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  1. #1

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    Crosswind landings

    Hi guys,

    Need help on how to land in a crosswind. I am flying a 1/5 scale Piper Cub. Most of the time the right wing will lift up and the left wing will scrape the runway after touchdown.

    Thanking you in advance.

    Best regards,

    memosha

  2. #2
    blueapplepaste's Avatar
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    RE: Crosswind landings

    You might want to add some opposite aileron right after you touch down, this will help to keep the wings more level.
    Ultra Sport Brotherhood #46

    http://www.BlueAppleHerps.com

  3. #3

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    RE: Crosswind landings

    A million thanks for the advice. Really appreciate it. And one more question, during the final approach, how do you crab the airplane?

  4. #4
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    RE: Crosswind landings

    Carefully turn the nose into the wind with the rudder, and apply whatever aileron (usually opposite) it needs to keep the wings level. That and practice, practice, practice. I would practice that starting with when you don't need it, so you can see how much affect the rudder and aileron have on each other.
    http://www.tailhook.org/AVSLANG.htm
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  5. #5
    gboulton's Avatar
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    RE: Crosswind landings

    DISCLAIMER : Everything that follows is based upon the presumption that we're dealing with a constant crosswind, in both speed and direction. Since this is rarely the case, please treat the following more as "insight" than 'step by step directions" or "predictions of actual behaviour"

    ==========================


    Blueapplepaste has given a good answer above for the wing lifting question you asked about originally. We'll leave that one alone, and address your 2nd question:

    And one more question, during the final approach, how do you crab the airplane?
    The response is : Why do you want to?

    This isn't to say that there's not good reasons for doing so...just be aware of what they are...they likely AREN'T what you think.

    The reality is that the airplane has absolutely no idea there's any wind. It doesn't "feel a push", or "feel the wind" or anything of the sort. Aside from the obvious fact that it's an inanimate object, that statement would be true even if it were a living, breathing creature.

    There simply is NO wind from the AIRPLANE'S point of view.

    All it cares about, above and beyond anything else, is the speed of the air over its wings...its airspeed. It has no way of indicating, and no reason to CARE about, its relationship to fixed objects (like YOU) on the ground.

    What all this means is this:

    Flying an approach at 20 mph, heading due west, with 0 wind, and an approach at 20mph, heading due west, with a 10mph wind out of the north is, TO THE AIRPLANE, precisely the same approach. All it knows is that it is moving forward, in a body of air, at 20mph.

    What YOU, the pilot, recognize is that the body of air in which it resides is ALSO moving...relative to you, the trees, the runway, etc...10mph from north to south. It is, obviously carrying the airplane right the heck along with it.

    Understanding that difference...between ground track and path through the air, is CRITICAL to understanding the whole idea of 'crabbing' into a cross wind.

    The short answer is, if your intent is, as it usually is when pilots ask this question, to line up on the runway...you don't need to "crab" at all.

    "Crabbing" the airplane...that is, applying rudder to yaw the nose "into" the wind, has exactly the effect we DON'T want. What we've got, very simply, is an airplane that...WITH RESPECT TO THE AIR (remember...the airplane couldn't care less about the ground until it's on it)...is not following its nose. It's quite literally flying slightly sideways! This uncordinates the airplane, which has 2 pretty scary consequences:

    1) We increase drag, thus slowing the aircraft.
    2) We're uncoordinated when/if we stall, almost ENSURING a spin.

    Now...all that theory is nice...but will it accomplish our purpose...lining up on the runway?

    Sure..if done 'correctly'. But it's something like using lateral force and a parking break to slide a car around a corner. Sure..it'll work...(oddly for many of the same reasons *heh*) but there are certainly safer, more reliable, and more controllable ways of navigating a turn.

    The answer is to TURN the airplane...not yaw it with rudder only, but TURN it...with both ailerons and rudder in a coordinated fashion as always...to "face" the wind. In other words, you want an airplane that...again, with respect to the AIR...is moving forward, directly behind its nose...and we're letting the movement of its pocket of air bring the GROUND track in line with the runway. We're left with an airplane that has kept its airspeed, maintained the full lift capabilities of its wings, AND will behave more predictably if we stall it.

