Time for Skis

For general discussion of the Just Aircraft family of aircraft.
Includes: Highlander, Escapade, Summit and SuperSTOL.

Moderator: scubarider2

Re: Time for Skis

Postby gkremers » Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:15 am

Hi Jack,
I was up again last Sunday, beautiful afternoon with about 5" of fresh powder and fairly light winds. In western Michigan the lake effect snow usually gives us plenty of opportunity to utilize the skis. You just need to be able to go between the windy and snowy days. Unfortunately most of those are during the week when I'm working.

I did run a series of stalls last time I was up, the good news is the plane stalls at the same speeds. If anything slightly slower as I think the skis are giving me a little extra lift. The top end didn't change much either, the cold temps help the performance anyway. I could easily get to 107MPH. My home is on an asphalt runway so the wheel penetration skis are a must. As I'm touching down the rear wheels on the skis touch first, then the mains and finally the tail. I find it easier to do wheel landings.

Hope the weather cooperates so you can get up soon. The weather here this weekend is very windy both Saturday and Sunday.

Fly safe,
Gary
User avatar
gkremers
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 398
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:06 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Time for Skis

Postby Jack L » Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:17 pm

Gary,

I hope that you don't mind me posting here but the subject seems suitable. I finally got up on skis for the first time today. It was a crisp 1 degree F but with moderate winds and clear blue skies it was time to do it.

I purchased Federal 1500 skis last year from a guy that sold his Cub. I stripped the skis, painted them and added 1/4" UMHW to the bottoms and rigged them for the Highlander. To get them in and out of my garage I made wheel dollies which work very well.

Wheel Dollies.JPG


Getting to the lake was a chore but worth while, my wife and I had to move the aircraft with the wings folded down our sloped property than down a bank onto the lake.

IMG_0118.JPG


IMG_1627.JPG


Eventually the aircraft was ready for flight and I was off. The aircraft performed extremely well in the cold stable air and I could easily cruise at 98 mph at 5000 RPM. Having never flown on skis until today I was cautious in the climb but was surpassing 1000 FPM at 70 mph so I don't know what it will do when I really pull back, I will test that on the next flight. I have some Go Pro video that I have to format and may post later. What a day!

IMG_1625.JPG
Jack L
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:10 pm

Re: Time for Skis

Postby gkremers » Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:40 pm

Jack,
Great to hear you got up on the skis today. It looks like you have a really nice place.

Have fun, looking forward to the GoPro videos. Next time I get up I'll try and shoot some also.

These planes are really a lot of fun

Gary
User avatar
gkremers
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 398
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:06 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Time for Skis

Postby Jack L » Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:46 am

Yesterday I flew in temps that were between 1 and 5 degrees F and tried an insulation blanket that my wife made for my Highlander. What a difference it makes when the heat is contained to the front seats and not the massive baggage area. The next area to insulate are the front spar and wing cuff areas where a lot of cold air comes in, for now the cabin is warm enough that I don't need gloves so I can stuff them in the spar area which helps a lot.

image.jpg


I tried some stalls yesterday both solo and with a 220 lb passenger. The aircraft stalled at the same speeds as it does with wheels at different flap settings but the stall was more noticeable. On wheels it is more subtle almost unnoticeable.

With the straight skis and no tail wheel ski I am taking off using soft field techniques, flying solo the tail is up in one second and I am off the ground in four seconds, with my wife we are off in 6 seconds and at gross weight it took 10 seconds. I climbed in the low 60s at gross weight yesterday and was somewhere between 900 and 1100 FPM, when solo I didn't really pay attention, the climb rate is so good that it wasn't a concern.

A lot of guys are using thermostats but I have chosen not to install one....yet. I made an aluminum cover for my oil cooler that covers one half of the cooler and it is not enough to get the temp up to the 200F range, with 3/4 of the cooler covered the temps will get into the 200F range but as the day warms so does the oil temp so you have to keep an eye on it. The water cooler is not so critical and with two strips of duct tape the temps are good. I will make an aluminum cover for the water cooler as well.

Working on the video.

