Looking at buying a smith.

Discussion in 'Smith Mini Plane' started by Cobrasdh, Jul 7, 2018.

Help Support Biplane Forum by donating:

  1. Jul 10, 2018 #21

    Larry Lyons

    Larry Lyons

    Larry Lyons

    Registered Users Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    Messages:
    3,912
    Likes Received:
    929
    Funny, I did almost 3 hours of taxiing in Miss Smith. Never let the tail leave the ground but also tried to see if the ASI worked. Even though she once got light on her feet I could not put my eyes on the airspeed indicator long enough for it to register in my mind! Of course I was about as raw at tail wheel as you could get and still be in a short coupled biplane. Only because she was mine: I would never have allowed a complete “nob” like me to taxi an airplane I owned with the experience I had.!
     
  2. Jul 10, 2018 #22

    EAABipe40FF

    EAABipe40FF

    EAABipe40FF

    Registered Users Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Messages:
    5,165
    Likes Received:
    973
    I came close to losing my S1C in a high speed taxi before I flew it. Was tail up at lift off speed and chopped the throttle and I thought I was again on a bronc...My mentor saw it and said, NEVER DO THAT!...you just experienced all the bad things you will ever see in that airplane and worse than you should have....

    Good advice!

    OTOH now that I have the skills I do high speed taxis, tail up above lift off speed and "slowly" reducing throttle and easing the tail down....IF you have plenty of runway. I'm talking about my two E-AB aircraft before their first flights. I wanted to know as much as possible before I committed to the first flight. You will get the opposite view on this and I agree the new little bipe pilot should probably not go there.

    Jack
     
    ernstfokker likes this.
  3. Jul 24, 2018 #23

    Cobrasdh

    Cobrasdh

    Cobrasdh

    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2018
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    4
    Ok so after a long waiting period I was finally able to go take a look at it. Overall it seemed very nice. fabric looked good, maybe a bit on the loose side but ok. Some issues I noted were the ailerons definitely needed to be rigged and I suspect the owner was in the middle of that process. They drop down to almost a 90 degree angle! The paint is a touch dry and light but not too bad. Tailwheel caster is loose in the rudder. It has a Stromberg carb with no mixture, not sure how I feel about that. Engine is a c85 stroker. Needs the brakes put back together as he was fitting wheelpants. Overall it looked nice and I fit well in it so maybe after I get back from Oshkosh ill make an offer.
     
  4. Jul 24, 2018 #24

    Knight Twister

    Knight Twister

    Knight Twister

    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,766
    Likes Received:
    1,122
    Strombergs with no mixture or the mixture wired full rich is common on small continentals.
     
  5. Jul 24, 2018 #25

    Cobrasdh

    Cobrasdh

    Cobrasdh

    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2018
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    4
    Interesting. I don't have any experience with engines smaller than an 0-200 so I have never seen one before.
     
  6. Aug 10, 2018 #26

    Cobrasdh

    Cobrasdh

    Cobrasdh

    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2018
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    4
    Well he accepted my offer so this coming week she will be mine. I need to annual it before anything else then he was saying it likes to run a bit hot so I will look into that. (No oil cooler or even a filter on the c85 so I will check timing, baffling, and make sure she is getting fuel). The owner wasn't enthused with the idea of me flying it out but after annual and some taxi time I am sure It will be fine.
     
  7. Aug 11, 2018 #27

    Jimmy

    Jimmy

    Jimmy

    Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2017
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    2
    I've had one for almost 18 years, and have put about 400 hours on it. I'd recommend doing a BUNCH of landings on turf if possible before tackling a hard surface runway. As lots of folks have noted - sink rate is pretty high and airspeed drops pretty quickly during the flair. Mine has an O-235 and I find holding about 85 mph over the numbers works for me. That said, airspeed indicators vary, so I'd recommend spending some time in the air doing both power on and power off stalls, and experiment with various attitudes/speeds at altitude before heading to the runway. I'd also suggest checking landing gear alignment as best you can and if possible, get the wheels off the ground and check for any slop in the gear attach points. It's sure one FUN airplane to fly! Enjoy!
     
    Larry Lyons and EAABipe40FF like this.
  8. Aug 13, 2018 #28

    Cobrasdh

    Cobrasdh

    Cobrasdh

    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2018
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    4
    Thankfully I have an odd runway to practice with, It is 23 foot paved and 40 foot grass on either side of the pavement so lots of grass landings will be happening. The plan for the first flight after the annual is going to be lots of taxi time (not a fan of high speed tail up so not any of that). Then get it up to altitude and get the feel for it. Do some stalls and such, than bring it in to land on the grass. Bring it in fast and then let the speed bleed off.
     
  9. Aug 13, 2018 #29

    Larry Lyons

    Larry Lyons

    Larry Lyons

    Registered Users Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    Messages:
    3,912
    Likes Received:
    929
    AND bleed off it will! Not unusual for me to come over the fence at almost 90 kts and still not float past where I wanted to touch down.
     
