Getting loaded (wing loading, that is)

Much discussion has taken place here regarding the best trainer, and
many aver that a lightly-loaded, flat-bottomed wing is best. However,
it seems to me that a higher wing loading is easier to fly in wind, and,
unless the person is learning to fly on his own, without buddy box, an
advanced trainer/sport plane with more weight and a non-symmetrical
wing makes a better trainer overall. Your comments, please!
Reply to
Geoff Sanders
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Geoff, This is only my opinion, and as I'm a new student without much R/C flight experience, you'll need to take that into consideration.
A trainer needs a lower wing loading. The lower the wing loading, the slower the airplane will fly, and the easier it will be to handle. While a higher wing loading will provide better turbulent air penetration, at least in a full sized airplane, it requires that the airplane be flown faster in all flight regimes, especially in the landing configuration.
Since most trainers are not equipped with flaps as 'lift devices' (I have a Hobbico NexSTAR, which comes with the 'Speed Flaps', but were never installed on my airplane) then a higher wing loading means that a pilot must fly the airplane onto the ground, usually under power. Managing that aspect of the flight for a new student can be taxing at best, and downright disasterous!
If it were possible to do a study, say twins, and offer one a standard 40 trainer, and the other with a heavier airplane with a higher wing loading, we could, possible, divine an answer. But, without that kind of study, it might be hard. However, I feel that the first to solo would be the 'standard' trainer. My opinion, of course.
Gary
Reply to
GaryMC1
Perhaps a bit of background would help you see where I'm coming from: Today at the field the club trainer got pranged, so I offered my Avistar with no dihedral and increased control throws as a substitute. One student flew it with the instructor on the buddy box, and he did very well, commenting afterwards that it was EASIER to fly than the club Telemaster. I experienced much the same thing in full scale years ago when I soloed in a Cessna 150, then switched to a Piper Cherokee. Gimmie that heavier, higher horsepower Piper any day! I found it much easier to fly.
GaryMC1 wrote:
> Geoff, > This is only my opinion, and as I'm a new student without much R/C > flight experience, you'll need to take that into consideration. > > A trainer needs a lower wing loading. The lower the wing loading, the > slower the airplane will fly, and the easier it will be to handle. > While a higher wing loading will provide better turbulent air > penetration, at least in a full sized airplane, it requires that the > airplane be flown faster in all flight regimes, especially in the > landing configuration. > > Since most trainers are not equipped with flaps as 'lift devices' (I > have a Hobbico NexSTAR, which comes with the 'Speed Flaps', but were > never installed on my airplane) then a higher wing loading means that a > pilot must fly the airplane onto the ground, usually under power. > Managing that aspect of the flight for a new student can be taxing at > best, and downright disasterous! > > If it were possible to do a study, say twins, and offer one a standard > 40 trainer, and the other with a heavier airplane with a higher wing > loading, we could, possible, divine an answer. But, without that kind > of study, it might be hard. However, I feel that the first to solo > would be the 'standard' trainer. My opinion, of course. > > Gary > >
Reply to
Geoff Sanders
I learnt on a World Models World Star 40 - it has a semi-symmetrical wing with no dihedral (or none that I could see - the wing seemed to be dead flat) it was a very stable aircraft - maybe a bit too floaty sometimes, but with a very calm and stable stall. The advantage with this kind of trainer was that once I'd gotten the basics down, I could progress a lot further with aerobatics that would have been possible with a standard flat-bottomed trainer. As a result, I went straight from the World Star to an Extra.
I also learnt from an instructor who didn't use a buddy lead - he just took hold of the transmitter when things looked excessivly dire (no before!). That, and his positive attitude, helped me to quickly gain self-confidence in my ability to recover the aircraft. In hindsight, I think that the style of trainer and the use of a buddy lead is far less important than the quality of instruction.
Russ.
Reply to
Russ
Geoff, The reason the student thought it was easier is that you took the dihedral out of the wing and increased the control throws. The normal dihedral adds lots of adverse yaw when banked, your plane banks very easily and does not have that adverse yaw.
