Feb 16th

Weight-Shift Control Trike Aerodynamics- Wing tip angle of attack (AOA) in turns test demonstration Part 2

By Paul Hamilton

 

There has been a question about the basics of angle of attack of the tip in a turn for the weight-shift control trike wing considering wing twist and roll dampening. Here is a simple test with airflow and angle of attack clearly shown for a turn.

 

We saw in the last video that the twist in the wing tip could vary as much as 6 to 9 degrees up and down from neutral in extreme turns side to side in the Revo Rival S trike. This was a simple test, but the measurements were simple, reliable and repeatable with error bands providing a reliable 6 to 8 degrees twist change. We calculated the roll dampening factor. Here we are actually able to look and see it.

 

Here, with this visualization of actual airflow and wing twist in relation to the airflow, we are able to see the angle of attack of the tips for the phases for a turn. We went 60 degrees to 60 degrees bank to be able to detect the airflow and angle of attack of the wing. Any smaller is just too hard to see a significant enough change to provide reliable conclusions.

 

http://www.trikepilot.com/videos/view/_25207

 

So based on our visualization of this video, we will break the side to side (60 degrees left to 60 degrees right) turn down into six distinct phases. We have not considered the adverse yaw which is a completely different topic. Phases of the turn:

 

Phase 1 Initial weight shift/billow shift, washout/twist change.

 

This is where the weight is shifted, side pressure applied and the tip twists to reduce lift to start the roll.

 

Phase 2 Start of the roll.

 

This is where the wing starts dropping and starting the rolling momentum of the heavy wing above. The wing is just starting to accelerate down. Side control pressure is present to provide maximum twist in the wing to continue to roll/accelerate the wing down. Here we have a significant reduction in angle of attack of the wing from the billow shift/washout/twist change to provide enough tip roll moments to roll the wing.

 

Phase 3 Mid roll acceleration.

 

This is where the wing has gained some roll momentum, shown here as the “wing level” rolling side to side, and still gaining roll momentum. Here we see the angle of attack on the wing start to increase as the roll dampening (change of airflow to the wing as the wing drops increasing the angle of attack of the wing). Here we see the roll dampening start to increase. Here roll pressure is still applied to provide as low as angle of attack on the tip as possible to continue the roll.

 

 

 

Phase 4 Max roll acceleration.

 

This is where the roll momentum has built and the wing is dropping at the maximum roll velocity. Here the roll dampening is at its greatest and the angle of attack on the tip is the greatest because of the roll dampening. Here we are past level and the turn is initiating in the other direction. This is where adverse yaw is probable the greatest and trying to catch up with the turn.

 

Phase 5 Roll deceleration.

 

Now we have some centrifugal force and we can release the control pressure to let the centrifugal force bring the undercarriage out directly under the wing and stabilize the turn in the opposite direction.

 

Phase 6 Stabilized turn.

 

Once the control pressure is released we are in a stabilized turn and the angle of attack on the tips is equal as in level flight except we have greater g loading in the higher banked turn.

 

It should be noted that in a WSC roll the weight of the undercarriage provides substantial rolling moment. However, the percentage of actual weight shift verses aerodynamic billow shift/washout/twist change  rolling moments is largely dependent on the specific trike design and the ability of it to provide the twist change from the weight shift, wristed keel or roll assist (which is used with the P&M STARS system). Based on calculations, I estimate the percentage of weight shift rolling moment to twist change aerodynamic rolling moments to range between 25 to 75 percent of the total rolling moment for the trike depending on the specific design.

 

 We have a large range of trike designs out there with different design characteristics…

 

Jan 20th

What initially rolls the trike wing and what creates billow shift/washout/twist change. Five fundamental forces/moments

By Paul Hamilton

 

There is plenty of speculation about what "initially" rolls the wing and creates billow shift/washout/twist change. We tend to focus on only a few and there are five fundamental forces. Three that help and two that do not. Note there are many more but here are the five  that are the greatest contributors.  We will look at these FORCES individually to get a basic understanding.  We are going to ignore the anhedral/dihedral and roll coupling because it complicates matters and we are looking at the FORCES and resultant MOMENTS that initially roll the wing.

 

 Forces helping us to roll:

 

1. As the weight is shifted to one side that weight shift moves the center of gravity to one side creating a moment rolling the wing. Gravity pulling down on the weight of the carriage and lift pulling up on the wing. As an example we will say the bar is moved 6 inches with a 1000 pound carriage to get 6000 inch pound rolling moment on the wing simply from weight shift. Let's call this "1 WEIGHT MOMENT" for short. This is the most straight forward and easiest to understand.

