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#4380983 - 09/23/17 04:58 PM Rise of Flight and Actual Flight.  
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Dart Offline
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Lifer

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As most y'all know, I built a 7/8ths scale representation of a Nieuport 11. "Representation" because she looks like a N11, but it's aluminum tube-and-gusset with a VW engine in the front.

Today was my first flight since the repairs - she flipped when the brakes locked up on me - and I fixed a lot of the landing problems I was having, specifically approach to landing by practicing in RoF.

While not 100%, as the Nieuport in the sim has a rotating engine that has to be blipped and I have a nice steady throttle and no gyroscopic effect, the flight profiles themselves are amazingly similar.

I had been taking these huge patterns with too fast and too shallow approaches, using up a lot of runway that I didn't need to. It's not unsafe (I've got a huge runway to fly over and let speed run off), but lazy and could come back to bite me on a shorter runway.

So for the last week I've been working in the sim on a much shorter approach with a greater descent with very little power, making a descending curve that smooths out at the end for a slower wheel landing, paying attention to sight lines and visual cues.

Damned if it didn't work! Best approach to landing I've ever made, and a much shorter landing roll.

While there are a few things I don't care for in the flight modelling (that weird turn one way or another at the end of a power-off landing, especially), I gotta say it's pretty damned good.


The opinions of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

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#4381299 - 09/25/17 06:02 PM Re: Rise of Flight and Actual Flight. [Re: Dart]  
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Hope you're soon back in the air, be cautious of not slowing down too much until flare though, bet it's a single ticket to coffin with a rotary.
I wonder if such a small plane could use a tail chute for added safety ?

Anyway, it's a high praise to RoF FM, nice to have your real canvas flying input. cheers

#4381354 - 09/25/17 09:19 PM Re: Rise of Flight and Actual Flight. [Re: Dart]  
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Glad you've got the "Bebette" flying again.

It's also cool that RoF is actually helpful for you as well -- personally, I've felt it's the best "seat of the pants" flying experience (compared to the real thing) that I've ever found in a sim.

One other technique you might want to explore since you're "flapless" is slips. They'll also let you steepen an approach while keeping a non-scary airspeed ... I found they worked quite well in C152's and they're a lot of fun, besides. They also give you another "toy in the toolkit" for crosswind landings in addition to a standard crab as well.


Cheers,
4 <S!>

Last edited by FourSpeed; 09/25/17 09:19 PM.
#4381439 - 09/26/17 07:20 AM Re: Rise of Flight and Actual Flight. [Re: Dart]  
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Oh, I'm a slipping fool - I like to get a Champ just about sideways.

One thing that's about the same, though, is the terrible slipping of the N11. I think it's owing to the really small ailerons, but take up an N11 in the sim, blip the engine off, and try for some aggressive slips. You will be sorely disappointed.

On the positive side, there is so much drag that losing altitude isn't an issue.


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#4381468 - 09/26/17 12:46 PM Re: Rise of Flight and Actual Flight. [Re: Dart]  
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What would be the weight limit for the pilot in order to safely fly a Nieuport 11? I don't think I would meet that requirement. biggrin


“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
#4381508 - 09/26/17 05:21 PM Re: Rise of Flight and Actual Flight. [Re: Dart]  
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Oh, I'm a slipping fool - I like to get a Champ just about sideways.


Excellent. Some of those old taildraggers are great fun.

Quote
take up an N11 in the sim, blip the engine off, and try for some aggressive slips. You will be sorely disappointed.


It's been awhile since I flew the N11 in RoF, but I don't recall anything odd about slipping the N11 or N17's -- you can pretty much drop the bottom right out of them that way and still keep the wings and engine while doing a fine impression of an Elevator (building type, not airplane type) biggrin

In any case, sounds like you've got it all handled just fine, so no worries.

@PanzerMeyer: the full-up weight of an N11 (historically) looks to be about 700-750 pounds (~320-340kg), so using about 40% of that as "useful load" (pilot + fuel + oil + baggage), I'd estimate 275-300 pounds at most (probably less). I'm not sure of the specifics of Dart's 7/8th Scale build, but I'm fairly sure that if I were flying it, I would only be able to put enough gas in to do an engine start, and maybe get one turn around the patch. eek2 winkngrin

Cheers,
4 <S!>




Last edited by FourSpeed; 09/26/17 05:30 PM.
#4381529 - 09/26/17 06:45 PM Re: Rise of Flight and Actual Flight. [Re: FourSpeed]  
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You can't enter a real sideslip because of the incorrect yaw/roll coupling in their aerodynamic/flight model. The tendency to roll is incorrectly high and it takes too much stick to keep things evened out.

