the spring and summer seasons in Houston are relatively
calm, albeit hot, and perfect for flying. However this last
season was day after day of windy conditions which did not
make for great conditions shoot video of the Maiden of the
Stryker. The Stryker however does not really care about
the wind as it cuts through it effortlessly and in my opinion
is actually even more fun to fly in slightly windy conditions
due to the higher speeds that can be achieved with a good
tail wind and the ability to perform inverted stationary
the photo shoot, we headed out to Scobee field in Houston
with two Strykers and got them both ready for flight. The
Stryker is very easy to launch in to the wind. I prefer
to apply about quarter throttle and give it a firm toss
in to the wind and lay on the power after it clears my hand.
The F-27Qs increased torque from the outrunner motor seems
to want to bank the Stryker sharply to the left when power
is applied abruptly so it is probably best to not
just nail it but to apply throttle gradually on takeoff.
the Stryker was up in the air, a few clicks of trim here
and there were all that was needed to achieve level flight.
Going to full throttle I immediately realized that the new
Stryker is a fairly bit quicker that the C version.
I would even go as far to say it performs close to a stock
C Stryker on 4S. I rolled the Stryker over and noticed
that I had to give a bit of down elevator to maintain level
course the maneuvers that I was very interested in performing
now that I had rudders were the flat spins and knife edge
flight. I setup for a high speed run over the runway and
banked the Stryker hoping to catch it with the rudder but
noticed immediately that the rudder has some roll coupling.
In fact, I was able to do a barrel roll on rudder alone.
I discovered that doing a nice knife edge does not actually
require a lot of rudder but more speed but eventually I
was able to perform an acceptable knife edge pass in both
directions which brought a grin to my face.
up was the flat spin. I tried for a while to get an upright
spin going but just could not manage to do it. The inverted
flat spin on the other hand is fairly easy to enter and
maintain by simply cornering the sticks after a blender
or when stalled at the top of a climb. You can spin fairly
flat down to a comfortable altitude but require a little
bit of recovery room on the bottom as you need to fly out
of the maneuver on the wing. As this was one of the first
couple of F-27Q Strykers in our field, several people came
out to the flight line to watch the flat spins and I could
hear laughs of amazement every time I performed these maneuvers.
high throws on the control surfaces coupled with the rudder
also allow for some nice snaps. It is really fun to start
a climb, perform a snap, come to a stop, then turn around
and fly the other way. I was very temped to try a parachute
but did not want to risk putting the review airplane in
the ground before I had a chance to finish the review. However,
the parachute and elevators (with some slight wing rock
in high alpha) are now among the repartuare of maneuvers
that you can fly with the Stryker.
always like flying inverted harriers with the older generation
of Strykers and the new F-27Q Stryker is no different. I
did not really utilize the rudders during inverted harriers
but felt like I could get slower, lower and higher alpha
harriers with the newer version that I could ever
more I flew the Stryker, I started to realize the new Stryker
is not only faster up top, but that it also allowed me to
fly at slower speeds which essentially translates in to
a wider flight envelope. I did notice a slight rocking or
yaw effect when approaching stall speeds when turning but
when using the rudder to make coordinated turns, this effect
flight times that I observed were less than the advertised
times of 8-12 minutes with my first flight running out of
power at around the 6.5 minute mark which seemed to be consistent
with further flights. During my second flight, I ran out
of power while trying to perform a low harrier pass but
was able to turn the Stryker upright and perform a pancake
landing from about four feet off the deck which did not
do any other damage than nick the prop.
one Stryker is fun, two or more is of course better, so
we handed the camera to a friend and took both the Strykers
up for some formation flying. It is always fun to try and
fly wingtip to wingtip in a slow pattern around the field
which yielded in some nice static photos which can be seen
out the video to see her in action!