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  #1  
Old 05-31-2018, 05:05 PM
Ed_Wischmeyer's Avatar
Ed_Wischmeyer Ed_Wischmeyer is offline
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 1,576
Default A more comfortable ride in turbulence?

Although I'm hopeful that the current round of physical therapy will help my spinal issues, there's no hope that my spine will ever again be good for more that 2 Gs (five level fusion, L1-L5, and additional recent symptoms). And the other day, it's newest complaint was whining in moderate turbulence (enough that the downdrafts would lift you out of the seat a little, but not slam your head into the canopy.) The sharp edged updrafts were the uncomfortable ones.

So what to do about getting a better ride in turbulence?
* I talked to the good folks at OregonAero, and their suggestion was to make sure that I wasn't slouched over in the seat. I climbed into the -9A on the ground, and guess what I was doing? Yup, was slouching, but when I sat up straight, my upper arm was pressed against the side rail;
* Fly slower. The RV-9A has adequate speed for cross country, but I'd hate to have to slow down whenever it got bumpy;
* Get a faster plane and fly it slower. That could be a -7A, -10, or -14A. I've already been spoiled by the Garmin G3X touch system for IFR, and that's $40K to replicate in a new plane. The -7A has the same fuselage as the -9A, but I could slow it down to RV-9A speeds. The one time I tried, the -10 seemed heavy enough that I probably shouldn't try pushing it on the ground. RV-10s are also pricey, as are RV-14s which are rare on the market. An -8A is a possibility, but the ride in turbulence is not good for the back seater, and I don't know that the G3X yaw damper will work on an -8A.
* Get a (horrors!) spam can with springs in the seats.

Hate to do it, but the time has come to sell the RV-8, which I love to fly. And the -9A is also a candidate for replacement if I find a reasonable alternative. At this point, however, the easiest solution is to keep the -9A and slow down in turbulence...

Anybody got any better ideas, other than turning the clock back a decade or so? Surely other folks have gone through this, or very similar...
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  #2  
Old 05-31-2018, 05:16 PM
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RV7A Flyer RV7A Flyer is offline
 
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Find some spam can seats bottoms with springs and modify to fit?
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  #3  
Old 05-31-2018, 05:18 PM
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grubbat grubbat is offline
 
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Ed,
Steve Smith was working on a wing design for the -8 that may improve the ride. I'm assuming that you want to stay on the Experimental side of the airplane world or I would suggest something heavier like a Twin Comanche or F33 Bonanza. (im a little bit partial to the twinco). Both of these options are higher operational cost over the RV but they do have better ride in turbulence. The -10 would also offer a better ride but the entry cost of that bird may be a barrier. It was for me. The wing idea is really interesting but not sure what the lead time would be or construction time once you got your hands on one.
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  #4  
Old 05-31-2018, 05:29 PM
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FORANE FORANE is offline
 
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Drawing from experience owning a 9A and a Lancair I would suggest that a slick round fuselage with high wing loading isn't affected much in turbulence. The RV beats it in multiple other ways but was far far rougher in turbulence.
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  #5  
Old 05-31-2018, 05:56 PM
RV Jerry RV Jerry is offline
 
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The Rocket does better in turbulence
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  #6  
Old 05-31-2018, 05:58 PM
RV Jerry RV Jerry is offline
 
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Meant to mention I have back problems and also have a 5 level fusion
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  #7  
Old 05-31-2018, 06:44 PM
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Location: SLC, UT (KBTF)
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Default Sit up straight!!

Ed,
If your spine is aligned, bumps should be more tolerable (also have a spinal fusion).
Some extra relatively firm foam under the seat bottom could help. You don't want it so soft that it's already bottomed out under 1 g.
Increase the wing loading: 1. Fly it at gross weight using ballast as necessary. 2. Take off the wingtips http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...ad.php?t=84187
Slow down; the airlines do it.

Cheers, David
RV-6A KBTF
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  #8  
Old 05-31-2018, 06:54 PM
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N941WR N941WR is offline
 
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Ed, as you guessed, the one downside to the high aspect ratio -9 wing is that it can get rough in bumpy air.

Why not try moving the back rest all the way forward and flip up the back support up so the seat is as laid-back as possible. This will help stop your spine compressing in the bumps.
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  #9  
Old 05-31-2018, 07:20 PM
rv7charlie rv7charlie is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N941WR View Post
Ed, as you guessed, the one downside to the high aspect ratio -9 wing is that it can get rough in bumpy air.

Why not try moving the back rest all the way forward and flip up the back support up so the seat is as laid-back as possible. This will help stop your spine compressing in the bumps.
Bill beat me to it. :-) I reclined the seat in my -4, & it made it a *much* more comfortable plane all around. And the military figured out a long time ago that reclining seats improves g tolerance.

Charlie
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  #10  
Old 05-31-2018, 09:51 PM
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RV6_flyer RV6_flyer is offline
 
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Others have already posted some of what I am thinking. I will try to add something new to this thread.

Wish I had magic words of wisdom but here is what I can tell you about flying my RV-6 for 20-years and 3,300 hours. 1/3 of the hours are logged as Cross Country hours.

I hate turbulence as much as anyone.

Try to pick the days you fly and the time. I like departing as early as sunrise and stay above the turbulence as much as possible. I have a tendency to end flying for the day earlier than many.

15 of the 20 years were based out of KCCB in SoCal so yes I have seen a lot of turbulence. Heading out of the LA Basin I typically headed toward Vegas or Phoenix. Depart at daybreak and around 3 PM, I was stopping for 2nd tank of fuel and spending the night. Flying over Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah early in the morning helps with the ride.

Two weeks ago, I took the airplane out of my hangar at NC25 to go fly a little at 3 PM. Ride was so bad, I was only in the air 15-minutes as the ride was that bad. Need to get back into the habit of making most of my flying in before noon.
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