While faster and higher wing loaded birds DO penetrate faster and ARE less susceptible to the vagaries of the wind, they rapidly outpace the average students ability to keep up, much less learn. I frequently 'first flight' a prospective victim, er student with a Sig Kougar and THAT is no trainer. In almost every case when things go bad they do so rapidly.
Gary, I very seriously doubt he meant THAT heavy! If you have to carry power to the flare, something is wrong in your set up. Do a search and you can find lots of discussion about the correct approach and landings. If not, holler and I will retype one for you.
Reply to
Six_O'Clock_High
It was probably easier to fly because your modifications made it turn better and cleaner. However, a student can get into trouble a lot quicker with no dihedral and increased control throws.
John VB
Reply to
jjvb
There are yeas and nays about the whole thing. As a newbie, I went through several Stick 40s and have a Telemaster 40 trainer that lands like a butterfly. It floats so much and is so light that it's very difficult to get it down and control it on the ground. I flew an Easy Sport for a while, and although it's a sport plane and fairly heavy, it also had the "floater" characteristics. A fellow club member sold me a Sig Skybolt bipe with a Webra .61. It was heavy with a fairly high wing loading and was fast and unforgiving, but I loved the way it landed. It seemed to have a very solid feel and I was able to use throttle to put it down where I wanted it. Alas, I stalled it into a death spiral trying to slow it down so a friend could get a picture of it in flight. Although heavier-loaded planes are a delight to fly, they do fly faster and things happen too quickly for a newbie to recover from. I've also seen folks who started out with one of the many Ugly Stik clones who've had no problems at all. It depends on the individual. I've had students who could fly sport planes right off the bat, and I've also had students I wouldn't even trust with an Aerobird!
Reply to
Morris Lee
IMHO, it all depends on the student and his/her abilities. Whether we will admit it or not, younger people have much faster reaction times and better reflexes that some of us "older" folks. For some of them, the heavier wing loading will suffice. However, just as others have said, when things go wrong, they go wrong fast. If the student is aware of this, it may be no problem. For those who are reactively challenged, I would vote for the light, slow AC as it gives the student time to react and correct whatever problem they are having.
Just for some background. I taught my father to fly many years ago on a Sig Senior Kadet. It is still one of my favorite trainers. It did everything that was asked of it and more and when he was ready to move on, he sold it to another beginner and has progressed nicely. This summer I taught my 16 year old to fly with a Sig LT-40. He enjoyed it but was ready for "more" much sooner than my father was. In fact, after I let him have a turn with my Ultra Stik, he won't fly the Sig anymore. However, the LT-40 allowed him to make the typical beginner mistakes of overcontrolling and apparent control reversal with little or no damage to the AC. I don't think it would have gone so smoothly if he had begun with the Stik buddy cord or not. Yes, he "outgrew" the LT-40 fairly rapidly but he learned the basic principles of aeronautics with it in a relatively benign environment that wouldn't have existed with the Stik. Where am I going with all this? Simple, I really believe that the first few flights should be with the traditional lightly loaded, slow flying primary trainer. Throttle and rudder control normally don't come easy but if the student can take off and land the floater well, he/she can probably step up to the next level. With some this may be in as few as 2-3 flights. With others, it may take 15-20 or more. Just my opinion.
Jim W.
Reply to
Black Cloud
| Much discussion has taken place here regarding the best trainer, and | many aver that a lightly-loaded, flat-bottomed wing is best. However, | it seems to me that a higher wing loading is easier to fly in wind
That much is true. A plane with higher wing loading will be seem to be affected less by wind and turbulence because it flies faster.
However, it also flies faster, and many trainers already fly too fast for a new student's untrained reflexes to deal with.
You're better off with a plane with lower wing loading, and not learning to fly in heavy wind. Save flying in the wind until you get some stick time.
Also, lighter wing loadings mean the plane doesn't crash as hard, so if there is an accident, it's likely to be less severe.
| and, unless the person is learning to fly on his own, without buddy | box, an advanced trainer/sport plane with more weight and a | non-symmetrical wing makes a better trainer overall.
It depends. Most people think a plane with light wing loading, generous dihedral and limited control throws makes the best trainer, and it's best to fly it in little to light wind. But as one's skills improve, you can increase the wing loading, control throws and wind, and decrease the dihedral.
