Flying Techniques

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 Landing in Wind  Flying in Wind
 Stall Turn  Rudder Control


Landing in Wind

Approach speed 2x normal, on high rate ailerons, elevator and rudder. When over the threshold, tilt wing into wind, apply opposite rudder until in ground effect. Ground effect varies from terrain and turbulence items (like shelters, cars, upwind trees) and is an exponential function with respect to altitude, but is normally kicks in the last 2 feet. Things get (relatively) controllable there. The above approach technique keeps extra airspeed in case of a (reverse wind gust). The slipping keeps the plane in line with the runway, while bleeding off extra speed during the otherwise over-shot approach. BTW, this technique also works in near calm when dead-sticking. It keeps one out of the trees. 

Also it (ground effect) works for torque rolls, if that's ever of interest. Its much easier torque rolling under 2 feet than it is over 20 for the same reason (ground effect). 

Don Szczur

Flying in Wind

Thrust is a big factor. Running 30% in a DZ helps a lot. 

One of the biggest counter-intuitive things to do is add throttle going downwind before a pull up. One would think to keep the (ground) speed constant, you cut the throttle to quarter or less going downwind and increase throttle into the wind. But lets take a maneuver like a Cuban 8 entered down wind. If you enter the pull-up at quarter throttle basically the plane has so little (airspeed) that the wind just pushes the plane downwind and you never make it back to get the half roll crossover centered on the pole. If, however, you pour the coal to the fire as you pass the center pole, so you are full speed and lots of energy before going into the first 5/8 loop, it "carves" the radius, allowing you to come back at the center pole on the 45 degree line. You also should start the pull a little sooner than you normally would, to adjust for wind drift. Crosswind? Where do you start correcting? Before reaching the center maneuver area. you may have to add a little opposite rudder to keep it from weather-vaning too much, remembering to ease in ailerons as its looping around (to keep the wings level, as the crab angle at one point of a loop segment will put the wings off as the plane comes around). Similar issue for the F03 thing with the zip-tie figure (last maneuver) adding throttle as the thing is coming down on the long 45 degree line is counter-intuitive but helps keep the "line" at 45 while minimizing wind drift. 

A story- One of my best wind corrected flights ever, in fact my most skilled flight ever in the wind, perfect wind correction, was my worst scored rounds in the 1996 Nationals. See, prior in that round, the wind was calm so I lowered the nitro to get a nice slow, smooth presentation. When I was in ready box 2 the wind picked up- by the time Dean Koger was half way through his flight, the incoming front (thunderstorm) was blowing about 15 straight in. I went up and put on a show. All my lines were fully wind corrected, sometimes 20 to 30 degrees. I was so proud of the fact that I was able to wind correct and still maintain geometry and distance out through my flight. How did it score? Lets just say I went to the hotel that night and did some hard thinking. What I realized was that a plane that only has to correct 5 to 10 degrees will present much better than one 20 to 30 degrees. It presents better and actually makes it easier, particularly in the loops and radius segments. How to reduce the wind correction? Power and energy management. 

Stall Turn
Final hint for the day, stall turn. Wish I could collect a dollar for each of the folks I coach whose maneuver score improves by more than 2 points in a crosswind. Ever see a plane do a stall turn in a cross wind as if there isn't any? Three things to do. First you tilt the plane into the wind as you pull up into the quarter loop. This wind correction is almost not discernable. As it completes the quarter loop, add a touch of opposite direction rudder (to straighten the plane). Remember you are at max power here to minimize the crab. As you approach the end of the desired vertical line, reduce the throttle quicker than you normally do, but ease in, that's right, more opposite rudder. Now not so much rudder that the plane starts getting pushed by the wind, but just enough to minimize the (natural crab angle) that planes develop when flying a (ground reference) vertical line. When the airplane stalls you let go of the opposite rudder and ease in the same rudder for a nice clean stall turn into the wind. Now here is the clincher. Add a click or three of throttle over the top as it comes around. Under normal circumstances, it would cause a major downgrade with more than 1 1/2 wingspans, but in the crosswind the plane (with respect to the ground) does virtually a pivot on its axis. 

10's, Don  Szczur

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I encourage intermediate flyers to add top rudder during roll segments, whether its half roll, opposite half roll, or even in something simple like a Cuban 8. The top rudder keeps the line segment with roll on a string. Flight simulator helps immensely with this (learned rudder input). There's your homework assignment. 

So your not lonely, for Advanced or Masters, don't forget the left rudder during the half inside loop (over the top, like in a humpty bump). Gyroscopic effect always pulls the plane to the right during that segment of maneuver. Likewise a little right rudder when pushing over the top of an outside loop segment (like a figure 9). This correction for gyroscopic drift is necessary for perfect scoring, unless you want the gyroscopic effect to seamlessly self-correct for wind drift. But otherwise put the rudder in as described above. Although much more pronounced in TOC size models, this is still needed for pattern planes, even with the right thrust set up for basically hands off vertical uplines. 

Lots of cheer, Don Szczur

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