Better Aerobatics Blog

Discussion in 'Aerobatics Talk' started by Z32MadMan, Sep 5, 2018.

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  1. Sep 5, 2018 #1

    Z32MadMan

    Z32MadMan

    Z32MadMan

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    This thread will serve a few purposes for me. I am hoping it will primarily be a source of motivation for getting more serious with aerobatics. I have been lurking on this forum for the past two years and have been fortunate enough to have the knowledge base here on the forum available at my finger tips.

    A year ago, almost to the day, I became the caretaker of N92RC. It was a great introduction into the in's and out's of aircraft ownership. From an unexpected and difficult to diagnose mag switch failure to learning how to rig a biplane. I know a few of you on the forum are familiar with this particular airplane. And I am happy to say that after my year of ownership, it will be going on to the next owner in better shape than I received it. Lots of new hardware, a refreshed fuel system, new paint from the turtle deck forward, and a remodel of one of the ugliest cockpits I have seen really makes the airplane present better.

    After a year of flying this beautiful airplane it left me wanting in a few ways. The airplane was a complete blast within a 10 nm radius of the local airport, but the range and seating configuration left me little desire to leave that bubble. And with no fault to the airplane, that is what it is built to do, but a more comfortable seat and three times the fuel capacity would be nice on the weekends. Next was performance. We always want more power and more roll rate. Flying an IO-320 powered Pitts with a fixed pitch prop out of a 6700' Colorado airport was a great learning opportunity, but it always left me wanting more (especially on those 9500' density altitude days). Finally, and probably most importantly, I wanted a second seat. I know that is a common sentiment and that the passenger seat of most aerobatic airplanes rarely get warmed more than a few times per decade. But I hope that I will be an exception to that trend. A lot of the joy I derive from aviation is sharing it with other. I am fairly passionate about teaching spins and upset recovery and between instructing friends/coworkers, joy rides for strangers out at the airport, and helping out at the local Young Eagles events, I hope to take full advantage of that second seat.

    The next few months for me will hopefully serve to be a transition into taking my aerobatic abilities up to the next level. I will be posting my experiences and videos of my flights somewhat regularly and I am once again hoping the knowledge base here on the forum can help with some analysis and critiques to aid the journey. I have decided to start at the beginning and fly my way through the Bible (Alan Cassidy's Better Aerobatics). The short term goal, as of right now, is to be safe and competent in the Sportsman category for my first contest next year.

    More to come next week.

    Chris

    In the mean time, here are a few photos of airplane that taught me so much over the past 12 months.
    IMG_20180606_193103.jpg IMG_20180606_190818.jpg IMG_20180606_190927.jpg FB_IMG_1517854589044.jpg IMG_20180413_195641.jpg
     
  2. Sep 5, 2018 #2

    smizo

    smizo

    smizo

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    Oh man you got rid of one that was even the right color!!! ;)

    Look forward to following along.....
     
  3. Sep 6, 2018 #3

    dusterpilot

    dusterpilot

    dusterpilot

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    Oh man! I was just there with the fire bombers! I saw that plane sitting there and wanted to come chat with you about it but I didn’t want to intrude.
     
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  4. Sep 6, 2018 #4

    Z32MadMan

    Z32MadMan

    Z32MadMan

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    Come by whenever the door is up! We are always happy to talk airplanes! (we keep a refrigerator stocked with beverages for when the shifts are over too..)
     
  5. Sep 7, 2018 #5

    Nate

    Nate

    Nate

    Preparation A thru G failed, now it's time for pre

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    how cute
     
  6. Sep 7, 2018 #6

    Eric_Anderson

    Eric_Anderson

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    You've found the right bible. Also be sure to check out "grassroots" (Eric Sandifer's) videos posted elsewhere on this forum.
     
  7. Sep 7, 2018 #7

    Walker

    Walker

    Walker

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    You will regret the day you sell your Pitts S1C. Keep it and buy yourself a S2B to go with your S1C.
     
