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Thread: speed brake for taylorcraft.

  1. #1

    speed brake for taylorcraft.

    I have a Taylorcraft with an 80 hp. The problem is the aircraft floats like hell and with 800 ft of runway I am looking to install an airbrake of this aircraft. Don,t need an stc as this is classified under the ultra light category. Any help would be appreciated as for info and details on how to do it. Rick Cartier

  2. #2

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    Can you reduce your engine's idle RPM? That's a heck of a free airbrake.

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    steveinindy's Avatar
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    The problem is the aircraft floats like hell
    What did you receive your training in and how much time do you have in the Taylorcraft?

    All of the Taylorcraft series (at least the common ones) are very lightly wing loaded which is going to make them "float" especially in the hands of a pilot who is not used to it. A pilot transitioning from say a 152 is going to find that a Taylor L-2 Grasshopper floats a lot more because of the difference in wing loading (7 something (depending on the specific model) vs 10.5). Coming from a 172 is going to be even more of a chance because the wing loading in a Grasshopper is going to be roughly half that of a fully loaded 172. The 172 is a brick by comparison.


    Any help would be appreciated as for info and details on how to do it.
    My advice: unless either you're an aerodynamicist or have ready access to one, don't even try it. It is very easy to cause far more problems (read as: producing a Taylorcraft lawn dart) than you solve with such an approach.

    Can you reduce your engine's idle RPM? That's a heck of a free airbrake.
    That was my thought. Most of the problems I have seen with "floating" results from either excessive speed on the approach or other poor technique on the part of the pilot. This isn't a slight or anything but just rather a general observation. The best way to judge if an engineering solution to a problem is needed is to look at what the other pilots of the same type are doing. If they aren't fitting speed brakes (and if they were, chances are you wouldn't have to ask about this), then chances are the problem isn't inherently with the aircraft but with the way it is being flown. Given that the designs have changed very little for the most part since they were introduced in the 1930s and 1940s, that should tell you something about the need for a speed brake.


    Don,t need an stc as this is classified under the ultra light category.
    I thought most Taylorcraft was well above the weight restriction- even when empty- for an ultralight. Which model are you talking about? You might want to double check that you mean UL and not either light sport aircraft. The last thing you want to do is get yourself in trouble or get the aircraft grounded.
    Unfortunately in science what you believe is irrelevant.

    "I'm an old-fashioned Southern Gentleman. Which means I can be a cast-iron son-of-a-***** when I want to be."- Robert A. Heinlein.



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    Taylorcrafts are most certainly Light Sport and you can't just start bolting stuff on willy nilly.

    As noted above, the problem is likely pilot technique and experience, not the airplane. We see a lot of pilots who are reluctant to fly the airplane as slow as it can. And hence they take 2000' or more to land an airplane that can happily get down and stopped in 800' when flown by the published numbers.

    I suggest that rather than spend money on changing the airplane, spend the money on gas an an individual in the other seat who has say 500hrs of T-cart time.

    Best of luck,

    Wes
    N78PS

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    Quote Originally Posted by richard cartier View Post
    I have a Taylorcraft with an 80 hp. The problem is the aircraft floats like hell and with 800 ft of runway I am looking to install an airbrake of this aircraft. Don,t need an stc as this is classified under the ultra light category. Any help would be appreciated as for info and details on how to do it. Rick Cartier
    Not aware of any such mods Rick. What country is your plane registered in to be classified as "ultralight"?

  6. #6
    steveinindy's Avatar
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    We see a lot of pilots who are reluctant to fly the airplane as slow as it can.
    I had sort of the opposite problem when I went back to Cessnas and Pipers after quite a while on ultralights. I didn't find myself trying to fly the aircraft too slowly (since I am loathe to the idea of flying by "feel") but it sure felt like I was hauling butt down final even though I wasn't going very fast at all. LOL
    Unfortunately in science what you believe is irrelevant.

    "I'm an old-fashioned Southern Gentleman. Which means I can be a cast-iron son-of-a-***** when I want to be."- Robert A. Heinlein.



  7. #7

    Thank you for all the replies,,what we will do is come in about 40-45 miles per hour

    n
    Quote Originally Posted by WLIU View Post
    Taylorcrafts are most certainly Light Sport and you can't just start bolting stuff on willy nilly.

    As noted above, the problem is likely pilot technique and experience, not the airplane. We see a lot of pilots who are reluctant to fly the airplane as slow as it can. And hence they take 2000' or more to land an airplane that can happily get down and stopped in 800' when flown by the published numbers.

    I suggest that rather than spend money on changing the airplane, spend the money on gas an an individual in the other seat who has say 500hrs of T-cart time.

    Best of luck,

    Wes
    N78PS

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    Richard, I have not flown a Taylorcraft, but here is the way I have done it for other similar airplanes. First, find the stall speed, VSo. Now you can look in a book or ask another Taylorcraft pilot, but a better way and one that will be specific to your plane is to go up nice and high and do a few stalls. Find the power off stall speed, gear and flaps (if any) down, and remember the carb heat.
    Let's say it is 40 mph, then your speed turning final can be 52 mph which is 1.3 x VSo, and not any more. As you get to the runway slow a little more to 48 mph or 1.2 x VSo. That should be adequate for control and allow a flare,but not have much float.
    If you learned to fly in 172 or something with big flaps, this may seem strange to you, and take some getting used to. Just be careful, 800 ft is a very small runway, even for that light a plane. You may want to practice on a bigger strip first.
    My Cub stalls at 38 mph, power off . If I drag it in with just a trickle of power, the stall speed is below the last figures on the airspeed indicator. I use 50 mph on final as 1.3 and make a full stall 3 point landing, no trouble stoppping in a few hundred feet after touchdown, with light braking, as the brakes are not much anyway, but at 30 mph and 750 llbs, not much is needed.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 04-25-2012 at 08:22 PM.

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    Speedbrakes for Taylorcraft

    Very interesting discussion. I apologize to the originator for this being not really an answer but a tangential question. As one responder suggested, ask some experienced 80 hp T-Craft drivers about this and what they suggest about this "floating" tendacy. Some reasonable responses discussed more or less standard techniques for landing speed control (stall speed, 1.3 Vso etc.) and someone also said to fly with a CFI, both good ideas but make sure the CFI has lots of time in both tailwheelers and in type (Taylorcraft) instruction. My request is to see some response from those 500+ hr Taylorcraft pilots to respond and, in particular, their own reflections not only on an 800 ft runway but what their ideas of what is a minimum runway length and angle of descent for performance on a short runway landing with this bird ? Also, I would like to hear from pilots who are regularly making this use of the plane not just stories about "once upon a time........"EDGEFLY

  10. #10
    rosiejerryrosie's Avatar
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    I have another question. Since you originally posted that your Tcraft was an "ultralight", are you flying it without a certificate/license of some sort? How is it registered? Does it have an "N" number?
    Cheers,
    Jerry

    NC22375
    65LA out of 07N Pennsylvania

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