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  #1  
Old 04-08-2007, 12:38 PM
biggles biggles is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 33
Default Landing an RV-8

I am interested in landing experiences from fellow 8 owners.

Our 8 has a 200hp engine fitted with an Airclaw f/p prop. We typically approach at 80mph and mostly always go for a 3 point.

The problem is closing the throttle in the flair the plane turns into a brick and has been known to drop 2ft.
Keeping a trickle of power on can see you skipping down the runway.
I have tried many techniques but there seems no consistent way of achieving nice landings

Do other owners have similar experiences?
Do you always use full flap?
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  #2  
Old 04-08-2007, 01:16 PM
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flyeyes flyeyes is offline
 
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You're not alone in struggling to find the "graceful" way to 3-point an RV-8.

I'm surprised to hear your airplane drops suddenly, as I can't get mine to a stall attitude without hitting the tailwheel well before the mains.

If I try to land on all three wheels at once, the problem I have is that the wing isn't ready to quit flying and I have trouble predicting where it's going to dart next.

I find that the airplane is very easy to wheel land, and I nearly always make a "tail low" wheel landing with the tailwheel about 6 inches or so off the runway.

With most other taildraggers I have flown, the 3-point landing is usually easier and feels more natural, but the -8 definitely likes to be wheeled on.

The airspeed with the "tail-low but not 3-point" attitude is only a few knots faster than full stall, so runway length rarely becomes an issue. The extra control authority at the slightly higher speed makes it much easier to "nail" a smooth landing, IMHO.

Any extra power carried into the flare will make the airplane more difficult to land, especially with a FP prop.
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  #3  
Old 04-08-2007, 01:18 PM
RV8iator's Avatar
RV8iator RV8iator is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Dahlonega, GA
Posts: 1,315
Default Landing the 8

My 8 also has a 200hp with f/p Prince prop. I fly final at 70kts if smooth and have the power at about 1000-1100 rpm as needed and pull power to idle over the threshold. I usually make wheel landings and this gives me enough to play with a bit. If I'm making 3 pt landings I will slow on short final to 65kts and idle as needed and hold it off until landing. Never has dropped when I pull power if I'm on speed. Of course, this is all calm, not much wind.

I almost always used full flaps because it's easier to control speed. Of course, practicing no and partial flaps is recommended.
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RV 8, N8JL, 2600+ hours

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Last edited by RV8iator : 04-08-2007 at 01:21 PM.
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  #4  
Old 04-08-2007, 02:11 PM
John Clark's Avatar
John Clark John Clark is offline
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyeyes
You're not alone in struggling to find the "graceful" way to 3-point an RV-8.

I'm surprised to hear your airplane drops suddenly, as I can't get mine to a stall attitude without hitting the tailwheel well before the mains.

If I try to land on all three wheels at once, the problem I have is that the wing isn't ready to quit flying and I have trouble predicting where it's going to dart next.

I find that the airplane is very easy to wheel land, and I nearly always make a "tail low" wheel landing with the tailwheel about 6 inches or so off the runway.

With most other taildraggers I have flown, the 3-point landing is usually easier and feels more natural, but the -8 definitely likes to be wheeled on.

The airspeed with the "tail-low but not 3-point" attitude is only a few knots faster than full stall, so runway length rarely becomes an issue. The extra control authority at the slightly higher speed makes it much easier to "nail" a smooth landing, IMHO.

Any extra power carried into the flare will make the airplane more difficult to land, especially with a FP prop.
I was about to type all the above but James beat me to it. My -8 really wants to hit tail first on a "3 point" attempt. Tali-low wheel landings for me, thanks.

John Clark
RV-8 N18U "Sunshine"
KSBA
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  #5  
Old 04-08-2007, 03:04 PM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Location: Dayton, NV
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Default Another Vote...

Ditto what James said....I almost always land tail-low wheelies, unless dealing with a VERY short strip.

I have experienced the "sudden tail drop airplane falls out from under you" landing when the CG is very far aft, but not very often since I learned to expect it.

Paul
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  #6  
Old 04-08-2007, 06:07 PM
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chrispratt chrispratt is offline
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Default Landing an -8

Quote:
Originally Posted by biggles
I am interested in landing experiences from fellow 8 owners.

We typically approach at 80mph and mostly always go for a 3 point.

The problem is closing the throttle in the flair the plane turns into a brick and has been known to drop 2ft.

Do you always use full flap?
My -8 is 180 hp with constant speed prop so the results may vary a bit, but I doubt by very much. I also use 80 mph on final, full flaps, always carry some power and just about always wheel land. The -8 just doesn't want to three-point. Why? Well for one thing it's nose heavy and that 200hp piece of iron up front ain't helping. In my case, I'm about 170 pounds and with no one in back, the airplane really doesn't want to three point. At best, I can get the tailwheel first followed quickly by the mains. With someone in back it's easier, but still not what the airplane likes to do.

And if you want to see an airplane drop like a stone, try a no power, no flaps landing and flare just a tad too much. Those can look more like carrier landings sans tailhook. I was practicing simulated dead stick landings the other day and I really noticed the heaviness of the nose and how quickly the flight characteristics change as you flare. Gotta pay close attention and don't rush things. Try it. It's good practice.

