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Landing technique for faster airplanes

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Old 05-19-2003, 02:56 AM
  #1  
David_Moen
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Default Landing technique for faster airplanes

Hello all.

I've recently graduated from my trainer to my Ultra Sport 40+. So far the flying part of things is going well. The plane is fast, responsive, and capable of much more than I am.

My big problem is landings. I have been able to land my Eagle II very nicely for quite some time. I can bring it in nice and easy, and I'm sure that if there were little passengers on the thing they wouldn't even be spilling their drinks. I come in at idle and just let it settle onto the ground, usually end up at full up elevator by touch down.

My US40+ is another story. It was coming in way to fast for my liking with a 10x7 prop on it, so I switched to a 11x6 (OS 46 by the way) this slowed down approaches alt, giving me some time to think, but it seems that I am all over the place on approach. I get down to about 2 feet from the ground and it seems to drop out of the air. After about 16 flights, I still haven't been able to "grease" one yet.

How should I expect to adjust my technique to get this thing on the ground a bit more gracefully?
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Old 05-19-2003, 08:59 AM
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Default Landing technique for faster airplanes

sounds like your trying to come in too slow, you can start lower and have a flatter flaster glideslope, or use a bit of throttle to maintain height and up elevator to slow the plane.
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Old 05-19-2003, 03:50 PM
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Default Landing technique for faster airplanes

Is it possible that you don't have enough elevator throw? Or perhaps the idle is too high?

If possible, I would get an experienced pilot to land the plane for you once. They might see one of the above, or if it's not the plane, then you'll get an idea of what the approach should look like. Very experienced pilots appear to fly the plane right down to the ground, rather than just cut to idle and let it settle by itself. It sounds like what you need to do is get it to the "drop out of the air" point a couple of feet lower to the ground. That's just a matter of timing and experience, but practice alone may not help if you don't know what you're trying to get to.
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Old 05-19-2003, 04:01 PM
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Default Landing technique for faster airplanes

It sounds to me like it could use a little tail weight. Nose heavy planes tend to land hot.
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Old 05-20-2003, 01:05 AM
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SDR-Hammer
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Default Landing technique for faster airplanes

Remember it has to come in faster than your Eagle to keep the wings generating lift. That drop from two feet is a stall.

Just have to get used to it coming in faster. Try flaring later, with the plane closer to the ground, and not nearly elevator input as much as your trainer. You want the stall to happen with the wheels on the ground.
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Old 05-20-2003, 03:40 AM
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Default Landing technique for faster airplanes

David,
All the comments you have received so far have merit. Pinball hit it on the nose. There are lots of guys right there in Salmon Arm that can help you and once you have seen it done a time or two and have input from one of these guys, you'll get the hang of it. It just takes a bit more experience. Don't be too hard on yourself, heck an Eagle two will land itself if you let it. If you have trouble getting help for some reason, e-mail me, I'm not that far from you.
Good luck.
Steve
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Old 05-20-2003, 03:52 AM
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David_Moen
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Default Landing technique for faster airplanes

Where are you at Steve? I will get some of the ol' fellers to give me some more tips. I was ony able to get out to the field one day this weekend and everyone was busy getting a couple of BIG Cubs off the ground for the first time so I didn't want to bug them. If we ever get some decent weather in the evenings, I'll scoot out to the field after work and practice some.
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Old 05-20-2003, 03:57 AM
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Default Landing technique for faster airplanes

David,
I'm in Logan Lake. My home club is High Country Flyers. We fly at Morrison Ranch field. We can get together if neccessary.
Steve
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Old 05-20-2003, 01:53 PM
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Default Landing technique for faster airplanes

David,

Switching props can give you more effective braking, but it can't reduce your stall speed. You either fly it all the way to the ground, keeping well above the stall speed, or you reduce the stall speed. This would mean adding effective flaps, which you may not want to do to your brand-new plane.

Good luck,

banktoturn
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Old 05-20-2003, 02:00 PM
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Default Landing technique for faster airplanes

a sugestion to you getting used to the high speed landings, when i was leaning to cope with em i used to keep practicing high speed low passes and then when i got that i moved onto touch and goes..

it gets you used to the speed at low alt and without the panic of nowing (I HAVE TO PUT THIS CRATE ON THE DECK!)

helped me loads, but you realy do need to fly it on to the runway

good luck
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Old 05-22-2003, 10:49 PM
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Default Landing technique for faster airplanes

Flying the plane right to the ground at a decent speed, like Pinball and Mustang Man says, works well for me. My worst (bouncy) landings happen when I try to get the plane to flair.

What works best for me with the faster planes is to just bring it down at a decent glideslope with a couple clicks of throttle (good approach as Pinball says), set the wheels down, then chop throttle and let go of the elevator to let it roll out. Once the wheels touch down, it should slow down quickly. Letting go of the up-elevator should plant the wheels so it doesn't lift off again. It takes some practice.

BTW: I don't rank as one of the "very experienced pilots." I just spent a couple afternoons trying various landing techniques and this one worked well consistently.

