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Warbirds difficulty to land

Old 06-06-2015, 05:31 AM
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patrnflyr
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Default Warbirds difficulty to land

I'm having a difficult time landing my GS warbirds. I presently own a CARF Spitfire and TF GS P-51 & P-47. I'm really having a time getting these down without either scraping the wing tips or nosing over after bouncing a couple of times resulting in the scraping of prop tips. I appear not to be the only one either as I seen this a lot at warbirds meets that I've been to. I'm not a beginner with 35 years experience, own many jets and IMAC 40%ers. Never a problem with those. People say, "you've got to land that plane on its mains or you have to land it on all three wheels at once". Five minutes later, someone else will say the direct opposite. Seems the P-47 is the easier to land. Of course, our winds, both cross and velocity, here in West Texas aren't helping either...

Is is it just the nature of the beast? Any tips. Any set up that helps? I have a JR 370A on the rudder of the larger Spit but don't even notice it helping. Would really appreciate any help as I'm not wanting to keep Xoar in the big $$!
Old 06-06-2015, 06:01 AM
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irocbsa
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You're bouncing because you are coming in too hot. It's natural to have an aversion to letting warbirds slow down too much. I struggled with this for a long time. You need to come in with power applied but not too much. There's a balance that takes a while to master and is particular to the airframe. Here's what I use as a general procedure. Drop flaps on your downwind leg. Make the turn to your base leg at about 1/4 throttle and begin your descent. I try to use about 10 degrees of down pitch. Try to maintain this pitch angle throughout your approach. Use power to maintain it and as little elevator as possible. Turn to final (watch your speed, add power if necessary to maintain your pitch angle) and try to be at about 6 feet above the ground when you reach the runway threshold. Bring power back to idle or slightly above and start to gently pull the nose up and let the speed bleed off as you level out and slow the descent rate. If you're descending too fast, bring in a bit of power to slow the descent rate. When you're about 1 foot above the ground, pull out any power you might have left and let her land on the mains. Three point landings are for Stinsons and Citabrias, not warbirds. Let the ground speed bleed off and gently use elevator to drop the tail. Be gentle though because you don't want the plane to balloon off the runway. Good luck and keep practicing.

Last edited by irocbsa; 06-06-2015 at 06:15 AM.
Old 06-06-2015, 06:10 AM
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irocbsa
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Also, if you want to stop giving Xoar all your money, try an APC 22 X 10 prop on your 55cc engines until you get better managing nose overs. They are much tougher and don't break nearly as easily.
Old 06-06-2015, 07:16 AM
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Ralph White
 
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We are flying the TF 1/5 P-51s at our club (Mattoon IL). What we have learned is if your landing approach is not just the way you want it GO AROUND and try again. Once you start making adjustments during the landing approach you are going to have a tough time landing without bouncing. Use the throttle to control the descent and air speed, not the elevator. Also, if you get a bad bounce on the first contact with the ground, GO AROUND (add about 1/2 power gently). What happens is after the first bounce the plane losses a little air speed and the second and third bounce just keeps getting worse until a nose over accrues. I don't recommend a three point landing with the TF P-51 as they bounce very easily.
Ralph

Last edited by Ralph White; 06-06-2015 at 07:45 AM.
Old 06-06-2015, 07:57 AM
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irocbsa
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Agreed. The third bounce will also tend to tear the gear out since it is usually pretty violent. As was stated, if you bounce, add power, lower the nose level, and go around if you don't have a long airstrip where you can recover landing airspeed and pitch with enough room to set down safely again. If you bounce more than a couple of feet, always go around. Feed in power immediately, be aware that right rudder will be required, and climb back into the pattern.

Last edited by irocbsa; 06-06-2015 at 07:59 AM.
Old 06-06-2015, 07:58 AM
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kwik
 
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It could also be a "wrong" CG.

It doesn't help much giving advice on how to land a Warbird, if CG is "wrong".
Old 06-06-2015, 08:18 AM
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Or if it's too Heavy...
Old 06-06-2015, 08:19 AM
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kenair
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I was bouncing too, because a club mate who flew size AT-6's in the airforce said these things (warbirds) have to be three pointed, and I bounced and bounced hard trying to three point the landings.
One year at Oshkosh Airventure I spent a afternoon watching the AT6's and P-51's land, and they were wheel landing on the mains, no three pointers. I tried this and have not badly pooched and landing in 4 years on my Ziroli Harvard, Yellow Spit, TF P-51s and Skyshark P-40. I used 45 degree flap max, I have some up trim mixed in when the flap comes down, the mixed uptrim keeps my approach descent gradual with out holding to holding much up on the stick, I flying a circular 360 landing pattern after the mid field break, cross the threshold at 1/4 power, a slight up flare to level the nose when I cross the number and put to idle when the mains touch the ground. Hope this helps, Good luck! ken k.
.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eUnDbesxio
.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z729ii4BUiU


ps at the 2.00 minute mark this is me landing the Harvard on it's first flight, being patient - and we know how AT6's (Harvards) like to kangaroo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fv5EUzKIE-E