With the flat steel gear on the -8, my opinion is that you're better off wheel landing anyway. You maintain much more control until the airplane slows to a manageable speed. The only trick is the transition as the tail comes down, so I try to always let it come down on its own and then work the rudders. Any time I try to force the tail down too soon, the airplane wants to take a sudden excursion to either the left or right.

Unlike the previous commentors, I land with the tail as level as possible not tail low. If the tail is low you have to force it up again with the stick once you touch down to plant the mains and keep control as the airplane slows. So just start out level and save the extra effort. Just the way I learned I guess.

Sorry for the ramble. Hope this helps some.

Chris
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N898DK
Lycoming O-360-A1A, Hartzell CS
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  #7  
Old 04-08-2007, 08:42 PM
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Danny King Danny King is offline
 
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Location: Southlake, Texas
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Default

Chris said it pretty well. Different engines and props, along with heavy and light pilots will make various RV-8's handle differently. The Doll has the heavy IO360-A1B6 Hartzel combination and is probably as nose heavy as any four cylinder Lycoming powered 8.

The Doll does not like to three point, and getting greaser landings that way is difficult. I have done it, but never with any consistency. Like the others, the Doll loves to wheel land, and is very docile doing so. If you hold her off until the tail is low, with too much sink rate, it is easy to "skip" off the runway as the wing is still flying, and the spring steel gear will make the runway feel like hitting a trampoline. Like Chris said, if you touch down in a near level attitude, most of the fight is removed. Another plus is the visability over the nose is perfect. Consistent grease jobs are not only possible, but easy to accomplish. The lower the tail is at touch down, the greater the difficulty, until you reach a three point touchdown, and the aircraft dances around with plenty of chirping from the tires. I haven't keep a log, but in the 900 hours I've flown the Doll I have probably made two thousand landings. I still enjoy every new attempt.

Remember to hold the aircraft level after landing, feeding in down elevator as the aircraft slows until the tailwheel lowers on it's own, then pin it down with full aft stick.

Happy Landings,
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Last edited by Danny King : 04-10-2007 at 07:57 AM.
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  #8  
Old 04-08-2007, 09:49 PM
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N908RV N908RV is offline
 
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Location: Centreville, VA
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Default wheelies...

Ditto for me - wheelie. I-360 - 180hp w/Hartzell BA CS. I am an old school east coast flyer - 3 pointer normally with no power, but not in the -8. It really resists it and it wheels on almost effortlessly. Unless I am trying to get in a short strip, I wheel it on. Whenever I 3 point it, it just wants to skip a bit as I can't fully stall the wing in that attitude.

Incidentally, when solo (towards the forward end of the CG envelope), I always fly with some secured ballast (about 40#) in the rear baggage area in the -8 to help reduce stick forces at slow speed. I run out of trim below 90. I spoke with Vans and they use about 25# of ballast in their RV-8a when solo.

And I usually keep just a smidge of throttle in - mostly because my fuel injection system likes to spit and sputter trying their best to deal with the CS prop maintaining RPM and sucking in raw fuel when the throttle plate is closed. If you looked at the throttle lever, you would swear it is closed, but just a crack is enough to avoid the sputter. I see about 1900-2000 rpm (and basically no MP)with full flaps and 90mph.

From years of flying hyper bipes around, I remain high and tight and use 90mph for final since I can lose that speed easily with the CS prop and full flaps and a slip if needed. I like to keep some money in the bank....
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  #9  
Old 04-09-2007, 10:29 AM
kevinsky18's Avatar
kevinsky18 kevinsky18 is offline
 
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Location: Kamloops, BC, Canada
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On this topic. Who here consistently lands with no flaps?

What are the key differences in touch down speeds and handling without flaps?
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  #10  
Old 04-09-2007, 11:28 AM
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Low Pass Low Pass is offline
 
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Location: Houston
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Default

Most of the time I only use flaps for speed brakes. But then again, most of my operation is from a 9000' concrete runway.

Landing without flaps - speeds are greater (really!) and handling is more crisp. Gives you more time to float along working on a smooth touchdown. Like I said above, most of mine are on long concrete, so I value a smooth touchdown more than getting it stopped in less than 5-6000'.

Probably said already, but the RVs sink when slow. They sink faster when slow with flaps. You get down to Vso at >0-agl, you better have your energy well managed. Doesn't matter if you're at 5' agl and really intended to do a nice, slow full-flap landing, it's going to quit flying when you hit Vso. It does "hang" a little better, as it should, with a little added slipstream.

My short-field/full-flap technique includes spooling up the engine to 10-1100 rpm (can't recall specifics - I just do it by sound & feel) at about 10' agl or just before I start the final flare.

I almost never land 3-pt. Just no reason for me. Would I teach it and require proficiency in transition training? Yes. But when I want to get stopped quick, I pull the power & retract the flaps as soon as I get the mains planted and start coming in with the brakes all simultaneously. Try doing that with your flap switch on the panel! Tail doesn't get planted until I've been able to get the flaps up and slow 10-15 below touchdown speed. All this to keep weight on the mains and more effective braking.

Disclaimer - don't be braking substantially with the tail off the ground until you know what you're doing! As with any conventional gear airplane, they will go over if you get carried away with the brakes.
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