Finned wheel coverings?

Published by: roger larson on 23rd Jun 2017 | View all blogs by roger larson

Curious of thoughts about the finned wheel pants that are used on the trikes.  Has anyone flown with and without them on the same trike and noticed a difference?

The revolt doesn't have wheel pants.  What will be the good, or the bad of not having them?



  • Doug Boyle
    by Doug Boyle 1 year ago
    Wheelpants are useful as your speed increases through providing vertical stabilization behind the center of gravity. They also help in countering the use of a pod, reduce drag, and improves tracking. Mostly used with double-surfaced wings since they fly faster. You can fly without them but you lose their attributes.
  • Steve Beste
    by Steve Beste 1 year ago
    I'm guessing that the Revolt flies fine without finned wheel fairings. I have a trike with no pod and no finned wheel fairings. My wing is an Aeros Profi TL. My top speed is 65mph, maybe 70 if I pull way in. The wing will go faster, but my 60hp HKS won't push it any faster. But no matter. Above 65mph my neck starts to hurt with the effort of resisting the wind since I have no windshield. At 65mph, my trike flies straight and true. If it had a pod that might be different. If I were flying faster that might be different. But 65mph with no pod and a good wing? No need for fins.
  • Joe Hockman
    by Joe Hockman 1 year ago
    I too think the Revolt would fly just fine without any finned wheel pants. The benefits finned wheel pants provide (tracking stability, and reduced yaw twitchiness in particular) is proportional to the amount of vertical surface area on the chariot in front of the CL (center of lift) vs the amount of vertical surface area aft of the CL and it is directly related to flying speed. The Revolt has virtually no vertical surface area in front of the wings CL. Now if a pod and tall windshield were added then the benefits of finned wheel pants may come into play. Another factor is wing aspect ratio. High aspect ratio wings tend to be faster and also can have more tracking stability issues and be a bit more yaw twitchy behavior and benefit more from finned wheel pants. From pictures I have seen, the Rival X does not appear to have a very high aspect ratio. Now finned wheel pants on the Revolt may help to reduce parasitic drag slightly around wheels but given large wheels and all the tubing exposed to air flow, it already has a fair amount of drag and drag reduction of finned wheel pants may hardly be noticeable.
  • Damien B
    by Damien B 1 year ago
    >> Curious of thoughts about the finned wheel pants that are used on the trikes
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 1 year ago
    The short answer is the carriage is not supposed to help the wing track straight. The wing, if designed properly will do that all on its own.

    The carriage is either yaw stabile or it's not. To find this out in layman's terms take a side profile photo of any carriage, then print the photo and cut the paper out with scissors so you have a 2D carriage profile made of paper. Then attach a piece of thread with a dab of super glue to where the hang point should be and hold in front of a light breeze. If the paper noses into the wind, it is yaw stable. If it noses away from the wind. it is yaw unstable.

    When there is no front pod and lots of drag behind the hang point the odds are wheel fins are not required and the carriage will be just as yaw stabile at 30 MPH as it is at 100 MPH.

    An unstable carriage can overpower the pilot in a slipping turn causing a locked out spiral or just cause ill handling or anywhere in between. We see manufacturers offer podded trikes without fins with large slow wings since they are slow and an unstable carriage is very manageable with a big slow wing.

    The REVOLT carves at 90 MPH left to right with equal tracking to a REVO.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 1 year ago
    Its very simple. The wheel pant fins act as pseudo vertical stabs. They are needed when one has significant side area in front of center of pressure. Revolt or other nacked trikes hardly have any. It is also needed more when one goes faster. Revolt won't be a trike well suited to fly at 90 mph. These fins stabilize in yaw axis and keep the nose from going side to side. As we know in trikes there is a coupling between yaw and roll so yaw stability has an indirect relation to rolling as well. Having side area in effect moves the center of pressure forward so more side area is needed aft of it to try and keep balance so one does not swap ends
  • Bryan Tuffnell
    by Bryan Tuffnell 1 year ago
    Putting an excessively large screen in front of the pilot is a good way of needing big wheel pants. I know one model of trike that places the passenger in a howling gale, and in one country a not uncommon mod has been to increase the screen size. The large screen increases an already marginal trike's tendency to get itself locked into a turn. In this case, a problem with the wing gets compounded by adding a problem to the carriage.
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