This underlying modeling issue is something they just now started to resolve in IL-2 but it is tremendously unlikely that there will be any future changes for ROF.

#4381532 - 09/26/17 06:54 PM Re: Rise of Flight and Actual Flight. [Re: FourSpeed]  
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Originally Posted by FourSpeed


@PanzerMeyer: the full-up weight of an N11 (historically) looks to be about 700-750 pounds (~320-340kg), so using about 40% of that as "useful load" (pilot + fuel + oil + baggage), I'd estimate 275-300 pounds at most (probably less). I'm not sure of the specifics of Dart's 7/8th Scale build, but I'm fairly sure that if I were flying it, I would only be able to put enough gas in to do an engine start, and maybe get one turn around the patch. eek2 winkngrin

Cheers,
4 <S!>



Thanks for that in-depth analysis! It's a good thing men back then were usually shorter and skinnier than men are now. biggrin


“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
#4381537 - 09/26/17 07:18 PM Re: Rise of Flight and Actual Flight. [Re: Dart]  
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Dart Offline
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Lifer

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I'm talking about the aggressive Champ "I'm looking all the way left in the direction of flight" type of slip. It's more like "I'm looking thirty five degrees" in the Nieuport. And, with a VW going around the other way from certified engines, it should be more aggressive to the left than right!

Then again, l'm not exactly wrenching the stick and rudder over with much dedication - I'm still early in the test flight program, and it's baby steps. And I've had a taste of aerobatics, and no way in hell I'll fly a real aircraft the way I do in RoF (though real piloting has ruined me a bit in the sim - I tend to be much, much more conservative now in the virtual world).

She's 500 pounds sitting on the ground.

What my aircraft has that the real N11 doesn't is a big, fat Clark Y airfoil. Robert Baslee's intention in designing his aircraft is to make them as benign as possible, and that airfoil is a huge part of it. She really wants to fly! He's intentionally traded speed for lift, which is fine by me.

Power plant is an exercise in diminishing returns - they guy with a direct drive 1600cc VW is doing fine (though he'll need a bit more runway), the 1850cc better, and my 1915cc is about as much oomph one needs. Throwing a 2275cc VW with a reduction drive throwing a huge propellor isn't really going to get one much more past take off - the drag and wing profile is going to self limit cruise speed.

There's an ongoing joke where we discuss if it's even possible to reach the Vne speed of 98 mph. Maybe starting at 10,000 feet and nose diving straight down at full power. Maybe.

Pretty much if one can fit into the cockpit seat, one can fly the aircraft okay. It doesn't take too much to get her up to the 35 mph to lift off, after all. Some of the KC Dawn Patrol guys that fly these type of tube-and-gusset representations are pretty healthy guys, and they are real airedales in theirs, flying 1850cc VW's.

One funny thing about pilot weight I never realized until a week or so was bungee adjustment on the mains. I have them tight enough to where they stay at the bottom of the well the axle travels up and down on with me and a full tank of gas, but any more and they do their job as shock absorbers, stretching. One of my pilot and builder friends was helping me do some fiddling with stuff and put his foot into the well and stood up...and the bungees allowed the axle to come up. So I now know my bungees are set for a 180 pound pilot (my, how I've grown!), but not for a 225 pound one.

Of note to this thread is the type of pilot I am. I'm a throwback "stick and rudder" guy, flying by feel and sight lines. This is all okay, as I'm strictly a Severe VFR kind of guy, flying in perfect weather. I don't pay attention to instruments when taking off or landing, using my mark one eyeball and the rumbles in my butt to give me all the information I need. If I know what 1,500 feet AGL looks like, the actual altitude of the runway doesn't much matter. In regular flight, I scan the ball,* the engine temp, oil pressure, and volt meter. The altimeter and air speed indicator don't much matter, and since I'm flying at around 2,000 feet AGL at 60 miles per hour, the compass is just a comforting thought. This will change a bit once I get into longer cross countries, but I'm very much a terrain detail navigator. It's no mystery why in my 10th flight video one sees me ghost the high power tension wire lines, or the Coosa River.

RoF does a great job of letting one see those sight lines. If the plane looks like this to the horizon and ground it's doing that. And the looks of different airspeeds is pretty much dead on the money.

* I'll let the KC Dawn Patrol guys talk about why the slip indicator is the most important thing on the panel - and they ain't lying!

http://dawnpatrol.org/questions.htm


The opinions of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

More dumb stuff at http://www.darts-page.com

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#4381558 - 09/26/17 09:01 PM Re: Rise of Flight and Actual Flight. [Re: Dart]  
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Interesting stuff, Dart. Fascinating read from the Dawn Patrol guys as well.