Last edited by kenair; 06-06-2015 at 08:26 AM.
Old 06-06-2015, 08:50 AM
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chris923
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Originally Posted by irocbsa View Post
You're bouncing because you are coming in too hot. It's natural to have an aversion to letting warbirds slow down too much. I struggled with this for a long time. You need to come in with power applied but not too much. There's a balance that takes a while to master and is particular to the airframe. Here's what I use as a general procedure. Drop flaps on your downwind leg. Make the turn to your base leg at about 1/4 throttle and begin your descent. I try to use about 10 degrees of down pitch. Try to maintain this pitch angle throughout your approach. Use power to maintain it and as little elevator as possible. Turn to final (watch your speed, add power if necessary to maintain your pitch angle) and try to be at about 6 feet above the ground when you reach the runway threshold. Bring power back to idle or slightly above and start to gently pull the nose up and let the speed bleed off as you level out and slow the descent rate. If you're descending too fast, bring in a bit of power to slow the descent rate. When you're about 1 foot above the ground, pull out any power you might have left and let her land on the mains. Three point landings are for Stinsons and Citabrias, not warbirds. Let the ground speed bleed off and gently use elevator to drop the tail. Be gentle though because you don't want the plane to balloon off the runway. Good luck and keep practicing.
I couldn't have said it better myself. +1
Old 06-06-2015, 08:51 AM
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flycatch
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No two planes land the same but the all land on the mains. Stay off the elevator and always have a tab of down trim set in. Fly the airframe to the ground using throttle management with wings' level and the plane will land itself.
Old 06-06-2015, 08:51 AM
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chris923
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Originally Posted by Ralph White View Post
We are flying the TF 1/5 P-51s at our club (Mattoon IL). What we have learned is if your landing approach is not just the way you want it GO AROUND and try again. Once you start making adjustments during the landing approach you are going to have a tough time landing without bouncing. Use the throttle to control the descent and air speed, not the elevator. Also, if you get a bad bounce on the first contact with the ground, GO AROUND (add about 1/2 power gently). What happens is after the first bounce the plane losses a little air speed and the second and third bounce just keeps getting worse until a nose over accrues. I don't recommend a three point landing with the TF P-51 as they bounce very easily.
Ralph
+1
Old 06-06-2015, 08:56 AM
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chris923
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The only thing I can add is, I make my planes a tad nose heavy. They seem to settle better. Flap; no wind..full flaps, 10-15 mph 1/2 flaps. +15 no flaps.
Of course that is a personal preference. No matter you stil have to get it down.
Old 06-06-2015, 09:48 AM
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Ralph White
 
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Agree on making the P-51s and other warbirds a tad bit nose heavy. The saying goes: Nose heavy, they may land a little faster - Tail heavy, they crash
Old 06-06-2015, 12:12 PM
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Chris Nicastro
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I'll add that you need to learn to fly slow with all of your planes. Play in the wind with flaps get a sense for the stall and characteristics of each plane. The more you play with it the more it will teach you.
Use flaps as needed and use power to set the decent rate. Don't dive bomb the field. You want the plane to be loaded meaning some drag with gear and flaps and some power to maintain speed and rate of decent. If you come in at idle then there is the chance of the engine coughing and not coming up smoothly. If it's already above idle it's ready to respond the reeds are open and it has positive pressure.
Get the plane settled and low over the first 20% of the runway then you can touchdown and cut power at the right time. The plane will be in ground effect for a little bit as it bleeds off speed. Just hold and allow it to settle and stall through it. As soon as it's on the mains you want to release back pressure on the stick. That's usually what causes the bounce. Your holding up then the wheels hit and together it causes the plane to pitch up and so on and so forth. Just back off as it touches. Also use rudder more than ailerons as you approach. Ailerons are just for keeping the wings level on approach for the most part. Emphasis on rudder, power and elevator.
Weather conditions will ultimately dictate your settings but knowing ahead of time how that plane handles at all speeds and settings is key.

