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Taming a Tiger (2)

Old 03-12-2005, 11:00 PM
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ScottyO-inactive
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Default Taming a Tiger (2)

Without going into a bunch of detail, which would do more to bore you all than inform you, I'll cut to the nuts and bolts of my question....

My second plane, a Tiger II, seems to be much more prone to tip stalling than I thought it would be. It really dips the nose and one wing quite a bit when it stalls. I have flown (on a buddy box) two other low wing planes that did not tip stall like my tiger does.
It seems to balance out according to the recommended balance point (maybe a smidge nose heavy).
I thought this plane would be a possycat, but for a novice pilot, it feels like this possycat has claws!! Any "not so perfect" landing can result in an ugly belly-flop of sorts. I've done this twice already. One time the left wing tip actually hit the ground, although there was no real damage done, other than to my pride. I am afraid I'll end up having an accident sooner or later.

Do you think there is a problem with the plane, or maybe I made the leap from my trainer too soon?

Thanks in advance for any advice/input.

S.
Old 03-12-2005, 11:16 PM
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RCKen
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Default RE: Taming a Tiger (2)

Please don't think I'm trying to be insensitive or a ***hole, but welcome to the world of flying. Since I don't know how much you let it slow down there isn't anyway to know if you were in the normal performance window for that plane. My guess would be that you were landing it like your first plane (a trainer I assume) and it stalled before you trainer did. Sounds like a normal situation. All of us have to adjust our flying styles to the planes we fly. I don't land my Hog Bipe biplane the same way that I land my Balsa USA Thunderbug. You have to learn to fly the plane. Now that you know what it's going to you know how to fly it to avoid that situation. Get it on the ground before it stalls.

Now, with all that said. There could be something wrong with the plane. Get your instructor, or some of the more experienced pilots at your field, to look over the plane to see if there is anything seriously wrong with it. Check the balance, both CG and lateral balance, check for washout in the wings, check for warped wings. If all that checks out and they don't find anything wrong with it, learn to fly it. If they do find something wrong with it you'll be able to fix it.

Just my .02 cents worth.
Old 03-12-2005, 11:59 PM
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JPMacG
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Default RE: Taming a Tiger (2)

The tiger 2 should be very well behaved. Mine stalls straight ahead with no tendency to fall to one side or the other. It is as easy to land as a trainer - maybe easier. Yours might have a problem. Have it checked by an experienced flyer.
Old 03-13-2005, 12:33 AM
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tonystro
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Default RE: Taming a Tiger (2)

ORIGINAL: ScottyO
--snip-- Any "not so perfect" landing can result in an ugly belly-flop of sorts. I've done this twice already. One time the left wing tip actually hit the ground, although there was no real damage done, other than to my pride. I am afraid I'll end up having an accident sooner or later.
Do you think there is a problem with the plane, or maybe I made the leap from my trainer too soon?
My Tiger 2 seemed to be a puddytat! However, it requires a little more speed during approach and landing than the typical trainers, i.e., Alpha, Nexstar, etc. Do not be too concerned about the slightly higher landing speed as the Tiger 2 will hug the ground almost immediately after the main gear wheels touch.

Your description, 'ugly belly flops', seems to point at getting the plane too slow before it touches down, and it stalls. Also, it could be that its lateral balance (wing tip to wing tip) is off causing the heavy wing to drop at near stall speed. If memory serves me correctly I had to add between 1/4 and 1/2 ounce to the right wing tip of my Tiger. If you can test lateral balance on the ground or flight test it. At safe altitude reduce throttle to idle; slowly reduce the plane's speed by use of 'up' elevator, continue to increase up elevator, until the plane stalls. Neutralize elevator and smoothly add power to recover. If a wingtip drops, and its always the same one, this indicates a slight heaviness toward that side or perhaps a slight twist in incidence between the wingtips.

My typical landing approach would begin with a reduction of power (K&B 40, 10x6 MA prop) to about 1/4 at about the midpoint of downwind leg. Hold level (40 - 45 feet high) until after completing turn to base leg. Reduce throttle to 1 or 2 clicks above full idle and allow the plane to begin shallow descent. Adjust throttle up/back to control the descent, trying to be about 5-6 feet above ground as I roll wings level on final. Add just a touch of back stick to slow the descent, reduce throttle to idle, use aileron to keep wings level and rudder to adjust for left/right drift. A slight more back stick on elevator just inches above the ground, to keep nose wheel from touching first, and 'grease it in.' At least that's the way I always tried to land it, occasionally it was just as I describe.