 

2. As the weight is moved over, it loads up the wing which creates uneven loading on the heavier wing side and the flexibility of the wing of the loaded side creates more billow shift/washout/twist change. Let's call this "2 WING LOADING ROLL" for short.

 

3. As we rotate the wing at an angle the weight can be broken down into two components, a component perpendicular to the wing and a side component . This can most easily be seen in this diagram. Let's call this "3 KEEL PULL" for short.

 

 

 

Note for this example the side load is 350 pounds pulling the keel to the side from basic gravity creating billow shift/washout/twist change. Note this force starts with any movement of the bar/shifting of the weight. One degree is 17 pounds and 30 degrees is 577 pounds. This is a huge force pulling that keel to the side starting billow shift/washout/twist change initially with the movement of the bar starting a turn.

 

We have all these factors helping us turn. The big question is how much does each of these three specific forces effect the turn. We will cover this later but they are different for every wing.

 

We have two specific forces working against us for rolling.  Both work against airplanes the same as trikes. We will number them consecutively since we are forces

 

Factors hurting is from rolling

 

4 MASS. Newton's laws of motion. Back to the basics for review:

 

Newton’s Basic Laws of Motion

 

Newton’s First Law: “Every object persists in its state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed on it.” This means that nothing starts or stops moving until some outside force causes it to do so. An aircraft at rest on the ramp remains at rest unless a force strong enough to overcome its inertia is applied. Once it is moving, its inertia keeps it moving, subject to the various other forces acting on it.

 

Newton’s Second Law: “Force is equal to the change in momentum per change in time. For a constant mass, force equals mass times acceleration.” When a body is acted upon by a constant force, its resulting acceleration is inversely proportional to the mass of the body and is directly proportional to the applied force. This takes into account the factors involved in overcoming Newton’s First Law. It covers both changes in direction and speed, including starting up from rest (positive acceleration) and coming to a stop (negative acceleration or deceleration).

 

Newton’s Third Law: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

 

In triking, we have this 100 pound (more or less), 32 feet (more or less) wing above us that must be moved. This is a pretty formidable force which many ignore. Take a 32 foot long pole weighing 100 pounds and try to roll it 30 degrees in 4 seconds. Takes allot of force/effort, more than you would think.

 

5 ROLL DAMPENING

 

Here is a new one for some. As we roll, the wing going down sees a greater angle of attack than the side going up which creates  a lower angle of attack, thus this slows down the rolling. However, the billow shift/washout/twist change relieves this roll dampening by reducing the angle of the airfoil on the down going tip and increasing the angle on the up going tip. Again how much billow shift/washout/twist change is a question which we will cover later. First an example to look at the actual roll dampening angle of attack increase for a rigid wing or trike with no billow shift/washout/twist change :

 

In a steady state start to finish, 50 MPH airspeed, 4 seconds to roll from level to 30 degree bank, with no billow shift (stiff wing), how many degrees is the angle of attack increased from the lowering wing with a 32 foot wingspan?

 

Lets use 50 MPH (70 FPS feet per second) for this. First we need to figure out how fast your tip is going down.
Your tip is 15 feet out and with a 30 degree bank it travels about 9 feet (8 in an arc) in an arc as it drops. So it is dropping at about 2 foot/sec.
So as it drops 2 FPS into 70 FPS air the change in angle is about 1.5 degrees. Again note this does not have any billow shift/washout/twist change. Stiff wing.

 

With a stiff wing and no billow shift/washout/twist change how much force out on that tip is that?

 

If we have a rigid wing with no twist and the desired roll rate adds 1.5 degrees of angle of attack on the wing about 15 feet out on the tip what is the force of 1.5 degrees additional angle of attack? Some basic math produces a force of 75 pounds. Calculating a moment for this we can compare to the weight shift moment we calculated above: 12 feet out for a moment of 10800 inch pounds. Note this is significantly more than the 6000 foot moment for the "1 weight moment" alone.

 

So we know that with no billow shift/washout/twist change, considering ONLY weight shift and roll dampening ONLY,  it is going to be much longer than 4 seconds. Almost twice as long. Note this is ONLY 2 of the 5 total forces for initial rolling. Add force "4 MASS" makes it harder/longer and "2 WING LOADING ROLL" and 3 KEEL PULL" make it easier with billow shift/washout/twist change.