  8. Sep 8, 2018 #8

    CapnWolfe

    CapnWolfe

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    Maybe others don't find much use for the second seat - but it seems that mine is always full! There seems to be quite a few who don't mind strapping on a parachute for a ride in an open cockpit :)... and I can't imagine it any other way.

    I think you'll find that second seat quite the joy.
     
  9. Sep 8, 2018 #9

    aviatoratrushgreen

    aviatoratrushgreen

    aviatoratrushgreen

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    I am surprised that you feel that you can not go anywhere in your Pitts, what is the range ?
    I have an S2A and have toured all over Europe in it, France Spain, Germany, Holland, Belgium. Over 2 hrs range at 150 MPH is fine for me. Need a pee and a coffee by then anyway
     
  10. Sep 9, 2018 #10

    Piloto

    Piloto

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    Chris: In looking for more power and roll rate, especially because I am also at high density altitudes, I sold my beloved S2A. Of course, the next Pitts is yet to materialize, and I miss the whole experience.
    I am also intrigued by the 180 or 185 that you have in your hangar.... It seems to me that the ideal in pilot's world is the Skywagon and the Pitts Special.
    I attach a picture of mine, and look forward to meeting you on my next trip in your direction
     

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  11. Sep 17, 2018 #11

    Z32MadMan

    Z32MadMan

    Z32MadMan

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    The 185 belongs to a good friend of mine. He just put it on a set of 29" Bushwheels. That airplane is a monster... The perfect machine to stuff it to the gills and park it in the back country. Always happy to join in on those adventures, but typically not my usual cup of tea.
     
  12. Sep 17, 2018 #12

    Z32MadMan

    Z32MadMan

    Z32MadMan

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    The new machine lives! I was able to get the new ride back to home base earlier this week. So far it is everything I could have imagined.

    Ground handling: The airplane uses an API tailwheel, which is what I had on my Pitts. Steering is very direct and I find the airplane much more directional stability during taxi as well as takeoff/landing roll. Likely due to the size of the rudder, as well as the increased arm, the rudder is always effective and there is no pedal dancing on the rollout to keep it out of the weeds. I find the rudder to be about twice as effective in that regime.

    Cruise: Ferrying the plane back at 11,500', I was getting about 165kt on 8gph which I found pretty respectable. I also found myself with more fuel than I knew what to do with when I got back, which was a pretty nice problem to have.

    Acro: Unreal! After a few quick maneuvers in sequence, it became pretty clear that I will be needing to start over and relearn all of the maneuvers I had down comfortably in the Pitts. Looking forward to the challenge! The roll rate is fantastic and seems to make some things effortless. Initial impressions on the stall is that it is pretty sharp and is not preceded by much buffet. You can feel the air release from the top of the wing and it pretty much goes from CL max to nothing without much of a progression. The airplane spins really well and you can really feel it flying its way around.

    Just some initial thoughts at this point. The next few flights will be working on straightening out my loops and getting a feel for some slow rolls.
    IMG_20180908_131830.jpg
    IMG_20180910_074730.jpg
    IMG_20180908_102927_3.jpg
     
  13. Sep 17, 2018 #13

    wzm

    wzm

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    Is that a G-202? I think you live near DJ M., if you have not already gotten in touch with him about aerobatics and coaching, it might be worth your time, and he's building a 200 or a 202.
     
  14. Sep 17, 2018 #14

    grassroots

    grassroots

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    Congrats on the G-202 purchase...I guess. Just kidding. :) It is an impressive airplane but I can't help but make a few comments on the S-1C, your re-energized mission, and the G-202, having flown both planes and climbed the acro ladder as far as I could with the machinery at hand. You've already invested in a new airplane, so this is really for those who are currently flying an S-1 and thinking about the future and how a Pitts can serve them.

