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cub ground roll

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Old 12-12-2010, 05:12 PM
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piperfloatflyer
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Default cub ground roll

I have tryed to search this site for this subject, but Ikeep getting errors when I try to do a search....... there for I am going to ask a question that has probably been repeated here before.

- What is the cause for the ground roll with these J3 Cubs.. I have had a couple accidents requiring repair and several close calls.
I have read many posts on this subject but never read anything that resembled a reason for it.

Does this problem exist with floats???

Thanks for any inforamation and any links that might describe the reasoning behind this knee knocking resonce to take offs.

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Old 12-12-2010, 05:58 PM
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Default RE: cub ground roll

I think that this excellent article will help you:

http://www.rcuniverse.com/magazine/a...article_id=866

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Old 12-12-2010, 06:02 PM
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Default RE: cub ground roll

The ground angle on the J-3 is a bit steep.
This causes the ground loops on takeoffs.
Lengthening the tail wheel strut helps.
Moving the main gear forward a bit also helps.
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Old 12-12-2010, 06:10 PM
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Default RE: cub ground roll

Are you trying to describe the tendency some pilots have to get the airplane airborne to early or to steeply with the resulting wing tip stall and roll off to one side or the other? Usually resulting in ground impact. If that is your question, then here is an answer. Most taildraggers need to have the takeoff started with gradual increases in power(not full throttle right away as you can do with a nose wheel airplane). Concentrate on "driving" the airplane straight down the runway to build up speed. Make no attempt to pull back on the elevator stick(other than to prevent nose over). When a good takeoff speed is reached, gently pull back and let the plane fly off the runway. Continue to accelerate at a shallow angle to a safe flying speed, then use elevator as you would any other plane. This works for the little one and the big ones.
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Old 12-12-2010, 06:28 PM
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Default RE: cub ground roll


ORIGINAL: Lnewqban

I think that this excellent article will help you:

http://www.rcuniverse.com/magazine/a...article_id=866


Thanks for that article... It was very informative.

I have a grass runway that isn't the greatest as far as smoothness goes and I try to get my planes in the air as soon as possible. I can see now that this is a problem. I may try a larger set of tires until I can get my runway groomed a little better.

Ski's have been oredered and am looking forward to some winter flights off from the white stuff.

Thanks again
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Old 12-12-2010, 07:24 PM
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Default RE: cub ground roll

I find the "white stuff" in this picture does not require the use of skis. Wheels are fine
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:07 PM
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Default RE: cub ground roll

The anomaly you describe is a trait that some high-wing tail-dragger style aircraft seem to have. Its not just the Cubs, but some Citabria's and Decathlons display it as well. They can be very squirrley on take-off rolls, as you've obviously discovered. I've owned both types of the above mentioned planes, and I can tell its an effort in learning to master a very smooth take-off with the smaller versions of these planes(.40-.60size) without looking like your from a flying circus.

I've found its all in the timing of the commands you give. It does require giving just enough throttle, rudder, elevator to keep it all in balance as the plane takes flight. To much, or not enough of these controls will result in ground loops, spinning 180's, or just ending up in places that you didn't want to be, or worse where the plane shouldn't be.

Once you have it down its' simply a matter of hammering the throttle, adding the correct elev/rudd, and up she goes. I've found the plane needs the power, not only for thrust to pull the plane along but the wind from the prop must be there immediately so you have the yaw/steering control to keep it going straight down the runway.. and that creates another area that then becomes very sensitive which is the rudder..it doesn't take much at all to steer/turn that plane on the ground, as power is added the tail then becomes very light immediately, and when that tail becomes light, the wheel is no longer steering, but the rudder is...and at faster ground-speed(less then takeoff speed) the rudder is EXTREMELY effective, and the natural tendency without experience is to oversteer, which again creates a wild plane.

I like to give a pretty good amount of power immediately, holding up elev for just a few seconds to keep the tail down, not too long though, as you dont want take-off.. just a second as the power comes up.. all the while holding just a tad of right rudder to compensate for the torque that's occuring.. watch closely and follow the plane, and steer to keep on center of runway..this initial sequence happens in just a few seconds probably.. the tail wants to come up quick on these, and you definately don't want to hold the up for more then a second or two.. but once you have that initial heading.. its all just a touch from there.. just a touch to keep it straight, and just a touch to get airborn once you reach flying speed. yes, it all happens quickly, but once the key commands are learned in just the right sequence, you'll be able to take anything off.

I believe the ground loop anomaly is created in the first few seconds of the take-off run, and if its not caught and compensated for via commands, it will just perpetuate itself, until you do think your in a flying circus... its just about the fact that each and every type of plane has it quircks and idiosyncracies..