    =========

    Having said all of that, IS there a time to "crab" the airplane, in the classical sense of what pilots mean when they use the term?

    Absolutely. It's called a slip. And it's a FANTASTIC way to lose altitude in a hurry WITHOUT gaining airspeed.

    That's a GREAT trick, btw, for deadsticks. You're up high, but not high enough to go around the field. Problem : You point the nose down to get to the runway, but the airplane picks up speed, and zooms right on past the runway, out into the grass, over the fence, through the trees, and off to grandma's house.

    Next time it happens, try a slip...or a "crab" if you prefer.

    Kick the rudder over (doesn't matter which way, whatever you're comfortable with), and apply enough OPPOSITE aileron (left rudder, right aileron) to keep the wings level. On some planes, a bit of down elevator may be required to keep the nose down enough to stay flying.

    The airplane...now flying QUITE sideways, will drop like the proverbial rock. The beauty of it is, however, that the speed of the air OVER THE WINGS (the only airspeed that matters) won't climb rapidly (if done correctly, it won't climb at ALL). The airplane will come right down to a manageable altitude, take the slip out of it, and land as normal.

    Again...can this trick be used to land crosswind? Absolutely. Lots of us use slips in full scale crosswind landings all the time. Personally, I find it an easier approach in full scale...i can keep my eye on the runway the entire time, instead of trying to "predict" the drift of my ground track. Heck, I've been known to intentionally fly a high approach with NO x-wind, JUST so I can throw a slip in on final...i think they're fun!

    Remember, however, there's a few distinct differences between full scale and RC:

    1) I'm IN the 100%er...looking down at the runway...not on the runway, looking up at the airplane.

    2) I've got all kinds of instruments to TELL me my airspeed, my sink rate, how uncoordinated I am, etc etc...in RC, we have none of that...no way to know any of those things except
    by guessing.

    3) In a full-scale, I'll FEEL the impending stall WAY before it shows up...with RC, the stall's already HAPPENED before we SEE it.

    =================

    Note in all of this...i never said "don't crab", or "don't slip" or whatever. I just shared what i teach all my students...that the normal concept of 'crabbing' is NOT what we often think it is, or at least doesn't DO what we think it does.

    It's certainly not "wrong" to manage x-wind landings in EITHER fashion...both have their merits and their challenges.

    It's simply best to understand exactly what the airplane, its body of air, and the runway are actually DOING with respect to each other, so you're prepared for the potential challenges of each.
    ¡ǝʌısuǝdxǝ sı dn puɐ dn sı uʍop \'\'\'\'pǝʇɹǝʌuı puɐ ʍo1 uǝɥʍ

  6. #6
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    RE: Crosswind landings

    again this is one of those thing better show then explained, there is no good way to explain it since it's more reaction and experience. As said how it is done in RC and real planes is a different animal, in the real plane we have instrument and our butts to tell us what the plane is doing, in RC we only have past experiance as to what a situation will produce and our eyes. Practice this up in the air first. It is really cool being able to be apart of both worlds and and learn from each.

    next time you have a crosswind or even better on a calm day and play with it

    on approach set power and trim to for a normal approach and let go of the controls. set your direction slightly into the wind so your flight path is right down the runway but your plane is crabbed into the wind your nose will be pointed to one side but the plane is going straight down the runway. I use this to read what the wind is really doing to the model.

    now bank the model into the wind and add just enough rudder to have the nose pointed right down the runway. under normal condition this is known as a slip, your ailerons and rudder are cross controlled, coming into each other or away from each other depending on direction.


    Practice by coming in high and just get used to the plane being banked and using the rudder to point the nose which way you want preferably going straight down the runway. also practice minor correction by turning slightly in this set up. Also controlling speed and power, you should be using more power because the plane is going to fall faster in this set up. when you don't have a cross wind you can cross control and slip the model and it acts like flaps. you loose altitude without gaining speed

    When done right your model will be banked 5-15 degrees, it all depends on the intensity and direction of the wind, with the flight path and nose headed right down the runway. If your wing tip is going to touch or you run out of rudder, the cross wind is to powerful for your model, land caddy corner to the runway, gotta be precise. The hard part in convincing yourself to land that way. the low wheel touches first, you'll have to add more aileron to keep the wheel up and be on top of the rudder to keep it straight and on top of the elevator to keep your speeds right touching one wheel at a time.
    Gravity wins everytime

  7. #7

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    RE: Crosswind landings

    Thanks a million again guys. I really really appreciate your help and advise. Like what I've told my friends, this is the best forum if you are looking for help and advise.

