Small mods

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Small mods

Postby barry767 » Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:25 pm

Thought I'd start a topic on small mods people have done to their Highlanders or Superstols to improve performance or functionality that we can all benefit from. Here are three I've done.

1) Added a washer to the end of the flap handle. As I select different flap settings, I can give the washer a little forward pressure with my thumb and index finger to positively lock the bolt into the notch. As a visual confirmation, if I can see the 1/8 inch red stripe I painted on the handle I know the bolt is fully seated. (Less than that or none, I know it is not seated and will likely pop out). Has worked perfectly so far.

2) Attached a red warning flag to the leading edge of the door than is visible when the door is open. I've got a Highlander on extreme gear with 29 inch Airstreaks that puts the forward bottom corner of the door EXACTLY at eye level. Knew it was only a matter of time before I walked right into it. Prior to closing the door I velcro the flag back out of view.

3) Used two strips of 2 inch wide 3M tape to make an elevator seal. Adheres to the underside of the horizontal stab and top of elevator. Don't know if adds any performance benefit but it has stayed on and looks pretty cool.
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Re: Small mods

Postby MarkZ » Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:11 pm

Im going to try the gap seal in a nosewheel version and see if I get better pitch authority at slower speeds. Rotation and liftoff happen pretty much at the same time. Landings have little finesse to the point that my neighbors are lowering my scores. :oops:
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Re: Small mods

Postby User GDS » Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:07 pm

Also considering covering my extreme gear with with a removable fairing made of .025 6061T4. Lots of drag there too I'm told. Anyone done this?

I noodled over this for a long time, because of the size of the gear and dimensions of my material, there was a seam across the middle and I couldn't think of a clean way to attach it to the gear. Maybe an upside down U-shaped piece over the top of the gear leg that the cover hangs on? I ended up covering them with fabric...
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Re: Small mods

Postby barry767 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:59 am

Gary, I was thinking of just wrapping the aluminum around the forward tube and securing the sides together by several screws along the trailing edge, aft of the aft tube. (a sideways U) Should be pretty simple to instal. Did you notice any airspeed benefit?
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Re: Small mods

Postby User GDS » Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:47 pm

I don't keep very detailed notes on performance, but it's definitely more efficient. I covered the gear and installed wing root close-outs at the same time and I think I got 5-6 mph. Not huge, but it was worth it because I didn't have to burn more fuel to get it.

The trouble with wrapping the gear legs forward to aft is that the pants will want to fall off of the legs. Might work OK if you also cut some strips of aluminum, bent them into a U shape and hung them upside down on the horizontal members at the top of the gear, like a saddle. Put some nut plates on the saddles and secure the sides so they won't fall down. If there were tabs welded onto the gear it would be a quick and easy job...

Covering the legs with fabric was cheap because I had everything in inventory, but took a lot of labor. Plus, had to remove them for painting. (removing the gear legs means disconnecting the brake lines, which I really don't like to do when they are working great and not leaking)
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Re: Small mods

Postby User GDS » Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:57 pm

One more thing, let's go flying. Going to Parker AZ Thursday, CGZ Friday and Saturday for a classics fly-in. http://www.cactusflyin.org/wordpress/ There are some great places to explore around Parker, Wx is +++
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Re: Small mods

Postby barry767 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:17 pm

Thanks, Gary. I'll look at my schedule and give you a call on Tuesday.
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Re: Small mods

Postby Johnny C! » Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:55 pm

User GDS wrote:... and installed wing root close-outs at the same time...



GDS,
Do you mean the flap to fuse gap seals?

Also, I added a tapered trailing edge on
my gear legs prior to cover & paint. Just
a folded piece of the alum sheet & riveted
them to the rear tube. It all adds up.

Thanks!

John
There are many things that happen really fast when you are
flying an airplane. There is no sense in rushing any of the others.

I would much rather be looking down at the runway, than up at it.

Duane Sorenson & Rick Norton Gone West 6/8/09. Godspeed
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Re: Small mods

Postby Johnny C! » Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:00 pm

Here is my list that I generated a few
years ago. I have trike & want to
get as high a cruise speed as I can...

