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Flight times?

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Old 03-17-2011, 09:19 AM
  #1
jag215
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Default Flight times?

Hello everyone, I've got a few 40 size trainers and a 40 size stick that I fly regularly and I notice that I fly for a while and feel like I should start getting ready to land. After landing I go to refuel for another flight and my fuel tank is at least still half full if not more. I bought a stop watch to monitor my flight time. My question? What is a good realistic flight time for a 40 size plane, running around at half to three fourths throttle and still have enough fuel to land? Thanks jag
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:27 AM
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Default RE: Flight times?

Hi,
It depends of the size of your tank.
I've got an Hobbistar 60 (with an OS 61FX) that I can fly for 20 minutes.
I'm pretty sure you can fly yours for at least 15mn, but be carefull to the dead stick.
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:39 AM
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Default RE: Flight times?

with my 40's I tend to set a 10 minute timer.. like others said I could probably get to 20 mins but 10 mins just feels long enough for me.
When I fly longer I get bored, get sloppy and I get mentally tired... so its easier to do lots of short flights.

Just be happy that you land with lots to spare and it something you will not need to worry about!
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:49 AM
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Jetdesign
 
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Default RE: Flight times?

I was at 10-12min flight with my .40's. (12min on .46 and maybe 9min with .55). Used whatever stock tank came with the plane - 8oz?
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:54 AM
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Default RE: Flight times?

Yep, 10 minutes seems to be the norm. Trainers are another story and as mentioned, tank size is the key factor. My planes are all stunt planes and I figure out my flight time as about one ounce of fuel per minute but with a 10 minute flight time I always have fuel in the tank when I land. Stunt planes are flown at half throttle about half the time and full throttle the other half. Like CEE I tend to have a drifting mind after about 10 minutes. During that 10 minute flight it's full concentration so I tend to burn out toward the end of the flight.
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:55 AM
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Default RE: Flight times?

For me 10 min. is plenty but that's up to you. Most new TX's have timer built in so will alert you when your set time is up. Seems many folks are afraid of d ead stick landings. Actually they are no more difficult,( maybe even less) than landing with power. Problem is that you may not make it back to runway. As well as can not go around again if misjudged.Hey this is part of what makes airplanes lot more interesting then cars, (trucks).
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:52 AM
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Default RE: Flight times?

For me it also depends on the kind of plane I am flying. If it is a higher performance plane like something aerobatic or a warbird, 10 minutes is plenty. Beyond that I notice that I start making more mistakes. Soemthing a little slower and more tame is a different story though. Imight throttle back and just float around for 15-20 minutes.
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Old 03-17-2011, 11:07 AM
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Default RE: Flight times?

How long is a piece of string?


I always set my flight timer for multiples of 6 minutes.

That's because I log my flights and 6 minutes equals one-tenth of an hour ... so, when it comes to add-up-time, it's easy.

Mostly, I fly for just 12 minutes per flight (0.2 hours)
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Old 03-17-2011, 11:14 AM
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Default RE: Flight times?

Quote:
with my 40's I tend to set a 10 minute timer.. like others said I could probably get to 20 mins but 10 mins just feels long enough for me.
When I fly longer I get bored, get sloppy and I get mentally tired... so its easier to do lots of short flights.
I totally agree with you. I also get bored after 10-12 minutes and soon I'm failing to hold my attention...
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Old 03-17-2011, 11:29 AM
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Default RE: Flight times?

Ten minutes is a good starting point. I use a watch with a stopwatch setting. It's useful for training, too, because newbies may tend to get a little punchy if they stay up too long. And if you've been getting 10-minute flights with no problems and you start running dry sooner, that's a good early warning about the state of your engine or fuel system.
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Old 03-18-2011, 05:32 PM
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Default RE: Flight times?

My Avistar with a 46FX will drain its 9.1oz tank in 12 minuets at full throttle. At 1/3 throttle "cruise" it will fly for an additional 20 minutes.
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Old 03-18-2011, 06:21 PM
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Default RE: Flight times?

Quote:
ORIGINAL: jag215
I notice that I fly for a while and feel like I should start getting ready to land. After landing I go to refuel for another flight and my fuel tank is at least still half full if not more.

Jag I beleve if you took a sampling of ten pilots both newer fellows and those well seasoned, set them all loose individually at different times with the same genaric trainer and disallowing any timers or watchs, then simply asked each to land after He/her felt they had been airborn for ten minutes, that the answer would indeed be interesting.

I beleve most if not all would underfly the ten minutes considerably.

Fatique under the stress of flying is considerable, everyone is effected regardless of experiance. In the training environment You can see it time and time agine when the folks that constantly insist on long flights to hasten the training finds that ultimately that actually slows the process and the learning stops far earliar than most would beleve.

Perhaps the first two minutes of each flight will be in effect be a warmup period with you not at peak for those first important few moments then for about the next four, that is the prime time at your peak and from there it is all down hill rapidly.

So Jag what your internal clock is trying to signal to you those times you thought you were up longer is not really a possible low fuel situation but simply that your body is signalling that you have past that prime period and its all down hill from here. A good signal to listen to by my reckoning more important than any timer.

John

Sorry just some thoughts
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:19 AM
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Default RE: Flight times?

Good thoughts John. I have my timer set at 12 minutes on some of my planes but it almost never goes off. If it does I'm usually on the ground when it happens. If I look at my timer after I land it is usually about 9 to 10 minutes so figure flight time is about 8 or 9 if I take in the time it takes to bring the plane in close to the pit area. This isn't etched in stone though but it is what I see most of the time. If the wind comes up and I'm having fun my radio starts beeping at me. There is a big difference between me flying a plane and me just having fun. Having fun is when I'm not in full concentration, it's me hitting the switch for flaperons and flying back-wards and doing tight little loops and stuff, watching my plane get kicked around in the wind. Not a lot of thought goes into fun flying so I'm totally relaxed. I can't recall the last time I drained my fuel tank though, close but not empty.
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Old 03-19-2011, 04:47 PM
  #14
jag215
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Default RE: Flight times?

Thanks for some good replies. I confirmed my own beliefs after 2 flights yesterday with my trusty old sig LT-40. With my new timer running I flew for around 6 min. each flight. I agree with the fatigue factor mentioned. I discovered over the years of flying my worst flight is always the last one of the day. I tend to get real sloppy. Now when I go to the club field and I plan on 3-4 flights, I stop after 2-3 flights and I have had much better days at the field.
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Old 03-20-2011, 12:38 AM
  #15
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Default RE: Flight times?

Know the duration available. Know the deadstick performance. Know your risk with regard to the airframe.

I had a small Yak with a big cowl the gained the relative flight characteristics of an anvil when deadstick. I tried to be very conservative with it's flight times. My Calmato Sport flew almost as well without the engine as it did with. Very good glide ratio. I did not mind pushing the envelope with it. Often ran it dry on the last flight of the day, just to save defueling.

The bottom line is if you are bored with the flight (or tied of the stress) before you get to the limit, bring it in.

Have fun!

Bedford
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Old 03-20-2011, 02:44 AM
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Default RE: Flight times?

Most of the guy where I fly seem to fly about 8 min. I seem to fly about 12-15 with my more "sporty" type planes that I push my limits with.

But sometimes I sit down and fly a trainer for 25min till the tank is dry and land it dead stick. I rarely land my high wing planes with the engine running.

The longest I have flown, again I was sitting down most of the time, was 40 min. I was playing with the crow and flaps on my US Lite doing super slow touch n goes in the wind. Man I was having fun that day! I also was timing how long I could get out of a 24oz tank flying mostly 1/2-2/3 throttle.
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