Don't let a Cub's high wing fool you, which alot of people do.. like its just another easy flying high wing..which with an experienced thumb at the stick it is... but take a look at the wing-tip design.. and the fact that most closer to scale models arent a true flat bottom wing.. but a modified flat bottom...... not too mention eliptical control surface..hmm.. yes there is some design in it... and all that is there for a reason... one of the reasons as far as full-scale goes is so it has the ability to turn quickly... well.. we know the model can and does that very well..sometimes when we least expect it. I hope this helps.
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Old 12-13-2010, 02:20 AM
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Default RE: cub ground roll

Two posts so far have provided descriptions of takeoff control that works for them.

The list of models that need to be flown off would take too long, but the description "tail dragger" is always part of their description. The more angle they sit at, the more chance they're on the list.

Throttle control worked for every one of the people I've taught it to. Every one. And it's not really tough to learn.

Slowly advance the throttle to get the airplane rolling and stop moving the throttle until you've got the airplane lined up. Give the throttle a click more every couple of seconds and either let her fly off when she wants or gently pull elevator to fly off when you wish.

The problem tail draggers have comes from the prop flying from the git go. The airplane won't be flying until it's got some airspeed. It's wing starts influencing everything before it's rotated down from a stall AOA, and the tail won't be fully capable of helping do it's job for awhile as well.

By slamming the throttle you give the prop even more control and nothing behind it has developed any control to do any steering. Be gentle with the throttle. It works.
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:52 AM
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Default RE: cub ground roll

It's called a dumbthumb. You try to lift it up before it's ready... BAM! Any plane will do that. Duh. Let the darn thing gain some speed first. 

Good luck
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:55 AM
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Default RE: cub ground roll

Wheel alignment can be a problem. Be sure to have a bit of toe-in on the gear. Exponential on the rudder also helps as it is easy to over control if you get to much rudder input. Cubs seem to have a liking for a slightly more nose heavy CG than many planes, try about with CG at about 25% chord until you get used to flying it. I strongly disagree with moving the the main gear forward as that will make landing very difficult with lots of bouncing with the resultant wing tip damage. You want the axle just ahead of the CG when the plane is in level attitude.
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Old 12-13-2010, 01:03 PM
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Default RE: cub ground roll

GP 40 size Cub
Lots of fun to take off!
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Old 12-13-2010, 03:00 PM
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Default RE: cub ground roll

There is some very good info in these posts....
I'd like to add some points that I teach or/and have had happen to me.....Throttle control needs to be gradual but not all day, as you add power you're gonna need a little rudder. I always take off with full power, as speed and altitude is life in full scale as it is in RC. Better to have the power and not need it than to need power and not have it. Once a positive rate of climb is established you can reduce the throttle.
As someone said above carefully check wheel alingment....with all three wheels on the ground tie a long string on the spinner and see if it tracts straights when you pull the airplane, then see if it changes if someone holds the tail wheel off the ground......you want a straight tract....
I have flown one small airplane that I had to have a bit of up elevator at the beginning of the takeoff roll (a Cub), then had to relax the elevator as speed increased, then give up elevator again to get airbrone...that was tricky.....
Also check elevator and rudder trim, make sure that when you did set trim you did it at half throttle in flight....
Good luck
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Old 12-13-2010, 04:03 PM
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Default RE: cub ground roll


ORIGINAL: Shane18

It's called a dumbthumb. You try to lift it up before it's ready... BAM! Any plane will do that. Duh. Let the darn thing gain some speed first.

Good luck

Thanks for the expert advise... sounded just like my 7 yr old last time I burnt it into the ground.

If my screen name doesn't fill you in on my abilities... let me explain it to you.. . I... Am... Learning... to ... Fly.

Hence the original question.

Anyways thanks for making me rub off more letters on my keyboard just so you could boost your ego.
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Old 12-13-2010, 04:08 PM
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Default RE: cub ground roll

To all the other posters who have shed some informative light on my question, I greatly appreciate your time. It issome great reading. And sorry for the "roll" instead of the "loop".


My ski's were in the mail tonight .... Think I'll have beer and see if I can't get them installed. We're supposed to get 3 to 6 inches more snowtonight.
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Old 12-13-2010, 05:02 PM
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Default RE: cub ground roll

Great advise from the other guys, but I would like to add one other thing. Are you using your low rates or high rates while taking off and landing? Do you have any expo programmed into your elevator, rudder, and ailerons? Check your throws and set the low rates to what the manufacturer suggests.

