SuperSTOL Access with Covered Gear

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SuperSTOL Access with Covered Gear

Postby kenryan » Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:44 am

How does one get in and out of a SuperSTOL if the gear is covered? Also, how much speed is added by covering the gear?
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Re: SuperSTOL Access with Covered Gear

Postby Familyflyer » Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:42 pm

I covered the gear and added a reinforcing plate in case I needed a step. Foot on the tire and butt in first always worked fine. Never needed the gear for my foot. I think covering the gear cleans it up. As for exact numbers I do not not know. I trued out at about 83mph in cruise 5200 rpm and that was running a 82X41 catto, 29" bush wheels. Its slow no matter, just more about what looks you want.
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Re: SuperSTOL Access with Covered Gear

Postby dkshow » Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:28 pm

I'm driving in the car with Rob and this is from him. Last summer he did a bunch of speed testing on his Superstol. He landed and duct taped both gear legs, black tape so it looked cool which is important and checked the speed with the gear covered in tape. He showed no improved cruise speed at all, in fact a possible 1/2 mph slower. So he decided not to cover his gear. For whatever its worth coming from Rob.
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Re: SuperSTOL Access with Covered Gear

Postby Familyflyer » Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:52 pm

dkshow wrote:. He landed and duct taped both gear legs, black tape so it looked cool which is important and checked the speed with the gear covered in tape. He showed no improved cruise speed at all, in fact a possible 1/2 mph slower. .


He must have only used the 100mph duct tape and not the 200mph! :lol:
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Re: SuperSTOL Access with Covered Gear

Postby kenryan » Wed Mar 02, 2016 4:23 pm

Great info. I prefer the look of the open gear anyway, so I will not cover it.
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Re: SuperSTOL Access with Covered Gear

Postby moving2time » Wed Mar 02, 2016 6:25 pm

I did not realize that the SS was so much slower than the Highlander. Other than the big shocks, I didn't think it was really any dirtier than the Highlander and its hard to believe that the shocks would induce that much drag to loose that much speed. I thought the under camber wing of the Highlander would create more drag than the SS wing. The RANS S20 has about the same frontal area and weight as the Highlander and cruises well over 100. I always figured it was the under camber wing on the Highlander that made the difference. Don't big tires only slow up the Highlander about 5 MPH or so? The Highlander is no slouch when it comes to STOL performance. Joe B
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Re: SuperSTOL Access with Covered Gear

Postby Familyflyer » Thu Mar 03, 2016 11:02 am

moving2time wrote:I did not realize that the SS was so much slower than the Highlander. Other than the big shocks, I didn't think it was really any dirtier than the Highlander and its hard to believe that the shocks would induce that much drag to loose that much speed. I thought the under camber wing of the Highlander would create more drag than the SS wing. The RANS S20 has about the same frontal area and weight as the Highlander and cruises well over 100. I always figured it was the under camber wing on the Highlander that made the difference. Don't big tires only slow up the Highlander about 5 MPH or so? The Highlander is no slouch when it comes to STOL performance. Joe B


The slow speed has alot to do with the prop you choose. If you want to get out of tight places you need a prop for that. That prop will not allow the plane to go fast no matter how much you clean it up. The engine will red line way to soon. If you add a cruise prop, not much point in building the SS. It is no fun having an airplane that can land way shorter than it can take off. You could find yourself in a place you can't get out.
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Re: SuperSTOL Access with Covered Gear

Postby av8rps » Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:17 pm

I find it really odd that streamlining SS gear legs doesn't improve the speed as it makes about a 5 mph difference on a Highlander. That info can be found in a few places in the archives, and by a few different Highlancer owners. I never see Steve Henry leave the gear uncovered on his new airplanes, except for his 1st Highlander. And I'm sure if it wasn't beneficial he'd much rather leave it uncovered. But hey, that's just my take...

