Time to comment on the much-maligned C150 / C152. Commenting here so as not to hijack the threads where the Cessna has been referred to as boring, etc.
No flight in any airplane needs to be boring if the pilot takes the opportunity to fly with maximum precision and maximum accuracy while maneuvering to the corners of the envelope and flying with the controls at the stop. No, it is not a glider, unless you make it one, no it is not a fast cross country airplane, but it is infinitely better than not flying anything, and no, not even the Aerobats are very aerobatic, but they do better than thousands of others.
CR has this in his signature line:
To extrapolate from BoKu's fine statement: The vast majority of boring flights are the results of failures of imagination than a shortcoming of the airplane.Quote Originally Posted by BoKu
The vast majority of engineering failures are the results of failure of imagination rather than failure of calculation.
Agreed for the most part, I have a reasonable amount of fun and adventure in an old 1956 C-172 with a whopping 145 HP. The only thing I don't do routinely or purposefully is throw the controls over to the stop at anything other than slow speeds. 60 year old airframe, parts of which have never been seen since Eisenhower was in office.
I took the rear seat out (30+ pounds), installed some experimental !*#&$%^% REDACTED (#*%% in order to increase control authority at low speed, and I have a lot of fun doing STOL off-airport landings on dirt roads and dry lake beds in the desert. Nap of the Earth flying, terrain following, and looking around for challenging places to land. No reason whatsoever you couldn't do the same with a 150/152, just a little different performance numbers.
In keeping with BJC's comment, I humbly advise all y'all to read "The Dream Fly-In", a short story by Richard Bach. If this title goes with the story I'm thinking of, it centers around a gathering of pilots with "normal" GA airplanes who compete against each other in flying these otherwise modest airplanes with precision and panache.
"Everything in this book may be wrong."
Richard Bach, Illusions
It helps I'm only 5'4" tall so I fit nicely, but regardless I have never had a ridealong that didn't have a huge grin on their face when we landed. On second thoughts maybe they are so happy to be back safely on the ground - LOL!
What I was talking about is the kind of flying, and something like a C-150 or C-172 is very frequently used for that kind of "flying." No aspersions against the airplane (excepting the thrice-danged flap system on a 150, may it rust and fall out of the airplane as quickly as possible).
"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." - Henry David Thoreau
Design Project: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider
Discussion Thread for the Project: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider
I instructed in 150s for a while and always had respect for it. It was as honest as any plane I ever flew; reliable, tough, low maintenance, decent speed...only thing was it was too small inside and it was a ground lover with 2 up in the summertime. We had a personal one for quite a while; taught my wife to fly in it(not recommended) and a couple other friends(Wilbur and Jackie) who were partners in it with us. We had a great time except for teaching my wife. But they were all 3 kinda old and they broke me of teaching. Three old pre solo students at once was a little much for me. But the little plane didn't mind at all it loved abuse. I liked to fly it down final in still air with full flaps at 45 IAS and bang it down on the very end of the runway with the brakes locked. Man it would stop short...bout a 100 feet I'd say. I like to tell the 150 story about ol Wilbur who was a big hearted Ichabod Crane type that was terrified of stalls not to mention spins. So one day I mentioned we oughta do a spin entry/recovery so he would know what to do and he started sweating and trembling. So we watered it down to me doing the very early entry and recovery with him observing. He didn't like it but agreed he should at least see that. So we go up and do the abbreviated entry and when it broke and snapped into the entry(the 150 loved to spin) ol Wilbur screamed like a woman and thrashed with his long arms and tore the headliner clean out of our 150. He was all to pieces. End of spin entry demos. LOL. There was another 150 story about mischevious 10 year old son and our young cat...son got the idea of taking Tigger for a ride in the 150 so we saddled up and took off. Tigger liked it and was was peering over the window sill from son's lap. So he puts Tigger up on top of the glare shield in the wrap around panoramic windshield and says "do a spin", grinning from ear to ear. OK so we do...and Tigger plastered himself flat on top of the glare shield gripping the thin glued on fabric and spitting and showing his teeth for as long as he could stand it then about the 2nd turn launched himself like a rocket ship between son and I and into the long baggage compartment...then jumps up on the seat back between us with what looked like a big grin on his face. A fun Sunday afternoon 150 ride...Tigger was always ready to go again but we didn't spin him anymore. LOL.
150s and dogs, cats and kids are the best kind of fun.
Anyone here built and or flown one?
Tell me about it.
Steve probably likes having all the fuel in the PL-1 and -2 in wing tip tanks. Not good if you like to maneuver or do aerobatics. Where are you, Steve?
Paging Ron W:
The Fly Baby Biplane has been mentioned in another thread. I have heard comments about how it flies compared to the monoplane version, but would appreciate a first-hand report. Can you tell us how the biplane flies, and contrast it to the monoplane?
CHOPPERGIRL @ AIR-WAR.ORG ~ Flying with Christina
My grandfather flew 171 combat missions in the P-38, P-39, and P-47; my dad was an air traffic controller and 170 pilot; my mom sold travel luggage to Mohamed Atta, the 9/11 hijacker mastermind; I'm restoring Dorothy, a Volmer Jensen VJ-24W motor glider I bought on eBay for $38, and Alice, a Chotia Woodhopper I bought on Barnstormers for $99. I'm in no hurry; doing it to fly, and to learn how to restore hopeless case ultralights.
