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Thread: Ailerons: Yea of Nay

  1. #1
    JohnnyB's Avatar
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    Ailerons: Yea of Nay

    Hi Fellow Fliers,
    This is my first post here so excuse me if I get a thing or two wrong.

    I have been a Pvt Pilot flying GA since the 80s and have about 400 hours. Recreational flyer only.
    Lately I don't fly Cessnas and Pipers as much but have gotten interested in Ultralights.
    I flew a couple weeks ago in a Quicksilver MX II with an experienced instructor and it was all
    I had hoped it would be. I'm continuing my training and am starting to look at planes,
    and I'm seeing just as many 2-axis [lanes out there as I see 3-axis ultralights out there.

    The instructor said more than once "Ya don't need ailerons on these ultralights" (even tho we had ailerons.)

    My question is what is your opinion on the necessity of ailerons and why?

    It should be noted that I will likely buy a Quicksilver because of their long history and proven quality.

    Thanks all
    John - Columbus Ohio

  2. #2
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    It is simple enough to design an aircraft to not need ailerons...thousands of RC planes, for example, have rudder and elevators only. It really depends on the aircraft.

    Ron Wanttaja

  3. #3

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    The two-axis planes are fine. Another ultralight from that era, the Skypup used 2 axis control.

  4. #4
    Norman Langlois's Avatar
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    Since I do not know and have not flown a 2 axis. What is the recovery from wind conditions that would be making the 2 axis roll suddenly?
    Would this be the time one wished they had ailerons .
    I have told people I do not need an item. Because I would not be using under specific conditions etc.
    Assuming the 2 axis would behave the same as my plane when flying at 90 degree to the prevailing wind condition.
    Is the answer as simple as do not fly a 2 axis in windy conditions ?
    Norm
    Last edited by Norman Langlois; 08-23-2018 at 04:59 PM.

  5. #5
    JohnnyB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martymayes View Post
    The two-axis planes are fine. Another ultralight from that era, the Skypup used 2 axis control.
    And the Weedhopper as I recall

  6. #6
    robert l's Avatar
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    JohnnyB, I've never flown a 2 axis airplane but I have owned 2 ultralights. A Nomad Honcho and a Phantom, both had 3 axis control. I like the idea of being able to cross control, as in a slip, even though, airplanes that don't have a solid fuselage, like the Weedhoper, Quicksilver, Honcho, Phantom, etc. trying to slip just isn't the same. There's nothing to slip against, so to speak. Since I learned to fly in a 3 axis airplane, that's what I would go with, just my openion. Just like I would not want to TRY to fly a weight shift, I feel better doing what I know ! Of course, you can adapt to most anything I suppose. Anyway, that's all I got !
    Bob

  7. #7
    JohnnyB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robert l View Post
    Since I learned to fly in a 3 axis airplane, that's what I would go with, just my opinion. I feel better doing what I know ! Of course, you can adapt to most anything I suppose.
    Bob
    Thanks for the reply Bob. I guess it's human nature to want to stick with what I know.
    It seems that crosswind correction while both on the ground and in the air would be harder without ailerons.
    Also slipping to lose altitude would be off the table and that comes in very handy at times. But then I see
    hundreds of videos of 2-axis planes and talk with many people that feel they're not necessary in an UL
    that I just felt some more opinions would be in order.

    I definitely think that the "preference" would be a 3-axis for me but would I give up a great deal on a 2-axis plane?
    I dunno, I guess the next time I fly I'll attempt to leave the ailerons out of the mix to see if I can adapt.
    I can't ignore that people have been flying 2-axis since the dawn of aviation and that with the increased dihedral
    of the 2-axis UL it may be fully adaptable clean flying without ailerons.

    Thanks again for the reply Bob
    John - Columbus Ohio

  8. #8
    robert l's Avatar
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    Keep us informed.
    Bob

  9. #9
    Dana's Avatar
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    My preference would definitely be for ailerons. Without them, the ability to make a cross controlled wing down landing in a crosswind is lost, limiting the weather conditions you can fly in. That said, the rudder in a Quick is much more powerful than the ailerons... Full aileron one way and some rudder the other way, you're going to roll in the direction the rudder says.

    Slipping for crosswind landings, yes. Slipping to lose altitude, no. A slip is an effective altitude loss technique in a conventional airplane because the side of the fuselage is presented to the relative wind, increasing drag. A Quick has no fuselage, so in a slip the plane just flies sideways.

  10. #10

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    A self taught ultralight pilot might be somewhat safer in a 2-axis because it normally can't enter a cross controlled spin.
    A trained pilot that thoroughly understands the possible dangers of cross controlled skids might prefer 3-axis.

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