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Firefly aileron throw

 
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Richard Pike



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 1527
Location: Blountville, Tennessee

PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:04 pm    Post subject: Firefly aileron throw Reply with quote

As most of you long time listers know, I have long been an advocate of reducing Kolb aileron deflection for a more pleasant flying experience, because in their stock form, Kolbs have a LOT of aileron deflection. Did it many years ago on my MKIII, which I documented here: http://oh2fly.net/oldpoops/pg7.htm

This afternoon was an excellent day for flying, 60 degrees and no wind, so I went one richer on the main jet from last week and went flying. Still not quite perfect, but a lot less pipiness than before. Now instead of a 700 rpm range of foolishness, we only have a 300 rpm range where the 277 doesn't want to stay put. Still thinking that after it gets fully broken in it might settle down.

Then Dave & I modified the aileron bellcrank, moved the pushrods in as far as practical, readjusted their length and flew it again. WOW! Talk about light on the controls - she is now a dancer! At higher speeds, you can see and feel the ailerons twisting to less than full throw, yet it cranks and banks just like it did before. (And why wouldn't it? Air loads limit maximum deflection; so no matter how much throw you build in with your bellcrank moment arms/lengths, the ailerons are still only going to deflect just so far.)

At lower speeds, the aileron tubes quit their torque twisting, you get full throw of aileron deflection, excellent response, and in both cases, the amount of pressure involved at the stick is MUCH less than before.

Bear in mind that this is just one flight, and not a couple hours of both Dave & I wringing it out and taking notes, but initial results are extremely positive. And, as always, we can easily put it back like it was.

Note in the pictures that you can see how far the lower lever point has been moved in from stock, (out at the end) and also the amount of aileron travel still available after the mod. Substantial.


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_________________
Richard Pike
Kolb MKIII N420P (420ldPoops)
Kolb Firefly Part 103 legal (Redoing the Firefly windshield)
Kingsport, TN 3TN0

Forgiving is tough, being forgiven is wonderful, and God's grace really is amazing.
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John Hauck



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 4627
Location: Titus, Alabama (hauck's holler)

PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:16 pm    Post subject: Firefly aileron throw Reply with quote

The first Fire Fly's had enormous ailerons. Homer designed for his style of
flying, tree top level, in contact with the birds in the trees, extremely
low and slow. For that style flying they were ok. Anything over a crawl
would lock them up based on their sheer mass/area. On later model Fire
Fly's the aileron cord was reduced quite a bit.

I never flew the early models with the long cord ailerons, but got a lot of
time in the later models. I don't recall heavy ailerons on the Fire Fly's I
flew. In fact, on one cross wind landing at Lakeland, I hit the stop, ran
out of aileron. Based on that experience, I wouldn't want to shorten the
cord on the later model Fire Flies.

On Richard P's Fire Fly, just eye balling, the aileron cord looks like the
original.

Based on my flight experience in the prototype MKIII, I cut the ailerons on
my MKIII a good bit. Don't remember the dimensions now after 27 years, but
I have never run out of aileron. Even after reducing the cord on the
ailerons, after 60-65 MPOH they start loading up. Fine with me. I'm not
looking for snappy roll at those speeds. No problem going lock to lock
below 60.

Random thoughts about ailerons from a Kolb pilot. That reminds me of my
buddy, John Williamson, Kolbra Pilot. May 25 2018, will be 10 years since
John made that last flight.

john h
Titus, Alabama

--


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John Hauck
MKIII/912ULS
hauck's holler
Titus, Alabama
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Richard Pike



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 1527
Location: Blountville, Tennessee

PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Firefly aileron throw Reply with quote

Thanks, John - this Firefly is a lot like Johnny Cash's One-Piece-At-A-Time-Cadillac; it is cobbled together from an Original Firestar (wings - 5 rib), FSII (tail boom & tail), Firefly (front of fuselage cage), so it is certainly a mongrel. The ailerons are HUGE; wide chord, full span, full length. Our FF has a 28' wing span instead of the usual FF 22' wing span. OTOH, even with just a Rotax 277, we are seeing 800-1,000 fpm climb rates. WOOT!

