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Doors in flight

PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:58 am
by Allan
Are any people flying with both doors open in flight and are any flying with doors off all together. If so are there any handling or other issues and what are the recommended speeds?

Can the superstol be flown with doors off to start with?

Allan

Re: Doors in flight

PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:44 am
by alan
Hi Allan.

When we first built our Highlander it was summer and I didn't even finish the doors until I had 60 hours on it. There were no differences in any flight characteristics. Since then I have only flown it once with both doors open. Still none. With one door open there is a perceptible yaw.

The first thing I noticed on the first flight with the new doors was the feeling of more room inside as the passing wind was no longer pushing on my left arm. There was probably a speed increase as well but I don't remember.

I occasionally fly with a window or two open with no differences except wind on the mike.

Alan

Re: Doors in flight

PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:35 am
by Allan
Thanks Alan, that's good to hear as I thought that there was no issue with that. I started to get some stories here about issues with aircraft without doors getting into trouble with because of lack of side surfaces etc if flown "badly". So, the old self doubt thing...!
Anyhow, with the speeds, the size of tail surfaces especially on the superstol I don't believe that there will be any nasty surprises, again use your head and fly well and appropriately.
Definitely want the option of open doors and I had never thought about the wind "brushing" your arm effect!

Still lots to go but progress is good on the superstol.
Allan

Re: Doors in flight

PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:54 pm
by Johnny C!
I have had my RH door open a couple of times in
flight, but it caused no issues. I am going to add
a little divot on the stainless steel liner to try to
keep the latch centered.


But what I really wanted to say was, I saw a
guy blow out a back window in a J3 slipping
to the right with the door/window open,
several years ago. I have to think a hard
slip with the doors open might cause some
significant stress on our turtle decks.

Just a thought.

John

Re: Doors in flight

PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:06 pm
by alan
I added a couple screws as a "detent" in that area. Very simple and it works. Just position the door handle in between the screw heads as part of your run-up check.

Before I built the doors I slipped very agressively to a short field. Still a couple hundred feet up my brand new Just Aircraft ball cap blew off. I was amazed at how far I had to walk before I found it :-). The metal turtle deck hasn't come off or bent yet.

Alan

Re: Doors in flight

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:30 am
by Allan
The doors on the Superstols are built differently to the highlanders or at least earlier highlanders. They are weaker and with the different shaped wing there is likely to more stress on the hinge. The information I have is fly no doors or doors closed.

The superstol isn't going to be a big slide slipper. I loved standing my flapless Taylorcraft on its ear in a side slip, there is something sweet about an aeroplane that side slips nicely...........

This airplane will have fences and big flaps etc there isn't the "need" to side slip. I will put the doors off routine into my flight test program I have to complete and add "balanced" (skid ball near the middle) recommendation to my Poh that I have to produce eventually, ie slips not recommended!

Still got to make my doors so will look carefully at the latching etc.

Thanks for everyone's feed back - in the field comments are appreciated.

Allan

Re: Doors in flight

PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:43 am
by Dave Krall CFII SEL SES
Allan wrote:The doors on the Superstols are built differently to the highlanders or at least earlier highlanders. They are weaker and with the different shaped wing there is likely to more stress on the hinge. The information I have is fly no doors or doors closed.

The superstol isn't going to be a big slide slipper. I loved standing my flapless Taylorcraft on its ear in a side slip, there is something sweet about an aeroplane that side slips nicely...........

This airplane will have fences and big flaps etc there isn't the "need" to side slip. I will put the doors off routine into my flight test program I have to complete and add "balanced" (skid ball near the middle) recommendation to my Poh that I have to produce eventually, ie slips not recommended!

Still got to make my doors so will look carefully at the latching etc.

Thanks for everyone's feed back - in the field comments are appreciated.

Allan


Regardless of bigger flaps, it's hard to imagine a Highlander descending faster with full flaps than an agressive side slip. It would be interesting to know for sure though when someone does controlled tests on both ways.

Re: Doors in flight

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:29 pm
by Tony Armour
Anymore info on opening in flight and flying with with doors open ? One piece SS doors.

Re: Doors in flight

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:48 pm
by av8rps
Most of these aircraft will fly just fine with the doors open. I would advise backing off max cruise just to reduce stress on door frame.

I also agree to avoid big slips with door(s) open, as I did see an Avid Flyer years ago blow the entire turtle deck off! Not a good day,,, :shock:

I personally like the Highlander doors that allow just the top half to open, as doing it that way has minimal effect on anything, even at high cruise speeds. Although I would even close tbem before doing slips (which is a blast in the Highlander).

I blew out a quarter window on my Kitfix one day while practicing monster slips, and I didn't even have the doors open. :lol:

Re: Doors in flight

PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:18 am
by gkremers
I took the doors completely off last summer for a month or so. The plane handled the same. My wife did lean in towards the center of the cockpit and almost lost her phone taking pictures. She forgot about the slipstream. It was fun but nosier.

Gary