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Old February 15th, 2010, 12:05 PM   #1
Jeanie Jeanie is offline
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Decathlon/Citabria comparison and question

OK. I got to fly the decathlon last week and had a ball. We did a lot ! including one inverted spin - which was rather weird.
I didn't much like the downline after the one turn spin but I suspect I can get used to it. I've always just recovered one not purposefully gone at the ground. It was "Ummm, Sam, I think I can read the tag on that cows ear"
I got to learn hammerheads and try a humpty bump too. Man I really love aerobatics. And, what was good to discover is that when I messed up a maneuver I managed to recover on my own. Sam said he'd let me fly much of what we practiced by myself now.

Either the end of this week or beginning of next week I'll be flying a Citabria and will get to see how it compares.

One thing I'm wondering from the short, as in vertically challenged, acro pilots on the board... is there such a thing as rudder pedal extensions that you can make/buy?? I tried my "platform" sneakers and while I could reach well and have the seat back enough for full stick back extension I didn't get the kind of feedback to my feet for rudder inputs that I needed. Maybe I could get used to it but I'd rather have something hard on the rudders so I can wear regular shoes. I'm thinking of the kid on Indiana Jones driving the car w/ blocks on his feet.

Sam did say that it's possible that it's that kind of extension that may have contributed to Vickie Cruse's accident but I think it's worth looking into I won't be doing much other than easy/basic stuff. Up to Sportsmans level maybe someday. And, that's way plenty for me.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 05:53 PM   #2
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Re: Decathlon/Citabria comparison and question

Jeanie,

Unless you own your own airplane and can find an STC, I don't think rudder pedal extensions will be feasible. They would have to be extensively tested and semi-permanently mounted, meaning if not STC'd, they would be an unapproved mod. Major insurance risk, not to mention that a flight school/owner would not install them.

You will probably have much better luck wearing a backpack chute and adding cushions as needed to bring your legs forward enough.

Regarding the Citabria vs. Decathlon...your first flight in the Citabria, you'll think there's something wrong with the ailerons. In this plane, some folks call them "suggesters". The Citabria makes you work more for it, but they're very capable in the right hands at the Sportsman level. Sebring's a big contest in Florida, and a 7KCAB (inverted systems) won Sportsman in last year's November contest.

Eric

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Old February 15th, 2010, 08:24 PM   #3
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Re: Decathlon/Citabria comparison and question

Thanks, Eric. It will be intersting to see the diff. bet. the Cit and SD.... I'll probably be going "what the heck?" I thought I'd started a roll here....

Guess I'll stick w/ the chute pillow gig
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Old February 15th, 2010, 10:46 PM   #4
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Re: Decathlon/Citabria comparison and question

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Either the end of this week or beginning of next week I'll be flying a Citabria and will get to see how it compares.
Does that Citabria have fuel injection or a carb? My engine will quit if I'm inverted for more than a few seconds. The 7KCAB engine will keep going. I've flown all the different versions of Citabrias and still like the 7GCAA the best.

Because the wing is different on the Citabria (flat bottom), it will be harder to stay inverted in the Citabria. My arms are short and I can't really get the stick all the way forward when inverted. The times I've flown a Decathlon/SuperD, I've been impressed with how much easier it is to do aerobatics in those airplanes than it is in the Citabria.

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One thing I'm wondering from the short, as in vertically challenged, acro pilots on the board... is there such a thing as rudder pedal extensions that you can make/buy??
As I've posted before---because I'm short, I have to use various combinations of pillows with different parachutes in all the different aerobatic airplanes that I've flown. And there is NO way I'd ever remotely consider using pedal extensions on a Citabria or Decathlon.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 09:40 AM   #5
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Re: Decathlon/Citabria comparison and question

Thanks Diana,
Sam said you might have some suggestions because he knows you fly a Citabria and that we're both small. He knows you from the purple board apparently.
Flying inverted is difficult for me too because of my arm length but I finally managed to get the cushion and seat adjustment correct so I could reach.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 06:24 PM   #6
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Re: Decathlon/Citabria comparison and question

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Thanks Diana,
Sam said you might have some suggestions because he knows you fly a Citabria and that we're both small.
Oh! Is that Sam Dawson that you're flying with? He's a GREAT guy!

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He knows you from the purple board apparently
Probably more from the red board and the green board. I'll never forget the post he made on the red board about teaching his wife to fly. I still laugh about that!
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Old February 16th, 2010, 07:02 PM   #7
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Re: Decathlon/Citabria comparison and question

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Because the wing is different on the Citabria (flat bottom), it will be harder to stay inverted in the Citabria.
The Citabria also uses differential ailerons so it tames the adverse yaw. The Decathalon's are balanced and it craves more rudder.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 09:06 PM   #8
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Re: Decathlon/Citabria comparison and question

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The Citabria also uses differential ailerons so it tames the adverse yaw. The Decathalon's are balanced and it craves more rudder.
IIRC the "differential" (Frise?) ailerons do exactly the wrong thing when inverted so more rudder is required there on the Citabria.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 11:38 PM   #9
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Re: Decathlon/Citabria comparison and question

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IIRC the "differential" (Frise?) ailerons do exactly the wrong thing when inverted so more rudder is required there on the Citabria.
Yes, this is why they are balanced (I was probably too busy trying to puke while upside down to realize this). I don't think the Citabria has frise ailerons but I am not sure.

The Cessna does, in that a very bit of the aileron leading edge pokes out on the surface of the wing airfoil when it is deflected to churn a little drag and help balance the adverse yaw beyond just the deflection assymetry.

