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Flying from Snow

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Old 12-29-2010, 08:17 PM
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thebest_102
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Default Flying from Snow

I just recently attemted to take off and land during a snow day from skis. It went as well as any other take-off and landing I have tried. I could not really tell a difference in using skis or wheels. I used a GP Escapade and only skis on the main gear. I was a bit concerned about the ground handling but it was just as easy as before. So I can see a lot more snow flying in my future now to try floats man tiping a plane in water will be a heart breaker. Maybe this summer i can attemt water flying.
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Old 12-30-2010, 03:20 AM
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Default RE: Flying from Snow


Quote:
ORIGINAL: thebest_102

I just recently attemted to take off and land during a snow day from skis. It went as well as any other take-off and landing I have tried. I could not really tell a difference in using skis or wheels. I used a GP Escapade and only skis on the main gear. I was a bit concerned about the ground handling but it was just as easy as before. So I can see a lot more snow flying in my future now to try floats man tiping a plane in water will be a heart breaker. Maybe this summer i can attemt water flying.
I have never tried snow or water, but I am hoping to try water since I have a nice pond at my home that I can take off from. Should be a blast, but I am like you when I think about tipping over.

Snow around here is always a hit and miss thing with ice or usually so messy it is like slop. This last snow was extremely cold and was so windy it was drifting in my area. I still think snow flying would be fun and hope to at least have some skiis and prepare for it one day.
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Old 12-30-2010, 03:22 AM
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Default RE: Flying from Snow

Did you have to do anything different with engine starting and how did your batteries do?
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Old 12-30-2010, 04:45 AM
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Default RE: Flying from Snow

The engines take a bit more time to start but that is because of the cold. I may take a heat gun/hairdyer out next cold day and see if warming the engine helps it start faster. once started the engine was fine. The batteries seem hold up well. I have not seen any noticible voltage drops but then I also am not staying at the feild near as long as I was in sept. or in hawaii. In the winter the limmited daylight, my cold intolerance, and the fact that it is lonely by myself tend to have me in and out of the field pretty quick. I also fly a parkzone t-28 but it does not have skis just yet (ordered). Ihave flown it in the colder weather 30's but no snow and the lipo's held up just as well as they did in slightly warmer weather. Just be aware that it is harder to start and restart the engine in the colder times. Don't get excited as I did the first time I tried to start in colder temps and think the engine is completly mistuned. It just take a lot of attemts to get things running and once they warm up thats when you look at the tuning.
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Old 12-30-2010, 06:35 AM
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Default RE: Flying from Snow

You need open the needle valve some when it's cold. Cold air is denser, which means your summer setting will give you too lean a mixture.
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Old 12-30-2010, 06:42 AM
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ORIGINAL: Top_Gunn

You need open the needle valve some when it's cold. Cold air is denser, which means your summer setting will give you too lean a mixture.
Top Gunn has it right with the needle valve, especially on a 4- stroke. Not only does the cold air increase the density, the snow increases humidity so you need more fuel per quantity of air. Try opening it a good 1/2 full turn, start her up then readjust as you would normally. Warming the fuel, hair dryers etc. can all work but too mush of a hassle.
Welcome to snow flying and get yourself ready for float flying and you won't regret it.

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all.

Augie
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Old 12-30-2010, 07:46 AM
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Default RE: Flying from Snow

I was opening the high side needle as the weather got colder and colder. I was not thinking of the fuels temp but maybe I should and I could prolly leav it in the cab of the truck to keep it warmer then fuel and fly I was thinkin of using the heat gun to warm up the head of the engine a bit. I saw a video of a guy using a butane torch to heat his head. I do not like that idea as open flame near a fuel seems like not so bright an idea but the hair dryer (Actual hair dryer not a covering or hobby heat gun) with a much lower temp 100 degrees and no open flame seemed to be a good alternative. The guy using the butane torch also started his plane inside his car so the intelligence seems to be a bit on the light side there.
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Old 12-30-2010, 02:26 PM
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Default RE: Flying from Snow

