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SkyPup

Wheel Landing Or Three-Point?

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Guys, I need your thoughts on landing technique.  I can do fair three-point landings in some of the ROF birds (SE-5, Fokker D8, DH4),  but the Fokker Triplane (and others) need to be wheeled on.  Even then, I often lose directional control near the end of the landing roll, even when landing directly into the wind.  I have the toughest time with the Nieuport 11, which usually swerves to the right as it slows.  Any suggestions?

 

 

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SkyPup; if you're reliably making 3 pointers in most RoF planes then I'd say you're doing well.  The planes you mention having trouble with are all rotaries and they are all tricky - just like in real life.  It's that combination of very light weight, large wing area and the dynamics of rotary engines themselves which makes landing them so difficult.  Rate of descent and rudder are critical as they're much less forgiving than the generally heavier inline engined machines.

 

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGRT3w4CxZk

 

This is worth a watch.  Nice guy and really knows what he's talking about.  

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Getting the stick back as soon as the main wheels roll on the ground works for me with the Nieuports

 

/PS - really enjoyed that clip, Art! (no pun intended)  :rolleyes: He struck me as crazy enough to fly those old biplanes! Nice guy.

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You can get better control by adding power when it starts to turn on you. This gives more air over the rudder. So just a couple of shots of power until you get down to a nice slow taxi speed when the tail skid friction can overcome the torque. Elevator back also keeps more pressure on the tail skid for better control.

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Thanks, all.  I guess it makes sense that all that whirling engine mass would have a strong effect. Pinning the tail down does help.  I need a lot of practice, which is fine because I really enjoy tooling around in these old birds, watching the scenery and listening to those great engine sounds.  

 

That YouTube vid was really good.  Great information there.

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Late reply, but havent been perusing the ROF forum much, as I havent been flying ROF for a while.

As such, I can not confirm nor deny if this would work in game. However, having some RL tail dragger experience on a touchy cessna 185 I can say that a large portion of pilots are not using the rudder effectively on landing and take off. Myself included when I first started training.

The term for the technique is refered to as 'dancing' on the rudder pedals. What happens with most rookies is that they wait to make any inputs until they start seeing a trend for the nose to start swinging in one direction, and tail draggers by definition have a distinct tendancy to yaw to one direction or another for various reasons. (Think, balancing a broom handle on your palm.)

At that point a large input is needed to arrest the swing, and the input is held until the swing stops and the aircraft nose swings back to neutral in the opposite direction. The problem lies in momentum. If you hold input until the nose is back in line, it will continue past neutral and require an input in the direction of the original swing.

Once this happens, you are now pushing the nose of the aircraft in the direction it originally wanted to go in. That compounds the amount of rudder needed to stop the next swing, and you may find you no longer have enough rudder to stop a groundloop.

'Dancing' is about putting in small corrections early enough, and either alternating pedals or simply reducing the input quickly enough that the nose never develops a distinct swing in either direction.

Going back to the broom handle analogy, if you make small hand movements you can keep the handle mostly balanced, and fairly straight. If you wait too long to correct the lean, then you need a large motion of the hand to correct, and balance becomes harder to stabilize. This is what you are trying to simulate when you 'dance' on the rudders.

The reason for this is that a taildragger has its center of gravity behind the pivot point ( the main wheels )when on the ground, this also is the culprit for why it seems to bounce back into the air if you are trying for a wheel landing and come down too hard/fast.

In the simplest sense, with the center of gravity being behind the main wheels, the A/C is always in an unbalanced state. It naturally wants to swap ends. The greater the deviation from a balanced state, the greater the input needed to arrest the swing, and the more momemtum can build up. So, if you can tap in a light corrections while the swing is still barely perceptable, you can keep the momentum under control with much less effort.

In effect it 'may' go something like this:

Tap right, tap right, tap left, tap right, tap right, tap left, tap right, tap left.

It all happens in quick succession (at approximately the tempo of a techno beat?), while the aircraft still looks like its going straight. If you notice the nose start to swing, use a little more opposite force until the swing stops, than quickly release, and tap the nose back onto course. Don't hold it too long, or it will go the other way.

Remember, think broom handle.

I hope this helps.

Squawk.

P.S. If the natural tendency is to swing to the right (Neup 11), more taps to the left than right should help keep it in line.

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DD_Arthur,

 

I know it's been some time (2 yrs) since you posted this YT video but I've just watched it - what a nice guy!

 

Thanks

 

:)

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