3 Point Attitude...

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Re: 3 Point Attitude...

Postby daleandee » Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:25 pm

mike.smith wrote:So during landings I'm shooting for that sweet spot between 55 and 45. Honestly I don't know the exact numbers because by that time I've got all my attention outside.


They say that a good pilot won't know his exact landing speed because he's always looking outside. 8~) At least I do in my tail dragger.

My previous VW powered nose roller version was extremely easy to land and most likely the easiest airplane I've ever landed.

As for landing speed ... here's is an old video from when I was doing the initial flight testing. Landed three point and when the the wheels chirped I was indicating 36 mph (31 knots):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjA7JDJVKeQ

I do wish they were all that smooth. As far as the flaps ... I nearly always use full (30º) flaps for landing. Sometimes I come in too fast and too shallow and I'll get a bounce. Like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MePCcM-pVHA

But then there are days when you just have to work it a bit:

https://youtu.be/0afcagd70UE?t=593

I'm still a newbie tail wheel kinda guy ...

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Re: 3 Point Attitude...

Postby LarryEWaiex121 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:06 pm

My standard landing in my Waiex is 2nd notch of flaps if the runway is long and breaking isn't much needed. Full flaps if short field required, or desired.
My reason for using only two notches of flaps is its much easier to get a 3 pt. squeaker with just less than full flaps. The transition time from flying in ground effect to landing is much expedited in the full flap mode. Lots of drag with full flaps.
You definitely "roll on" with a few more mph in the mid/2nd notch condtion but it feels more natural if your aiming for a 3pt. landing so smooth your passenger doesn't know your rolling yet. I've had it happen a couple times. One time the lady asked if we were still flying? LOL "Nope, We're on the ground". Smile.
Sometimes, I do an exaggerated 3pt. and deliberately put it gently on the tail and wheelie for awhile until it pays off and plops down on the mains. That's sort of different and fun. More like the old J-3 days when you waited till just the right moment and sucked the stick into your lap and "plop", we're on. Guaranteed, no more flying.
In many ways, the Sonex reminds me of my time flying Citabria's. They too have a visual picture that you meet (normally about the tip of the cowl on the far end of the runway) and hold just that much elevator and no more. Simply bring in the elevator at a rate that holds that sight angle and no more. If you get aggressive it will only lead to tail-wheel first arrivals, or driving the tail-wheel into the ground.
Last night I made it out after work for a short flight, visiting 3 different airports. Each approach was made differently, to practice both power on, power off approaches. I never cease to be amazed at how far a Sonex will glide if you keep it clean and manage your speed. I waited until I knew I had the field made and progressively brought in flap to control the final approach. Set her down about a 100 feet past the numbers at idle.
These things always seem easier when they are done for practice. The trick is to be able to perform the same way when the simulation turns to, "for real".

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Re: 3 Point Attitude...

Postby Ad Eves » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:20 pm

Thanks all

I've been looking at photos and there does seem to be a variation in maingear leg length, or at least in the height of the maingear and hence ground incidence. who's for measuring their ground incidence angles?

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Re: 3 Point Attitude...

Postby wlarson861 » Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:59 pm

If built to plans the main gear length should be the same. any change in incidence may be due to tail wheel diameter or the tail wheel mount. Sonex came out with an updated tail wheel that raises the tail about an inch. They also have a larger diameter tail wheel that would raise the tail even further. I find that I always raise the tail for take off but just find the three point attitude for landing and let the plane settle onto the runway.
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Re: 3 Point Attitude...

Postby Sonerai13 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:08 am

wlarson861 wrote: ....but just find the three point attitude for landing and let the plane settle onto the runway.


And that right there is the key. A Sonex/Waiex/Xenos/Onex is not one of those planes where you just suck the stick back and it automatically finds the three-point attitude for landing. Some planes do that, but not these planes. You need to KNOW what the three-point attitude looks like, and FLY the airplane onto the runway in the three-point attitude in order to get a smooth landing. Sure, you can suck the stick back and wait to see what happens. But what happens is that the tailwheel is about 3 feet lower than the main wheels when it touches down. It then becomes the pivot point for the airplane and the mains come down pretty darned abruptly. Jars your teeth I tell you! Not the way to be nice to your airframe and look good for the onlookers. Know what your three-point attitude looks like and fly the plane so that you see that attitude as you touch down. It's really not that hard!
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Re: 3 Point Attitude...

Postby Ad Eves » Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:03 am

Thanks Joe but I didn't say it was hard! I'm quite happy landing the aircraft in the correct attitude. All I'm saying is that I feel like my aircraft could have considerably more comfortable exploitation of it's shorter field potential if it had a greater ground incidence.
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Re: 3 Point Attitude...

Postby Rick524 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:25 pm

Hi Ad, I have a tail dragger with 500-5 tires (tyres) and the newer tail wheel which is 5 1/2"
diameter. The tip of the spinner to the ground measures 46 3/4".
The gear legs are standard length as received from Sonex.

Hope this helps.
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Re: 3 Point Attitude...

Postby Ad Eves » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:17 pm

Thanks Rick, that’s great and you’ve got the same setup as me. I’ll measure when I next go to the airfield.

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Re: 3 Point Attitude...

Postby Sonerai13 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:50 am

Ad Eves wrote:Thanks Joe but I didn't say it was hard!


I know you didn't. I was just making a general comment. Didn't mean to direct it specifically at you. Should have added a smiley face. :)

Ad Eves wrote:All I'm saying is that I feel like my aircraft could have considerably more comfortable exploitation of it's shorter field potential if it had a greater ground incidence.


In general terms, you're probably right. But as we all know, all things in aviation are a compromise. There is no airplane that can do all things well. If you maximize one performance parameter, you will give up something someplace else. The Sonex line do a lot of things pretty well, especially considering the "bang for the buck".

If you (that's a general "you", not directed specifically at any one individual) really need an airplane that lands shorter, you probably should be looking at a different design. It's fun to sit around sometimes and talk about "what if", but most of the "what ifs" have already been considered by the designers of the airplanes when they made the design decisions. Still, homebuilt airplanes are all about "experimentation", so for those who want to experiment, there are always "what ifs"!
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