 

To summarize,  we now have 3 forces helping is roll 1 WEIGHT MOMENT, 2 WING LOADING ROLL and 3 KEEL PULL. Note that 2 WING LOADING ROLL and 3 KEEL PULL BOTH create billow shift/washout/twist change.  We have both 1 MASS and 2 ROLL DAMPENING slowing/not helping roll.

 

Quite the mix of forces/factors. All of these forces come into play as the bar is moved to initiate a turn. Yes some believe that as the wing starts to drop and the rushing up air  helps billow shift/washout/twist change however this may or may not be is a secondary effect which is a result of the primary forces.

 

Which ones are more influential. Two of the four are pretty much the same for all similar wings, the 1 WEIGHT MOMENT help,  and the 4 MASS moment hurt. All others 2 WING LOADING ROLL, 3 KEEL PULL and 5 ROLL DAMPENING are effected by  billow shift/washout/twist change. It should be noted that the force from the 2 WING LOADING and 3 KEEL pull is the same but the effect with billow change/washout/twist change is different.

 

Why do some wings roll faster than others? Because the 2 WING LOADING ROLL , 3 KEEL PULL and "EFFECTIVE" 5 ROLL DAMPENING are effected by  billow shift/washout/twist change.

 

Faster rolling wings have more billow shift/washout/twist change. Slower rolling wings have less.

 

A rigid wing will not roll fast enough to be flown safely with 1 WEIGHT MOMENT force alone so billow shift/washout/twist change is needed. Again how much billow shift/washout/twist change is accomplished when the weight is shifted depends on the specific wing. Each wing is different.

 

So how much does the billow shift/washout/twist change in a turn, the following video shows plus and minus 6 degrees at the tip with one of the fastest rolling wings in the world.

 http://www.trikepilot.com/videos/view/washout-twist-change-test-verification_25106.html

 

 

So we know we only need 1.5 degrees to overcome the roll dampening to at least get the lift on each wing tip equal. We are getting 6 degrees in the above video for the fastest turning wing abruptly turning 45 to 45 degree turns. From this measured look at twist change for this wing that probable was one of the highest billow shift/washout/twist change, a good approximation for maximum twist change is 6 degrees plus and 6 degrees minus. Most other wings/situations will be probably be less. We can also see that it does not take much billow shift/washout/twist change to overcome the 1.5 of 6 degrees   "5 ROLL DAMPENING" force.

 

I would assume most wings are able to overcome this roll dampening force to provide less lift on the down going wing to roll fast enough to fly safely under the pilots control.  This is the magic of the FLEX wing.

 

This is a diagram showing the lift distribution of the wing in a turn with the twist greater than the 1.5 degrees needed to overcome the roll dampening

 

 

 

 

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Jan 15th

Thoughts on safety.

By Bryan Tuffnell

Why are so many trike pilots dying? We've heard lots of answers to that, most of which I don't buy. God isn't lurking behind a cloud with a Lee Browning taking potshots at unlicensed pilots; if engine failures had to be fatal there wouldn't be a whole lot of hang gliding going on; if higher performing trikes were dangerous how come so many of us are clocking thousands of hours in them?

The root cause of the majority of triking accidents is surely that the pilot lost control of the aircraft, for whatever reason. And yet trikes must be about the easiest aircraft to control. What's going on?

I don't see many stall related accidents; nor is tumbling much of a feature. You've got to be trying to get into trouble through pure pitch. Trike pilots have little direct, independent control of yaw. Trikes don't spin. I'll bet dollars to donuts that most accidents happen because either the pilot can't roll fast enough, or far more commonly, because they can't remove bank - they are locked out of a turn.

This is topical, with all the discussion about roll that's been happening. It's also a pet subject of mine (hold me down).

Every three axis and rotary wing pilot knows how to coordinate a turn. Every trike pilot should know to pull in to initiate a change of bank, and to push out to turn a roll into a constant rate turn. Yet I believe that this lack of what should be a fundamental skill is killing pilots.

This is where the fuss about spiral dives and slipped turns and Arrow wings come from. What's the solution? I see three possibilities:

1 Manufacturers dumb down wings to cater for inadequate skills.

2 An upping of the standard of instruction, somehow.

3 A rating system for matching pilots with trikes.

Higher performing trikes are not harder to fly. There aren't killer wings. There are some trikes that ask their pilots to have a basic comprehension of the roles of pitch and throttle in banked flight, nothing more. I think having instruction that includes Turns 101 could save lives, and is the answer. I don't know how to make that happen.