    Best regards,
    memosha13

  8. #8

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    RE: Crosswind landings

    Wow, those are two really good answers by gboulton and redfox. The only thing I could add is that you should go to the nearest airport with a flight instructor and ask to go flying on a day with a strong cross wind to do touch and goes for an hour or two. Landing a full size in those conditions is the most fun you can have with your clothes on. If what you learn saves just one model, then it will more than pay for itself.
    - Supplementary insipid innocuous inane vacuous proclamation

  9. #9
    Moderator CGRetired's Avatar
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    RE: Crosswind landings

    I would hope that instructors demonstrate this when teaching their students to fly RC. It's very important and, in a lot of cases, just not covered in the instruction sessions.

    I learned both by what my instructor taught me AND by actual experience shortly after I solo'ed when two of us, with identical trainer aircraft, were flying with a pretty good crosswind. It was odd because it was fairly calm at the ground level, but as soon as the aircraft was up a bit, and passed through a tree line that was behind us, that crosswind was very evident, so we learned both by what our instructors taught us AND by practical experience.

    We had a grand time that day because we lerned a lot and never, not once that day, had a bad landing.

    Many self-taught people don't get that experience, and when they run into the crosswind situation, are totally unprepared as for what to do next.

    So, what Gordon and Redfox posted is both important AND applicable. This is what should be part of an instuctors's "curiculum."

    CGr
    Skylark 70 - OS .75 AX; Excelleron 90 - OS 1.20 AX; Venus II - OS 1.20 AX; And, I still fly my trainer, Hanger 9 Alpha - OS .46 FX! Some electrics. Airtronics RD8000 - Spektrum DX7 - DX6i. AMA 705964.
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  10. #10
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    RE: Crosswind landings

    I absolutely agree with the previous 2 posts.

    Getting a chance to even ride along in a full scale GA aircraft during some crosswind landings is an absolute BLAST...AND it'll show you what the airplane's actually doing better than any number of RC landings ever can.

    And yes, Dick...Crosswind work is ABSOLUTELY part of the curriculum any time I teach an RC student...as, i believe, it should be for all RC students.
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  11. #11
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    RE: Crosswind landings

    Not much I can add to gboulton's post. I have always looked at a crosswind landing, full scale and RC, as kind of a balancing act. There is a balance that has to be found between the aircraft's intended course and where the air mass is trying to push it. As gboulton noted, airplanes do not care where the wind direction is. It is up to the pilot to correct the path of the aircraft to the intended target. When I first learned to fly RC no one took the time to expalin the mechanics of cross wind landings to me. All I got was, "Use some rudder, you will be fine." It wasn't till I got my full scale ratings that I really understood what was going on. Every pilot has there own way of flying the cross wind approach. Some like to crab or slip alnost all the way down to the runway, only swinging the nose around at the last minute. Some like to use the rudder to point the nose at the runway and dip a wing in to the wind to hold the ground track. I have always used a combination of both. For me this applies to how i fly full scale and RC cross wind landings.

    The Plane will want to weather vane into the wind. Basically the cross wind will push the nose into the wind if you let it. By using a combination of rudder and aileron you can balance the crab and the plane will not fight you much. I have found this is the easiest way to make your initial apporach. It takes some practice to figure out the proper wind drift angle but once you find it the plane will hold a fairly constant track across the ground. Once I cross the runway numbers, or end of the field, I transistion the nose of the plane to line up with the runway. Using some aileron I dip a wing into the wind to counter act the force of the wind trying tp push me off course. You are essentially cross controling the plane at this point which will require a little more airspeed to counteract drag. Once you are in the landing flare the key thing is to keep the upwind wing down into the wind. Depending on the severity of the cross wind this may require landing on one main gear tire then the other. Keep holding the aileron input into the wind and it wil keep the wing from raising and flipping over.

