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  #1  
Old 05-25-2021, 11:29 PM
FireMedic_2009 FireMedic_2009 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 235
Default Landings in an RV3

I bought an RV3B a month ago and flown it about 20 hrs. My landings have been hit or miss, majority of them have been a miss and is frustrating. I got my tail wheel endorsement from Jan Bussell in a 6. I had about 10 landings in my 7 before the fuel line disconnected and totaled it in a field in Feb (I'm still pissed). It seems the 6 and 7 were easier to land than the 3. With Jan I did 70% of my landings as 3 point. With the 7, I did wheel landings. With the 3 I've attempted about 40 landings and only landed 25% or less and almost all of them wheel landings. A majority of my landings have been in windy conditions and many with xwinds. The stick is short where my arm is resting on my leg so it doesn't need much movement. Early on I was using full flaps on landings but it seems using 1/2 flaps works a little better. I've never had problems landing a trigear even in strong xwinds. I owned a 6A for 4.5 yrs and over 450 hrs and had only a hand full of go arounds. My stall speed without flaps is 54mph, half flaps 53mph, full flaps 51mph. I try to come in over the numbers at 85mph and hold it off and touch between 75-70mph. It seems pretty easy to bounce, much easier than the 6 or 7. It certainly hasn't been fun to say the least. I've only tried a few times to 3 point because it would be a lot harder to recover from a near stall bounce than a wheel landing bounce. Looking for advice
Thanks
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RV3B O-320 160hp
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Last edited by FireMedic_2009 : 05-26-2021 at 12:06 AM.
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  #2  
Old 05-26-2021, 12:02 AM
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RWoodard RWoodard is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Brighton, Colorado
Posts: 471
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I'm certainly no expert, but...

I'm guessing the stall speeds you've listed below are backwards. You'll probably have lower stall speeds with full flaps versus no flaps.

Assuming your full-flap stall speed is 51mph, I'd suggest an approach speed of 1.3x this speed = 67mph. This would be an approach speed, not a touchdown speed. If you're touching down at 70 to 75mph, I'd suggest that this is too fast. Ideally, I would think you'd want to touch down much closer to your stall speed for the configuration you've chosen. I'd say within 0 to 5mph of your stall speed would be more appropriate.

If you try to touch down too fast, the plane isn't finished flying and will have a tendency to bounce or be very pitch sensitive and I could see where it wouldn't take much to get some porpoising going on by forcing the plane to land when it's really not ready.

I'd practice flight at 67mph at altitude. I'd then practice flying a rectangular pattern at 67mph in your landing configuration. I'd then slow to within 5mph of your unaccelerated stall speed and practice making a few turns left and right to learn what the controls feel like very near your stall speed.

All this will make you more confident when slowing the plane for a normal landing. The exact feel and "float" won't be the same for an actual landing due to ground effect, but the "at altitude" practice is certainly better than nothing.

I find that most of my better landings happen when the plane and I *both* decide it's time to quit flying at approximately the same time. It's certainly possible to roll the mains on at higher speeds, but I definitely must continue to fly the airplane while the mains are on the ground until I slow to a non-flying airspeed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FireMedic_2009 View Post
I bought an RV3B a month ago and flown it about 20 hrs. My landings have been hit or miss, majority of them have been a miss and is frustrating. I got my tail wheel endorsement from Jan Bussell in a 6. I had about 10 landings in my 7 before the fuel line disconnected and totaled it in a field in Feb (I'm still pissed). It seems the 6 and 7 were easier to land than the 3. With Jan I did 70% of my landings as 3 point. With the 7, I did wheel landings. With the 3 I've attempted about 40 landings and only landed 25% or less and almost all of them wheel landings. A majority of my landings have been in windy conditions and many with xwinds. The stick is short where my arm is resting on my leg so it doesn't need much movement. Early on I was using full flaps on landings but it seems using 1/2 flaps works a little better. I've never had problems landing a trigear even in strong xwinds. I owned a 6A for 4.5 yrs and over 450 hrs and had only a hand full of go arounds. My stall speed without flaps is 51mph, half flaps 52mp, full flaps 54mph. I try to come in over the numbers at 85mph and hold it off and touch between 75-70mph. It seems pretty easy to bounce, much easier than the 6 or 7. It certainly hasn't been fun to say the least. I've only tried a few times to 3 point because it would be a lot harder to recover from a near stall bounce than a wheel landing bounce. Looking for advice
Thanks
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Brighton, Colorado (CO12)
RV-3 IO-320
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  #3  
Old 05-26-2021, 12:06 AM
FireMedic_2009 FireMedic_2009 is offline
 
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Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 235
Default corrected flap/no flap speeds

Yep, you are correct. Good catch. Corrected in original post
Thanks

I'd tried early on 1.3 x stall speed and the sink rate is pretty steep in the low 60's so I increased it, but maybe I have keep some power (1000 rpm or so) and cut it just before landing to keep the tail in a low position to roll on the mains. I've noticed it's pretty hard to loose altitude in a 3 without the speed increasing. I also want to be able to land without having any power, rather without adding any power, in case I have an engine out.
My plane idles at 800.
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Last edited by FireMedic_2009 : 05-26-2021 at 12:24 AM.
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  #4  
Old 05-26-2021, 01:44 AM
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EdH EdH is offline
 