I have a Hanger 9 40 size Cub with a Saito 80 and 9 times out of 10 I take off and land with the low rates on. They are set to what Hanger 9 suggest. When landing; once the landing gear has touched down; I can almost give it full up elevator and it will roll out nicely without leaving the ground (engine at idle). You still have to be careful with the rudder though. Like the others have said; it doesn't take much to turn these planes. Might help you a little.

When I first got the plane; I was a little nervous on the take off and landings. Now that I am comfortable with the plane and know its' little kwirks; I love it. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 12-13-2010, 05:25 PM
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Default RE: cub ground roll


ORIGINAL: lernin2fly

Anyways thanks for making me rub off more letters on my keyboard just so you could boost your ego.
Just starting out, you've probably not heard "dumbthumbs" before. It's not a word we'd use to boost our ego with, even at someone else's expense. It's the word we use to take the edge off the results of a crash. I doubt it was said to insult you as we so often use it to describe anything that is simply pilot error, and we all make those. I dumbthumbed my last crash.

The written word is really hard to communicate with because it doesn't have a kidding tone, or a commiserating tone (and it has some goshawful words like that one) that gives more meaning than the words themselves.
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Old 12-13-2010, 05:35 PM
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Default RE: cub ground roll

The cub ain't the only plane that's nasty to take off.

Tower has an entire line of very small World War I fighters, or scouts as they called them back then. They all are tail draggers and they've got TAIL SKIDS instead of tail wheels. They got big wheels for their size, they're too far back, and they're too close together. You will NOT get one of those suckers off the ground for more than 10 seconds if you try a slam-and-pray kind of takeoff.

One flying field has geomat runway for the electrics. It's excellently smooth. Point one into the wind, start it taxiing, then give it one or two clicks, the one or two more, then wait a second and pull a touch of elevator and up up and away. It works every time. And the take off looks as steady as the full scale takeoffs and just as real.
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Old 12-13-2010, 05:49 PM
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Default RE: cub ground roll


ORIGINAL: da Rock


ORIGINAL: lernin2fly

Anyways thanks for making me rub off more letters on my keyboard just so you could boost your ego.
Just starting out, you've probably not heard "dumbthumbs" before. It's not a word we'd use to boost our ego with, even at someone else's expense. It's the word we use to take the edge off the results of a crash. I doubt it was said to insult you as we so often use it to describe anything that is simply pilot error, and we all make those. I dumbthumbed my last crash.

The written word is really hard to communicate with because it doesn't have a kidding tone, or a commiserating tone (and it has some goshawful words like that one) that gives more meaning than the words themselves.

It's no big deal... I am familiar with the term dumbthumb... it's the DUHafter his comment that led me to the assumption on his ego... water under the bridge.

thanks for your prior post also.

Like I said in a previous post, my runway isn't the best and it has it's sweet spots that I like to get off the ground in, so chances are, with a little too much elevator and a dumbthumb on my rudder I cantake full responsibility for my cartwheels.

Ski's have been installed, abeer has been consumed, and Ihave taxied around the field in the dark. All is good.
My camera is on the outs Or I would love to post some pics of my hanger.

By the way my cub is a H-9 E-flight 25. It's around 65" wing span Ibelieve.
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:18 PM
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Default RE: cub ground roll


ORIGINAL: lernin2fly

Ski's have been installed, a beer has been consumed, and I have taxied around the field in the dark. All is good.
My camera is on the outs Or I would love to post some pics of my hanger.

By the way my cub is a H-9 E-flight 25. It's around 65'' wing span I believe.

chuckle.....

Sounds like me. gotta test and the best time is in the dark and right after installation, two events that usually coincide. Why in the dark? So what you see happening won't convince you not to fly the sucker.

As for the camera, since it's night now, just post some black squares and say they're pictures of the test run you just made on your newly installed skis. That's what I'd do.
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:40 PM
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Default RE: cub ground roll


ORIGINAL: Rodney

Wheel alignment can be a problem. Be sure to have a bit of toe-in on the gear. Exponential on the rudder also helps as it is easy to over control if you get to much rudder input. Cubs seem to have a liking for a slightly more nose heavy CG than many planes, try about with CG at about 25% chord until you get used to flying it. I strongly disagree with moving the the main gear forward as that will make landing very difficult with lots of bouncing with the resultant wing tip damage. You want the axle just ahead of the CG when the plane is in level attitude.
This is great advise. Moving the CG forward gets it closer to the mains and will make the tendency to swap ends more managable. Moving the gear forward in addition to causing the bounces also moves them farther forward of the CG making the ground loop problem worse. Remember the CG wants to be ahead of the center of drag. In the air that center is far aft of the CG due to the large tail surfaces, on the ground it is at the wheels. The farther the CG is aft of the wheels the greater the tendancy to swap ends.
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:49 PM
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Default RE: cub ground roll