Nice job on the US+
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Old 05-22-2003, 11:37 PM
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David_Moen
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Default Landing technique for faster airplanes

Thanks all for your help...I may try to zip out to the field tonight to see if I can get this worked out!
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Old 05-26-2003, 01:06 AM
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David_Moen
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Default Landing technique for faster airplanes

Works much better with a bit more speed...I can still come in at idle, I just make the decent steeper. Much smoother and more controlled than the near-stall flailing I was doing. Next I'm going to move the CG aft a bit to improve landings as well as over-all handling.
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Old 05-26-2003, 02:52 AM
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Default Landing technique for faster airplanes

It sounds crazy and it looks odd in a model but try and land it like a full-size plane. Use the throttle for altitude. You basically lift the nose and add a lttle power. You can now control the descent rate just by the throttle. It looks cool and makes landings a whole lot easier.

A good way to practice this is by flying slow. Make slow nose high passes but control you altitude by throttle only to get a hang of it first before actually trying to land. Try this on your trainer first just to be safe.

Like someone else said you have to fly it all the way to the ground. Your US+ won't land itself like a trainer will. Just practice and take it easy.
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Old 05-26-2003, 11:22 AM
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Ed Smith
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Default Landing technique for faster airplanes

Cdallas2 has it right.

Use your throttle to control the altitude and the elevator to control the landing speed

The following is somewhat over simplified but it shows what I mean.
If you were to cut the engine the airplane will eventually hit the ground. This proves that it is the engine that is keeping the airplane up in the air. If you apply fulll down elevator the airplane will descend very quickly thus proving that it is the elevator that controls the downward speed.

Apply the above to your landing technique you will be surprised at the results.

Ed S
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Old 05-26-2003, 01:07 PM
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Default Landing technique for faster airplanes

Speaking about landing using the same techniques as a full size (nose up trim, descent controlled w/throttle) does anyone use the elevator trim to do this on their model before landing?

My thumb gets tired holding up elevator....

Just curious...

Si.
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Old 05-26-2003, 05:02 PM
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Default Landing technique for faster airplanes

dont use the trim!
the back pressure reminds you what your doing and helps the falre to be smooth, same reason i like a plane that needs forwards stick when inverted
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Old 05-26-2003, 05:33 PM
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Default Landing technique for faster airplanes

Thanks Phillybaby....

thumbs it is...
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Old 05-26-2003, 05:55 PM
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Default Landing technique for faster airplanes

just letting go of the main stick and trimming is hard.
i do lots of low passes, i set the plane to slightly dive, therefore to fly low i hold on back pressure, for some reason the spring tention makes this much easier than using the stick around netural.
your thumb should be fine, you only do this on landing
enjoy
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Old 05-26-2003, 06:58 PM
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Default Ultra Sport Landing

The Ultra Sports I have owned and flown were not fast landing airplanes. They were faster than a trainer, but not for a sport plane. They do tend to be hard to slow down and can go sailing past you at 3 or 4 feet until you learn how to make a larger pattern and give them time to slow to a good final approach speed.

I realize you may not be doing this, but if your plane is falling out of the air at 2 feet you are rulling out of lift or control. If it's control, you are probably nose heavy. If it's lift, you are doing something wrong because an Ultra Sport should be able to 3-point with a tail wheel or grease in a tri-gear nearly every time.

Now having seen you land, I can't say for sure, but if your plane is dropping in, I suspect you are landing like many people do with a trainer. That is, you are flaring too high and getting into a high sink rate condition.

I have seen numerous beginners flying trainers get the nose up on final 20, 30, 50 feet in the air and the plane sinks safely to the ground. This is due to a light wing loading and the rectangular wing on a trainer.

Here are a couple of things you can do to check.

If you are seeing the bottom of your US40, you probably have the nose too high. With low wing planes, when you are on final approach, look at the wing and stab. Play the elevator to put the stab just above the wing, a small gap. This is an approximate attitude for a good final.

Also, have a couple of your buddies stand off behind you and tell them to watch your approach and check if you are flying nose high on final.

Let one of the local test pilots or experts fly the plane. He can tell you if it is nose heavy or not.
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Old 05-27-2003, 04:25 AM
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Default Landing technique for faster airplanes

Can you set it up for flapperons? If so, try it.
Also try a long approach and get yourself nose high without climbing, then fly it to the runway.
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Old 05-27-2003, 05:02 AM
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David_Moen
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Default Landing technique for faster airplanes

I thought I had flaperons set up, but I had them going up instead of down (spoilerons?). It sure did increase the sink rate! I'll get that fixed up and try again next time out. Because this is my first low wing plane, I have the CG right smack dab in the middle of the reccomended range. I'm going to move it back a bit, I think, based on how the plane flies, that this will make a big difference too.
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Old 05-27-2003, 04:08 PM
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Default Landing technique for faster airplanes

I added flaps to all of my original Ultra Sports, and with a slight head wind, you can literally walk along side them. I can't even deploy them fully, or else the plane will never land.
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Old 08-26-2003, 09:36 AM
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Default Try cross control

On turning final,had a little and I mean little bit of rudder opposit of wind and then ailerons opposit of rudder. then add even aileron and opposit rudder to slow the plane down, besure youmay need to give some down elevator and acually some throttle to control the decent rate. This works wonders on RC and real planes. There is one down side, if you don't give down elev. or even some power you may go into a cross control stall, NOT GOOD, so don't let that scare you just keep the nose down and throttle under control and just as you are 1 foot straiten out (neutralize smoothly and she will land)
Good luck
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Old 08-26-2003, 01:24 PM
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Default Landing technique for faster airplanes

I wouldn't try to side slip an ultrasport on final.
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