I spent all my life in N.E. Ohio (before moving to N.C.) & have flown every winter since 1980. I bring a small bottle on Zippo, or Ronson lighter fluid with me. Just a small squirt in the carb & a few prop flips to get it into the engine, attach glow starter & start as normal. No warming of this, or heating of that. Let the engine run & warm up a minute or so before going full throttle. I have flown on new years in -8 degrees. & engines still fire up right away with lighter fluid. Fingers do not work all that good at -8, but engines do. As said by others, set the needles for the temps of that day & you'll be good to go.
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Old 12-30-2010, 02:51 PM
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Default RE: Flying from Snow


Quote:
ORIGINAL: MILDBILL-RCU

I spent all my life in N.E. Ohio (before moving to N.C.) & have flown every winter since 1980. I bring a small bottle on Zippo, or Ronson lighter fluid with me. Just a small squirt in the carb & a few prop flips to get it into the engine, attach glow starter & start as normal. No warming of this, or heating of that. Let the engine run & warm up a minute or so before going full throttle. I have flown on new years in -8 degrees. & engines still fire up right away with lighter fluid. Fingers do not work all that good at -8, but engines do. As said by others, set the needles for the temps of that day & you'll be good to go.
Good information. Makes total sense. I don't get out as much as I used to in the cold. When it gets down below 40 I just don't enjoy it as much.

I do usually do a New Year's day Funfly at our club and that can be torture at times if we have bad weather. This years looks like the temps here will be really nice. Should be a lot of fun.
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Old 12-30-2010, 07:39 PM
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Default RE: Flying from Snow

I forgot about the lighter fluid. Thanks for reminding me. I started flyin in Hawaii so I never has this problem till this year. Iam in the same boat luchnia. I am really looking foreward to this weekend my club is also having a new years frigid digit funfly on Sat. Its a joke this year as it will most likely be 50-60 degrees.
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Old 12-31-2010, 04:34 PM
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Default RE: Flying from Snow

I was flying my Escapade off Ice yesterday - much different than snow. I used the stock wheels, which were fine.
Just note that it will accelerate at a rediculous rate if the ice is glassy, with no snow on it. This sounds good, but it isn't.
I found that at idle, after releasing the model, it reached takeoff speed in about 5 seconds.

I had intended on taking the model out to the far side of the lake to turn into the wind, but that never happened. I ended up taking off as I couldn't slow it down for the turn, even at idle.

It was a great day, though. Almost no wind, which was probably a good thing considering my downwind takeoff.

Landing was an issue, however. Both my first attempts ended up using the lake up quickly, so I climbed and hit the throttle cut for a deadstick, which worked well. The Escapade still used about twice the stopping distance than the usual grass.

Great day, though!
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Old 12-31-2010, 06:49 PM
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Default RE: Flying from Snow

Wow I do not think I would have taken off like that. I am not as certain of my skills. I have flown the wheels off of grass and asphalt. My take offs are much faster on asphalt. Also in the grass I remove the wheel pants. Iwasn't doing this not for the drag reduction but my own laziness in not liking to clean dead grass from them. One field would completely pack the pants full of dead grass. Ido not think i would like flying off ice. I do not think I would have good control on ice. The snow was no big deal the ground handling was amost identicle.
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:54 PM
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Default RE: Flying from Snow

Nice pic of the Escapade- that is my plane of choice for the winter, with the Du-Bro skis. I bought another set of 5/32" axles for the skis, so I just remove the two axle nuts and bolt on another set, one with wheels and pants, the other skis.

I filed a generous flat on the axle where the long setscrew for the ski spring goes, and use loctite, as it has a tendency to loosen at the worst possible time.

Other than that, snow flying is pretty much the same, as long as you can warm your fingers every few flights!!!
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:48 PM
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Default RE: Flying from Snow

Mildbill has it right, lighter fluid helps a bunch, about two mins. warm-up and about two clicks richer on my Mag. 91 FS @ +7 and good to go! Powder snow requires big ski's or floats (floats really are the best).
Our club had about 20 out for the first of the year, had a blast with a big fire and lots of sun............it was cold but no wind!
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Old 02-20-2011, 07:11 AM
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Default RE: Flying from Snow

Doesn't it take alot more power with the ski's, I've got a little parkflyer, a tigermoth 400 on ski's I'm having to fly in the upper power band with the ski's vs with wheels
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