My Highlander will fly 102 mph at 5200 rpm with the uncovered tube gear and 8.50 tires, and still takes off and climbs like a banshee. It easily gets in and out of any place a Super Cub could go. The SS however really is the ultimate STOL machine, but ever since its introduction people have seemed to forget how fantastic of a STOL plane the standard Highlander is. I'm convinced a good pilot in a Highlander is likely to "out-STOL" an average pilot in a Super Stol. Imho there really isn't that much "STOL" difference between the models, especially if the Highlander is light (and / or improved like Steve Henry is now doing) and if the SS is heavy enough to cause a higher overall wing loading and lower power loading than what the Highlander has.

I don't think anyone would regret either choice, but I will admit that I like being able to cruise faster and haul more load, so I'm sticking with the Highlander. It is an incredible airplane.

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Re: SuperSTOL Access with Covered Gear

Postby AV8R Paul » Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:23 am

I'm shocked the SuperSTOL only gets 83 MPH at 5200 RPM. Is that about normal for the SuperSTOL?
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Re: SuperSTOL Access with Covered Gear

Postby av8rps » Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:35 pm

Paul,

I was thinking that someone else would have responded to your comment, but since no one did I will. The 83 mph at 5200 SS is severely propped for STOL work. If you look back at some of Steve Henry's comments about his SS, you will see that he is getting a bit more for cruise. However, I'm pretty sure he isn't afraid to burn gas, so I'm thinking he runs in the 5500 range to see 100 mph.

But hey, the simple fact that you probably have the worlds most capable STOL (and LSA) plane, and it can still be flown cross country reasonably, says a lot for this airplane. It may be slower than some prefer, but it is still an extremely versatile and practical airplane. Not to mention fun when you get there.

I know the term "Flying Jeep" has been a little over used in the past to describe some back country type airplanes, but the Just Aircraft designs truly deserve that name imho.

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Re: SuperSTOL Access with Covered Gear

Postby AV8R Paul » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:04 pm

At 100 I can live with the idea of a SuperSTOL. I have a Kitfox and I Cruise at about 103 indicated at 5250. I have no problem with changing the props when I want to play. I'm giving serious thoughts to building or buying a SuperSTOL.
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Re: SuperSTOL Access with Covered Gear

Postby av8rps » Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:52 pm

Interesting is that my Highlander and your Kitfox cruise at about the same speeds. Are you sure your airspeed indicator is accurate? Based on what my Kitfox 4 does for cruise, I'm surprised that your Kitfox isn't actually faster?

Of course none of that matters if you get yourself a Super STOL. You'll probably be too busy looking for cool places to land (just because you can) than to be concerned about how fast you're going :wink:

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Re: SuperSTOL Access with Covered Gear

Postby Familyflyer » Wed Mar 09, 2016 2:02 pm

With the prop and engine I had, the plane needed to be pointed way above the horizon line or the engine would red line at full throttle. It would climb ridiculously steep. NOT a cruise set up. It was to get in and out of tight places, not to go very far.
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Re: SuperSTOL Access with Covered Gear

Postby moving2time » Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:55 pm

I can't remember if I read this or if Steve mentioned it at Oshkosh, it was probably a combination of both, but when he flew his SS to Oshkosh for the first time, and I think when he flew to Valdez, he did the cross country flying with one prop and the competition with another. He said it was painful traveling any real distance with the climb prop. I guess I didn't expect the actual number to be quite that slow when I read the 83 MPH number earlier in this thread. Troy answered my question by reminding me that the SS is most likely propped for climb performance. That was a detail I wasn't thinking about at that moment. Now I remember Steve mentioning that he changed props to travel. The SS operates at the extreme with a climb prop. I would imagine it would do just fine with a cruise prop. JEB
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Re: SuperSTOL Access with Covered Gear

Postby taildrgfun » Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:00 am

Paul you have a good memory. I like Prince props because I feel that they take off as good as a Catto but I get about 10 mph more cruise out of the same prop.(Feel free to call me about them as I have used several of them on different planes and I sell them too.) If I am going more than 300 miles from home I will run a Prince that is really made for cruise. I have my plane set up so that I can easily carry a second prop without it being in the way of anything and I can switch them in about 5 minutes.
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