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Skymaster F18 Superhornet off grass

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Old 12-09-2011, 10:42 AM
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JohnMac
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Default Skymaster F18 Superhornet off grass

Hi Guys,
I have had this model for several years now and I have only ever flown it from a hard runway. Now I have decided to sell it due to the number of other projects, and a severe lack of space. I have a potential buyer but he only has a grass runway and I am unsure if the model will be suitable for this surface. I would not want to sell it and then the guy have a problem with it. He has about 200 yards, which I think would be enough, so long as the grass is short. So what do you guys think? Is it OK off grass or does it need tarmac?
Thanks in advance
John
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Old 12-09-2011, 10:52 AM
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Default RE: Skymaster F18 Superhornet off grass

it would need to be smooth with the small nose wheels, but doable, maybe not worth it though.
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Old 12-09-2011, 10:56 AM
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Tom Antlfinger
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Default RE: Skymaster F18 Superhornet off grass

Hi John:

About 10 of us fly jets off our neatly trimmed grass field for the last 10 years. We routinely fly anything but F-18.

The problem is the relationship between the inlet and the tandem nose gear. The position of the two is a perfect vacuum cleaner effect, sucking any loose grass into the turbine. The F-18 config is the only one that gives us any problem.

One of our guys a couple of years ago tried it with a SM F-18 and lost it on initial climb due to power failure. Post crash inspection revealed damp and dry grass packed against the FOD screen cutting all air off to the turbine. Since then, a couple of guys have gotten away with flights at our field but that was after the grass was cut short, swept, and in mid summer when the grass is very dry.....even then, there was a modest amount of grass in the bypass and stuck to the FOD screen.

Bottom line......depending upon the type of grass, length, and moisture state, F-18 on grass can be risky...

Tom

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Old 12-09-2011, 11:10 AM
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Default RE: Skymaster F18 Superhornet off grass

I would say it is flyable there, as long it has a FOD screen and the wingtips missile rails removed.
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Old 12-09-2011, 02:43 PM
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Erik R
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Default RE: Skymaster F18 Superhornet off grass

Hi,

I have flown the skymaster F-18F in my gallery off our club
Grass field repeatedly,with no issues. It is short,and rolled
twice a year. The field is the one we hold the Hamburg jet
jamboree at. Good luck,

Erik
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:05 PM
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Default RE: Skymaster F18 Superhornet off grass

A guy used to fly one (earlier version, not super) from my club off grass & my advice would be to make sure the runway
has no bumps or dips. Club field is a 400 ft smooth grass strip but has a dip in the middle.

Several times his model hit 'the dip' resulting in it becoming airborne early & while it had enough airspeed to fly it was
too slow for the roll control (tailerons on these?) to be effective.

Not a nice feeling with the model veering right having full left aileron & waiting for the speed to build up so the ailerons
'bite' & swing it round. [X(] - John.
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:52 PM
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Default RE: Skymaster F18 Superhornet off grass

I make super Hornet to fly well in pic
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Old 12-09-2011, 06:46 PM
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Default RE: Skymaster F18 Superhornet off grass

I fly mine off grass without any problems. As Tom said, cut grass can be an issue but a high speed taxi and a check of the FOD screen will soon tell.
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Old 12-10-2011, 01:41 AM
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Default RE: Skymaster F18 Superhornet off grass

HI Guys,
Thanks for the words of wisdom. Tom, I had not thought about it sucking in grass but I see now this will be a problem.
Boomerang, yes I can imagine a pre-launch being a big problem with the F-18. When it flies too slow aileron control gets "switched off".
Better to decline this sale I think.
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Old 12-10-2011, 07:16 AM
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Tom Antlfinger
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Default RE: Skymaster F18 Superhornet off grass

From the experience of others who have posted successful grass flights, it seems that if you limit your flights to the right grass conditions, i.e. short, dry, and not recently cut with lots of losse shards of grass still hanging around, the risk is probably minimal, but something to be aware of.

As I recall, all of our mishaps and near mishaps were early morning sorties with dew. We usuall cut our grass on Friday and these occurred on the weekend, so probably the worst case scenario for those events.

As far as runway length, the SM F-18's with 34-36 lbs like Titan or Rhino all come off nicely in 350-400 ft so a 200 yd field, as long as it is smooth with short-cut grass, should not be a problem.

Tom
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