Why was the AR-5 retired from use?

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daveklingler

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Jan 22, 2013
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Albuquerque
I'm almost finished watching Mike Arnold's series on the AR-5, which he posted to Youtube before his death from cancer in October of 2015. He asked a few well-known pilots to take the AR-5 up and give him pilot reports.

Peter Lert of Air Progress and various other magazines: "What a neat little airplane! Ah, I love it! I love it!...It's a surprisingly docile airplane in takeoff and landing...sort of like a civilian Bearcat....Altogether it's a great little airplane..."

Dave Martin, Editor of Kitplanes: "It's an absolute delight!" "Of course I'm smiling! Wonderful!...I said 'wow' twice!" He compared the AR-5 to Carl Hansen's Sequoia Falco, pretty high praise.

I've been following the AR-5 for a long time, wishing I could have one of my own. I was surprised myself to hear of the AR-5 hanging in a museum. Given that it took him three years to get around to repairing it, I guess he really did have other airplanes to fly and other projects. Or maybe he just got short on cash. At any rate, he flew it himself to the Hiller Museum, took some pictures next to Stanley Hiller, and left it there. The video freezes for a moment on that last frame of Arnold, walking away from his little airplane.

I was really happy to finally get around to watching those videos, although I was greatly saddened by Mike Arnold's passing. Anyway, just to set the record straight, the AR-5 was evidently not retired because it was anything but a delightful airplane to fly. I wish it was mine.
 
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Yenn

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Mar 16, 2007
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Benaraby Queensland Australia
I remember reading many years back, in kitplanes I think, a review of the AR5. It was pointed out to the reviewer that it had some unusual traits, one of which was it would overheat and blow up the engine if the throttle was closed and the nose put down. I can't remember exactly what other things there were but it would have been a really steep learning curve to fly it.
 

Victor Bravo

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Jul 30, 2014
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KWHP, Los Angeles CA, USA
It is my (very very limited) understanding that he was able to find someone to buy the AR-5 with the intention of putting it into the museum. Mike Arnold likely wanted the money to build something else (AR-6 probably). It makes sense, because this way the buyer did not go off and wreck the (by then historically significant) airplane.

Anyone interested in the ultimate example of this type of hand-built composite construction method... you must go and see Cory Bird's "Symmetry".
 

harrisonaero

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Oct 31, 2009
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565
Location
Coeur d'Alene, ID
This is a 2-stroke issue, not a problem with the AR-5. Two-strokes change mixture significantly when the prop unloads. Best either run shut off or at full power if you have a slick aircraft that loads the prop at partial power setting descents. May do better with a sprague clutch that allows the prop to freewheel. Would also benefit from a quick-response closed loop fuel injection system. Mike use to have to pump the primer during descents to keep his rich enough to not seize (he was the closed loop control).

As an aside, once I had an off-airport landing due to a clogged jet in my C-85 carb. I kick myself for not thinking of pumping the primer to see if I could have flown the rest of the way home rather than having to deadstick to a landing in the snow where the nosegear dug in and I flipped the plane (thankfully wasn't hurt and there was minimal airplane damage).
 

Pops

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Jan 1, 2013
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USA.
This is a 2-stroke issue, not a problem with the AR-5. Two-strokes change mixture significantly when the prop unloads. Best either run shut off or at full power if you have a slick aircraft that loads the prop at partial power setting descents. May do better with a sprague clutch that allows the prop to freewheel. Would also benefit from a quick-response closed loop fuel injection system. Mike use to have to pump the primer during descents to keep his rich enough to not seize (he was the closed loop control).

As an aside, once I had an off-airport landing due to a clogged jet in my C-85 carb. I kick myself for not thinking of pumping the primer to see if I could have flown the rest of the way home rather than having to deadstick to a landing in the snow where the nosegear dug in and I flipped the plane (thankfully wasn't hurt and there was minimal airplane damage).
Reminds me of when I had throttle cable break with a C-85 after reducing power to land and just made a runway by a couple of feet. I thought it quit and was windmilling and never thought of using the primer for some rpm's until after I landed and the engine kept on idling.
 
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