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Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Unit74, Nov 6, 2015.
Are the fuel tanks on the lateral center line? (Rhetorical)
I’ve flown lots of planes where I’d take off and climb on one tank, then switch and fly for an hour on the other. That would be maybe 10 to 15 gals of imbalance. Yes, one wing would eventually get a bit “heavy”, but not annoyingly so. And that’s with 60 to 90 lbs of imbalance. I think he’s chasing the wrong thing by adding ballast.
One run and he seems that to have enough data to know hes got a weight imbalance problem. What makes him certain it wasn't a gust of wind? Or ailerons not rigged right? Or aerodynamic drag from all the cameras. Don't the Lake Amphibians have a giant trim tab because they battle a similar issue? Pretty sure that has nothing to do with weight.
The 177 I drive is really nice in that its like taxiing a Cadillac the mains are so soft. Other aircraft feel like riding in a shopping cart where every crack & seam in the pavement jolts the things.
In the Velocity, the factory tells us to put a small shim up in the winglet to take care of any minor roll trim issue like that after initial flight. I was surprised when PM instead chose ballast.
He’s chasing his tail adding weight to correct a “heavy” wing at low air speeds. My bet is that it’s an aerodynamic issue that will only increase its effect at higher air speeds. An actual test flight will confirm or deny.
OBS?! Direct Enter Enter
I'd bet on prop torque causing the roll. On my RV-6 there is a very noticeable roll trim difference between full power at pattern speeds and power off at pattern speeds. Why? Prop torque.
Do you move weight as you throttle up and down?
Left cheek to right cheek and vice versa.
I've got 310hp and get no rolling tendency on rotation. Granted, I have 3 blade prop so maybe that 5 bladed prop he's got is causing this.
It does seem misguided to add weight at the wingtip to correct for slight out-of-trim conditions at rotation. I also had a little chuckle about his decision not to fly with 5 kts wind, but that was mostly out of envy since my first solo sign-off restricted me to 10 knots in a taildragger, necessary or I wouldn't be able to fly at all up here. And then I realized that he has to fly in calm conditions because his only reliable speed instrument is GPS ground speed.
Here's my question: Do we know how much fuel he has on board? He is weighing the plane and dumping lead into the winglet until the left-to-right figures balance out, and I saw a total weight of 3,487 lb. I think, at that point, he had 4 lb on the wing plus the 100 lb cockpit ballast and 170 lb of himself, which brings us down to 3,213 lb for the aircraft and fuel in the tanks. The website claims the plane will hold 121 gal. At 6.9 lb/gal for diesel, that's about 835 lb of fuel. If the tanks are full, he has done remarkably well at meeting the website's claimed 2,300 lb empty weight, coming in only 78 lb over budget. If they are empty, then he has done remarkably poorly in that regard, coming in 913 lb over budget and leaving a useful load of 587 lb, enough for half a tank of gas, a 170 lb pilot, and literally nothing else, not even shoes on the pilot.
Even over all of his technical mistakes, I think his biggest mistake is televising every moment of production and testing. Have you ever seen any other manufacturer do something like this? Others may produce promotional videos during design and production, but those are carefully edited as a sales tool, not a documentary.
Granted, he may be using the YouTube income to keep the lights on and food on the table.
The Cardinal was a big improvement over the 172, and I believe Cessna thought it would surpass the 172 in sales. Even Cessna realized late the initial 1968 version was very under powered, and up leveled the engine in 1969. However it was too late to change market perception. The 177 Cardinal does almost everything better than the 172, except slight drop in cabin headroom due to thickness of the cantilevered wing.
It is certainly unprecedented to have such inside access to this..
However, I doubt that the folks at Cirrus went through this kind of haphazard approach when building the vk30, same can be said for Velocity etc... There are plenty of amateur build videos out there ranging from decks, canoes, to entire boats, and in fact there are a bunch out there for planes as well. None of them follow this kind of headstrong tunnel vision approach as Peter..
in a way, it is pretty incredible that despite everything the airplane has taken flight and at least from current observation does appear to be capable to fly around the pattern
However, if he continues with this method he'll have a very long road ahead of him to getting this into a mass producible kit..