FYI

1) I streamlined the trailing edge of the mains. (Done)
2) I will add wheel pants. (Plugs & brackets made for the mains, but for nose gear yet)
3) Fill in Flap to Fuse gap mounted on turtle deck.
4) Fair in Forward gear mounts on fuse to include landing lights.
5) Fair in exposed pulleys on bottom of wings.
6) Build air foiled bungee covers. Inserts maybe?
7) Gap seal where practical.
8 ) Streamline nose gear strut ala RV's.
9- Vortex Generators?
There are many things that happen really fast when you are
flying an airplane. There is no sense in rushing any of the others.

I would much rather be looking down at the runway, than up at it.

Duane Sorenson & Rick Norton Gone West 6/8/09. Godspeed
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Re: Small mods

Postby barry767 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:44 pm

Two more I forgot to mention. Flap retract springs (maybe the greatest Highlander invention ever) and fiberglass pulley covers.
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Re: Small mods

Postby danerazz » Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:35 am

Thanks Barry!
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Re: Small mods

Postby User GDS » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:45 am

GDS,
Do you mean the flap to fuse gap seals?
I mean't the gap between the turtle deck and the flaps. I just finished installing them using GKremers design he showed in a recent post.

The flap gap seals, a long strip of aluminum that narrows the gap between trailing edge of the wing and the flaps, helps slow speed handling. Search "Flap Gap Seal" and look for a post from 2011 for more detail.

Where I fly I get a lot of sand and dirt inside the plane. When I was covering, I laid down a finishing tape over the belly stringer, on the inside of the plane. It prevents sand from getting lodged between the stringer and the fabric.

Not really a Mod, but I'm very happy with my bare interior. At least twice a year I take out the front floor and flush the belly with a garden hose. (last time I found my long lost pocket knife) If there's spilled brake fluid, I scrub it out with detergent.

Danerazz flap return springs are on the way, got your message, thanks!
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Re: Small mods

Postby Johnny C! » Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:31 pm

Got it!

Thanks!

John




User GDS wrote:
GDS,
Do you mean the flap to fuse gap seals?
I mean't the gap between the turtle deck and the flaps. I just finished installing them using GKremers design he showed in a recent post.

The flap gap seals, a long strip of aluminum that narrows the gap between trailing edge of the wing and the flaps, helps slow speed handling. Search "Flap Gap Seal" and look for a post from 2011 for more detail.

Where I fly I get a lot of sand and dirt inside the plane. When I was covering, I laid down a finishing tape over the belly stringer, on the inside of the plane. It prevents sand from getting lodged between the stringer and the fabric.

Not really a Mod, but I'm very happy with my bare interior. At least twice a year I take out the front floor and flush the belly with a garden hose. (last time I found my long lost pocket knife) If there's spilled brake fluid, I scrub it out with detergent.

Danerazz flap return springs are on the way, got your message, thanks!
There are many things that happen really fast when you are
flying an airplane. There is no sense in rushing any of the others.

I would much rather be looking down at the runway, than up at it.

Duane Sorenson & Rick Norton Gone West 6/8/09. Godspeed
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Re: Small mods

Postby SheepdogRD » Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:20 pm

User GDS wrote:The flap gap seals, a long strip of aluminum that narrows the gap between trailing edge of the wing and the flaps, helps slow speed handling. Search "Flap Gap Seal" and look for a post from 2011 for more detail.

Here's the link to that 2011 thread: http://www.wingsforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=218&t=19676&hilit=Flap+Gap+Seal
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Re: Small mods

Postby rmullins » Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:41 pm

barry767 wrote:Gary, I was thinking of just wrapping the aluminum around the forward tube and securing the sides together by several screws along the trailing edge, aft of the aft tube. (a sideways U) Should be pretty simple to instal. Did you notice any airspeed benefit?


My neighbor covered his extreme gear with aluminum. Not sure exactly how he fastened it.
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