find a contract after rice season is over, and for some reason three point landings are still uncomfortable for me. I can pull them off just fine, but I don't like to unless I have to. Got any tips to help me out Rick?