Feb 29th

FARKS AND SCHNACKLES

By monty stone

another pet peeve of mine is 'instruction' manuals. my 1961 suzuki came with a booklet 'hints and tips of how to ride the motorcycle', it contained such usefull info as 'beware of the mud-puddle for  there-in lurks the 'skid demon'. and 'if a horseman hoves  into view, toot melodiously upon the horn'. if he does not heed, shout 'hi' with loud voice. if he still does not heed, dismount and smoke a cigaret, until he passes.   my hirth engine manual reccomended considering running the engine for the first ten hours on the ground, also at a major service change the crankshaft and 'all other components', sound advice. my cosmos  wing manuals have all stressed the importance of securing the 'farks and schnackles', properly. and that 'no more than 8mins are required to assemble the wing. (it takes me that long to decide which bag zipper to pull on). are french mins like dog years, 7 to 1?    my northwing wing manual ignores how to fold the wing for transport and storage, though it did have nice glossy color pictures of kamron doing stuff in seconds that takes me most of the morning!   my $7 alarm clock came with a comprehensive manual, in 7 different languages,(including swahili, why would a swahilian wanna get up early?)with the first 9 pages warning of the legal and hazardous  consequences of licking the electrical components while plugged in, or during an electrical storm. i thought every one knew not to lick ANYTHING during an electrical storm!. well, almost anything!. my multi-$ new refrigerators manual   assures me that the light WILL turn off with the door closed!  how can i be sure! dammit, why,why, can't 'they' get it right!.... Freazier Ballsoff. (my new pseudonim)..................ps i can't die yet, theres still a few  people i haven't pissed off !

Feb 19th

Tool-Ed

By monty stone

Many tools don't come with instructions, this may help.                                  Phillips screwdrivers. they come in several forms, (like cheese) sharp, medium and blunt  They are designed to tear out the top of any screw head ,  also, they can be used to open a brake fluid container, use the sharp one, the blunt one's cause squirted fluid to land  onto the closest painted surface. Electric drills are  used to see how fast a pop-rivet can be spun before the hole will need the next size rivet , also can be used to turn chinese drill bits a really pretty blue. Vice -grips can be used to change round tubing into flat strip removing that empty space in the middle ,also to clamp stuff to other stuff in order to drill the wrong size holes in the wrong place, again. Portable grinders are excellent 'eye-ball' finders, also ear-hair and grease-soaked rags can easily be reached by the pretty sparks, .Guards usually get in the way so are removed before use, then are lost. Chisels are configured  to guide the first few hammer blows to get your fingers. A drill- press. should be powerfull enough to jam a drill bit into something you are holding  by  your (soon to be a bloody stump), hand, begin a fast spin, near your belly, family jewels or chin, (depending on your height), finally that something flyes off across the shop seeking the most expensive stuff to hit, failing that,   goes instead  through the window into your neighbors driveway  (the one you don't like) hits his classic  Jugo, causing $30 in damage, almost totalling it . Air wrenches are used   to break bolts,  and making really cool sounds,(like a tire store) Wheeee...Wheeee!. A tool box, is a place of mystery where the tool you searched for yesterday, and couldnt find, appears today, right on top.  also, any adhesives in your toolbox, burst open and spread all over, and cure, glueing all your favorite tools together in one big lump. ( ask me how i know). any tool put in a drawer will swell, that's why the drawer wont open again, till the swelling goes down.  Box cutters are designed to cut really deeply into  whatever it was that came in a protective cardboard box. Wire strippers will cut BOTH wire and plastic till the wire is now too short.  Hose cutters can be relied on to cut hoses a little bit shorter than you wanted. Hammers,  handy gadgets for bending nails, and putting dents in stuff. Twelve-point sockets can be made out of worn- out six point sockets, then re-badged as 'Whitworth Barn find Sockets'. Rotating wire wheels are used to remove finger-prints( from fingers) and to fling little bits of wire into eyeballs. Magnets are handy to remove little bits of wire from eyeballs, and to have fun with grandma's pacemaker. Hacksaws can be relied on to cut anything,  but not straight. Electrical testers are used to 'let the smoke out' of any device that it's hooked to. can also be used to start a fire, without matches. Funnels, little end down, usually. i hope this helps to enhance our 'tooling around'. monty ps, if the handle of your soldering iron gets hot, hold the other end, instead. ( tuss....... )

Dec 27th

Looking for a spinner for my Ivopropeller

By Rizwan Bukhari

Hi,

 

I am thinking about putting a spinner on my Ivoprop (just for cosmetic beauty). I ordered one from trikebuggy, but it turned out to be the wrong size. The diameter of the spinner I got was 4 inches and I need a 6 inch spinner.