    I second the idea of going to get a quick flight by a full scale instructor. All of this will make alot more sense when you can see it firsthand from the cockpit.

  12. #12

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    RE: Crosswind landings

    The Plane will want to weather vane into the wind. Basically the cross wind will push the nose into the wind if you let it.
    No. As gboulton explained earlier in this thread, the plane can't "feel" the wind. There is no force that could cause a steady wind to change the direction in which a plane's nose is pointing. If your plane seems to want to turn into the wind, it's because of something you're doing with the controls.

    It may be useful to give a brief recap of the two important points made above. Simply put, there are two ways of making a crosswind landing. One is to crab into the wind, by turning the plane in the direction of the wind and then straightening it out. If you do it right, the plane will move straight down the runway, with its nose pointing into the wind the whole time. The other is by doing a gentle slip: lower the wing that points at the direction from which the wind is blowing and use opposite rudder to keep the plane flying straight down the runway. The plane will fly straight down the runway, and its nose will be pointed that way too; the upwind wing will be lower than the other. (This is sometimes called a "Chinese pass.") Crabbing is easier for beginners. A Chinese pass looks really cool, but it takes a lot of practice.
    Al Gunn
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    RE: Crosswind landings

    in full scale.. dont you love when you pull a forward slip and your plane just sinks?

    haha dont mention those spins ...

  14. #14
    gboulton's Avatar
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    RE: Crosswind landings


    ORIGINAL: frenchdoor
    in full scale.. dont you love when you pull a forward slip and your plane just sinks?
    I love it in both full scale AND rc it's a HECK of a lot of fun to do OR watch, when you nail one.
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    RE: Crosswind landings

    One thing I like to do is practice flat turns. Get some altitude and crank on the rudder. Hold the rudder full on, maintain altitude for a full circle then do some straight lines, gain altitude and lose it again. Then as I see what the plane does, do some crabby approaches....Ususally too fast for landings just to be safe but at least I've seen what it looks like coming in IF it has to be done.
    Keep the roundy thingys on the runway...

  16. #16
    Moderator CGRetired's Avatar
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    RE: Crosswind landings

    Love that signature, Gordon..

    Next week.. SDF.

    CGr.
    Skylark 70 - OS .75 AX; Excelleron 90 - OS 1.20 AX; Venus II - OS 1.20 AX; And, I still fly my trainer, Hanger 9 Alpha - OS .46 FX! Some electrics. Airtronics RD8000 - Spektrum DX7 - DX6i. AMA 705964.
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  17. #17
    gboulton's Avatar
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    RE: Crosswind landings


    ORIGINAL: CGRetired
    Love that signature, Gordon..


    My "signature" departure with the Edge has become "Vertical to a snap, negative downline to a LOW inverted pass downwind over the runway". So, i figured it was best if I had a constant reminder of the rule.
    ¡ǝʌısuǝdxǝ sı dn puɐ dn sı uʍop \'\'\'\'pǝʇɹǝʌuı puɐ ʍo1 uǝɥʍ

  18. #18
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    RE: Crosswind landings

    That's a signature with class![sm=idea.gif]

    Now,.............how to land in crosswind.............. with class:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3vELciCUrY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1X6I3zXEdrw
    Lnewqban - "God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas, but for scars. He has achieved success who has worked well, laughed often, and loved much." - Elbert Hubbard

  19. #19
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    RE: Crosswind landings

    nothing is more fun than coming in high and forward slipping it all the way to the deck, well next to rolls an d hammer heads, scares the hell out of the passengers though, I try to only do it to people that have been up a couple time with me. Try not to scare them away from small planes, it still really fun.
    Gravity wins everytime

  20. #20

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    RE: Crosswind landings

    oh i totally agree!

    same as doing a roller coaster.. hehe... choose more experienced passengers..!

  21. #21
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    RE: Crosswind landings


    ORIGINAL: gboulton



    Next time it happens, try a slip...or a ''crab'' if you prefer.