On the weight, was that 500 lbs empty, or with fuel already aboard? I'm guessing she probably carries ~75-100 pounds of fuel (~10-15 gal) with full tanks.
As for baby steps in the test phase, absolutely that's the way it should be, without a doubt. It's critical for you to find the little lady's quirks (and they *all* have some), in the gentlest and safest way possible.

Without longitudinal stability, you have a recipe for that bird to turn from a delicate debutante, into a cross-controlled monster (mother in-law? eek2 ) in relatively short order, so I can see where the B&S gauge is vital. Unless you're using an FFB stick in RoF, we can't get that effect there since most joysticks are spring-loaded, preventing it ... which raises another question -- I saw the DP article mentioned an adjustable bungee cord on the rudder (for cruise) -- any thought to loosely spring loading it from the get-go, to mitigate that tendency to de-coordinate itself, or would that cause other headaches?

As for gauges, I'd think the only other gauge(s) you'd care about are tach, & temps - mostly, to let you know that lovely wooden prop hasn't turned into a glorified spinning wheel biggrin Sight picture should tell you anything else you'd need to know about the actual flight attitude.


Finally, of course, it's *always* on the PiC to decide what works (since it's your tail in the sling), particularly in an Experimental bird. yep



Regards,
4 <S!>


Last edited by FourSpeed; 09/26/17 09:02 PM.
#4381569 - 09/26/17 10:09 PM Re: Rise of Flight and Actual Flight. [Re: Dart]  
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Dart Offline
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Lifer

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Yep, empty. About 12 gallons of fuel fills her up, but I usually start with about half that. I burn between 3 and 4 gallons MOGAS an hour, and I usually stay up for no more than an hour. I have a test flight program I made up that focuses on no more than two tasks per flight, and when they're done I take her back home.

It's very much akin to flying a motorcycle, and with the heat we have here, on a country road needing a bit of work. She really gets pushed around quite a bit - say, um, twice as much as a Champ or Cub would - and while I'm getting used to a constant minor jiggle to the aircraft it's not my favorite feature. The controls are very light, so one isn't fatigued by working the controls, it's just being jostled around.

Well, their bungee setup on the rudder bar is for rudder bars - and I have independent pedals! While it sounds simple as pie, my eye develops a small twitch when one talks about fastening cords of any sort to controls. However, it's become almost second nature to me to apply a little left rudder (and it's just a little) while in flight. I had a great flight instructor that taught me to slide my whole foot forward rather than flex at the ankle, and it works a treat.

Again, the controls are so light that it's not like there's a lot of pressure that has to be applied.

My panel, from left to right is Master Switch, Starter Button, Altimeter, Airspeed Indicator,* Slip Indicator and Compass (stacked), Tachometer, Oil Temp, Oil Press, and Voltmeter. That's it. To be honest, at this point I can tell RPM's by feel and sound. On the left is a standard rocker type throttle, and on the right the brake handle.

Here's what that rudder does on take-off and starting cruise, as well as a somewhat suspect landing:



This is really early days - flight five or six in the aircraft, and I was still figuring out the best way to take off, and making waaayyyy too shallow landings.

If you want to know what picking up the tail before the rudder has any authority does:



The opinions of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

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#4381630 - 09/27/17 10:28 AM Re: Rise of Flight and Actual Flight. [Re: Dart]  
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Great stuff Dart... been enjoying the videos!

#4381659 - 09/27/17 12:47 PM Re: Rise of Flight and Actual Flight. [Re: Dart]  
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Amazing stuff. But holy crap Dart, you must have needed a change of pants after that take off in the 2nd video. I was sweating just watching it so it mustn't have felt very good being in the cockpit at that time.

#4381732 - 09/27/17 06:17 PM Re: Rise of Flight and Actual Flight. [Re: Dart]  
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Interesting stuff -- looks like there's a lot of tail deflection with that free flying rudder -- I guess that's why most modern planes have a vertical stabilizer yep

With light pedal forces, I'd wonder that there aren't issues with over-correcting, or oscillations, in yaw, and I'd wonder also if that's where some of that turbulence sensitivity is coming from.

As for the second takeoff, I can see what you mean there -- looks like you didn't have any rudder authority at all until you were nearly airborne -- Yikes!