Unfortunately, after over 150 flights, the Tiger 2 was destroyed when I dumb thumbed and performed a Comma instead of a Split S [:@]
Old 03-13-2005, 07:17 AM
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Default RE: Taming a Tiger (2)

My Tiger 2 lands pretty easily. Although my Twist and U Can Do are actually the easiest to land. The Tiger lands a tad bit faster.
However once on the ground, it slows down quickly (grass field). I have never noticed any wing dropping from stalling.


Dave...
Old 03-13-2005, 07:38 AM
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Default RE: Taming a Tiger (2)

Scotty ... you leapt too soon. Planes like the Tiger 2 and 4* are easy planes to fly for a low wing. Its most possible that you flew too slow. Also, when coming in for landing (on final approach) remember that the THROTTLE controls RATE OF DESCEND and ELEVATOR controls SPEED. Your wing touched the ground because you were too slow (or perhaps there was a cross wind).
Old 03-13-2005, 09:00 AM
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DBCherry
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Default RE: Taming a Tiger (2)

I agree with others. Either you slowed the plane down to much on the approach, or there's wash-in or a warp in the wing.
Dennis-
Old 03-13-2005, 11:43 AM
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Default RE: Taming a Tiger (2)

DB ... don't say that! Now he won't be able to sleep, he will be looking at the wing all night!!!
Old 03-13-2005, 12:00 PM
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Default RE: Taming a Tiger (2)

Tigers should be very easy to fly. They make great second airplanes. I agree with everyone. There may be something wrong with the plane itself. I have the tiger 60 and I swear I should be training folks to fly with it!!
Old 03-13-2005, 12:55 PM
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Default RE: Taming a Tiger (2)

As has been said, it soulds like you are gettng too slow for the airplane. I may be wrong about your problem, but here's what it sounds like to me.

Many people learn to land a trainer incorrectly and you can get away with it if you are flying a very forgiving, high wing trainer. When you transfer the technique to a low wing plane that needs to be a little faster, you run into problems.

It is common, and I see it all the time, for people to raise the nose and get the plane into a semi-stall. If you were flying a 3D plane, you would be in a slight harrier. The plane descends slightly nose up to a landing. Since it is a trainer with tons of lift, you still have a little elevator left to coushion the landing. You get a successful touchdown because the plane is very forgiving. No so with most other planes.

The plane needs to be nose down on final approach. I tell students if they can see the bottom of the plane when they are on final, the nose it too high. When you are looking at the Tiger 2 on final, you should see the stab above the wing. If the stab is hidden, you more than likely have the nose too high.

My technique is head-high-belt high. Keep the plane slightly nose down until you are at 6 feet or about head high. Then add a teensy bit of up to level the fuselage. Look at the stripes down the sides of the Tiger and use the stick to hold them level. When the plane gets to about 3 feet, belt high, put in a little more up to make the stripes slightly nose up. Freeze and the plane will land just fine. Don't stir the stick, don't feel for the runway, just freeze on the stick and let the wing do its thing and settle the plane to the runway.

I have a Tiger 2 ARF which I have modified into a twin with 2 OS .46AX engines. It weighs 9 pounds and still lands very nicely, but slightly fast. I keep the engines at a high idle on final and touchdown. Your light Tiger 2 should touch down very easily. You need to learn the correct landing technique that will work for all planes.
Old 03-13-2005, 06:09 PM
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Default RE: Taming a Tiger (2)

Properly setup a Tiger 2 will most likely never tip stall. I haven't really tried, but most constant cord planes with light wingloadings just drop their nose in a stall. My theroy is that Scotty O is landing the plane way to slow, that and control inputs from landing a making it drop its wing. Just get a nice rate of decent with throttle and elevator and "fly" the plane in.
Old 03-13-2005, 07:50 PM
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Default RE: Taming a Tiger (2)

Thank you all so much for the input and advice!!!
The overwhelming oppinion seems to be that I am landing this plane way too slowly. After thinking about it a while, I'm sure you all are 100% correct. The times that I have "belly flopped" the plane, it was windy, and I was nervous, and I reverted back to the way I landed my trainer. (Which, by the way, was to chop the throttle, slow the plane down to a mere crawl and add just as much 'up' as you darn well please, and FLOAT it in.)

RCKen, I do not think you are any sort of 'hole, and I welcome your advice at any time!! You are right, I need to hitch up my neck strap, and be an R/C pilot. I'll learn to FLY the plane that I am flying, not just go along for the ride! Thank you for the lesson.[8D]

JPMacG/LuckyAP/Chev/twist... I'll have the plane looked over by one of our club instructors, but to the best of my ability, this plane is ballanced! I have, at altitude, played with stalling the plane and it always tips to one side or the other. ???