Now I have searched aircraft spruce and other websites and have come across some bigger spinners but they are for Cessna and other aircraft.

Can anyone point me in the right direction for a 6 inch diameter spinner.

 

Thank you,

 

Rizzy

Dec 17th

bah humbug!

By monty stone

seasons greetings ( politically correct ) and merry christmas to all 'floppy-wing' fliers, and if you've been good, there just might be a bright shiny new 'revo' under your tree, monty. ps. i thought i was wrong once, but i was mistaken.

Dec 6th

the project

By monty stone

one day, i had an idea. i went out into the garage and built it. the end.

Dec 6th

Todd Ware's comment on QuikR's wing

By Abid Farooqui

I asked Todd Ware how he likes the QuikR wing from P&M. His comment was interesting and is below:

 

"Abid. Great stable wing for speed and cross country trips. Is hardly effected by turbulence. However for racing and tight turning.... I was telling the Britts today that to really pitch up around a tight turn feels like I have to bench press a baby cow! They all laughed and said they have a similar phrase for it, "if you're not lifting a steer you may be a bit queer". 

HUGE Pitch pressure, and high roll pressure. After a minute and A half race I feel like I've been at the gym for an hour. 
But that also makes it usually stable at high speeds. It's a well behaved rocketship but hard to turn. 
Also if you are going slow it will pull to the left and if you're going fast it pulls to the right so you're constantly having to wind the role trim knob if you fly at different trim speeds. But of course while racing you just don't have time to do that. So you just go fast all the time. Also while going slow the role pressure increases drastically. 
It's nearly physically impossible to get the control bar within 3 inches of the compression strut. 
If I raced it all the time I would look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. 
But for beginners and normal flying, I think it's a superior wing."

 

Sep 21st

Techniques for 180 back to airport with power-out on ascent

By Glade Montgomery

It seems that it's pretty common for engines to fail right during the ascent stage, very shortly after takeoff and when at only a few hundred feet (or, of course, sometimes less).  Based on this, I thought it might prudent to simulate the circumstance by going into my normal steep climb, then immediately dropping into idle, and at various altititudes, to see what was the mininum AGL at which I can manage a 180 back to the runway (or at least to the grass that is parallel to it), and to see what technique would be most effective. 

What I found is I can do it within about 350 AGL, so long as I use a particular and somewhat dramatic technique.  Immediately upon loss of thrust, I pull in hard on the bar, pulling the nose downward from its formerly somewhat steep pitch upward, to a point where it seems I am staring almost straight at the ground.  It's in this extreme nose down configuration (and before significant downward speed builds) that I can rapidly rotate the aircraft around back toward the runway.  If done just right, I can complete the rotation (and round out from the resulting dive) with a good margin of safety (in truth, while doing this I pretend like the floor is 100' higher than it really is, so I have an added margin of safety). 

I've tried other methods.  When pulling the nose down to just normal glide pitch and turning with various degrees of bank, I always lose significantly more altitude (by the time the turn is completed) than via the method above described.  Based on this, I suspect the best method may be the one I discovered.  It's counter-intuitive: when the ground is the very thing you are afraid of (and altitude is your most precious commodity), dive for it (and while turning).  But, within a particular altitude range while on first ascent, I suspect it may be just the ticket. 

This "dive-for-the-ground" technique also has the benefit of reducing any chance of stall (and/or stall/spin) to just about zero.  I believe it's well known that when seeking to minimize altitude loss in these kinds of turns (by keeping the nose up), pilots often lose sufficient speed, and the aircraft stalls fatally.  When you instead dive for the ground, any possibility of that mistake is pretty far removed. 

I am curious if anyone else has tried this technique?  Have your tried this and others, and yet found others are better?  Or have you found similar to me? 

Sep 6th

A study in recent trike accidents

By Rizwan Bukhari


I am so sad at the news of Bill Crow passing away. His Revo crashed and he sustained many injuries. He was air lifted and passed away in the hospital.

Before we go any further, I want to be very clear in saying that all I want to do is to find some answers. This is a fact finiding mission and that is the only purpose here. As we know that in a year and a half (since last may 2014) This is the fourth Revo trike incident/accidents. Out of the four, three proved to be a fatal. This is not good statistical data. And I feel this is important to point out and discuss what caused them. I can think of atleast 6 or 7 Revo accidents.

Now I know many of you trike pilots are thinking this but I will put it in words that we would like some answers from the industry leaders and their mouth pieces who leave no stone unturned to promote their product via blogs as the best trike money can buy.

I hope you realize that every life lost affects many other lives. The pilots that perished flying your machines, their death impacted their children, spouse, friends and their entire life style. That is a huge cross to bear.

