"1/2 A" & "1/8 A" airplanes These are the small ones...more popular now than ever.

DNU and landing....

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Old 03-20-2009, 10:04 AM
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AllTheGoodNamesAreTaken
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Default DNU and landing....

My field is not exactly "fluffy" and I'm a bit worried about the horizontal stab getting damaged during landings. Anyone have a light skid set up on their DNU you want to share?
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:34 AM
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Default RE: DNU and landing....

The field that I flew my DNU on down in Texas was made of petromat, and as long as you give it a little flare right before you touch down the bottom gets a little banged up is all. Just a covering issue. If you are landing on any type of grass, you'll probably be just fine.
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:37 AM
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Default RE: DNU and landing....

I'm more worried about the clump grass. There is a paved section of runway, but I don't want to land on that.
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:12 PM
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Default RE: DNU and landing....

My planes find those clumps irresistable.
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:39 PM
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Default RE: DNU and landing....

I'm a big promoter of landing gear-less 1/2A planes, to me the LG just adds weight. Therefore I've become quite good and belly landings. The trick is to double cover the bottom of the plane, it will get beat up eventualy so use something that is easy to work with such as plastic iron on covering or such. Fly the plane as normal into the landing, then flare at the last possible moment. I've never broken a stab on landing, I understand your concerns but think you are making too much out of them. Clump grass is evil stuff, I don't care what you have for landing gear, that stuff will grab the plane and eat it, BUT a gearless plane seems to not mind so much if you keep the nose up then you can usualy slide right over the top.
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:18 PM
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Default RE: DNU and landing....

The wing should take 99% of the punishment, but if you're really worried about the stab, just land upside down.
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Old 03-23-2009, 09:05 AM
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Default RE: DNU and landing....

Thanks CP, I'll have to try that.

Here's my daughter holding my freshly completed 3ch DNU with a Ultra Sport style vertical stab. AUW is just under 12oz rtf. Engine is a Xenalook "Stinger".
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Old 03-23-2009, 09:25 AM
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Default RE: DNU and landing....

I don't see the problem here. That stab looks like it would make a fine skid.

Seriously, though. It's never been an issue for me. The covering on the bottom is the last thing to go. The "crumple zone" up front is the first.
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:39 AM
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Default RE: DNU and landing....


ORIGINAL: ptulmer

The covering on the bottom is the last thing to go. The "crumple zone" up front is the first.
I have added clear packing tape (I like DUCK Crystal Clear) on the fuselage bottom from just behind the firewall to about midwing for skid protection on gearless planes. The edges need to be sealed to keep the tape from eventually coming loose.

One morning I was flying before the club meeting and the grass strip still had a lot of dew. I landed about where I usually do, but the plane skidded probably 60 to 80 feet further than normal and nearly ended up hitting one of our barriers. I lucked out on that one, but now pay more attention to how slick the field may be.

andrew
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Old 03-23-2009, 09:17 PM
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Default RE: DNU and landing....

Honestly, the plane is so light that I think it will simply ride up over any clumps, or come to a complete stop before the stab gets ripped off.

David
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Old 03-23-2009, 09:32 PM
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Default RE: DNU and landing....

Isn't it interesting that after all the decades of 1/2A designs to come our way, the DNU ends up being the best for simplicity and all around flyability?
I agree that the landing speed is low enough to make any preconceived notions about damage laughable.
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:26 PM
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Default RE: DNU and landing....

Well now I just feel silly....
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:56 PM
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Default RE: DNU and landing....


ORIGINAL: combatpigg

Isn't it interesting that after all the decades of 1/2A designs to come our way, the DNU ends up being the best for simplicity and all around flyability?
I agree. When everyone who flies a particular design all have the same positive experience, then I think you can call it a true classic.

David
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:31 PM
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Default RE: DNU and landing....

ATGNAT, I should have chosen different words....but I've had similar fears and found later that the stresses that lightly built 1/2A planes impose on everything in general don't need any special considerations. It's hard to build them light enough, but no need to be fanatical. Once you've seen yours in action, you'll be amazed by how well lightness can avoid injury.
I like Andrew's suggestion to tape the belly, especially if you have to slide it across a fabric runway. We have a couple of local fields with 20 foot wide conveyor belt runways from the pulp mill. Tough stuff.

As a side note, I've seen at least 1 designer mention using spruce strips on the leading edges to fend off prairie brush and corn stalks.
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:23 PM
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Default RE: DNU and landing....

Flying 1/2a for years on my own made me devise a few things, and they work well. I agree gear on a grass field are not always a good mix. I plank the bottom with balsa, then a thin 1/64" plywood planking. It lasts for hundreds of flights, no need for repaint or repairs very much, and is quite light, as far as It matters to me. A small plate of 1/64" ply at the rear fuse completes the protection.
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:01 AM
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Default RE: DNU and landing....


ORIGINAL: AllTheGoodNamesAreTaken

Well now I just feel silly....
Whatever you do, don't feel silly for asking a question. It was a good question and generated good answers. The truth is that the DNU, and most other 1/2A size planes, are so light they can be landed at almost 0 groundspeed (what I call a one point landing) and sliding or skidding is not something that you get very often. They just sort of plop down on the grass and you're done.
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Old 03-29-2009, 09:24 PM
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Default RE: DNU and landing....

A local club had a .15 and under fun fly and their runway is asphalt. The events were designed for landing on the grass off to the side, but just to be sure I took some 1/8" aluminum welding rod and made a few "staples" out of that stuff, then attached the staples to the belly of my plane. I made a point out of scraping in on the asphalt [to get a laugh] and it was pretty loud!
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:28 PM
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Default RE: DNU and landing....

Well, due to the Seattle style weather we've been having around here, I haven't been able to fly my DNU yet. I have been running the engine during breaks in the clouds - much to the dismay of my neighbors. The "Stinger" Sure Start that I got from Xenalook off Ebay is performing quite nicely. 20k on the Cox 5x3 with the safety tips, Norvel 25% fuel with an additional oz of castor added. It will push against my hands when held vertical. Should be good for a laugh.
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:42 PM
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Default RE: DNU and landing....

You should have been here today, real nice even though snow was forecasted. I had a great time digging trenches in the back yard all day.
Having the plane push against your hand when held vertical is a good sign that serious fun is in store for you [8D]
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