True story. My sister and I were getting (our limited) aerobatic instruction from Ken Hadden in Columbus. I was cranky that we didn't take the Pitts and I was relegated to the back seat of the SuperD. I think I was also skeptical that he had not cleared his entire morning to fly just with me as I was raring to go. We were flying upside down for a bit just to prove that the airplane flew using the same principals while inverted and frankly I think it was considered a relaxing pause between loop/spin/roll.

I recall assuring him "oh yeah this harness is tight enough dude" even while he chided me to cinch it down more -- now my arms seemed much too short and I was clearing ridin up.

He says 'Todd your getting outside of the box, turn around to the South. I said "we are going south." He said, no the airport is back that a way. Up until that time I was rockin, then my head turned inside out and my stomach said not fun anymore. Now being able to concentrate on my breathing while Ken worked the radio didn't seem like such a bad strategy. Also short thirty minute lessons seemed brilliant!

I didn't barf but my sister said "you sure were pale ..."

I did go on to get more aerobatic instruction but I still get queezy when I see one of those coathanger horizon line reference thing-a-ma-bobs.

Todd
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Old February 17th, 2010, 12:42 AM   #10
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Re: Decathlon/Citabria comparison and question

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Oh! Is that Sam Dawson that you're flying with? He's a GREAT guy!

Probably more from the red board and the green board. I'll never forget the post he made on the red board about teaching his wife to fly. I still laugh about that!
Yes, It's Sam Dawson and he is a great guy. I'd sure like to see the post about teaching his wife to fly. I bet it's a beaut. Was it about using his pointer and her suggesting quite directly that he not do that anymore or risk the consequences? Can't quote him here since her comments were rather ummm, pithy. He told me about that.
I didn't know there were red/green or purple boards for that matter. I do good to keep up w/ what's happenin on this board!
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Old February 17th, 2010, 10:05 AM   #11
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Re: Decathlon/Citabria comparison and question

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The Citabria also uses differential ailerons so it tames the adverse yaw. The Decathalon's are balanced and it craves more rudder.
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IIRC the "differential" (Frise?) ailerons do exactly the wrong thing when inverted so more rudder is required there on the Citabria.
The Citabria is nothing but a glorified Champ...almost exact same wing design, barn door ailerons, buckets of adverse yaw and all. The Decathlon wing has a different airfoil, chord, span, and aileron design/size. I've flown both and the Decathlon is much more refined and seem to have significantly less adverse yaw than the Citabria. Roll force is much lighter in the Decat as well. I don't know anyone who would take Citabria ailerons over a Decathlon's.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 01:35 PM   #12
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Re: Decathlon/Citabria comparison and question

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Yes, It's Sam Dawson and he is a great guy. I'd sure like to see the post about teaching his wife to fly. I bet it's a beaut. Was it about using his pointer and her suggesting quite directly that he not do that anymore or risk the consequences? Can't quote him here since her comments were rather ummm, pithy. He told me about that.
Yep, that was the story.

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I didn't know there were red/green or purple boards for that matter. I do good to keep up w/ what's happenin on this board!
Well, the red board is the AOPA forum. The blue board started when there were problems with the red board and then it (red board) shut down for a while. So the red board people came here. Some of us went back to the red board when it started back up again, and some didn't. The green board is StudentPilot.com and is a good forum, as well. That is where I originally asked aerobatic questions and discussed things with other aerobatic pilots when I first became interested in aerobatics since they have an aerobatic forum there. Some of those pilots are here too, like Wes Jones and Dave Pilkington (both quite knowledgeable and helpful, and both are great guys). The purple board was an offshoot of the red board, too. Some of us are on all of the forums. BTW, there is another good forum, backcountrypilots.org that some of us go to as well. It's kinda green too.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 01:36 PM   #13
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Re: Decathlon/Citabria comparison and question

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I don't know anyone who would take Citabria ailerons over a Decathlon's.
Well, because for some of us, that's what we have and we have to make do with what we have.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 04:05 PM   #14
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Re: Decathlon/Citabria comparison and question

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Well, because for some of us, that's what we have and we have to make do with what we have.
True, true, but I also think Citabria pilots who fly acro are just natural born masochists. They say there's no satisfaction in things that are easy. Citabria pilots must be overflowing with satisfaction.

Eric
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Old February 17th, 2010, 06:28 PM   #15
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Re: Decathlon/Citabria comparison and question

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True, true, but I also think Citabria pilots who fly acro are just natural born masochists. They say there's no satisfaction in things that are easy. Citabria pilots must be overflowing with satisfaction.

Eric
Satisfaction, sprinkled with a dash of frustration at times. Flying a Citabria at a contest certainly makes everyone look up and wonder if that slow roll will REALLY be a slow roll or perhaps a slowbarrel roll. Some people were amazed (amused) that I showed up at all.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 01:43 PM   #16
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Re: Decathlon/Citabria comparison and question

Sounds kinda like a guy in our IAC 19 chapter who has shown up a couple times with a stock Stearman at the Farmville, VA contest. Talk about a lumbering mother of a plane. Everyone stops what they're doing to watch it chug through the sequence. Very entertaining. Too bad they don't hand out extra 'K' value for these boats.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 03:00 PM   #17
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Re: Decathlon/Citabria comparison and question

Well I thought John Mohr's routine at Oshkosh a couple of years ago was just plain amazing. Don't get me wrong I enjoy watching people toumbling ass over teakettle in an extra as much as the next guy, but seeing him do low level aerobatics in that underpowered boat was a treat.
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Old February 27th, 2010, 01:00 AM   #18
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Re: Decathlon/Citabria comparison and question

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Well I thought John Mohr's routine at Oshkosh a couple of years ago was just plain amazing. Don't get me wrong I enjoy watching people toumbling ass over teakettle in an extra as much as the next guy, but seeing him do low level aerobatics in that underpowered boat was a treat.
Agree. Best show I've ever seen.
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