Cessna mods for the backcountry

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by motoadve, Apr 4, 2021.

  1. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

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    Yes, but most aircraft aren't very controllable when they're stalled. If you're flying an approach at 1.3Vso and your stall speed is 30 so you're doing 40, and the wind gust spread is more than that margin (say 10G20), you could have a problem. That same 10G20 is a lot less of an issue for an aircraft that stalls at 60 coming down final at 80.

    DItto for crosswinds, if you stall at 30 and you have a 20kt crosswind, that's going to be a pretty serious crab or slip at touchdown.

    Regardless, as I said above, airliners can fly in winds that keep single engine Cessnas on the ground, and Cessnas can fly in winds that keep ultralights on the ground, and stall speed is a big part of that.
     
  2. AA5Bman

    AA5Bman Line Up and Wait

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    Ahhh, yes, backcountry pilot culture, where keyboard warriors furiously insult each other pretending they’re cowboys of the Wild Wild West, and manliness is the soft hands required to own three airplanes and do $100k mods.
     
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  3. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Still aerodynamically incorrect — since some of these modifications are specifically designed to stall different portions of the wing at different air speeds.

    Airliners have a stick pusher for a reason.

    When you have things like stall fences you can tell when portions of the wing aren’t flying (well), and others are still hanging in there. Sink rate increases but again in these light aircraft it can often be modulated by propwash including effectiveness of flight controls.

    All depends on exactly what aerodynamic devices were installed. Not stall speed. Because on the serious mods stall speed is a range really, not a hard single number. (It’s a hard number for the entire system but that number is incredibly slow.)

    Pilot technique and understanding of the system utilized, if it’s not just a “slap a wing extension on” cheap mod, can alleviate “stall speed” concerns. Many of the R/STOL mods are nearly impossible to stall completely. They’ll build up a horrendous sink rate but still have full flight control authority (weaker as it slows of course) and no indication of a typical stall “break”, they just get into a massively draggy still-flying-fine mode. Complete with “singing” stall fences making noise.

    The Helio Courier folks say it behaves similarly, but haven’t flown that one.

    Takes practice — and power becomes controlling and important, but there’s nothing aerodynamically causing it to be any less controllable in that “mushing” mode. Biggest concern is getting the nose high enough not to smack the nose gear first in most of the R/STOL conversions.

    Not something most would feel comfortable with without a couple hundred hours in one. Not intuitive at all at first — tail effectiveness is tied to your throttle hand. Not something we usually teach much beyond “run out of rudder, go around”... and definitely not practiced much for elevator control.
     
  4. CA182R

    CA182R Pre-Flight

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    Great video! I'm curious to know which inclinometer model is in the middle of the glareshield shelf in the 182.
     
  5. SloRoam

    SloRoam Pre-Flight

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    There's a lot of strange stuff in this thread, most of which reads like people wanting to be right instead of acknowledging the truth in other people's statements.

    I have owned a 182 with a p-ponk engine, sportsman stol and VG's, and also own a 210 with a Robertson stol kit, and recently added VG's.

    There is no doubt that the Robertson stol has reduced aileron effectiveness at full aileron extension. This can make a full flap crossword landing fairly exciting, if you wanted to land that way.

    Even if you add VG's, you will find that this does not completely give back the roll authority you would have to a stock wing at full flap extensions.

    It is also a fact that Wingx Wing extensions make planes more difficult to handle in crosswinds.

    It is also a fact that the reduced stall speeds of fixed cuff stol kits like the sportsman can make for very entertaining handling on high wind days, as the plane may want to leave the ground if air speed exceeds stall speed even if you're parked, although with diligent handling of the flight controls, you can probably stay on the ground most to the time. I distinctly recall catching a 40 knot gust on a taxiway, and having to fly the airplane backwards for several feet until I landed again. The guys at this airport thought it was very funny.

    As a few folks have pointed out you can handle most of this with good technique, but claiming that the above is counter to aerodynamics is ignorant.

    I believe most of the folks claiming that these mods can make planes harder to handle in a crosswind are talking about the observations above, and I don't think any of that is wrong.

    It also stands to reason that you don't have to deploy your flaps if you have Robertson, so if you're not trying to land short with a crosswind you're probably okay.

    That said maybe there should be some discussion about short landings in a strong crosswind with the Robertson versus the stock wing. Perhaps the stock wing with full flaps would do better than the Robertson at 10 or 20 degrees?

    This probably also a difference in preferred techniques such as crab etc depending on if you're using conventional or tricycle gear.