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I aim for 60kt (69mph) on approach, carrying some power in the full flap configuration. I pull the power as I cross the end of the runway and like Rod says, the aeroplane and pilot seem ready to land about the same time! I always aim for a three-pointer. Any faster, and it floats.
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RV-3B G-CCTG - Purchased May 2020
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  #5  
Old 05-26-2021, 03:38 AM
wilddog wilddog is offline
 
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Location: va.
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A RV-3 will drop fast when slow on landing with only idle power. I carried about 1200-1300rpm on final until touchdown and wheel landed 95% of the time. It wheels on much easier than three point but that might just be me. My speeds were different from yours and I suspect some instrument error, stall with full flaps 62 mph.
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  #6  
Old 05-26-2021, 06:44 AM
sandifer sandifer is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: NC
Posts: 666
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Don't overthink it, nothing really unique about landing the -3 compared to other RVs or tailwheel airplanes. I'm sure it won't take much time to get comfortable. The -3 is obviously much lighter than the -6/7, so will change direction and bounce a little quicker. I had a -3 for a while and put about 1,300 landings on it. I'd mostly 3-point from an idle power approach, a touch over 70mph, and full flaps. Mine was light though and you'll need to find the approach speed that works right for you in your airplane. Don't focus on others' indicated numbers.

Lots of people like to carry power down approach, but I've always flown the pattern the same whether I'm in a J-3 Cub, RV, Pitts, or Cessna - idle power abeam the threshold and turn/slip all the way to the numbers. The RV is not a jet, you can easily fly an idle power approach. Sink rate is all relative. RVs descend faster than Cessnas but much slower than Pitts'. Everyone has a different comfort level with this. Just find the airspeed that gives you enough time to safely find the runway without excessive float. In RVs, be careful not to attempt to arrest high sink rate from a very low idle approach speed with elevator alone. The stubby aspect ratio wings build a lot of drag at high AOA. Fly your approach/round out profile so that you've smoothly shallowed the glide into ground effect without having to make a sharp change in your descent rate close to the ground. This will let you enter ground effect at a slow airspeed without a high descent rate, which cuts down on float and makes things easier, IMO.

And RVs recover bounces much easier than most airplanes because of their power to weight ratio and wings that just want to keep flying, so don't be afraid of the possibility of recovering a bounced 3-pointer. Hold your pitch attitude, blip the throttle and it settles right down. You will get comfortable with this. Until then just power up and go around. It'll rip you back into a safe climb out in an instant.
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  #7  
Old 05-26-2021, 07:28 AM
lr172 lr172 is offline
 
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There is no need to fly lower approach speeds if not comfortable or is not working for you yet. However, you need to know that in those cases, you will need to bleed off more speed in the flare. You may want to practice holding a couple feet over the runway untill the nose starts to rise. You will eventually get a feel for how much the nose should rise before you allow the wheels to touch. If the nose is not pointing up some, it means you have too much lift and the likelihood of a bounce is too good. You only want the wheels to touch down when there is not an excess of lift that will allow the plane to keep flying. gusty days are often different and you can't let the nose up as much, as you need more lift margin to deal with disappearing gusts. So, you eventually need to find a way to feel for the ground in those situations and uses the elevator to avoid lifting back off.

Just general guidance here. I have never landed a tailwheel plane, so take it for what it's worth.

Larry
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Last edited by lr172 : 05-26-2021 at 07:33 AM.
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  #8  
Old 05-26-2021, 07:37 AM
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EdH EdH is offline
 
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Sandifer’s post above needs a 'Like' button
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RV-3B G-CCTG - Purchased May 2020
RV-8 G-MIRV - First flight 1 July 2019
RV-6 G-BZRV - Flown the nest.

Last edited by EdH : 05-26-2021 at 01:21 PM.
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  #9  
Old 05-26-2021, 08:57 AM
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RWoodard RWoodard is offline
 
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I didn't mention power settings at all in my post and I really should have.

Yes, everyone loves to boast about making power off approaches all the time and how that's how they do it in a cub or a Pitts or a whatever. I've flown all that stuff and yes, I can make a power off approach in any of it, but realistically, it's not always possible or even advisable.

Until you are comfortable with your -3, I'd suggest carrying a little power almost all the way to the ground. This will give you a bit of a buffer and will give you a little time to mentally absorb the whole landing process. Work up to being able to do a power off approach and be able to do it as the situation warrants.

Reduce the power to idle as you're less than a foot off the ground. Increase back pressure as the speed decays and you simultaneously reduce power. From a technical standpoint, you're losing lift as speed decays and adding lift with increased angle of attack. The trick in any good landing (tailwheel or not) is to balance this increased angle of attack with decreasing speed to achieve a near zero descent rate just as the mains touch the ground. Once you get the knack of achieving this balance, landing any plane from an Airbus to a Midget Mustang is very achievable.

The sink rate in my -3 with a 3-bladed constant speed prop at idle is significant. Yes, I can and often do, conduct power off approaches, but it's not where I started. It's kinda like taking a newbie to the shooting range... I wouldn't have them start shooting with their non-dominate hand even though it's a good idea to become proficient with both hands at some point.

You'll want a complete bag of tricks in your repertoire, but knowing what technique to use for the given situation is a significant part of being a good pilot.
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  #10  
Old 05-26-2021, 12:12 PM
FireMedic_2009 FireMedic_2009 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 235
Default Thanks for all the advice

I appreciate all the help. I think with the 6 and 7 I was rolling on the wheels with a fairly level attitude but I think with the 3 I need to do it with a low tail (Higher angle of attack)
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