Yeah, wasn't the whole appeal of it to try and make it feel more like a "car"?
granted, comparing it to the Skyhawk isn't really fair since the only reason that aircraft continues to be manufactured is for the schools..
It's not without precedent. Or didn't you people ever watch the Red Green Show's "Handyman Corner" segment?
Elsewhere on the web someone asked when will the Raptor program end? I said when the YouTube revenue winds down.
Peter HAD to get that plane off the ground to keep people interested. Only so much interest in high speed taxis!
The Handyman Corner was brilliant. If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy
Don't get me wrong, I am by no means defending his methods. Just an observation of how much behind the curtain he is showing.
Once he gets past the prototype stage and has to set to producing an actual kit, it will get boring real fast.
I have to agree. Since the major price increases starting early 2000's, seems like very few individuals are buying 172's; and for ~25% more are buying 182's.
Working from memory... a
1997 172R sold for $135K
2005 172S was priced in the $240K range
Now over $440K depending on options
New 182T is about $515K
Adjusting for inflation... That steam gauge 1997 172R should cost $200K plus $6K for ADSB. Heck add $40K for upgraded avionics the retail price is $240K.
No wonder only big flight schools are the customers.
I know I spend a lot of time on this site trashing high wings. But in reality, the 172 could be a fantastic little airplane. My third favorite plane in the club is a nice little 172N. No AP, but clean, strong with the 180 conversion, and has a 650. It's a great local and short (200nm) cross country plane. The old models are dirt simple (both fuel, no fuel pump, simple prime start, don't have 13 fuel drains, etc.) and they're decently comfortable "cheap little planes" that are easy to fly. Virgins to small planes prefer them to the Archer as they have two doors and don't feel like they're "crawling" into something
I understand "low volume" and all that stuff with pricing.. but the way new airplane costs ran away in the last two decades is absolutely bonkers. You would think all the tooling, RD, etc., is paid off for the 172, of which they've built what, like 40,000 of them? What on earth Textron is doing with that $400K is absolutely beyond me.. other than giving the proverbial middle finger to the piston GA market
I've wondered the same thing about Cirrus actually. There's a huge price gulf between the SR20 and the SR22, however they're virtually the same airplane aside from some stylisting changes and a different powerplant (as the primary differences). So they're either losing a lot of money on one, or laughing running to the bank with the other.. or I'm missing something else entirely.
Had a chance to ask a Cessna exec about this very point about 2 years ago. He was pretty candid. Textron MBA's run the company (my paraphrase of his comments), not the internal aviation enthusiasts. They have higher margin in jets. They took 50% of the piston engine assembly plant & workers aside to make Mustangs. The half that remained were capacity constrained to meet demand. The corporate side just raised prices until demand leveled off to keep the new smaller manufacturing floor at full capacity.
Similar here... I cornered a Cirrus mid-level exec at an aviation event over a year ago and asked this very question as well. I was told the price of the SR20 was suppressed to effectively price point the training market in competition with Piper and Cessna. The sales team is focused on SR22, but will be glad to sell and SR20 if you insist or a training org looking for volume purchase. They said something else about saving costs with reduced options and not the full Cirrus lifestyle stuff.
It costs them probably $150k to build the plane, the other $250k goes into the legal fund for when they are sued. Just my wild guess.
They get that many 172 related suits?
I kind of figured the SR20 is not making them money but was a "necessary" product offering
Every business is in it for the bottom line, especially in aviation where the margins are already thin. But if you don't want to build piston GA then leave it alone, don't systematically let great planes languish and rot into oblivion. Or atleast pretend.. bring ONE sales rep to OSH who can attend outside with an open Bo.. instead of leaving it closed with a inkjet flyer taped to the window and ten guys instead romancing the DENALI
There are still entities out there who have a passion for piston GA (Diamond, Pipistrel, Piper, Cirrus, etc)..
There's a lot of 172's flying around.