Tony/tIANci/DBC/ED--- You all are awsome! I took some notes on your 'how to' lessons. I have never taken a lesson from a club instructor, (I learned from a simulator and a friend) but I am wondering if it would be wise for me to sort of swallow my pride a bit and ask an instructor to put me and the Tiger on the buddy box and evaluate me. -- ON A WINDY DAY!!

Thanks again,

S.
Old 03-13-2005, 10:05 PM
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tonystro
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Default RE: Taming a Tiger (2)

I have never taken a lesson from a club instructor, (I learned from a simulator and a friend) but I am wondering if it would be wise for me to sort of swallow my pride a bit and ask an instructor to put me and the Tiger on the buddy box and evaluate me. -- ON A WINDY DAY!!
Scotty,

No need to swallow anything. Sometimes I still get on the buddy box when learning a type of a plane I have not previously flown, i.e. 3D acrobatics. (I still ain't any good at it.)

As long as you stay in the hobby you will know someone who has knowledge or skill you haven't. It has been my experience that the majority would be complimented when asked for assistance! If nothing else, you will get a visual of how the Tiger should look during the approach and landing.

I WAS a self-taught R/C pilot way before buddy boxes, and it was a somewhat costly process. The reason I had to teach myself was that the 'instructors' were still using non-proportional radios (1964), the transmitter had spring-loaded toggle switches and the servos went full-center-full. However, I was able to benefit from their experience in setting up my plane and engine, and more importantly, having good takeoff and landing techniques explained and demonstrated, as well as being shown how to make co-ordinated turns and slipping the plane to lose altitude without gaining airspeed.

No way could I have learned all that I have if I had to acquire it all by my personal experience. If I am any good as an r/c pilot or instructor there are many people to be acknowledged and thanked. And, I did/do regularly!
Old 03-13-2005, 11:31 PM
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Default RE: Taming a Tiger (2)

Thanks, Tony.
I'll be sure to spend some time with one of the club instructors. Sure sounds like it would be time well spent for a rookie like me.
I do, however, feel like an idiot, in that I should have known (or at least figured out) what I was doing wrong--- without the help of someone else. I.E. If I couldn't solve this simple problem, how in the hell will I ever advance into a "good" R/C pilot? []
I guess I'll just keep on trying my best to learn-- despite my ability to be somewhat thick at times!

S.
Old 03-14-2005, 05:00 AM
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Default RE: Taming a Tiger (2)

Scotty ... you are not thick ... just put in the hours and it will show. I used to fly every morning, learning to land and take off over and over again, I must say I land and take off pretty well. But I had to put in the hours. We all have to.
Old 03-14-2005, 07:21 AM
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RCKen
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Default RE: Taming a Tiger (2)

ScottyO,
Don't be hard on yourself. The only difference between yourself and everybody that answered here is practice. You have the same skills that we have, but we have more practice. Take you plane out on a flying morning and do nothing but touch and go for a few tanks of fuel, you'll be suprised at how fast your skills improve
Old 03-14-2005, 08:37 AM
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Default RE: Taming a Tiger (2)

You said the plane may be a little nose heavy....

Add a little tail weight - It will allow you to slow down on landing without stalling
Old 03-14-2005, 11:58 AM
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Default RE: Taming a Tiger (2)

tonystro, After reading the posts I wonder if you checked the lateral balance? Thats where the plane is resting on the tail and you hold the plane by the nose cone and one wing. When you release the wing, see if the plane tips to one side. If it does, that may be a big part of your problem! [8D]
Old 03-14-2005, 01:10 PM
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Default RE: Taming a Tiger (2)

Thanks for the encouragement, guys.
I'll really buckle down and practice my landings. First, I'm going to have my plane looked over by a friend at the club. I did balance the plane laterally, but I am going to have it re-checked anyway. The second thing I'm going to do is ask one of the really good pilots to fly my plane, do some touch and gos, and really put it thru it's paces. He might make some suggestions on how to improve the balance, or the amount of control throws, or any number of improvements. Also I'll pay close attention to what the plane is supposed to look like and it's speed while landing.

Again, thanks for the encouragement. I'm just frustrated with myself. I was doing so well, making these beautiful landings with the new plane never having any problems at all -- then came some windy days and really shattered my confidence.

