express taildragger?

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skypuppy
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Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2014 12:50 am

express taildragger?

Postby skypuppy » Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:23 pm

Anyone have knowledge on these rare birds?

kevin
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Re: express taildragger?

Postby kevin » Wed Sep 02, 2015 8:39 pm

As far as I know there is only 1, and it wasn't the best flying machine. Apparently there might be some build issues with it.
Anything specific you are looking for?

skypuppy
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2014 12:50 am

Re: express taildragger?

Postby skypuppy » Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:11 pm

The obvious questions:
1. Is it dangerous?
2. What is wrong with it and/or it's design?
3. How hard would it be to convert to a tricycle gear?
4. This may be impossible for anyone to know, but that affect would it have on the CG envelope(s) to make it a trike?

Thanks!

kevin
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Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 6:46 pm
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Re: express taildragger?

Postby kevin » Fri Sep 04, 2015 8:50 pm

1. Dont know if it is dangerous. I have spoken to the owner of the only one that I know of in existence. Reportedly its flying characteristics are indicative of an incidence problem with the tail.
2. Nothing wrong with the design, they just mounted the mains forward of the CG and added a tail wheel. If you have flown one, you have noticed that the tail isn't really huge. If you have looked at other tail wheel aircraft you will notice plenty of tail. +
3. Dunno. I would think the wing ribs are the same as the tricycle gear model, just need to move the gear to behind the spar and add the nose wheel mount and hardware.
4. Probably none. The CG envelope is based on the center of lift of the main wing, and the negative incidence of the tail and its ability to hold the nose up.

The original ad I saw for this airplane indicated that the wing airfoil came from the factory wrong and a laser of some sort was used to fair the wing out to correct it. I have doubts about this. I have serial number 16, the 3rd Wheeler to fly, which first flew 7/92 and I have another one that was made in 1999. The wings are the same with the exception of the aileron counter balance weight being inside on the latter one. The airfoil is the same on both due to the way the ribs are cut. My guess is that a mistake was made somewhere along the line and had to be fixed.

Also, reportedly this airplane has an IO540 in it. Its cruise speed was said to be 160 at 15gph. My oldest one has an IO360 200 hp, cruises at 145 at 2500 rpm at 6500 feet on 8 gph. My Bellanca Viking with an empty weight of 1900 lbs and an IO520 300 hp cruised at 165 on 12 gph at 2300 rpm. The Wheeler is lighter, wings are thinner, less drag and this one burns more fuel for less speed than my old Viking. That indicates something is wrong. A Lancair with 300 HP cruises at 205 knots on 14 gph.
Its on the West Coast and I am in Florida, so I haven't seen it or flown it. If I could see it and fly it I could determine a lot more.

KA


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