OK Boku, time for a pirep for the HP-18 as well as your HP-24.
The HP-24 originally started out as a kind of "super HP-18." My thinking was to address the HP-18's limited downward visibility, awkward ergonomics, and mediocre control system design with a new forward fuselage. The original plan was to retain the HP-18's aluminum monocoque aft fuselage and V-tail, and do some sort of Jiran-style moldless foam core trick for the wings.
However, I really wanted to go a step beyond the HP-18 in terms of its disparity with what you could expect from a new-ish European racer.
* Taking the canopy off and setting it on the ground next to the glider is something nobody should have to do. I wanted a nice convenient nose-pivot canopy.
* Breaking out wrenches to connect the ailerons is a complete non-starter. I felt an ethical imperative to implement automatic control hookups. The math goes something like this: Every year on the US contest and cross-country soaring scene, there are about 2000 assembly events where folks hang wings to go fly. About 1/1000 of those assembly events embodies a critical control connection error. About 50% of those critical errors are followed by a fatal crash. That wasn't gonna happen on my watch.
* A market survey showed that for everybody who loved 90-degree landing flaps for gliders, there are two potential customers who want nothing to do with them. It was clear that if I wanted to sell gliders, they'd have to have Schempp-Hirth or similar airbrakes.
* The HP-18 sliding side stick is an ergonomic abomination that most learn to accept, but nobody really likes. Having already designed and marketed a center stick retrofit kit, I knew that my glider would have a conventional control stick, and that extra attention would go into having low slop and friction.
* As much as I love the V-tail look, they offer no particular aerodynamic advantages, and the fold/unfold mechanism can be touchy and prone to wear and slop. The Europeans had shown that a removable T-tail stabilizer can be easier to assemble and rig than any V-tail I'd seen, so I went with what folks are familiar with and accept.
* With the HP-18, in order to make a pitch input, you move two 12-foot long aluminum tubes; each tube goes through six push-pull tube guides consisting of holes through bare nylon plates. Skreek! Skronk! I knew I needed much lower system friction. I eventually settled on a system where every single push-pull tube guide is a linear ball bearing, and all but a few pivots have low-friction ball bearings. There are eighteen linear ball bearings tube guides in each glider; eight in the fuselage and five in each wing.
* There is often a perception that if you have a rugged metal glider, you can tie it down out in the weather, and you won't have to rig/derig for each flight. However, a dozen years campaigning an old HP-11 showed me that an ASW20 driver could get their ship out of the trailer, rigged, and onto the flight line faster than I could get my glider untied, get it over to the wash rack, and hose the dust off of it--and with less effort and logistics. So I knew that my glider was going to have the kind of pin-and-thumbscrew, no-tool assembly that the Europeans had.
* Somewhere along the line, I costed out the parts of the HP-18 wing spar, and found that there was pretty much no way to get them made cost-effectively any more. I decided that I would go with a carbon fiber pultrusion-based wing spar, and engaged Jim Marske to help me develop the tooling and design for the spar. For comparison sake, the aluminum parts for the wing spar for one HP-18 wing weigh about 50 lbs. One HP-24 wing spar weighs about 20 lbs.
* After trying several different one-off composite methods, I eventually threw in the towel and invested in full female molds for every part of the glider. The wings and horizontal are carbon/foam sandwich, the flaps, elevator, and rudder are kevlar/foam sandwich, and the fuselage shell is pretty much all carbon with foam core only in the vertical fin. The rudder contains a dipole com antenna; it is Kevlar mostly just to let the radio waves out.
Okay, how does it fly? I can honestly say that it is probably the sweetest flying glider I have ever flown, right up there with the LS4, which is renown for good handling. If you can fly a Schweizer 1-26, you can fly this thing--the hard part is remembering the undercarriage. Not used to flaps? No problem; leave them in the 0 setting and you'll do fine.
We left a little bit of performance on the table to ensure a fat margin of static stability, and it has definitely paid off. In It has great pitch stability and handling, and a very natural-feeling stick force/g gradient. The full-span flaperons make it easy to keep the wings level even on a downwind takeoff, and the comfortable office and big bubble makes it easy to see what is around you. It thermals like its on rails, and the unballasted gross stall speed of about 40 kts with good roll control down to the stall means you can stay up easily even in light conditions.
By contrast, I never really like the HP-18 flight characteristics. The sharp-nosed Wortmann airfoil yields a sharp, unforgiving stall, and loses a lot of performance when wet or buggy. The controls feel vague at best; more like a suggestion box than a command input. The landing flaps are great fun, but the somewhat indifferent control system design is not exactly confidence-inspiring.
Thanks, Bob K.
Edit Add: That's not to say that the HP-18 is a bad glider. In its day it offered unparalleled bang for the buck, and its aerodynamics were based on the best available information at the time. But we have come a long way since those days. Now it is widely accepted that the thing to optimize is not the sailplane's maximum performance, but rather the pilot's enjoyment of the overall soaring experience from arrival at the airport through disassembly and stowage after the flight. Making the glider enjoyable to fly makes it easy to fly well throughout the day, and leaves you in better mental and physical condition during the critical approach and landing phase. And that makes it more likely you will perform better the following day.