 

What do you good folks think?

Jan 8th

How a trike rolls presented with a totally new perspective 2

By Paul Hamilton

 

 

This presents a completely different mindset  to look  at the trike rolling into a turn.  It was presented by RB so I will do my best to convey the message/concept. Historically, we have been looking at shifting the weight under the trike wing creating the turn. Forget all that for a minute and open your mind to a different perspective, a new way of thinking about how a trike rolls into a turn.  Simple. We are not shifting our weight under the wing to roll it, WE ARE  TILTING THE WING ABOVE THE TRIKE carriage which starts the turn.

 

 

 

This can be easily seen in this video. Note that the bar is moved, the wing tilts above the trike undercarriage the trike under carriage (with the camera attached) initially do not move much. Then after the wing tilts you can see the trike undercarriage/camera get into the turn AFTER the wing is tilted.  You can see this most clearly flying straight going into a steep turn and also coming out of  a steep turn. This can be clearly seen in this video.

 

http://www.trikepilot.com/videos/view/yaw-string-on-front-tube-showing-trike-flying-sideways-at-times_25064.html

 

 

 

 

Look at the simple physics. As an example: you have a 1000 pound trike undercarriage and a 100 pound wing. You have 1000 pounds verses 100 pounds, TEN TIMES the mass trying to oppose each other. Which one is going to move more, simple: the lighter weight wing. Yes it could be 5 to 10 times based on the specific weights but we will use 10 here to make the math simple.

 

 

 

So with 10 times the difference in mass, basic physics provides us an easy way to quantify this. You tilt the wing 40 degrees and the undercarriage moves 4 degrees.  Exactly as shown in the video.

 

 

 

So we rotate the wing, the lift vector goes to the side so we start turning. Hopefully we all remember this horizontal component of lift. The problem is that our momentum 1100 pounds at 70 MPH (or what ever speed/weight) wants to keeps us going straight based on Newton's First Law of motion.

 

 

 

So now we have a trike initially being pulled to the side from the changed lift vector, turning but pointed straight. Kind of a mess to start. It appears we are flying sideways to the relative wind. That pesky sideways adverse yaw we know happens but debate exactly how.  Well over time, however many fraction or seconds it takes, the trike yaw stabilizer (nose angle/billow/wheel spats/tip rudders or what ever you want to call it), the trike stabilizes in yaw track the trike into the turn. That pesky adverse yaw goes away. At about the same time (before, during or after which can be debated) the undercarriage swings out from the centrifugal force and we are in a coordinated turn.

 

 

 

Make no mistake, we are shifting our weight, changing our CG under the wing which helps roll the aircraft, but start thinking of it in a new way/perspective and perhaps it will make more sense.

 

 You can see from the video clearly that for a trike the wing tilts more than the carriage moves to start the turn.

 

 

 

I know all this perspective is very hard for anyone to swallow after we have been taught what we are shifting our weight to initiate a turn. Yes, again, this weight shift is correct but based on physics we are tilting the wing MORE than shifting our weight under the wing to turn it.

 

 

 

How are hang glider turning dynamics fundamentally different from the Trike? Weight ratio.

 

 

 

Look at the hang glider 70 pounds and the pilot at 170 pounds. Only two and a half difference verses 10 for a trike. So the pilot verses wing ratio is significantly different tilting the wing less and bringing the pilot underneath the wing more. Should we continue to base all our highest levels or roll based on a different animal?

 

 

 

Why is everyone's perspective of the weight shift trike turn initiation, weight shift rather than tilting the wing? We have all been brainwashed from the hang glider designers from day one. I am totally guilty of this myself. It started as we were infant pilots and grew. It goes to the fundamental principles of learning for humans: Primacy- we learned it first creating a strong almost unshakable impression, Readiness - we want to learn to challenge and keep us safe, Exercise - it has been repeated so much it is continually reinforced, Intensity - we practice it and imagine it during flight plus we are passionate and emotional about it as we debate it.

 

 

 

With all these fundamental principles of learning engrained it will be hard for many to embrace this new concept.

 

 

There you have a completely new perspective of looking at roll for the trike. We have a long way to go to develop, understand and evolve our sport so perhaps this new perspective will be helpful.