But up until the last decade or two they weren't padding in litigation fee margin.. or are they now making up for 70 years of lost opportunity? It's low volume but the 172 still shouldn't cost that much. I can build one Ikea shelf a year, doesn't mean it will cost me $500K to build it. Everything for that plane should be paid off and it shouldn't cost more than a few hours to bolt together some basic stamped out sheet metal, have a few people install the engine, run the wiring, get the cockpit built.. and off she goes
Wouldn't it be insurance that would pay out lawsuits anyway? New airplanes are expensive because you're buying a new airplane. It sucks but it's their business model and we don't have many options except buying used. If their costs came down would cirrus have been able to become what they became? Look at the kit for an RV. If an RV 10 was certified, how many hours in the factory would it take to build? On top of the kit cost and then engine and avionics and paint. Let's forget about the cost of certification as we're assuming that's a fixed cost that no longer applies.
Yup, I think we've re-hashed that same 172-building scenario many times. Given adjustment for inflation, the same 172 sold back in the late-70's should sell for around $100K-$120K today. Sure, add in another $50K to cover litigation and low production volume. Still should sell for well under $200K. Nope. $400K for the same crap they've been making for half a century. Tooling long since paid off, work instructions and drawings are perfected and written in stone for decades. Cessna doesn't care to bother with an old product line with low margin, they only continue to produce it for image purposes because the C172 is the iconic trainer/small plane.
Is it really still “low margin” selling for $400k?
Back on Topic. I still can't believe this guy is making sensitive balancing adjustments based on one flight of a few seconds in ground effect..
This top YouTube comment puts it best:
Sorry.. I'm actually still fired up about Cessna.. sure this video is 9 years old, but this goes to show just how messy, inefficient, and non-lean this production process is
These guys are still figuring out
"In the early days we put the propeller on early.. with the prop in the weigh it was difficult to paint.. so now we put the prop on last" <- seriously? You are still learning how to build a plane 70 DAMN years later?? holy hell Textron sucks.
If you watch the Cirrus production video there's a stark difference in how much more lean, and frankly professionally, these planes are built.
^and to bring it back to Raptor.. the Textron guys almost seem on Peter's level if they're still trying to figure out when is the best time to install the propeller
You obviously think yourself an expert on manufacturing. Personally, consider it astute thinking. Do your tests when it's a pile of parts, not when it's a half million dollar airplane. Put stuff on after it's going to be in the way. I'm glad that guy is running the assembly and not you.
I read Tantalum's comments, and agreed it's kind of surprising very fundamental improvements in manufacturing efficiency like this weren't considered years earlier. I agree with Steingar it was astute to learn and realize improvements, just some of these seem late.
We also have to remember Cessna laid-off their entire GA piston manufacturing workforce in 1986. Workers were rehired and a new assembly line restarted in 1996 for 1997 models. Look close at 1997 relaunch models, and you can see wavy rivet lines and rivets unequally spaced, etc. Quality progressed rapidly as the new workforce learned.
Probably is low-margin if you are using poor accounting and lumping in all sorts of overhead costs that shouldn't be allocated to that product line. Lease cost for the facility is $100K per month, the C172 line takes up 25% of the space, so they eat $25K and have to allocated it across the 10 aircraft they make per month. Suddenly the "cost" of each C172 produced just went up $2,500. Do it with enough of the overhead costs and feed those numbers up to the MBA's at mid-upper management, then you end up with a $400K sales price.
You don't find it surprising that it took 70 years to realize it's easier to paint an airplane with the propeller off, rather than on? That's their proud achievement to talk about in an AvWeb video?
Yes! Thanks. Translation is sometimes lost online.
I understand the small numbers mean lots of manual process.. but there are plenty of other "goods" that are made in small batches. The car maker "Ariel" for example has very limited runs. There is always room for continuous improvement and the lean production cycle. There are lots of books out there, some of its not obvious but when you think about it they make sense. Toyota really figured this stuff out well and it would behoove other manufacturers to adapt that process
Aggressive. But okay. I don't think you're in the market for a Cessna single and I'm certainly not interested in taking a pay cut and working at Textron so I think you're safe.
Who wrote/edited this? I'm asking about "weigh" vs way.[/QUOTE]
speech to text being a little too smart!
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