Once you get the coordination between throttle/rudder/elevator down you'll do fine. Just a matter of practice and learning your particular aircraft is all. I used to have a Goldberg Cub that was a real bear until I got the coordination down pat. After that it was smooth as silk. One piece of advice - if you're able to do it safely standing behind your aircraft while it's rolling for takeoff will allow you a very good view of what it's doing. It will really help you develop the rudder coordination as you add power. Soon enough it will become second nature and you'll be able to take off from any orientation.
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:02 PM
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Default RE: cub ground roll

Something that might help you understand why the need for rudder, and why the amount needed changes during the ground roll, is understanding P-Factor. The nose high stance of the A/C contributes to the problem. At the initial throttle up the propeller is pulling straight forward on an aircraft with no right thrust. As the A/C starts to move the relative wind hits the propeller at an angle, causing the downward turning blade to have a greater pitch in relation to the relative wind. This causes the right side (on props that turn clockwise from the cockpit) to pull harder then the left. As speed increases the pull gets stronger until you are able to raise the nose and reduce the angle that the relative wind is hitting the prop, therefore when the tail comes up you will need far less rudder. This is the point that most people over control. Rt thrust will alleviate some of the left turning problems, but still will not eliminate them. excessive rt thrust will just make it worse causing it to shift from pulling rt then left and back to rtPractice is key, but understanding the basics of why it is happening will make it a shorter learning curve.
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:12 PM
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Default RE: cub ground roll

ORIGINAL: cfircav8r

...........Remember the CG wants to be ahead of the center of drag. In the air that center is far aft of the CG due to the large tail surfaces, on the ground it is at the wheels. The farther the CG is aft of the wheels the greater the tendancy to swap ends.
Lerning2fly,

See the attached schematic that supports the previous post.

The taller the grass, the higher the drag force on the main wheels, the stronger the tendency of the CG (and rest of the plane aft of it) to relocate itself forward, either with a swing around (ground loop) or a flip over.

While the take-off run lasts, you are trying to counteract that tendency with the rudder, just like when you try to balance a vertical stick on the palm of your hand (which CG tries to relocate below your hand).

You have three destabilizing forces working against you:
1) Any cross wind.
2) The bumps and grass hiting each main wheel at different times.
3) The several forces created by the propeller (inducing a left yaw mainly). The bigger and heavier the worst, as well as the less gradual acceleration.

Best luck in your future take-off's
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:16 PM
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Default RE: cub ground roll


ORIGINAL: lernin2fly


ORIGINAL: Shane18

It's called a dumbthumb. You try to lift it up before it's ready... BAM! Any plane will do that. Duh. Let the darn thing gain some speed first.

Good luck


Thanks for the expert advise... sounded just like my 7 yr old last time I burnt it into the ground.

If my screen name doesn't fill you in on my abilities... let me explain it to you.. . I... Am... Learning... to ... Fly.

Hence the original question.

Anyways thanks for making me rub off more letters on my keyboard just so you could boost your ego.

All I say is true. You obviously have no idea what a dumbthumb is... Your kid is smart too, I see. Boost my ego? Lmao.
Your welcome.

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Old 12-14-2010, 01:49 AM
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Default RE: cub ground roll

This thread has great and timely info that every level of experience benefits to review often.   While its true that most of our problems will be avoided if we let the plane get to flying speed before take-off, I think you've stumbled onto something way beyond taildragger this and taildragger that, something I like to refer to as "The MIsleading Innocent Appearance of the Spiraling Deathtrap Piper J3 Cub!!"[X(]

Cubs are unique and wonderful and a little bit unforgiving in a few scenarios, for this reason I try to keep one in our stable as every flight is a lesson in flight manners..-bad manners and you would crash.
 the first bit of etiquette already mentioned:  get to flight speed before takeoff and use low rates during takoff.   But if you think you're in the clear because you got your cub off the ground you are gravely mistaken![X(] because now the 'innocent' and 'misleading' traits come into play:  A cub flys so slow and majestically that you think on a slow low pass you can keep slowing it down, yeah, it will just crawl by, and my H9 cub and my 1/4 cub do just that, but when its time to throttle up at end of said slow pass that cub is gonna need time... too fast a throttle up and you will be spinning into the ground.  Once it starts that spiral into the ground you're just hanging on for the crash if you're low, if you're high no prob because cubs recover from the spin after just one spiral of nose-down... but we were doing a low and slow pass so basically we just crashed.  A GENTLE ACCELERATION and/or GENTLE CLIMB OUT is even more important when re-accelerating after a slow-low pass than at take-off.  Know this, it's what separates the Jedi's from the jawa's.
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