Ideas for those still building

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Includes: Highlander, Escapade, Summit and SuperSTOL.

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Re: Ideas for those still building

Postby R Rinker » Mon Aug 25, 2014 4:04 pm

Just wanted some feedback on the idea of only putting one door on the airplane. Not really planning on this, but wanted to know why it hasn't been done on a plane never used on floats. The long range advantage would be a much tighter, warmer cabin for those in cold climates...less stress when hauling kids concerning them fooling with door latches inflight, etc., cleaner, simpler build...etc. Much of the time for many pilots, there is no passenger to be slightly inconvenienced. When there is a passenger they would board with a lot less effort than getting in an RV. Boarding an RV is a daunting task compared with a Cessna, but no one complains - it is never seen as a negative consideration. So please tell me why this is a bad idea...
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Re: Ideas for those still building

Postby cropduster1968 » Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:45 pm

I was in a sea plane crash & was dam glad it had 2 doors.I was the passenger & we both got out o.k.The 172 was totaled.
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Re: Ideas for those still building

Postby Tralika » Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:16 am

I really like having two doors on a float plane. There are times that you just can't dock on the side you would like to. If you only have one door it can be really challenging getting out and trying to cross the wire to the other float before you get blown past the dock. I've done this in a 206, not fun. Also for safety purposes having more exits is a good thing.
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Re: Ideas for those still building

Postby R Rinker » Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:37 pm

Yea, that's why I said "for an airplane not ever on floats". So It's interesting..no argument for two doors..that surprises me. I have flown many hundreds of passengers in the Cessna, sometimes 30 to 40 in one day when we fly the school kids. Here in Canada most of the clubs fly school kids twice a year or so & sometimes I'm asked to do it on my own. Search & rescue exercises always fill the seats with spotters & up north the plane is often full. My procedure is to supervise the passengers getting seated before I get in. Two issues are passengers slamming the door with the pin extended, and closing the door on a dangling seatbelt. I keep the belt snapped when their seat is empty but have to open it up 'before' the passenger seats. It is awkward & embarrassing to try & snap a belt with someone sitting on it. I always catch the belt dangling out the door before departure except for once when I was hauling a drunk from Old Crow to Fort Yukon in horrible weather & the belt made a racket when we got in the air. A friend of mine tore up his fabric pulling the same stunt. So boarding passengers requires a total focus, a break in thinking air opps & can be quite a distraction. One door would make it simpler for me. But I'm probably like everyone else, not brave enough to break convention. Also, you always get wide eyes when you brief the passengers, "In the event of a forced landing, be sure & remember to unlatch your door before touch down because the twisting forces can jam the door so it can't open". After that, some passengers can't think of anything else but waiting for the engine to quite.
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Re: Ideas for those still building

Postby Tralika » Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:12 pm

I miss-read your post about not being used on floats. I know what you mean about passengers and airplane doors. I don't know how many times they think they have to slam a door before they figure out that what they are doing is not going to work. After briefing passengers on how to open the doors, I inform them that I will open and close the doors during normal operations. I load the passengers through one door and then close and latch the door myself. I then walk around and check all the doors to be sure all are latched. After landing and shutting down the engine I tell them to give me a minute and I will come back and open the door for them. Once in a while someone gets a little over anxious and opens the door before I can get there but most of the time it works. The biggest plane I fly is a single Otter so it doesn't really involve that much of a walk. It's well worth the effort to prevent damaged doors.
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Re: Ideas for those still building

Postby R Rinker » Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:10 pm

John, so you do understand my point from experience with the general public. To translate that over to a 2 seat Highlander/Super Stol what would be the advantages/disadvantages of one or two doors? I'm just curious...It may just be that a single door would be better for the north.
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Re: Ideas for those still building

Postby Tralika » Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:54 am

For convenience and safety my preference would be two doors. I've flown Pacers with one front door on the right and didn't really like it. Since almost everyone flies from the left seat the pilot must board first. The single door on the left like a 206 it's not as bad. You also might want to consider how much more difficult it will be to board and slide across the front seats. The only modern planes I've seen with one door in front had yokes, the control sticks may be a challenge. In the event of an emergency I think having two doors is important. I suppose it would be possible to kick out the windshield or cut a hole in the fabric and crawl out but that takes time. If your injured and disoriented it might take a lot of time. I think the 206 is a little less survivable because of the difficulty getting the rear door open with the flaps down. It all boils down to personal preference. The best part of building experimental is you can have it any way you want.
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Re: Ideas for those still building

Postby R Rinker » Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:15 pm

Your point of the 206 rear door/flap issue is an excellent example. There is no consideration for safety at all.
I have a friend that made a forced landing in the willows over by Ingenika in British Columbia in a Pacer. When the dust settled there wasn't a shred of fabric left on the airplane! They were setting there belted into a bare cage.
As to convenience, I still believe it would be easier to slide over one seat than getting into an RV, especially for the kids. I won't have a stick on the right side normally anyway. Some bad accidents have happened when the passenger collapsed on the stick and I have had some bad experiences with passengers that way as well.
Obviously most builders are working for a slick, pretty, ascetically pleasing work of art. They aren't building a down & dirty, get it done road hog of a working airplane.
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Re: Ideas for those still building

Postby alan » Fri Aug 29, 2014 5:36 pm

Our battery is mounted behind the cargo compartment wall and that wall is semi-permanently installed. For relatively easy access I made an outside door beside the battery location. It is framed in 1/8" aircraft plywood with .020" aluminum sheet attached to that. Nutplates are riveted in the corners and a piece of 1/16" aluminum was sized for the door itself. Just unscrew four countersunk 1024 screws and the battery and elevator bellcrank is available.

Also, there are positive and negative battery posts on either side of the door for easy attachment of a battery maintainer. In case the labels come off there is a minus sign and a plus sign cut into the ends of the SS posts for easy identification. There are probably a few more elegant ways to connect the charger but this was what I came up with at the time.

Alan
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Vortex Generators

Postby gkremers » Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:31 pm

I was undecided on installing the vortex generators before my first flight. During my training with Vic I noticed all of his planes had them installed. I asked him his opinion and the response was "sure...why not". He said it only helps and while your at it install them under the horizontal stabilizer on the trailing edge. I already had installed the flap GAP seals before painting. The vortex generator kit includes directions and several templates, the spacing is different depending on the wing. The template only gives you 4 or 5 positions so installing 75 or so per wing would take some patience and time. Luckily we had some CAD equipment at work used for packaging design. I had them create 6 strips 40" long matching the template provided in the kit. The placement is critical, 8 - 12% of the cord from the leading edge, mine is at 10%. Billy also gave me a tip on the attachment method. The directions call for a Loctite product similar to superglue. Billy said it works but if you catch them with a rag or something similar the glue will pull the paint off. He uses a clear silicone product, if you catch one and pull it off you just need to rub the old silicone off and reapply. I only have 35 hours on the plane but so far so good.

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