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Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by EvilGenius, Jan 1, 2009.
Beautiful Luscombe! Probably my favorite of the post-war classics.
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Be honest, you want everything.
I'd want them, but I couldn't handle the theme music - worst music I've heard in a long time.
I like it a lot, but never cared for T tails... Piper convinced me to avoid them.
Surely the design can be made as stable as regular tails?
Stability is not an issue with proper design. The biggest issue is lack of elevator authority at low speed, as the elevator is out of the prop wash. Also the rudder needs to be stronger to support the elevator loads. It can also be scary to see the tail assembly flapping around during a spin, in a/c such as a Piper Tomahawk.
You mean on the Tomahawk?
Plenty of nice T-tail aircraft with excellent elevator authority; King Air 200/300/350, Boeing 727, DC-9, etc. The Arrow, Lance and Tomahawk, Seminoles with T-Tails maybe not so much. (The Beech Ducjess seemed to be fine with a T-tail though) Somewhere there's got be a video of the Tomahawk elevator flapping about in a full stall..I hear that's sobering to experience first hand. With the Arrow one could compensate for its so called limited authority. I noticed in cruise the t-tail Arrow was notably smoother than a standard Arrow, less prop wash, virtually none in fact, over the tail. T-tails also have a larger chance of tailplane stalling in icing conditions. (cruciforms seem to be the worst though) and then some T-tails have unrecoverable stall characteristics (BAC-111, B727) due to the wing blanking the tail during very high AOA.
Exactly right. The a/c listed that do have good elevator response are not usually flown in the slow flight regimes where the Pipers are, or called on to make short/soft field takeoffs where you need to lighten up the nose gear as early as you can. If the a/c is operated correctly within its normal limits, it really is no big deal, the pilot should be aware of the characteristics of anything he chooses to fly.
I don't need to see the video of the t-tail flapping, I saw it first hand on several occasions. Watch the tail on a DC9/B717 on landing sometime. They tail shake pretty good, too.
I want one because they look great for an ultralight and go like stink.
I'm surprised something with wings that small can have such a low stall speed (49 MPH). Gotta love a 1.5 GPH fuel burn.
I want everything that's worth wanting.
Of the larger T-tail aircraft I've experienced (DC-9, ATR42-72) they are similar to the T-tail Arrow in that when after rotation you lessen back-pressure to a certain extent (depending on stab trim, weight, etc.) The Arrow, however, had considerably less "feel" to it, you pulled a bit with not much feedback, unlike the larger aircraft where there was good aerodynamic feel. True, I've not engaged myself with soft or short field techniques with the larger planes. But rather than bash Piper exclusively, I've never flown the T tailed Cheyennes - maybe they are as nice feeling in elevator feel as a King Air T-tail. But if we must insist on Piper bashing have you ever seen what holds on a Seneca/Lance/Cherokee/Warrior/Archer/Arrow, etc. tail?
I've been a part of the "T-Tail Mafia" for years, but only because that is what Lockheed stuck on the back of the C-141 and C-5. Now it's on the C-17, so there must be some merit in it for big cargo pigs...
Here's a little fun fact: The horizontal stabilizer on the C-5 is 65 feet above the ground...that's six stories. But, it measures 68 feet from tip to tip. It's almost a friggin' aircraft in its own right. And I've actually transported a horizontal stabilizer from a -5 inside the aircraft. That was pretty neat.
How do you check for a de-iced tail on the C5? A one off bucket and boom? Helicopter?
They use a standard Air Force De-icing truck and spray it up there. If there is really a concern, there is an access ladder that you can get to pretty easily by going through the empennage area (about the size of a C-130 cargo compartment) that goes all the way up to the top of the tail inside the vertical stabilizer, and you can pop a hatch and take a look at the top of the tail. Definitely not a climb you want to make if your claustrophobic, though.
From what I understand its a big for large transport aircraft that cruise at high altitudes. The low temp and pressure at altittude lowers the speed of sound and thus the transonic zone. None of them break the SoS, but in that zone if you're elevator is in line with the wings the buffeting air off the wings creates a sort of dead zone that the elevator sits in. Which results in buffeting of the empanage and/or loss of elevator control (like in the p38s). Putting it up high gives it clean air. As for the smaller low altitude aircraft, I assume the high tail is to keep it away from potential FOD being kicked up by the wheels or props on dirty runways.
The control surfaces on the C-123 were fabric. We lost an outboard hinge on the right elevator coming into Eglin from an overwater training mission in '75. Tower reported we had "something hanging off our aircraft". I jumped back (I was the Nav) and discovered the problem. I reported to the Pilot that we had more rudder and less elevator than when we took off. As we were doing touch and goes, we declared an emergency and did a hot landing. Turns out many aircraft in the fleet had a crack where our elevator pivot failed.
That was my last mission in the C-123. I decided to become the Group Intel officer, and gave up my flight status. I didn't want to find out where else there were cracks in an aircraft originally designed as a glider.
I don't mean to be bashing Piper... have flown almost all of the PA-28 series from 140s to 235s, some old Comanches, and a vintage Tri-Pacer and a PA-12. Loved those...
The T-tails on the Tomahawk and the PA-32 just made me uncomfortable at high angles of attack. Never understood the advantage...
Piper returned to conventional tailed PA-32s and continued that configuration on the higher performance Malibu's and Meridians.
Guess I'm just a conventional kind of guy....