Jack
Jack L
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:10 pm

Re: Time for Skis

Postby av8rps » Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:47 pm

Hi Jack,

Nice looking plane you have there! Glad to see you're having some fun on skis. Aside from having to try and stay warm, it is some of the best flying you can enjoy in my opinion.

It sounds like you have that prop working well. Nice performance numbers :)

I learned about how important it is to cover up the back of the fuselage when flying my Avid Flyer on skis way back when. I've found over the years that any openings in the rear fuselage (like rudder cable exits, elevator inspection area, etc) that aren't sealed tight can literally "Suck" the warm air out of the cabin. So much in fact that no matter how much heat your heater can make, it won't be able to keep up with how fast it's getting sucked out.

I've found that buying the cheap electric car seat heated cushions help keep me warm. Another great idea is to use one of the new heated jackets that Milwaukee tools make. Combined with sealing up all the air leaks and having a decent cabin heater, one could actually be comfortable flying in the cold.

On my new Highlander I am not only going to make sure I can seal it up as much as possible, and maybe even consider some light weight insulation, but I am also going to have three separate heat sources;

- Two separate exhaust manifold heaters, one on each side of the cabin
- A large automotive heater core with 2 computer fans that will blow through it (& reversed for defrost). A $30 Dodge Neon core works well.
- Electric heat coils built right into the seats with a controller for heat settings

And if that's not enough I might even consider using heated handgrips on the sticks...

Paul
av8rps
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 419
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 5:01 pm

Re: Time for Skis

Postby Jack L » Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:20 pm

Gary,

I just published a You Tube video "Highlander on Skis" on my web site, there are also some GoPro still shots in the Picture Gallery.

http://www.algonquinhighlandaviation.com/video.html
Jack L
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:10 pm

Re: Time for Skis

Postby Jack L » Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:49 pm

Paul,

I am pleased with the aircraft performance but with the cold dense air, installation of flap gap seals, shedding wheels and brakes for skis and pitching the propeller to within .1 degrees I don't know which of those changes had the greatest impact on performance. I really like the prop along with the support from Sensenich so I actually set up a dealer account with them and would like to purchase their two blade propeller some day.

Following Troy's advice I have also ordered a Kiev so I can try it on my aircraft. I know little about propellers but have learned one thing, unless you try different propellers on your own you really won't know if one makes a significant difference over another. If the Kiev doesn't do it I will sell it and stick with the Sensenich.

A few of us in Canada insulated the cabin and baggage area with insulator panels from Aircraft Spruce, they weigh a lot and are made from shredded cotton which won't burn as fast as some of the synthetic insulations that are available.

http://www.aircraftspruce.ca/pages/cs/i ... lator1.php

Jack
Jack L
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:10 pm

Re: Time for Skis

Postby gkremers » Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:29 pm

Jack,
Very nice... Hope I get a chance to get some flying in this weekend. I'll have to try covering the area behind the seats. So far I've been able to stay reasonably warm. I do wear a heated vest and pants.

Where are you located in Canada....sure looks nice

Gary
User avatar
gkremers
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 398
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:06 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Time for Skis

Postby Jack L » Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:07 pm

Gary,

I am on Aylen Lake in Ontario, if you search it on Google maps it will come up. The closest airport is CNZ4 Barry's Bay.

Jack
Jack L
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:10 pm

Re: Time for Skis

Postby av8rps » Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:15 pm

Jack,

Based on how off far off your blades were adjusted from eachother previously, I really believe the prop adjustment was likely the biggest factor for your increased performance. My experience going from wheels to skis on my highlander demonstrated minimal performance loss. I've never done flap seals on my Highlander, but I can't imagine that doing anything significant except to help stall. So again, I really believe the performance gains was from getting that prop set properly. Of course, having nice cold air didn't hurt things any...

I really look forward to hearing how the new Kiev prop compares to the Sensenich. I like the Kiev as it too is a really nice prop. But I will be so bold to speculate that the Kiev will increase climb by 100 to 150 fpm, but will drop cruise 5 to 10 mph. But as you said, the only real test is on the plane. So please keep us posted :)

Paul

Jack L wrote:Paul,

I am pleased with the aircraft performance but with the cold dense air, installation of flap gap seals, shedding wheels and brakes for skis and pitching the propeller to within .1 degrees I don't know which of those changes had the greatest impact on performance. I really like the prop along with the support from Sensenich so I actually set up a dealer account with them and would like to purchase their two blade propeller some day.

