Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gearing Up for a Landing

I’ve  made a decision about my Wild Hawk.  A decision that is the opposite of the one that I made when I first received the plane.  A decision that goes against all the recommendations that I received when I first queried experienced Wild Hawk owners regarding the plane.  So, just what is this decision that I made?  I’m adding the landing gear back to my plane!

Why am I doing this?  And, why did I remove them in the first place?  Well, first why did I take them off and leave them off.  I took them off for two reasons.  The first reason is that having landing gear of such a light plane can cause landing problems for inexperienced fliers such as I was.  The second reason was that all the areas that I expected to fly at had no landing strips.  My Dad’s location is a rough plowed field, usually with tall weeds.  My only other current location is a local park and preserve area.  The preserve area does have a 10ft wide walk way that cuts through it, but it is lined on either side with 8 x 8 posts threaded with 1/2in cable.  Not very inviting!

Now I’m adding my landing gear back because, I’ve now successfully landed on the walk way twice, and I have plans to join a local club that has a really nice runway.  I figure this will also prepare me for bigger and better airplanes that will have landing gear.  Besides they just snap in and out (see my pictures and videos below).

Wild Hawk landing gear
Cutting tape out of the gear mounting slot

Gear installed

Landing Gear in.

Landing gear out.

So what is adding the landing gear back onto the plane going to do to how it will fly? OK, I know that the landing gear is just wire with foam rubber wheels and they weigh next to nothing, and so the weight should not affect the plane very much and they are close enough to the CG that I don't expect them to affect the CG. But, the big thing in my mind is that they are not exactly aerodynamic. Again, they are not that big, but on such a light plane they could have a drag affect. This affect could be to make the nose drop as the pull would be on the bottom and to the rear using the CG as a fulcrum. Will this be enough to affect the flight and require trimming? Will I need to redistribute the weight? Will flying speed make a difference?

Since I do not have a wind tunnel, I'll have to rely on flying the Wild Hawk to see what will actually happen. Now I am waiting for a good day to fly. Once I have flown the plane (successfully or not) I will post an update on what affect this had, if any!

Ooops! Blooper!


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Mr. Clean