 

Jan 2nd

Twist and Washout in the Trike Pilots Handbook and Why Billow was replaced

By Paul Hamilton

 

Background:

 

When the FAA Weight Shift Control Aircraft Flying Handbook was being written, one of the objectives was to standardize the terminology so that the WSC trike could most easily be understood by existing and new pilots.

 

 

 

The term billow was initially used by hang glider manufacturers with the original Rogollo wings to add material so the wing was not flat. The nose angle was 90 degrees and the sail was designed to be 95 degrees. At this time this was considered billow so the term "billow" has hung on over the years.

 

 

 

In fact with my hang glider design background,  I personally used this term in the manual along with wing "twist" and "decreasing angle of attack" towards the tips. My FAA review team asked "what is this billow term?. We do not see it in any credible aerodynamic description". The dictionary term was interesting and did not look like any thing related to sail design:

 

 

 

billow

 

[bil-oh] /ˈbɪl oʊ/

 

noun

 

1. a great wave or surge of the sea.

 

2. any surging mass:

 

billows of smoke.

 

verb (used without object)

 

3. to rise or roll in or like billows; surge.

 

4. to swell out, puff up, etc., as by the action of wind:

 

flags billowing in the breeze.

 

verb (used with object)

 

5. to make rise, surge, swell, or the like:

 

A sudden wind billowed the tent alarmingly.

 

  

 

It was explained that all these ancient "Tribal" terms from old times/technology needed to be updated/modernized to commonly known aerodynamic principles. I was initially perturbed/irritated with this but I moved on.

 

 

 

rIt was also brought to my attention that the current FAA reference 2005 for trikes (Lucian/Hal Trikes- Flex Wing Flyers) Page 3-29 Flex Wing Flyersdoes not have the term "billow" anywhere. It uses the common aerodynamic terms "Twist" and "Washout" as the concept was introduced. Again on page 3-39 Flex Wing Flyers the word twist and washout were used to describe turning. No reference or term "Billow" anywhere in the book or  anywhere in any credible aerodynamic resource i could find with an exhaustive search.

 

 

 

I was convinced/forced to comply that both "Twist" and "Washout" were credible aerodynamic terms and we did not need to invent billow to confuse the issue.

 

 

 

So I added in the Aerodynamics section page 2-3 the common aerodynamic terms twist and washout and addressed the term billow to transition everyone over to the established aerodynamic terms on page 2-3:

 

 

 

Wing twist is the decrease in chord angle from the root

 

to the tip chord, common to all WSC wings and ranging

 

from 5° to 15°. This wing twist is also called washout as

 

the wing decreases its angle of attack from root to tip. The

 

term billow was originally used for the early Rogallo wings

 

as the additional material in degrees that was added to the

 

airframe to create the airfoil. It is still used today to define the

 

amount of twist or washout in the wing. The WSC may not

 

have twist/washout when sitting on the ground, and must be

 

flying and developing lift to display the proper aerodynamic

 

twist characteristic of WSC wings. [Figure 2-6]

 

 

 

 

Again on Page 2-13 twist and washout are described in turning on page 2-13:

 

 

 

Longitudinal Axis— Roll

 

Turning is initiated by rolling about the longitudinal axis, into

 

a bank similar to an airplane using aileron and rudder control.

 

To turn, shift the weight to the side in the direction of the turn,

 

increasing the weight on that side. This increases the twist on

 

that side while decreasing the twist on the other side, similar

 

to actuating the ailerons on an airplane. The increased twist

 

on the side with the increased weight reduces the AOA on the

 

tip, reducing the lift on that side and dropping the wing into a

 

bank. The other wing, away from which the weight has been

 

shifted, decreases twist. The AOA increases, increasing the

 

lift on that wing and thereby raising it.

 

Thus, shifting the weight to one side warps the wing (changes

 

the twist) to drop one wing and raise the other, rolling the

 

WSC aircraft about the longitudinal axis. [Figure 2-24] More

 

details on the controls that assist wing warping are covered

 

in chapter 3, which should be considered with use of the

 

controls in the takeoff, landing, and flight maneuvers sections

 

of this handbook.

