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Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by brien23, Feb 10, 2019.
Piper wheel pants and snow, does snow pack up inside the wheel pants and cause problems?
Dry snow not so much but wet packable snow yes. I now remove mine November-March but before I did I once skidded my plane all the way from the runway to the hangar. The wheel pants had to be removed before I could push it back into the hangar.
Actually I posted about it here (with pics):
Take them off if you are in snow country.
Friend of mine with a turbo-182T had his pack up with slush from the runway and then freeze in flight. On landing one of the fasteners failed and he ended up running over one of his own wheel pants as it rolled with the tire. That was a mucho-AMU replacement from Wichita.
It was sop to remove them before the first snow when I lived in brr-country.
Yup anywhere where something could get packed in em they should go... muddy or wet grass areas is same as wet snow... watched a guy put his RV on it’s nose during taxi... wheelpants were so packed with mud when folks went to help him out both mains were locked... it was just a wet grass strip too, wasn’t a dirt runway...
Since seeing that and being I fly a TW I don’t want the risk unless I was flying above freezing always on pavement...
I don't ever put wheelpants on a taildragger. It's so critical that the wheels roll freely that I don't want anything that impedes my inspection of my wheels, or have anything where a situation could change and seize the wheel. I'll take the knot or two hit and keep my plane pantless. Well worth it for peace of mind, and worst case, airplane replacement.
The pants from my Husky are sitting on the highest shelf in the hangar. They'll probably still be there, untouched, if and when I ever sell the plane.
Brian has a PA-28-180
Makes sense, I will never fit the conditions I gave where I’d wear em, who wants a taildragger and always have land on pavement? . Oh yea and I like my 800s, so pants aren’t happening... I probably should sell the ones I have that came with her and invest the funds back into my bird...
Are they the originals? You might devalue the plane in the eyes of a future purchaser if they are.
But I still wouldn’t want em on anything besides above freezing and pavement. Any snow, slush, wet grass/dirt, etc runways I’d want to leave em at home.
Packed wheel pants braking doesn’t sound fun or worth the speed on any plane who could be at risk of getting em packed. TW May make it more dramatic but even in my clubs 172 I don’t want em on in winter..
Pants and snow are just a problem. I've seen pants ripped off, tires locked up, all kinds of problems.
If it’s that much snow just say no. Trust snow less than gas station sushi, and thin layer that wouldn’t mess with wheel pants sure, more than that NOPE.
Take and off and don’t put them back on
This is the best advice.
In fact, the next clear day, fly up to an altitude that you can run sustained level-flight full throttle (in my PA28-140 that’s 8000+). Fly for one minute N, then S, then E, then W, writing down your ground speed for each direction then average the 4. Land, remove the wheel pants, take off immediately and run the test again. I think you’ll be surprised at the results...I know I was!
In case your wondering, my plane goes 3 knots faster without wheel pants at full throttle than with pants.
Exactly. For a lot of planes, they are merely decorative.
If using that method to find TAS, it is inaccurate, and the 3 kts faster without might be erroneous.
I don’t remember the speed, but an aeronautical engineer once told me that under a certain speed that most fixed gear aircraft can’t reach (I think it was 140 knots) wheel pants are just dead weight.
Not TAS...just getting a comparison speed....and if it is immediately back-to-back, it would be close enough.
Did you refuel between test runs to start each run with the same load? If not you changed a variable.
Wow. Wheel-pant-phobia is apparently a thing.
That's silly. Aerodynamics are important even for bicycles. Our Skyhawk lost four knots without 'em. Not much, but consistently noticeable. Of course, having them on stuck me at an airport, after eight inches of slushy snow fell. The runway and taxiways were cleared, but not the ramp, and I didn't want to have three ice brakes when I landed.
We’ve consistently found >15 knots difference on RV10s (trikes). Just about every builder discovers it because new engine break-in calls for keeping the ‘pants’ off so you can run it hard and hot. Then you put them on sometime in the first 40 hours and ZOOM!
Interestingly, we use the term pants/nacelles/strut covers and such without necessarily making a distinction. Turns out based on some playing around that much of that speed increase comes from the wheel strut covers which convert the round steel legs into a streamlines airfoil shape.
But it’s significant and quite noticeable.
We do have a least one builder/pilot who refuses to put them on due to concerns like those here. But I think he was exposed to ‘aviation’ in the ‘Navy’ or something weird like that.
BTW, my home field is rutted turf and gets quite soft. Had some nacelle damage at one point but mud and such as never clogged them or anything.
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Snow deserves snow pants.
Yes it does!
Yes, and I tried to climb at the same rate as well. I’ve run the test twice (last spring and again this fall / putting them on in the spring and taking them off in the fall), and I got exactly the same result both times.
And before anyone mentions “confirmation bias”, I was actually expecting the opposite result.
I will continue to put them on for the summers because my girlfriend likes them.
My wife likes the planes with "pretty shoes." But, as any Alaska girl knows, they are only good on airplanes on the outside. Wife also refers to Alaska Bush Wheels as "supercub extratuffs" or "Alaska dance shoes for planes."
When showing her a potential C180 stablemate, "The shoes have a matching stripe, how pretty! We can put them on for Oshkosh, maybe."