    Kick the rudder over (doesn't matter which way, whatever you're comfortable with), and apply enough OPPOSITE aileron (left rudder, right aileron) to keep the wings level. On some planes, a bit of down elevator may be required to keep the nose down enough to stay flying.

    The airplane...now flying QUITE sideways, will drop like the proverbial rock. The beauty of it is, however, that the speed of the air OVER THE WINGS (the only airspeed that matters) won't climb rapidly (if done correctly, it won't climb at ALL). The airplane will come right down to a manageable altitude, take the slip out of it, and land as normal.

    Again...can this trick be used to land crosswind? Absolutely. Lots of us use slips in full scale crosswind landings all the time. Personally, I find it an easier approach in full scale...i can keep my eye on the runway the entire time, instead of trying to ''predict'' the drift of my ground track. Heck, I've been known to intentionally fly a high approach with NO x-wind, JUST so I can throw a slip in on final...i think they're fun!

    so do you just move rudder to one side and keep it their while applying (and holding) opposite aileron's, essentally entering a "falling knife edge"?
    or do you move rudder to one side, then center it. while still holding opposite aileron's?
    you confuse me when you say keep the plane level then say it will be flying sideways.
    by that do you mean that you will basically be entering a cordornated turn useing rudder, but the aileron to keep the wings level
    i ask this because their are times when i set my approch to high, but im to close/over the runway. my usual procedure is to go around, or push the nose down, touch the front mains, and let it roll out for a good 100+ ft before it slows down enough to apply elevator and get the tail on the ground.
    can this be done in a strain line or is their come curve to it?
    Anything worth doing.............is worth overdoing

  22. #22
    gboulton's Avatar
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    RE: Crosswind landings


    ORIGINAL: jimmyjames213
    so do you just move rudder to one side and keep it their while applying (and holding) opposite aileron's, essentally entering a ''falling knife edge''?
    or do you move rudder to one side, then center it. while still holding opposite aileron's?
    you confuse me when you say keep the plane level then say it will be flying sideways.
    by that do you mean that you will basically be entering a cordornated turn useing rudder, but the aileron to keep the wings level
    i ask this because their are times when i set my approch to high, but im to close/over the runway. my usual procedure is to go around, or push the nose down, touch the front mains, and let it roll out for a good 100+ ft before it slows down enough to apply elevator and get the tail on the ground.
    can this be done in a strain line or is their come curve to it?
    Ack *heh*

    Had a pretty long explanation typed out here, but realize it'd go better with visual aids...perhaps a chart or slide or something.

    I'll see if I can't work up a couple of poorly drawn diagrams to kinda illustrate what's going on, and get back to this thread. Gimme a day or so.
    ¡ǝʌısuǝdxǝ sı dn puɐ dn sı uʍop \'\'\'\'pǝʇɹǝʌuı puɐ ʍo1 uǝɥʍ

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    RE: Crosswind landings

    I never had to use any rudder for any of my crosswind landings.

    If it's that windy, then it's too windy for me to fly Period!

  24. #24
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    RE: Crosswind landings

    when you apply rudder the plane will automatically drop the inside wing, what you are doing is using the ailerons to counter this. by countering just a little the plane will do a flat turn, if you dip the outside wing the plane will try and turn in that direction, but because you are already applying opposite rudder the plane will fly straight even tho it is sideways in the air. of coarse there is just a touch of elevator and throttle management going on also depending if your just scrubbing off some altitude of just doing a crossed up flyby or lining up to land in a crosswind.
    No Guts, No Glory!!!
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  25. #25
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    RE: Crosswind landings


    ORIGINAL: sportrider_fz6

    when you apply rudder the plane will automatically drop the inside wing, what you are doing is using the ailerons to counter this. by countering just a little the plane will do a flat turn, if you dip the outside wing the plane will try and turn in that direction, but because you are already applying opposite rudder the plane will fly straight even tho it is sideways in the air. of coarse there is just a touch of elevator and throttle management going on also depending if your just scrubbing off some altitude of just doing a crossed up flyby or lining up to land in a crosswind.
    ok i understand (i think). ill have to try it when i get to the field. i have done flat turns but never tried what you are saying, should be fun.
    Anything worth doing.............is worth overdoing


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