Following Troy's advice I have also ordered a Kiev so I can try it on my aircraft. I know little about propellers but have learned one thing, unless you try different propellers on your own you really won't know if one makes a significant difference over another. If the Kiev doesn't do it I will sell it and stick with the Sensenich.

A few of us in Canada insulated the cabin and baggage area with insulator panels from Aircraft Spruce, they weigh a lot and are made from shredded cotton which won't burn as fast as some of the synthetic insulations that are available.

http://www.aircraftspruce.ca/pages/cs/i ... lator1.php

Jack
av8rps
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 419
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 5:01 pm

Re: Time for Skis

Postby gkremers » Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:12 pm

Jack,
I'll be visiting some friends in Collingwood and North Bay this summer. You look to be East of there, kind of between the two. We'll be in the RV-10 but it would be nice to get the Highlander up there sometime.

Gary
User avatar
gkremers
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 398
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:06 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Time for Skis

Postby Jack L » Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:11 am

Gary,

We have a three bedroom guest cottage on the waterfront where you are welcome to stay. The best time to enjoy the lake is July through September, the only time to avoid it is in June because the blackflies and mosquitos can be unbearable. I am ready to close my first float and hoping to fit them to the aircraft in 2015, if not a friend of mine has a Highlander on amphibious floats that we could fly. Someday I hope to have a splash-in for Highlanders at Aylen Lake... you will want to get here early or the Flyer Chief will stake claim to the best bedroom!

I flew another 2.3 yesterday and tried landing on different lakes for the first time, I dropped in at a friends place for a coffee and to warm up because it was very cold. I did numerous landings just to get the feel of things, the lakes have hardly any snow and lots of ice patches so cross wind landings were a challenge to keep the aircraft tracking straight. I will post a takeoff and landing from in the cockpit so viewers can hear and see the chattering from the skis.

In one of your hangar shots there is a partial view of a motorcycle, generally a motorcycle and heated vest equates to a BMW rider... yes? I have an Aerostich heated vest and never thought to use it in the aircraft. It allows me to keep riding even into freezing temperatures and while only drawing 45W and 3.3 amps my electrical system can handle it.

http://www.aerostich.com/clothing/heate ... -vest.html

Jack
Jack L
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:10 pm

Re: Time for Skis

Postby Jack L » Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:16 pm

Here is another video from inside the cockpit. You can really hear and see the chattering of the skis on the hard snow and icy surface.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kJvIGZj-U8
Jack L
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:10 pm

Re: Time for Skis

Postby gkremers » Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:32 pm

Jack,
That is a very generous offer. If I can get a few extra days off I'll let you know. I live on an air park in Zeeland, MI. If your ever out this way we have a couple of extra bedrooms and parking for your plane.

I've noticed a trend with owning airplanes and motorcycles. I have a BMW RT1200 that my wife and I love to ride.

Nice Go Pro video. We are leaving for the Bahamas this weekend so the ski flying will be put on hold for a week or two.

Gary
User avatar
gkremers
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 398
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:06 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Time for Skis

Postby av8rps » Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:39 pm

Jack,

I was just admiring the pics of your plane and noticed that you don't have the filler strips that attach to tbe sides of the turtledeck cover, filling in the opening between the fuselage and the trailing edge of the wing. I know some will dispute this, but Dean Wilson (designer of the Avid Flyer, the seminal design from where our Highlanders are derived from) once told me that if you don't have those fillers installed that you are losing most of the lift that the top of the cabin provides (approx 12 sq ft, or 10% of toal wing area).. He went on to explain that the low pressure air rushes through the opening on each side of the fuselage causing turbulence on top of cabin, creating loss of lift in that part of the aircraft, and significant additional aerodynamic drag.

So I would suggest you add those couple fairings if you don't already have them. Gee, maybe you will get even better climb and cruise performance? :shock:
av8rps
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 419
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 5:01 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Just Aircraft

cron