Discussion in 'Hangar Flying' started by Little Scrapper, Jun 5, 2019.
If you were to build a STOL Baby Ace how would you approach it?
Build a Baby Ace
This isn't about me building anything. Just a fun question.
A turbine engine worked well for Draco ...
What's your envelope? Do we assume a stock fuselage and wing, uses small Continental, etc?
I had one with a GO-290 125 hp did pretty good for the short takeoff. I thought about carrying an anchor for the short landing but found it was not needed. High lift devices on the wing would be the way to improve landing performance (leading edge flaps and trailing edge Fowler flaps) and perhaps high performance BSLD wing tips.
I guess I don't know. Just a fun thought and curious if anyone else has ever thought about it.
It must have been been about 5-8 years now? I was at Airventure enjoying a lemon ice cup over at the ultralight field. I was watching this little single seat STOL airplane doing demos. It was white and red. It was pretty small and for the life of me I can't remember what the name of it was but it was awesome!!!
I remember thinking a Baby Ace with some updates could do it.
It popped in to my head because I was just thinking about Airventure 2019 hoping I'd see something cool.
That's it. A single seat STOL is kinda fun to think about.
A Zenith 750 type wing/airfoil ….An improved (stronger) landing gear.....BIG motor!
Longer span wing and different airfoil for the Baby Ace.
Really, just built another SSSC and save more weight and add some large flaps, ( no flaps on the SSSC). It does good the way it is, but could do better. Gets off the ground with my 230 lbs in about 225' and lands short. I flew in a grass field that is 900' with a 25 deg bend in the middle. Used less than 1/2 of the length of the runway with no problem. Also over trees by the creek on one end. Instead of the 60 HP , 1835cc VW engine go with the 2180 or 2276 cc , 75/80 hp engine with a climb prop. Longer wings for a lighter wing loading and save every ounce of weight.
Maybe my next project.
Run a Wilga fuselage twice through a band saw the long way, rivet the two outer parts back together to make a single-wide fuselage, then take a Sharpie and write, "Baby Ace" on it.
Or take the existing design, put a O-200 on it, strip off the starter and generator, de-weight the airframe, put a massive bungee landing gear on it, replace the tailwheel with a skid, move the pilot seat back far enough to correct the CG, and add a mechanism to droop the ailerons.
Oh, and add fuzzy dice to the cabanes.
Its almost STOL as is. That is how I was answering the first time. Pretty good as is. How short a spot do you dream to fly into? Adding flaps would help, but that is a kick in the nuts mod, making the plane not simple. VGs. C85; getting out would never be a challenge. Add two rib bays to each wing. Getting the landing gear length perfect for perfect 3 point.
Watching Joe Spenser’s Legal Eagle on YouTube is pretty fun. Simple enough to not need much. All the STOL stuff is impressive but most showing off is at airports where there is no 50 ft tree. True useable landing lengths are longer than the 120 ft Oshkosh show roll with real obstacles.
A lot of the short short landings takes vectored thrust, dragging the plane in nose high with power. When solidly on the ground you have to slam on the brakes and have enough elevator control to hold the tail down to not flip. Power is up to keep air over the tail. You can do the same thing in a Cessna 150. That type of flying is frowned upon in normal circles. I bet a 150 flown like that would not roll 400-500. Some of those guys immediately turn the airplane, almost like a partial ground loop. The turn is eating up energy. Measured length is less than the plane rolled on the ground.
I’m with Ron, minimum weight and maximum power. Maybe there’s a subtly different airfoil for better results or just cover the thing in VGs. It *may* need bigger tail surfaces too in order to keep good control at lower approach speeds.
To get really extreme, you could look at the power and weight trade offs of a two-stroke or turboprop engine.
Put a long stroke LG on Bob Barrow's Bearhawk LSA, light as possible and a hopped-up non electric 0-200 in it and it will surprise you. The stall speed on Bob's LSA is below 30. At one time we were going to see who could fly the slowest, Bob's LSA and my SSSC, both without flaps. I had a oil leak and had to land after take-off. So never happen. Believe he could have beat me. The LSA has a lot of wing area and a good airfoil.
Droop the wing leading edges and let 'er rip. Any more STOL and you'd need to increase engine power and work on directional control.
Oh for heaven's sake. Put VG's and a Gurney Flap on the stock wing and see if that does it. Easy, cheap, and all removable. Put larger wheels and tires on it to raise the ground angle, again easily removable. Swap out the A-65 crannkshaft for an O-200 crank ( a couple of other mods are needed to do this), and then put a climb prop on it.
Those things should get you a very noticeable improvement without re-kitting or re-designing the whole bloody mess.
If you really need more STOL than that, then you can think about a thicker wing, or more camber, or changing the airfoil a little (and increasing the tail volume).
(Sorry, I’ve told this story before, but it fits here too.)
You can always look to the Stinson L-1 for inspiration. The one I flew had a placard that said “DO NOT FLY BELOW 18 MPH”. The thing used about 30 feet for take-off and landing. In addition to being like an overgrown radial-powered Piper Cub on Steroids (or built for Andre the Giant), I think it got most of its low-speed prowess from a huge wing area and self-actuating leading edge slots.
I helped a buddy rebuild a Baby Ace that had sat 20 plus years after a taxi accident. C85 hand prop. It was heavy and overbuilt, and I was pushing 315 at the time. Both my shoulders hit the sides, and my head bumped the bottom of the wing. But, the thing sure flew well for being overloaded. A buddy snapped a shot of me landing it during the first test flight. One of those pretty 3 point floaters and a short roll out, using way less runway than the 140 I was hacking around at the time. I dropped a bunch of weight, but that plane was rolled into a ball by the owner in another taxi accident a short time later. I never got to fly it at 200 lbs. I just remember it being smooth and fun and SMALL! I would think that adding lightness and a little more wing area would suffice for all of the little country airports, but man, you'd need some serious motor to get better takeoff performance out of that.
I agree it's already more STOL capable than most, but you could easily improve it by just lengthening the wing back to cub proportions. Greatest Stol performance I've ever seen from a "normal" airplane was a restored Tcraft with a 100lb. pilot. All that wing got it in the air in under 300 feet.
The T-craft is a pretty great STOL airplne in calm weather, even with a plump fellow like me in it. But it loses much of the short landing capability quickly in gusty or turbulent conditions. The reason is that it is too clean aerodynamically, and there's no glidepath control other than extreme forward slips. Throwing it in and out of those slips is fun and easy enough when you get the hang of it, but they take a couple of seconds for entry and exit. So you are "behind" the gusts a lot of the time. Glidepath control, in the form of drag, will solve that fairly well. This is why some of the military L-2 version of the T-craft had spoilers, but not the civilian B and F models. The British figured this out fairly soon and put flaps on their "Auster" version of the Taylorcraft. Spoilers and/or flaps should be retrofitted to the American B and F model T-crafts, it's something I'd look into if I still had one of those delightful airplanes.
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