By the way three pointers are doable but risky. You must know the planes stall and you must time it with touching down, it's tricky. I've practiced this with a Corsair and it caught me out once. That's assuming you have not modified the CG to favor this kind of landing with an Aft CG position. So again you must be very comfortable with slow flight and know the stall.
Old 06-06-2015, 01:03 PM
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Lifer
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Balanced at the most rearward point as indicated by the assembly manual. Recommended low-rates, per the manual for every aspect of flight with maximum available elevator on high-rates to plant the tail when taxi-ing. Skip to the last minute to watch the landing tecnique previously described:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzPiCEolZ8s
Old 06-06-2015, 01:33 PM
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Chris Nicastro
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The P-47 is about as close to a warbird trainer as you can get. Wide stance, lots of wing, big fowler flaps, it's pretty ideal actually.

Nice flight!
Old 06-06-2015, 01:33 PM
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The P-47 is about as close to a warbird trainer as you can get. Wide stance, lots of wing, big fowler flaps, it's pretty ideal actually.

Nice flight!
Old 06-06-2015, 04:32 PM
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dadragon
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Flycatch +2
Old 06-06-2015, 05:54 PM
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Gday all,
just my 2 cents worth, balance your model on the nose heavy side, I think it helps a lot, I also have my low Idle a bit on the fast side, War Birds are my thing, my T/F GS P-47 is the easiest to land, my ESM 85in Corsair is next, with heaps of flap on both, the T/F GS P-51, speed has to be pretty close to do a nice landing, the 51 is the one that has improved most with more weight up the front. I also have the 6ft ESM, Spitfire, P-51B and P-47, both P-47s are nice to land, the Spitfire is nice with a forward CofG, the ESM P-51B, I am way in front of the dangerous book CofG, it is still the hardest to land, but the faster low idle helps a lot. I found I was coming in OK, then getting too slow.
Oldtimer
Old 06-06-2015, 06:45 PM
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On the landing approach, elevator controls airspeed and throttle controls altitude. When I am 3 pointing my Spitfire it touches down when I have full up elevator. I mainly do this with the Spitfire because of the tendency for it to nose over. On my Top Flite P-51 wheel landings are easy, slow the plane down and adjust the elevator and keep it there, then when small bursts of power are applied you can adjust the altitude and actually flair with throttle. Slowing the plane down and the use of throttle are extremely important, good luck!

Luke
Old 06-06-2015, 07:15 PM
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Joe Westrich
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I DO think it is the nature of the beast. I fly it all as well....WW1, WW2, jets, helis etc, and I have always thought the most challenging "to fly well" airplane category is WW2. They all land different and you have to land in a matter that best fits the airplane. My Vailly FW190 was a perfect 2 wheel lander but would nearly snap if you tried to 3 point her. My Y/A spit would land 2 point but it would always nose over. I ended up 3 point landing the spit for the best results. My Byron Texan would land crappy in either a 2 or 3 point. IMO it comes down to practice and knowing your airplane... and not treating them the same.
Old 06-06-2015, 09:12 PM
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Where is GC on your p51? Mine is 115mm. I flew 25 lbs one and now I fly 21 lbs one. I actually liked landing heavier one little more. I do approach with full flaps, come down at maybe 20 degrees towards runway with 10-20 percent throttle applied. Flatten it at 4-5 ft over runway. Control descend with throttle, trying to keep it coming down slowly. Land on mains with tail already down. When mains touch down and plane is rolling I bring flaps up. That reduces chance of ballooning up when I bring tail down on ground.
I thing p51 lands very easy. Only plane that sends easier is TF p47. I think my giant 47 landed slower than my 60 size one.

Thats me bellying TF 47 after gear stuck in up position

http://youtu.be/6P_Qdc4_Ze0

Last edited by scoobiemario; 06-07-2015 at 06:02 AM.
Old 06-07-2015, 04:43 AM
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patrnflyr
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My CG's are dead on. Thanks for your advice. Nobody mentioned killing the flaps when wheels touch down? It's a no no on my full scale plane so you don't get confused and retract the gear but does anybody do it as part of their landing sequence?
Old 06-07-2015, 04:59 AM
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2 things to remember, elevator controls airspeed, throttle controls rate of decent or accent.
Old 06-07-2015, 06:06 AM
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I'm thinking it could be your landing set up

I have no problem landing my heavy metal warbird
all I have to do is replace two props, repair the wheel doors, fix the air leak
and I am ready for another flight

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