 

 

 

 

Again on Page 3-9

 

 

 

Roll Control System

 

Control bar movement from side to side controls the roll about

 

the longitudinal axis. The wing attachment hang point allows

 

the carriage to roll around the wing keel. Thus, it can also be

 

looked at from the carriage point of view, when the control

 

bar is moved side to side, the wing rotates around the wing

 

keel relative to the carriage. [Figures 2-31 and 3-19]

 

It would fi rst appear that moving the control bar to one side,

 

thus shifting weight to the opposite side, could alone bank

 

the aircraft. It is true that shifting weight to the right would

 

naturally bank the aircraft to the right and put it into a right

 

hand turn. However, the weight alone is not enough to provide

 

adequate roll control for practical flight.

 

As weight is moved to one side, the keel is pulled closer to

 

that side’s leading edge. The actual keel movement is limited

 

to only 1 to 2 inches each side of center. However, this limited

 

keel movement is sufficient to warp the wing, changing the

 

twist side to side (as discussed earlier in the aerodynamics

 

section) to roll the aircraft [Figure 2-24] by changing the

 

lift side to side. Simply, the shifting of weight from side to

 

side pulls the keel toward the leading edge on that side and

 

warps the wing to roll the aircraft.

 

Besides the keel shifting relative to the leading edges and

 

crossbar, overall roll control is adjusted by the designers to

 

fit the mission of the wing through sail material/stiffness,

 

leading edge stiffness/flexibility, amount of twist, amount

 

of travel the keel is allowed, airfoil shape, and the planform

 

of the wing. [Figures 3-20 and 3-21]

 

 

 

 

 

So there we have it, why we used Twist and washout instead of billow and how the wing turns from the shift of washout and/or change in twist...

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 22nd

Another great day, month and year for triking

By Paul Hamilton

We are going to have two trikes joining our fleet here in January.

 

The Delta Jet 2 is coming back. This is where we lost Ted to triking because his wife saw so much bad publicity providein the impression taht triking was dangerious and he sold his Delta Jet 2 to a student of mine who I have been training in the Revo.

We have the brand new Airborne M3-Sport coming for a student of mine who will eventually be opening a full time training Intro flight school in California.

 

Another great day, week, year for triking.

 

Happy holidays to all.

 

Dec 22nd

How to promote triking for the good of all

By Paul Hamilton

We have had a decline in triking, along with GA and I feel we can all make an effort to build up triking which will help us all. As the big valley thermal rises, all the aircraft rise together.

Here are some ideas I have which hopefully we can all work together on.

PROVIDE A GOOD IMAGE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC WHO ARE LOOKING AT US FROM THE OUTSIDE

I feel we have shot ourselves in the foot by posting all the "another trike death" as though is was commonplace and how technically difficult it is to fly and land a trike. I have received allot of feedback from people who look at the social sites for triking and see all the DIRTY LAUNDRY that is highlighted. It does look dangerous and technically difficult. Everyone dying and figuring out how to land is how WE are all promoting ourselves. What else would we expect with this persona. We need to look at ourselves in the mirror and think about others looking at us It is time we ALL made an effort to promote triking as positive safe flying machines, as they are, if you get proper training of which feel is lacking. That is why much of my efforts have been towards comprehensive training to minimize accidents and allow pilots to fly with safety and confidence.

So to provide a place to go over the accidents, causes and solutions I have created a new group where we can put this information to inform and learn from accidents.

 

Please ALL OF US, refocus our accidents to this new group so the general public's persona of triking is not ANOTHER DEATH.

 

Another area is to PROMOTE COMPREHENSIVE TRAINING 

 

Another area is to SEND PEOPLE TO INTRO FLIGHTS. Buy a gift certificate for your friend to take an Intro flight. I have noticed that most of my students who started triking took and INTRO FLIGHT and fell in love with it. Support your local CFI.

Dec 21st

Fuel Filter Safety Alert

By Paul Hamilton

 

Have been meaning to get out some important information on fuel filters. The nice see through fuel filter comes in good designs and bad designs. It is hard to tell the difference and few people know there are differences. I was using the bad design and it failed on me after about 300 hours on a 503.

 

 

Here is a picture of the bad filter that failed on me. Note that where it screws into the housing there are only about 1/4 of the threads. With a nice and smooth operating  engine with spacers and no pressure on the threads they stripped and the fuel filter opened up and the engine failed. The fuel goes on the side of the threads to get through the filter element. You can actually see the stripped threads if you look closly.

 

Luckelly it was on taxi.

FilterThatFailed.jpg

Now look below at the good design. Note there are full threads and there are holes for the fuel to go through the shaft to get through the filter element. Generally they both look the same at first glance. Two shots below of the better design I suggest you make sure you have.

 

Make sure you have full threads rather than partial threads.