  10. Aug 14, 2018 #30

    Mike Maley

    Mike Maley

    Mike Maley

    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1
    Sit in the plane for a while and see how it feels. The Smith was the most uncomfortable airplane I ever flew. It is also easy to get your knee locked under the panel when trying to get out quickly. I always worried about rollover clearance if you go over in a forced landing. I had one in a smith. All considered a Pitts S-1C is a better aircraft in every aspect. You could not pay me to get back in a Smith.
     
  11. Aug 14, 2018 #31

    EAABipe40FF

    EAABipe40FF

    EAABipe40FF

    Registered Users Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Messages:
    5,165
    Likes Received:
    973
    I've felt your pain but each individual E-AB aircraft may be unique. Yes by all means sit in it and practice egress.
     
  12. Aug 21, 2018 #32

    Tramp

    Tramp

    Tramp

    Registered Users

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    46
    Congratulations on the Smith. I really enjoy mine and it's nice to see a resurgence of interest in the type.
    The only other thing I might contribute to the conversation is something I've found helpful into my 5th season with mine.
    As some of the guys have mentioned here, I find 80-85 with 1500 to 1700 RPM works best over the numbers. I used to keep that all the way down into the flare and then SLOWLY bring the power off to idle as I three pointed it. The only issue I found with that approach was that if I touched down even slightly crabbed and a swing began, rudder would do very little to help me. I'd need a super brief punch of brake to horse it back into line.
    So, instead, I now keep the power all way to touchdown and only on the roll out do I throttle back to idle. It's a hell of a lot easier to make small corrections when you've got some blast over the tail. The rudder isn't all that effective at idle and with its penchant for swapping ends, that extra few hundred RPM is like power steering. I fly off 3300' of asphalt and generally have her down and at a walking speed by 1000'.
    Have fun with it. There's alot of expertise here on the forum as well.
     
    ernstfokker likes this.
  13. Aug 21, 2018 #33

    Dennis Flamini

    Dennis Flamini

    Dennis Flamini

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    2,247
    Likes Received:
    857
    Jonathan,
    Is C-FAM still at the zoo? C-FAM DAD.jpg C-FAM.jpg
     
  14. Aug 21, 2018 #34

    Tramp

    Tramp

    Tramp

    Registered Users

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    46
    Hi Dennis,
    Yes, she is. She's orange and blue now and covered in fibreglass. We took the kids there two weekend ago - and they both sat in the cockpit together (3.5 and 1.5). It was a pretty special moment. My son knows it is "Nonno's biplane."
    -J
     
  15. Aug 27, 2018 #35

    Larry Lyons

    Larry Lyons

    Larry Lyons

    Registered Users Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    Messages:
    3,912
    Likes Received:
    929
    Jonathon, I have never tried power all the way to touch down and have the same experience. With just touch of "not straight as an arrow" and it takes a stab of brake to bring her back. Probably the only reason I haven't ground looped her is that with full rudder input in a big I hurry will get the brake automatically! :rolleyes:
     
  16. Aug 27, 2018 #36

    Tramp

    Tramp

    Tramp

    Registered Users

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    46
    I stumbled across it late last season, giving her a blast of throttle to help straighten out. It was like a lightbulb went off. Definitely an "ah ha!" moment.
    Try cracking the throttle just before touchdown and see what kind of authority and feedback that gives you. I've had excellent results.
     
  17. Aug 27, 2018 #37

    Lotahp1

    Lotahp1

    Lotahp1

    Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2012
    Messages:
    4,035
    Likes Received:
    788
    I was doing almost exactly as you described in my AcroSport 2 when I finally got somewhat comfortable.
    On downwind when I was about even with number reduce power to 1400rpm...hold stick back to 90mph...then start base turn holding 90. On final let speed bleed off on its own down to about 80...and by then I’m so close to runway I’m no longer looking at speed but feeling for runway. Just as I touch down and stabilize the roll out I’d reduce the throttle to zero. Seemed to work and allowed for an easier go around if I bounced. If I bounce I go around...always seems better to try again than to try and save a crappy landing.
     
  18. Sep 12, 2018 #38

    Cobrasdh

    Cobrasdh

    Cobrasdh

    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2018
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    4
    Finally got her home yesterday. Takeoff happened so quick there wasn't any time for anything to go wrong. Landing was... Exciting. First try I bounced so I went around. Second try I had a small bounce so I froze the stick and rode it out. Went from one side of the runway on the grass over the center pavement to the right side grass just letting it do it's thing without overcorrecting.
    Only think I noticed was in flight the oil temp peaked at 205 after 30min. Didn't seem to get any warmer but that's a touch higher for 75-80 degrees ambient
     
    S2e and GT74 like this.
  19. Sep 12, 2018 #39

    Larry Lyons

    Larry Lyons

    Larry Lyons

    Registered Users Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    Messages:
    3,912
    Likes Received:
    929
    Congrats!!! Most landing are a bit exciting, in my book anyway! Budd Davis in one of his forums last year made the statement that landing a Pitts, any small short coupled bipe, you make like a prairie dog, sit up and take notice, get your head in the game on down wind. Personally I sit up straight and tap my feet on the rudder pedals to help me get in the game on down wind.
     
  20. Sep 12, 2018 #40

    DLWilliams

    DLWilliams

    DLWilliams

    Premium Member Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    Messages:
    367
    Likes Received:
    109
    Yeah, BANG!
     

Share This Page