If I was to compile a data of total "top of the line trikes" sold and total accidents and fatalities of these trikes. The percentage so far would not look very favorably towards the manufacturer and the dealers. And hopefully we can find an answer for pilot safety, whether it is more training or some other solution, whatever it maybe.

So lets examine some of the accidents and what caused them.
 
First Gerry of Birds in Paradise perished last May, he had modified the vent system, that caught fire during the flight and we all know that much but no one has ever answered why he felt the need to modify the vent system? Was it a poor design?

Then Craig died and according to eye witnesses his Revo trike and the wing seperated. Should any trike (forget top of the line trike claims for a second) behave like that. Craig, like Gerry was an experienced pilot. I would like to know what happened there?

William in Virginia Revo stalled and crashed in five to six feet deep water. The trike was totalled but he should be counting his blessings that it didn't happen on asphalt or the outcome could have been fatal.

And now Bill Crow....this is very sad. These four accidents have happened in about one and a half year.

And while we mourn the loss of our good friend Bill, the loss of Scmidt's brother and near death experience of the gentleman flying Henry's trike with a Revo wing are fresh in memory.
 
 I hope you can give us an explanation with the same enthusiasm as you promote your products. Because pilot lives are important too.

Another thing while we are at this topic is that majority of trike pilots already are talking about (and I am pretty sure that you are aware of this) your wing being prone to instability at high speed that could cause spirals, but what do I know. And if that is true, the solution should have been to fix the problem with a poor desinged or tuned wing rather than shoving Spiral Dive Recovery as PTS manuvers to protect yourself from impending law suits . So the question is that how many lives will be lost before we fix these problems?

I sincerely hope that I am not offending the manufacturer and the leaders, but firmly making my point that next time you aggressively promote or sell your product, please also be prepared to answer about the fatalities and imperfections too and what are you doing to fix them. Because pilot lives matter.

We all learn from our mistakes, the important question here is what have you done or are you doing to make sure that no more lives are lost.

Thank you,

 

Riz

(PS: My intention here is to learn to clarify some qustions that are on many mind and find some solutions that are on your mind).

Aug 14th

Battens falling out of a trike wing during flight

By Rizwan Bukhari

 

A few months ago I watched a trike crash video. It was somewhere in Russia. It was a fatal crash.

 

This trike was a single person trike with a 80 hp 912 on it. In the comments, there were many opinions (guesses) as to what caused it. Some pilots were of the opinion that there was too much torque.

 

One person said the cause of crash was battens falling out of the wing during take off deforming the wing causing the crash. Can this really happen?

 

My current trike wing has strings to hold battens in their place. My questions is

 

1) How much pressure (if any) is on these batten strings, especiallly during flight?

 

2) Is Bungee string a better way vs just the regular strings becuase a bungee can stretch under pressure?

 

3) Can these batten strings actually break in flight?

 

4) If a batten string breaks in flight, how likely is it that a batten would slide out of the wing and fall out?

 

5) If one is faced with such scenario where the batten is falling out, what is the best course of action?

 

Thanks,

 

 

Rizzy

Jul 10th

almost goproless

By monty stone

the preflight went ok, the parts i landed with last week were still there. i mounted my new $65. adventure x4 gopro knock-off camera looking backwards, (i can then see where i,ve been!) i screwed my go-pro to the side of my brain bucket,( no tether) then taxied over to 11/29. on the way i swung my bar forwards, backwards and left and the 'other' left, i felt a 'twang' as a stay wire hit the go-pro, i briefly considered checking it, but 'moronic stupidity' won and i proceded with plan A to take off. no adventure flight no 'trike-abatics, no spirals or ,tumbles, just a few laps around the area, then landed on the 'big plane' runway taxied to my hanger,shut down, took my helmet off to turn my gopro off, it wasn't there, gone! no longer mine! now i'm blessed with an excellent memory, though it doesn't last long! did i mount it? is it still in my bag? nope, not in the bag,the clamp screw was in and tight! WTF! then i remembered the 'twang'. i trudged along the taxi-way, then i saw this little silver speck in the distance . yep there was my little gopro,laying on it's back, stareing lifelessly (sniffle) with it's one little eye aimed  at the sky it would never again witness,(more sniffling) but wait! sos was on it's screen! i hit the power button, it works! a tiny scratch ( 'tis but a scratch!) the only evidence of being callously thrown to the blacktop. tetherless. i learned from this, make SURE the clamp screw 'goesinta' ALL the holes, and let the stay wire 'twang' the camera,(at least once!) before take-off. if it hadn't been 'twanged' it would have gone through the big fan, in flight, with all the 'inconvenience' of a prop strike. the 'knockoff' x4 seems to work fine, easier to program than the gopro, and accepts the 'cheapo' cards, the gopro won't, i don't anticipate throwing it to the blacktop yet to test it's 'gopro toughness', maybe next week! monty