GoodFilter.jpg

 

 

Image result for motorcycle fuel filter imagesRelated image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 21st

2016 Aviation Trike Make Models Year in Review

By Paul Hamilton

 

This year has been a great year for trike development and  improvement with a number of new designs released into the market. Here is a year in review (my opinions) of the major brands to reflect on.

 

 

 

Evolution trikes.

 

Will start with the introduction of the REV from Evolution trikes builder of the Revo. The REV is an ultralight, made in the USA, which is a completely new design aimed at the lower cost introductory ultralight market. I have not flown one but I hear they are really nice and a new concept on folding and transport. For many of these details I will put links to the products rather than details here http://evolutiontrikes.com/rev/

 

 

 

Along with Evolution trikes new REV the world famous REVO has continued to have constant design improvements as the trike is continuously evolving with improvements such as anhedral/dihedral, sail tension, wing camber, strut angle, hang block, roll dampener, and the list goes on.  Incredible wing Evolution. I must thank Larry for such a master piece and awesome contribution to triking. His service is incredible and his expensive top of the line trike is worth every penny. http://evolutiontrikes.com/revo/

 

Switching to a Revo is one of the best decisions I have made running a full time FBO flight school.

 

There is a strong rumor from reliable sources that Evolution Trikes is going to come out with a new lower priced 2 place model. No details but it might be at Sun @ Fun this year. From my information, it will be another game changer for affortable trikes. Not a speed machine is as much as I can say..... Stay tuned

 

 

 

Airborne Trikes.

 

Airborne finally made a much needed improvement to their flagship trike with all the basic things people wanted: greater comfort, more room, better handling, greater stability, MGL glass panel option, dual disk brakes. Why does it take so long for airborne to make the needed improvements? Because the more stringent certification in Australia. It is more expensive and time consuming to make changes to the trike design.  With the engine canted and wing fins it should get rid of that incredibly irritating right P-Factor and torque turn that drove me crazy on long full speed full power legs. This was my biggest complaint of the old Tundra/Outback design. http://www.airborne.com.au/pages/microlights-m3-sport.php

 

 

 

Does not look like Airborne have incorporated the 100 HP carbonated or fuel injected engine.

 

 

 

I will be taking delivery with one of these new Airborne M3-Sport trikes here very soon, middle January 2017 I hope, and will provide you my report.  Will be able to crank out some hours and see how she flies.

 

 

 

P @ M Aviation

 

 

 

Well for a trike carriage breakthrough, the new PulsR has made it to the USA market for commercial operation and looks really nice. The new carbon composite body with enclosed cockpit really looks sharp. A great addition to the top of the line trikes. http://www.pmaviationusa.com/pulsr.html

 

Looking at the pricing, WOW, if everyone wants to complain about the high price of trike here is a new clear leader as the target. It looks like it leaves the Revo in the dust after you add all the accessories. But if you want the most futuristic looking trike this is it. I would personally like to get my hands on one out west here and run it through its paces and give you my unbiased report. HINT, HINT to anybody out there.....

Also P@M has released a new Trike the HypeR. More room and all the improvements you would expect from P @ M.

http://www.pmaviation.co.uk/

 

 

Northwing.

 

I know Northwing has been incredibly busy building hang glider wings, their own S-LSA/E-LSA trikes and Ultralight trikes in addition the wings for the REVO. Northwing provides the lower cost trike made here in the USA. I must congratulate Northwing in being one of the pillars and foundation for triking here in the USA. They came out with a new wing the Conquest which is their Speed wing. http://www.northwing.com/conquest-wing.aspx and an upgraded Masverik trike http://www.northwing.com/maverick-legend-trike.aspx. They are continually evolving their trikes and getting trikes and trike wings out to the industry.

 

 

 

Air Creation.

 

 

 

The trike I did my first ultralight pre sport and “official  FAA training” back in 2004 to get my CFI and DPE for trikes was in an Air Creation. This was the first trike I rented from Lockwood aviation.  I flew their new top of the Tanarg in Hawaii in demanding conditions.  Air Creation is another standard in the industry producing a full range of quality trikes.