    You say you want more. This may be a bit abrupt, but IMO you've left a massive amount of learning potential with the Pitts on the table - even with a 150 hp S-1C in Colorado DA. You mention re-learning loops and rolls and working your way through Alan Cassidy's book and competing at the Sportsman level. I applaud your efforts and look forward to following along, but do realize that you could have well done this in the Pitts and so much more. You did not mention anything about learning how to get your negative vertical up snaps as clean in the Giles as you could in the Pitts. :) IMO learning Advanced fundamentals in a Pitts really serves well for those who truly get to the point of needing something like a Giles to continue progressing with acro. The only thing high DA is holding you back from is stringing together a number of Advanced figures without dropping too much altitude to be competitive at an actual contest. And don't get me wrong, that is a legitimate concern even in a Pitts in Colorado. But...you can easily work on Advanced/Unlimited skills in an S-1C in high DA.

    Have you had coaching and critiquing on all the various roll, snap, spin, rolling turn combinations, (positive and negative) and gotten the hands and feet somewhat automatic with all that stuff in the Pitts? DA conditions have little impact on individual figure practice, and you could spend years challenging yourself in the Pitts, even in high DA conditions. No, an S-1C will not do a double vertical roll and fly off, but you can practice every combination of upright and inverted spin fraction, upright and negative snap fractions (they are all a little different), vertical rolls, rolling turn in/out combinations at all the different turn/roll rate possibilities, etc. The Pitts is a wonderful airplane for learning the art of really good snap technique. Monoplanes blunt this art a bit, but those who really know how to snap can make them pop in a monoplane more so than those who glossed over it and moved to monos too quickly.

    Not trying to get too snobbish about the Pitts "rite of passage" thing, but there really is lots of subtlety of technique that can get lost when pilots move to monoplanes very quickly. Or maybe you realize all this and just happened across a great opportunity for an acro plane with a 2nd seat. Can't blame you for that, if that's what you really need. I just see lots of pilots thinking a Pitts is holding them back looong before it actually is. At the end of the day, the measure of success is staying safe and having fun. If the Giles helps you with the latter, that's all that matters. Have fun and keep this thread going! Nice to see folks who have serious interest in acro technique....even if they fly a monoplane. :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
  15. Sep 17, 2018 #15

    Bond007

    Bond007

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    I 100 percent agree with Eric.
    In fact I have seen where,getting into a monplane to early can discourage,and shorten your Aerobatic fun.
    Most all monplanes have some very big quirk's to work around,this is something a newbe does not need.
    If he or she has not developed a very good skill set.They will find these quirk's very hard to work around causing much disappoinment in there fun,and there scores if they go to a contest.
    Less fun leads to less time in the sport.
    Not to mention cash out lay.I have found the less money I have to tie up in my toys the more fun I will have.
    There are only a handful of people in the Aerobatic world that can use all a little Pitts has to offer,and the guy writing the post before me is one(Eric).
    All that said is very fun to take a little tube and fabric coolest looking thing u have ever seen Pitts to a contest and whip up on a carbon fiber 10 times the price monojunk.
    Danny 007
     
  16. Sep 17, 2018 #16

    Z32MadMan

    Z32MadMan

    Z32MadMan

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    Love the comments!

    I will be offer some additional clarity into the new airplane. I am under zero illusion that I needed a monoplane to advance in aerobatics or that it would even help. And I fully recognize that there are pilots out there that could out fly me in a Super D regardless of what airplane I was had. What it did was improve some non-acro flying options and still allow me to learn and have fun with my aerobatics. All of the trying in the world towards the Pitts wasn't going to add a second seat, make it more comfortable, triple its legs, and speed it up 50mph. I was in a rare position to get my hands on a good example of a rare airplane and I went for it.

    And as far as the DA/performance comments go, I agree whole heartedly. It never stopped me from from performing an maneuvers that I wanted to do, it was just more time spent climbing and diving to setup for them. And trying to fly a sequence during the warmer half of the year resulted in descending lower and lower towards the ground. Other than that its just the old story of man wanting more power out of his machine. I've heard F-15 guys discussing "if it just had a bit more thrust", that's just life.

    Chris
     
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  17. Sep 18, 2018 #17

    Larry Lyons

    Larry Lyons

    Larry Lyons

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    HUH, F-15 guys! What do they know?
     

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