S.
Old 03-14-2005, 01:52 PM
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Default RE: Taming a Tiger (2)

Hi Scotty. I will toss in my two cents worth here, hope it helps. I went from the NexSTAR trainer to the Tiger 60 and had to go through the same basic learning curve related to landing. I especially liked the narrative given above by Tonystro and his landing technique. It fits the bill 100% and then some.

My instructor kept telling me "keep the nose level, you should not see the bottom of the wing". That was valuable information that seems to keep applying to everything I have flown since. One thing I really had to re-learn after the trainer was those two clicks of throttle on final then idle just as the plane starts to get abreast and watch it grease itself right to a smooth three point landing. Works every time. TianC said it best Throttle for rate of descent and elevator for speed control. If you want to move the point of landing further, add throttle, leave the elevator the way it is. Your glide slope will become more shallow and you will sail a bit further, then reduce throttle to those two clicks until you are ready to go to idle and land. Slight addition of the elevator to slow it down and it will smoothly land on the mains and nosewheel all at the same time.

I am also trying to learn how to fly the tail-draggers to a smooth landing. I keep bouncing it on what seems a good approach. Perhaps someone out there can toss in a suggestion? What d'ya think, Tony?

Touch and go's Scotty.. do it every time!!

Dick.
Old 03-14-2005, 05:30 PM
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Default RE: Taming a Tiger (2)

ORIGINAL: dicksoucy
I am also trying to learn how to fly the tail-draggers to a smooth landing. I keep bouncing it on what seems a good approach. Perhaps someone out there can toss in a suggestion? What d'ya think, Tony?
Dick,

With the three tail daraggers I'm currently flying (Funtana S, Midwest Super Stearman, Super Stick 40), the only change to the methods I outlined above are that I am keeping the slight power on until the main gears touchdown. Then I pull throttle to idle, letting the tail settle as plane slows to a stop before I add power to taxi. BTW, I fly from a grass field so the planes slow rather quickly. Well, mostly grass.

While typing I thought thru my technique... I think I'm carrying about 4 clicks above idle on the Super Stearman, but can't remember for sure. Perhaps, it's the gray hair, memory lapse after taking a nap thing, or just that I automatically add/reduce power based on what I see the plane doing.

And, Thanks for your comments about my description. I was thinking that Ed Moorman described it best! Thanks ED!!

Information exchanges are great, I learn so much from other flyers' descriptions, experiences and opinions, and I don't have to risk a crash to do so!!!
Old 03-14-2005, 05:34 PM
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Default RE: Taming a Tiger (2)

Scotty,

You'll be all right! You're seeking advice, giving it thought and deciding how it applies to you. That's a great approach!!

Just think of how much fun you can have in the future......
Old 03-15-2005, 06:55 AM
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Default RE: Taming a Tiger (2)

Hi Tony. Thanks for the encouragement and the advice. I seem to always go to idle on final and have to get out of that habit. That works ok for the trainer but not for the more powerful and maneuverable low wingers and tail draggers. Four clicks, eh? Ok. I will give it a shot next weekend.... weather permitting that is. We also have grass so stopping is no big deal..ha. BTW, I too have a crop of grey and occasionally catch a nap between postings..ha..oops.

Scotty.. The advice in this friendly forum is great and very informative. We all learn.

Dick.
Old 03-15-2005, 11:37 AM
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Default RE: Taming a Tiger (2)

Thanks, Tony.
You're right, I WILL be alright. I WILL sort this problem out and fly this plane on windy days. No way am I going to sit on the sidelines and watch everyone else have all the fun.
There are so many "fair weather" pilots in my club that won't fly unless it is almost dead calm. I refuse to be one of those guys. I just need more stick time, and maybe a lttle bit of an evaluation by a club instructor.
I will improve, and I am willing to practice and study in order to do so. Dick hit the nail on the head when he said the advice on this forum is great and informative. Believe me, this won't be the last problem or question that I will need help with!

S.
Old 03-15-2005, 12:18 PM
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tIANci
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Default RE: Taming a Tiger (2)

All I can say is that I find landing tail draggers and tricycle planes are the same, I really do not get why people say both planes take off and land that much differently. Only thing I find about tail draggers is that you are best off keeping your ELE up when you just touch down to help keep it from toppling over. For me I just watch the plane and do what it takes to make it land.

Scotty - I used to be nervous about wind ... I then learnt the joys of flying on a windy day. Its fun learning to read the wind changes, how to ensure that you do not stall when you turn into down wind. I seen a few people who turn too slow down wind and that was the end of their plane.

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