 

AC made a complete upgrade to the BioniX with the BioniX2 wing http://www.aircreation.com/en/catalog/wings/bionix_521 wing which is the flagship product. Better in every way

 

They have great trikes but still no strutted wing yet. This continual and rigid opposition to the strutted wing design I feel has slowed sales of the product. Many of the E-LSA get a used Tanarg and put a competitors strutted wing on their Tanarg and have a pretty nice E-LSA. However this is not possible for a S-LSA. However, for 2016, I see that they have a new single place iFun 13 SP model for "short pack" wing that is strutted for easy takedown but still has a king post and top wires.  http://www.aircreation.com/en/catalog/ifun-pixel/ifun_pixel_478

 

Perhaps they see the light/future and will join the rest of the world and start producing quality strutted wings.

 

 Aeros trikes.

 

Aeros has added the ANT trike which is so small and compact it can easily fit into the trunk of a car.

This is a nice breakthrough for the ultralight trikes.

http://aeros.com.ua/structure/nanotrikes/AnT_en.php

 

 

 

Apollo trikes.

 

 

 

Well, Apollo produces a very nice competitively priced trike which is a nice trike. An upgraded Monsoon. However, they/Abid are moving more into Gyrocopters but continue to support my fleet of S-LSA Apollo trikes including the Delta Jet, the Monsoon and the new Delta Jet 2 which is coming back to Reno/Carson soon with a new student who bought it from the original owner. I must thank Apollo/Abid for continuing to support Apollo trikes in and offer the Delta Jet 2 as an option. If for some reason you want to get into a Gyro, perhaps the SilverLight Aviation Abid's own gyro should be a consideration.

 

 

 

 

That is the end of my look at 2016. Please provide any other opinions or additional information as you see it. Positive information is welcomed here to get a comprehensive year end review of our beautiful machines.

 

 

 

Nov 14th

Important information to Students and CFI's for the new Student Pilot to Solo

By Paul Hamilton

We have had a big problem here for students trying to solo for airplanes and trikes. This is important information to help CFI's and Student pilots I just added to my web site. Please pass this on......

Notes on how, when and why to apply for a student pilot certificate:

  • A new process was enacted by FAA under the direction of TSA to apply for a student pilot certificate starting early 2016. There is now NO immediate issuance of the student pilot certificate as there was in the past before early 2016. This has caused some big hassles/delays for student pilots to solo.
  • Now, the applicant goes through a background check with TSA before the FAA can issue a student pilot certificate. This student pilot certificate is the same for Sport/Private. No difference. Same student certificate for sport, private, airplane, weight-shift control trike, PPC, gyrocopter, etc …….
  • Once it is submitted to FAA via IARCA it takes about 3 weeks for the green plastic student pilot certificate to arrive in the mail to the applicant after the student pilot certificate has been applied for. Takes longer if you use paper. If a student does not have a US pilots certificate, they need this student pilot certificate to solo.
  • If the student is participating in an accelerated course, solo could be one to two weeks after the student starts flight training. Therefore, it is important for the student pilot certificate be applied for AT LEAST 3 weeks before solo is anticipated.

Guidance for student pilot certificate application:

  • Student/applicant go to the FAA IACRA web site and set up account https://iacra.faa.gov/IACRA/
    • Top right – click register
    • Top – click Applicant box
    • Read terms of service – click agree at bottom and you will come to the IACRA User Profile Information screen.
    • If you do not have any FAA certificate (which you probably do not), skip the top section asking for pilot certificate number and start filling out your information.
    • Under SSN click “Do Not Use”
    • Create your user name and password. Mark these down in an important place – click register. Now you have registered with the FAA which will be your pilot certification account for your complete flying career.
  • After you have registered, you must log in and apply for a “pilot certificate”.
    • Choose student
    • You will receive an FTN number. Again, write this important number down in an important place with your user name and password.
  • Get your student pilot application approved and submitted
    • Once you have applied for the student pilot certificate you need to see some sort of FAA official to get your application approved. This can be the local CFI (FAA flight instructor) at any local flight school. They do not have to be sport pilot specific, they do the same for private pilots. There is no difference. ANY CFI/Flight Instructor can do this for you. There may be a fee for this service.
    • You can also use the local FAA FSDO office and they will do it for free. Some FAA FSDO offices may be more willing to take the time to do this than others depending on their work load. See  https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/field_offices/fsdo/ to locate your nearest FSDO office.
  • Once this has been submitted by the approving FAA representative, a green plastic student pilot card/certificate will come to in the mail in about 3 weeks unless there is some sort of problem which you should be notified.

 

 

For further information on getting started see:

http://sportpilottraining.sportaviationcenter.com/sport-pilot-applicant/sport-pilot-applicant-start/