Do these pants make my legs look big?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by k9medic, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. k9medic

    k9medic Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My Cherokee 6 has the stock wheel pants on it and I never though much more of it until I saw the wheel pants that LoPresti makes.

    I can tell they cover more of the main gear struts but other than that I can’t tell why they could claim that you could gain up to 10kts over stock pants.

    Even the knots2u version shows a 5-6mph increase.

    Anybody have experience with these? For the $1200 of the claim is true it would probably be the best bang for the buck speed mod.

    CURRENT -

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  2. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

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    If I could get five real knots for $1,200, I'd spend that money in an eyeblink.
     
  3. Lachlan

    Lachlan En-Route

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    I took the pants off my 150 (I’m based at a grass field so it just made sense) and I swear my cruise speed increased by 1-2 knots. Below a certain airspeed I believe they’re just cosmetic and they decrease UL. Just my opinion.
     
  4. k9medic

    k9medic Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That’s why I ask!




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  5. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I don't have any experience with the LoPresti fairings, but they look a lot like the factory fairings introduced for all fixed-gear PA-28s and PA-32s in 1978.

    pa-32-300_1979_1204.jpg

    Unlike the pre-'78 fairings, they completely cover the oleo strut (on the mains) and wheel and brake assemblies. Piper claimed a speed increase on the 1978 PA-32-300 of five knots top speed and six knots cruising speed. I've flown Warriors and Archers and with old and new style fairings, and there was at least a noticeable increase in speed with the new ones.

    But there is a downside. Putting air in the tires and servicing the oleo struts is a pain. Forget pre-flight inspections; you may not see your tires, brakes and oleos from one annual to the next. Will you gain enough speed from the fairings to offset the extra time and aggravation spent on the ground fussing with the fairings?

    From a pure aesthetic standpoint, I like the original fairings better.

    Full disclosure: I still have the big, knuckle-busting 1978-style wheel and brake fairings on my 172. They give me 4 or 5 knots in cruise speed. But the next time one of them gets a crack in it, they're all coming off for good.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  6. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Do my wheels make my pants look small?
     
  7. Eric Stoltz

    Eric Stoltz Line Up and Wait

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    Yes.[​IMG]
     
  8. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    Yes, the post-78 pants make a difference. The main contribution is the full enclosure and streamlining of the brake caliper and strut architecture. 7 knots in my 83' Warrior II. The pre-78 might as well be taken off, they add less than 3 knots from no kidding bare. The do nothing for the frontal area drag present by exposing said gear components without the filleting/streamlining of enclosed pants.

    Do you hear Cirrus owners flying around with bare wheels? It would shred their marketing speeds. Wheel pants are more than cosmetic when done correctly. Granted, the Cirrus and RVs get a bigger boost by thinning out (to the detriment of operational robustness imo) the nose wheel strut hardware, which contributes disproportionately to total drag due to the location behind the accelerated slipstream. The Piper offerings, even the aftermarket ones, leave a lot of drag out in the nosewheel by virtue of not fairing the nose wheel strut. That's the big culprit. Again, look at an RV or Cirrus nose gear design for how much of a difference it makes. Some airplanes like the Mako et al which retract the nose assembly only are also evidence of this. That's how much it disproportionately contributes to drag compared to properly faired main wheels and legs.

    Yeah, I would undergo the expense of fully enclosed wheel pants for 1.2 AMUs. If I didn't have fully enclosed ones, I would put none of them at all. Cheaper than buying a post 78 Cherokee 6 just to get the wheel pants, that's for sure. Nobody buys a six-260 for speed though. It's understood you're tapping out at Archer speeds when you don't spring for the 300hp mill.
     
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  9. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    That is a cool looking airplane.
     
  10. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson Pattern Altitude

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    Agreed. RV10 builders commonly experience over a 15knot airspeed increase once the wheel nacelles AND the strut fairings are installed. No exaggeration there.

    It’s a common experience because test flight advice is to leave it ‘bottom-less’ until after engine break-in. The slower speeds make it easier to run the Lycoming hard and hot for the recommended break-in procedure. Then you install the ‘pants’ and, well, it’s pretty amazing but as advertised by previous builders.

    No idea about the Piper stuff but there’s little worse than a round cross-section strut drag wise. The strut fairings can make a big difference.


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  11. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    Like a BOSS!
     
  12. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah, like I am going to answer. My wife asked me this once....:lol::lol:
     
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  13. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Not really a naked wheel lover, pants help make the plane.
     
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  14. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    This. There's a fair amount of speed to be had going fully faired. I don't know if there's 10 knots, but on a PA28 IME it's about 7, if not better. The club's fully faired Archer manages to go 125 knots or even a hair better, which is quite a bit better than our older ones.