    Maybe talking about the best technique to handle it with each equipment would be more productive?
     
  6. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Kinda what happens with blanket non-sensical statements at the beginning of a thread, eh?

    And here’s where stuff like this starts to fall apart. Unless your R/STOL is different than mine, the ailerons don’t stay drooped as the flaps past roughly the halfway point.

    They’re only a couple of degrees down at full flap extension. On purpose. If they aren’t the triangle shaped cable sliders are missing and it’s completely mis-rigged and doesn’t meet the original STC.

    Some companies and people paid attention in aerodynamics class. Some just market bits and bobs like wing extensions and ride the wave of “backcountry” marketing popularity.
     
  7. CA182R

    CA182R Pre-Flight

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    So, are wing extensions (wing-x) not that great? I can see how they don't help handling in crosswing, but anything else? Or just overrated..?
     
  8. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Dunno. I’ve thought why don’t they just put a ball in the AOA. Paging @motoadve
     
  9. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    What do they promise, and why do you want more wing? (What changes in the POH when they’re added?)
     
  10. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    I believe Vne drops to 154kt or so. On the King Katmai (182 Peterson STOL which has the Wing X), it drops Vso down to 32kt if I recall correctly. 300 ft takeoff distance.

     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
  11. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    I found it funny that right in the video description it says “Once mastered these techniques will work in crosswinds and gusts...”

    It takes practice and some “ah ha” moments after a flight... where your brain integrated what it saw and what it knew about the aerodynamics.

    Anything STOL is a fascinating trip down aerodynamic trade offs. Some folks misinterpret the capability as bad handling characteristics if they like how designers design typical airplanes to behave.

    Mine surprised me in a number of ways in increments over the years.

    The best part of mine is actually how solid it behaves in roll compared to a stock 182. Still seems somewhat counterintuitive even after over a decade of flying it, but the ailerons are completely effective with the ASI sitting on the zero peg due to calibration error at high angles of attack.

    Robertson clearly had that as a goal while still using them as flaperons.

    We are all taught to keep ailerons neutral when that slow, and with spin training we then learn we can speed up the entry dramatically with them.

    But in mine, the combo of stall fences and careful flaperon design makes it not do any of that. You can actually use them.

    Make ya a bit nervous to attempt it (at altitude!) at first. Gently. Then a little more. Then full deflection. And a grin at how well thought through it was.

    But not something you go try on the first landing or anywhere near terra firma. Definitely not.

    I have to be careful in another way, too. I tend to fly approaches too slow in stock 182s if I’m tired and using visual cues without an ASI cross check.

    A friend and I compared his VG equipped 182 with mine. He can’t quite get as slow as rock solid stable as I can but his controls stay fairly evenly matched to mine until the extreme slow region.

    We’ve both piddled with each. He liked the extreme aileron consistency in mine and commented on it. I found his didn’t behave badly at all either, just couldn’t quite get it as slow as mine.

    For the vast majority of what anyone might be doing in any nose dragger, he’d be fine and mine is overkill. I’ve often joked there’s nearly zero need for a Robertson kit on a 182. It’s mostly a safety margin adder if you’re willing to learn how to get it extremely slow.

    And of course it takes away easily 5 knots in cruise. The aerodynamic trade off.

    His VGs were a lot cheaper to add, too. And he did it at a repaint. Tedious but cheaper.
     
  12. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    Found it. WingX reduces the Vne from 179 IAS down to 153 in a 182.

    Around the 3:00 mark in this video:
     
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  13. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    That's what training is for. Most taildragger pilots never groundloop.

    Your trike, landing on a muddy or soft runway, has a bigger chance of flipping over than the taildragger. That nosewheel, once it starts to sink in, causes drag that the airplane's CG works against to drive it in further until it stops and it pulls airplane right over. It happens real fast and it happens too often. The taildragger's mains are much closer to the CG and the trike's pole-vaulting effect isn't there.

    I learned about the taildragger's advantages way back in about 1976, not by flipping a trike but by trying to taxi though a puddle on a clay runway in one, a Cessna 150. There were tracks through that puddle so it was doable, I figured. Nope. The nosewheel sank enough and stuck that I had to shut down. Someone brought a rope and about six of us pulled it backwards out of the mud. A closer look at those previous tracks revealed that it had been a taildragger that had been through there with no trouble, and in the years since in my taildragger time I never had any problems on soft or muddy ground that would have totalled, or at least stuck firmly, a trike.

