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Soft field landings - low wing vs high wing aircraft



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 22nd 07, 02:10 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Justin Gombos
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Posts: 55
Default Soft field landings - low wing vs high wing aircraft

I was thinking low wing planes would be favorable for landing on a
grass strip, because the extra ground effect could mitigate hard
landings and keep the ride smooth. But I recently read that some
fields are rough enough that rocks, bushes and debris can hit or snag
on the flaps.

I'm interested in hearing which configuration folks prefer for turf
strips - as well as other factors that might make one plane more
suitable than another for grass strips. Or is everything negligable?

I've seen some planes fitted with quad runner off-roading type tires
for landing on very rough terrain.. but that would be overkill in my
case.

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  #2  
Old May 22nd 07, 02:50 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Kyle Boatright
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Posts: 578
Default Soft field landings - low wing vs high wing aircraft

Operating on grass strips is not the same thing as "Bush flying". Other
than the ground effect issue you noted, neither type has a particular
advantage on a grass strip.

However, on gravel strips and strips with obstacles, high wing aircraft have
advantages, particularly obstacle clearance and being farther away from
rocks kicked up by the tires. That's why most of the bush aircraft up North
have high wings...


"Justin Gombos" wrote in message
news:[email protected]
I was thinking low wing planes would be favorable for landing on a
grass strip, because the extra ground effect could mitigate hard
landings and keep the ride smooth. But I recently read that some
fields are rough enough that rocks, bushes and debris can hit or snag
on the flaps.

I'm interested in hearing which configuration folks prefer for turf
strips - as well as other factors that might make one plane more
suitable than another for grass strips. Or is everything negligable?

I've seen some planes fitted with quad runner off-roading type tires
for landing on very rough terrain.. but that would be overkill in my
case.

--
PM instructions: do a C4esar Ciph3r on my address; retain punctuation.



  #3  
Old May 22nd 07, 02:55 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Paul kgyy
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Posts: 283
Default Soft field landings - low wing vs high wing aircraft

Ground effect can also lengthen the flair process, not a good thing
with most unimproved strips.

  #4  
Old May 22nd 07, 03:32 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Newps
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Posts: 1,886
Default Soft field landings - low wing vs high wing aircraft

Then you're flying too fast. I put 1000 hours on a 182 and now with the
Bonanza I fly it basically the same. 70 MPH short final slowing to
about 65 over the edge of the runway. Just fly it right into the
ground. This is assuming a non paved but not a really soft field.




Paul kgyy wrote:

Ground effect can also lengthen the flair process, not a good thing
with most unimproved strips.

  #5  
Old May 22nd 07, 04:40 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Orval Fairbairn
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Default Soft field landings - low wing vs high wing aircraft

In article ,
Newps wrote:

Then you're flying too fast. I put 1000 hours on a 182 and now with the
Bonanza I fly it basically the same. 70 MPH short final slowing to
about 65 over the edge of the runway. Just fly it right into the
ground. This is assuming a non paved but not a really soft field.




Paul kgyy wrote:

Ground effect can also lengthen the flair process, not a good thing
with most unimproved strips.


No -- his flare exhibits insufficient flair!
  #6  
Old May 22nd 07, 04:46 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Mortimer Schnerd, RN[_2_]
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Default Soft field landings - low wing vs high wing aircraft

Justin Gombos wrote:
I'm interested in hearing which configuration folks prefer for turf
strips - as well as other factors that might make one plane more
suitable than another for grass strips. Or is everything negligable?



I've landed Cherokees and Cessnas on grass and I prefer the Cessnas. It seems
to me that the elevator authority is greater, or becomes effective earlier than
in the Cherokee. It doesn't take much to hold a C-172 nose up, particularly
compared to an PA-28 or -32. YMMV.



--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN
mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com


  #7  
Old May 22nd 07, 04:57 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Justin Gombos
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Posts: 55
Default Soft field landings - low wing vs high wing aircraft

On 2007-05-22, Newps wrote:

Then you're flying too fast.


I would agree. But if an aircraft requires more precision on the part
of the pilot, then that's a factor in itself, and in fact it's a
strike against it.

So it seems the low wing confines pilots to a smaller range of speeds
in this scenario, making it less tolerant of speed deviations, so what
am I getting for the extra effort? Is the ground roll over turf a
noticeably smoother ride in a low wing? Is it less likely to have the
landing gear sink into soft spots? I'm speculating that that's the
case, but it could all be negligeable for all I know.

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  #8  
Old May 22nd 07, 05:03 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Jose
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Posts: 897
Default Soft field landings - low wing vs high wing aircraft

So it seems the low wing confines pilots to a smaller range of speeds
in this scenario, making it less tolerant of speed deviations, so what
am I getting for the extra effort?


I don't know the answer to your question, but the above contains a
flawed premise. A slippery craft would confine the pilot to a smaller
range of approach speeds (since excess speed is harder to bleed off).
This is independent of the wing configuration. Perhaps the high wing
aircraft in question is draggier, or high wings in general are draggier.

If this is the case, then what you get in tradeoff is better performance
for a given power.

Jose
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  #9  
Old May 22nd 07, 06:29 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Robert M. Gary
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Posts: 2,767
Default Soft field landings - low wing vs high wing aircraft

On May 21, 6:10 pm, Justin Gombos
wrote:
I was thinking low wing planes would be favorable for landing on a
grass strip, because the extra ground effect could mitigate hard
landings and keep the ride smooth. But I recently read that some
fields are rough enough that rocks, bushes and debris can hit or snag
on the flaps.

I'm interested in hearing which configuration folks prefer for turf
strips - as well as other factors that might make one plane more
suitable than another for grass strips. Or is everything negligable?

I've seen some planes fitted with quad runner off-roading type tires
for landing on very rough terrain.. but that would be overkill in my
case.

--
PM instructions: do a C4esar Ciph3r on my address; retain punctuation.


When I flew out of a rough grass strip the high wings were at a clear
advantage (I was flying an Aeronca and a Swift). The low wing planes
would often get rock dings on the leading edge but the high wings were
always fine.

-robert, CFII

  #10  
Old May 22nd 07, 09:28 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Thomas Borchert
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Posts: 1,749
Default Soft field landings - low wing vs high wing aircraft

Justin,

so what
am I getting for the extra effort?


You get to fly a low wing aircraft! ;-)

Seriously, though, if you can't control your speed on final enough to
avoid more flare than you want in a low wing, you have no business
flying to (difficult) airfields in any aircraft.

--
Thomas Borchert (EDDH)

 




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