There's a little taste of "Test Pilot" flying for you -- that's a nasty little "gotcha" to discover, because (iirc), usually you want to pick up the tail fairly quickly, but in Bebette's case, you need to delay that until you've reached a minimum "rudder speed" -- hehehe, I think you may have just invented a new V number -- Vra (Velocity for useable rudder authority -- forget "rough air speed") biggrin


Cheers,
4 <S!>

#4381742 - 09/27/17 07:16 PM Re: Rise of Flight and Actual Flight. [Re: Dart]  
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Lifer

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The turbulence sensitivity is a function of having a light plane with a lot of wing surface. The dihedral to correct for it is all on the tiny lower wings - the upper wing is straight on across. So while a big gust will get corrected for, the little wings don't really step in unless it's a big gust or thermal. For smaller stuff they just tell the pilot "suck it up, buttercup," and smile.

That Vra ( smile ) was actually the most difficult part of the test flying portion so far. Turns out that the answer is to have the stick slightly to the rear of center, about an inch. Then she'll lift off just shy of a three point configuration, pretty straight.

This is also why the aircraft is landed in the mains instead of a three pointer. Every single pilot who has one of these planes stressed to me that wheel landings are all but required. Putting her into stall condition in a three point configuration can be a recipe for a ground loop, as one may not have rudder authority.

Indeed, it a modification of the standard wheel landing in, say, a Champ. Where in a Champ one would land on the mains and push the stick forward to lock them down to the runway and let the tail drop as airspeed drops, in the Nieuport it's better to land on the mains with the elevator neutral (or slightly back) and, as the speed drops, to bring the stick slightly rearward. That way the tail is brought down gently as the airspeed drops, and by the time the rudder is ineffective the wheel is down. Then the stick goes all the way back.

Oddly enough, this is intuitive in the Nieuport - at least it was for me. One of the things to remember is this is an aircraft that will kill one in slow motion - approach speed is about 40-45 mph, and she stalls around 32. There's so much drag that slowing the aircraft down isn't an issue - she'll bleed 10 mph at idle in about three seconds. This is also why we tend to land with a little bit of power and cut it when the mains touch. The upside is that with the light weight and all that lift is that she's super responsive to throttle commands. I've done a gentle bounce, goosed the throttle a bit, leveled out, and tried again more than once.

In that infamous second flight, realize that she took off in about 100 feet. From firewall (from the center line of the runway) to airborne (just off the runway) is pretty impressive, as the runway itself is 100 feet wide, so I used just over 50 feet of it. I say 100 feet total, as there is a curve to get there. In practice, with the now practice of smoothly moving the throttle forward on a three second count, I take off in about 200 feet, and am stable out of ground effect in around 300.

I haven't done the math yet, but I'm guessing that I need, for practical purposes, 800-1,000 feet to clear a 100 foot obstacle, though it's probably shorter. That tree I went around is about 75 feet tall, I reckon, but I wasn't going for max climb rate. Gaining airspeed was my goal there, and it was immediately obvious that I was clear of it. I haven't really pressed for max climb rate, to be honest. I just let her climb as she will at around 60 mph. On a cooler day I did do a little bit of best climb over distance stuff and found that around 50-55 mph I got 550 fpm climb out of her. On a hot day, about 300-400 fpm is more usual. (it is pretty standard for the density altitude at my airport is between 2,500 and 3,500, putting a lie to the 500 feet above sea level number).

On that flight I must admit I wasn't scared at all. It was a little jump of heart rate when she went right, but she straightened out and took to the air almost immediately. From there it was just regular old pilot stuff. Keep the nose down, build airspeed, go around or away from stuff, and land. Then again, all of my flight experience is low and slow. I don't think if I'd of been narrating at the time instead of later I'd of sounded so laconic, though the "Tree! Tree! Don't hit that tree! Go around that tree!" line was a direct thought quote. smile


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#4395246 - 12/17/17 04:18 AM Re: Rise of Flight and Actual Flight. [Re: Dart]  
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Lifer

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[Linked Image]

smile

Okay, some stuff to flesh this out:

The guy who pilots the FW 149D - and his is painted just like the one in the picture - is an ex-USAF pilot who is a good guy and a helluva aviator. He took off before me, and we were joking around that I was seriously outclassed by the Hun on the Field.

He spotted me on the way back from his own flying around ("just to shake the cobwebs out - it's been a couple weeks"), and was going to try and get my attention. But I make a habit of scanning around me, and spotted him about a half a mile or so out. He said my brake in direction was spot on and surprised him.

So I firewalled it, went into a tight circle, and he went into his tightest circle about 1500 feet above me, and I was naturally way, way tighter. We did that for a couple turns (btw, I can turn tight or climb, but not both), and he leveled out and so did I. The second turn was to let the fun go on, and then we chuckled over the radio and went on our way.


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