    [​IMG]

    http://www.kathrynsreport.com/2020/03/cessna-172n-skyhawk-n172fg-accident.html


    https://www.flightsafetyaustralia.com/2015/08/stuck-in-the-mud-unsealed-airstrips/
     
  14. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Line Up and Wait

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    Insurance rates suggest otherwise, and they are working off industry-wide and complete information rather than anecdotal evidence. Hard to argue with the cold hard facts of capitalism.

    Here’s some anecdotal evidence to the contrary since that is what we are slinging. The best pilot at my private airport club (25,000 plus hours, every rating you can get (except powered parachute), and flies every 2-3 days) flipped his newly built Super Cub on its back last year. Reported cause was that the passenger accidentally stomped on the brakes during landing. However, I plowed my C150 through some deep mud on the same runway just to get to my PPL checkride with 45 hours a few years ago and fly off that same grass runway even with some standing water in places.

    Anecodotes don’t really mean anything, do they? I don’t for a minute think that I am a better pilot, or that my C150 is better at tackling mud than his Super Cub on 28” tires, but the Super Cub and other taildraggers have proven to be more likely to be involved in accidents than my lowly C150 through overall insurance rates.

    Edit: By the way, might want to read those accident reports you sent. One nose gear failed because it was already cracked and corroded. Can’t blame the gear configuration, as a tail dragger with corroded and cracked main gear legs is just as likely to fail as a corroded and cracked nose gear.

    Quote:
    the accident pictures of the nose gear fork “… showed severe corrosion and cracks where the nose gear failed on landing.” The pilot reported that the pictures were reviewed by a metallurgist “…who confirmed that the part [nose gear fork] was severely compromised and unairworthy.” The pilot opined that the failed landing gear fork caused the airplane to swerve off the runway.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2021
  15. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Line Up and Wait

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    Looks like I win the trike vs. tail wheel safety debate by default. Yay.
     
  16. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    I decided not to debate it. I learned to fly in 1973. I have been a taildragger instructor. I know how trikes behave when they hit soft ground at speed. I just couldn't find the articles I've had before on this and I'm not going to spend hours trying to convince anyone that has their minds made up about it anyway.

    Your story about the 25,000+ hour pilot flipping his Supercub over on soft ground when the passenger stood on the brakes doesn't prove taildraggers are dangerous. It just proves that the passenger stood on the brakes in a taildragger, which is something guaranteed to cause trouble just about anytime. Maybe 20 years ago, at a fly-in or airshow, a pilot took a reporter up in his Stearman so the guy could get some pictures and write an article on the experience. On landing the reporter was tense and stood on the brakes, and that airplane went on its back as soon as it touched down.

    Supercubs are involved in more accidents because their owners actually go to some hazardous places with them. Helicopters suffer the same thing. Mountain bikers have more accidents than road bikers because they ride up and down some crazy mountainous terrain. It's all about whether you want to do something or go somewhere bad enough to accept the risk and expense of an accident.
     
  17. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Line Up and Wait

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    Again anecdotal evidence shows precisely nothing. Why do insurance companies charge significantly more for insuring comparable taildraggers vs tricycle airplanes? Insurance is rarely based on anything other than highly specific raw data and facts of life.

    In 2017, out of 724 GA non-commercial fixed gear accidents, 302 were from taildraggers.
    https://www.aopa.org/-/media/files/...ety/nall-report/20162017accidentscorecard.pdf

    I am looking to see if the data exists for the number of currently registered tailwheel vs tricycle gear airplanes, but most sources say that “most” aircraft are tricycle gear and if you look around at the flight lines, I would hazard a guess that of the actively flying planes, less than 10% are taildraggers. If that math is correct, then 10% of the planes are causing 41% of the accidents, plus many more unreported ground loops.

    Please post if anyone can find out if my estimate of 10% taildraggers out of the current GA fleet is inaccurate, or even close to 41%.
     
  18. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    Bring your nose draggers where we take Skywagons? Call a helicopter. Take your nose draggers where we take Cubs? Call a funeral director.
     
  19. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Line Up and Wait

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    Never said that was possible and I never claimed that a small wheel trike could land the same place as a 30” bushwheel Cub.

    The debate was whether more accidents are caused by taildraggers or trikes. Or to put it another way, Dan Thomas is claiming that taildraggers are no more likely to be involved in a accident than a trike. I say that there is no way the average tailwheel pilot has a lower overall accident rate than the average trike pilot simply because the numbers and insurance rates show the opposite.