Reply to
Doug McLaren
I think most trainers are flat-bottomed winged because that type of wing is very easy to build.... flat on a surface, and as a result CHEAPER.
I personally find the pitch/speed sensitivity of an FB airfoil to be a pain in the butt. Put a good semi-symmetrical airfoil on the plane for much better handling.
David
Reply to
David AMA40795 / KC5UH
Six, I guess I was talking more about the 'stabilized approach' with a heavier aircraft, which basically means that you carry a little throttle (not a whole lot) over the threshold. Of course, if you lose an engine on final, you're in trouble, and if I said 'into the flare' I probably shouldn't have said that.
Gary
Reply to
GaryMC1
The most important requirement of a trainer is that it fly slowly. Period. For that reason a trainer must be relatively lightly-loaded.
I feel that a flat-bottom wing on a self-righting aircraft is counter-productive to the learning experience, in that it simply teaches the student to release the sticks when in trouble.
Lightly-loaded airplanes with semi-symmetrical or symmetrical airfoils are much more capable of handling windy conditions than a lot of people give them credit for. My 4.5 pound Somethin' Extra was (oops) a primo example of this.
Therefore, the best trainer for students on a buddy-box in a windy area may well be a "Stik" type, or an Avistar or clone.
My personal favorite, and the trainer that I own (despite being an "intermediate" pilot I like to have a trainer around), is the Sig Kadet LT40. I've flown a lot of different trainers while helping folks to get their wings, and the LT40 is hands down the best of 'em. BTW, we got plenty wind in this part of the country and the LT40 handles it just fine.
Texas Pete
Reply to
Pete Kerezman
pete:
according to you, the best trainer would be park flyer - lightly loaded and slow. that's nonsense. there is no such thing as a "best" trainer - and there are certainly definite disadvantages to a lightly loaded slow airplane as a trainer platform. that little stick on the left is a wonderful way to slow down an otherwise "fast" airplane, btw.
Reply to
PaulBK58
I've helped a few misguided souls who showed up with Airmadillos and Duraplanes, both of which I refer to as "good landers," because what they do best is sink. A fast airplane that is also heavy usually descends when throttle is reduced, and if it doesn't descend it "mushes." People who need a lead sled to give the appearance of piloting compentency just aren't very good flyers, in my opinion. And I guess you didn't read the entire post. Here's the relevant part of it:
Perhaps you simply didn't notice the qualifiers in that recommendation.
If you just want to be disagreeable that's okay with me, but you might also try being rational.
later, Texas Pete
Reply to
Pete Kerezman
That describes the Duracrap perfectly, Pete! It ain't no trainer!!!
Anyone with even a little flying experience knows a lighter plane flys better. In wind, a light plane will fly just as well as a heavy plane, if there's a competant pilot at the sticks.
Lighter planes respond easier, and recover easier, too. It's Newton's laws, people.
A heavier plane, given a fixed wing area, carries a higher wing loading. This translates into faster stall/landing speed, more control throw necessary, and slower response to the controls. Dr.1 Driver "There's a Hun in the sun!"
Reply to
Dr1Driver
I will take issue with that in a couple of respects.
In turbulence, a heavier plane does not get tossed around to quite the extent, and a plane that has to be slowed down to say 10-15mph airspeed in order to land it is very hard to land in a 10-15mph wind.
As someone who regularly flies parkflyers, I can assure you this is true.
But something that lands around 20mph and is a little heavier is fine.
Aaprt from that I agree that light planes fly better - much better.
Thats true, but see above. Sometimes a plane that doesn't want to come down untll its slowed below 15mph is a ruddy nightmare, unless you can put crow braking etc on it,.
At 15 mph a 10 mph wind gusting +- 5mph takes you from your nice expected 15mph airspeed/5mph groundspeed to a whacking climb at 15mph airspeed and a subseqeunt stall at 10mph airspeed as you come in to land.
I've got a nice low wing loading tiger moth, but I won't fly it in anything more than a light breeze. Its hell to control on approach.
Fine once up there tho as it tops out at about 15mph or 30mph.
Reply to
The Natural Philosopher

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