    However, somehow Cubcrafters is now selling the NX nose wheel Cub that manages even better performance than your revered taildraggers. So you can’t take a nose gear airplane to the backcountry? Don’t them CubCrafters. I would be willing to bet that over the long term, the NX Cub will have a lower accident rate than it conventional gear brother the XCub.
     
  20. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    In the flight school we had both trikes and taildraggers. The insurance on the taildraggers was no higher than on the trikes.
     
  21. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Line Up and Wait

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    https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/com...dded-insurance-cost-for-a-taildragger.118923/

    Quote from an article about converting a Glastar from trike to taildragger.
    “To cover both of us in the conventionally geared GlaStar cost about $500 extra per year, with the expectation that the premium would drop as we both got more tailwheel time; this with an insured hull value of $110,000.”

    It may be worthwhile to look at what drives loss ratios higher. According to AOPA writer Richard McSpadden, the four most common causes of non-catastrophic incidents that increases rates are:

    1. The most costly problem in general aviation aircraft is gear-up landings and gear collapses. This currently does not include any LSA other than amphibious seaplanes.
    2. Next is loss of directional control on the ground, including ground loops. McSpadden stated, “Although taildraggers are a strong contributor to overall insurance payouts in this category, the issue is not exclusive to taildraggers. [Pilots] lose control on the ground in nosewheel airplanes at a surprising rate.”
    3. Hard landings came in third in the list of non-catastrophic accidents. Notably, flight into terrain and in-flight breakups are expensive but are so infrequent that they do not affect rates as significantly.
    4. Ranking fourth in overall cost to insurers, but first in number of incidents, is prop strikes. Most pilots are aware that props are expensive and a prop strike means a costly examination by an aviation mechanic.
    Number one is largely composed of retracts, although certainly nose gear failures as well as main conventional gear failures as was recently posted on the site.

    Number two is biased strongly towards conventional gear planes.

    Number three is up for debate.

    Number four is probably skewed towards conventional gear airplanes as well as they are easier to nose over resulting in a prop strike. Not that you can’t hit the prop in a nose gear as well, but it is a bit harder.
     
  22. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Now we’re off into runway surface, which wasn’t the original stated reason for avoiding ALL STOL aircraft... which is where I joined in.

    But if we’re talking now about landing in mud, I’m out. The taildragger likely will do better and generally in recreational flying it’s just beating up the aircraft for no specific reason.

    Fun? Maybe. Maybe just silly, but if you like spending money on repairs, it’s no skin off my nose.

    The aerodynamic discussion was fun. We’ve wandered away, as we do, and that’s fine. Beating the hell out of equipment isn’t my gig.
     
  23. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    I don’t like mud on my airplane, or my Jeep.:)
     
  24. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    I’m guessing you don’t have much time in off-airport high performance airplanes? Myself? I have no interest in airport to airport flying. My airplane ownership has been an evolution. What I have suits where I live, what I do, and where I want to go. The same thing applies to snowmachines, boats, 4 wheelers, etc. You sort out what works. 76DC58CD-CC47-4709-A1B6-6846D77A81CB.jpeg
     
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  25. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    I've been preaching that for years. Some pilots approach and land too fast. They don't seem to have gotten the angle of attack/airspeed relationship in groundschool or in flight training. Touching down at higher than proper speed results in a lower deck angle and the nosewheel getting to the runway first. This is what sometimes happens:




    Now, get careless like that in a taildragger and you'll pay for it. The taildragger doesn't forgive the lazy pilot. You won't even get past a checkout if you land too fast. Therefore, a taildragger rating forces the pilot to become a better pilot and to stay that way. Some of the taildragger accidents are due to pilots that somehow got past the rating without having the skills they should have picked up. And, before you say "Aha!"----trike pilots often get their tickets without having the appropriate skills, too, as we see in endless Youtube videos.
     
  26. AA5Bman

    AA5Bman Line Up and Wait

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    You don’t know me or where or what I fly so don’t make assumptions.

    Should I just post it again? Cuz ya kinda made my point.

    Oh what the hell, I’ll quote myself:

     
  27. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    It sounds more stupid the second time. FWIW.
     
  28. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    I am entertained by this thread, did I say that? I don’t know who’s right, but I’m enjoying it.
     
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  29. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    That’s ultimately all we are here for.

    I’d be plenty happy with an OV-10 for STOL goofing off, if anyone has a spare one lying around for cheap. Ha.
     
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