We are planning to get it inspected Tuesday and certified as Part 103 legal, and then paint it, (Krylon FTW) and maybe next year recover it in Oratex to give us a chance to strip the wings, look inside them, and maybe knock a few pounds off. Although as low as the wing loading already is, I would rather it pick up a few pounds than get any lighter... As Beauford said about his FF - "tissue plane..."


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Richard Pike
Kolb MKIII N420P (420ldPoops)
Kolb Firefly Part 103 legal (Redoing the Firefly windshield)
Kingsport, TN 3TN0

Forgiving is tough, being forgiven is wonderful, and God's grace really is amazing.
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Richard Pike



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 1527
Location: Blountville, Tennessee

PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Firefly aileron throw Reply with quote

Got an inquiry today "How do you get one certified Part 103 legal?"

https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_103-7.pdf

There are worksheets included that enable you to establish whether or not you fit the parameters, and a form at the end that you get an A&P to sign, then you carry it with you in your ultralight vehicle. If the equipment list on your signed form agrees with how it looks sitting on the ramp, you are legal.


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Richard Pike
Kolb MKIII N420P (420ldPoops)
Kolb Firefly Part 103 legal (Redoing the Firefly windshield)
Kingsport, TN 3TN0

Forgiving is tough, being forgiven is wonderful, and God's grace really is amazing.
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Richard Pike



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 1527
Location: Blountville, Tennessee

PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:20 am    Post subject: Re: Firefly aileron throw Reply with quote

Landing Sunday afternoon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUHziWQw3Qo&feature=youtu.be


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Richard Pike
Kolb MKIII N420P (420ldPoops)
Kolb Firefly Part 103 legal (Redoing the Firefly windshield)
Kingsport, TN 3TN0

Forgiving is tough, being forgiven is wonderful, and God's grace really is amazing.
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neilsenrm(at)gmail.com
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:05 am    Post subject: Firefly aileron throw Reply with quote

I'm a long time flyer of a MKIIIC. I have gotten used to the heavy ailerons. Here are a few thoughts that haven't be discussed. At slow speeds near the ground you need all the control you can get hold of. I used to have a narrow strip cut out of my woods. On more than one occasion I hit the stops on my stock ailerons and once I hit the stops both ways. My Kolb doesn't have a neck snapping roll rate but when I'm slow and near the ground and an unexpected wind gust hits it is nice to know I can keep my wing tips from hitting the ground. When at cruise speeds my ailerons are heavy and keep me from over stressing the wing.
I will never make that change to my airplane.
Rick Neilsen
Redrive VW Powered MKIIIC
On Sun, Feb 18, 2018 at 7:04 PM, Richard Pike <thegreybaron(at)charter.net (thegreybaron(at)charter.net)> wrote:
Quote:
--> Kolb-List message posted by: "Richard Pike" <thegreybaron(at)charter.net (thegreybaron(at)charter.net)>

As most of you long time listers know, I have long been an advocate of reducing Kolb aileron deflection for a more pleasant flying experience, because in their stock form, Kolbs have a LOT of aileron deflection. Did it many years ago on my MKIII, which I documented here: http://oh2fly.net/oldpoops/pg7.htm

This afternoon was an excellent day for flying, 60 degrees and no wind, so I went one richer on the main jet from last week and went flying. Still not quite perfect, but a lot less pipiness than before. Now instead of a 700 rpm range of foolishness, we only have a 300 rpm range where the 277 doesn't want to stay put. Still thinking that after it gets fully broken in it might settle down.

Then Dave & I modified the aileron bellcrank, moved the pushrods in as far as practical, readjusted their length and flew it again. WOW! Talk about light on the controls - she is now a dancer! At higher speeds, you can see and feel the ailerons twisting to less than full throw, yet it cranks and banks just like it did before. (And why wouldn't it? Air loads limit maximum deflection; so no matter how much throw you build in with your bellcrank moment arms/lengths, the ailerons are still only going to deflect just so far.)

At lower speeds, the aileron tubes quit their torque twisting, you get full throw of aileron deflection, excellent response, and in both cases, the amount of pressure involved at the stick is MUCH less than before.

Bear in mind that this is just one flight, and not a couple hours of both Dave & I wringing it out and taking notes, but initial results are extremely positive. And, as always, we can easily put it back like it was.

Note in the pictures that you can see how far the lower lever point has been moved in from stock, (out at the end) and also the amount of aileron travel still available after the mod. Substantial.

--------
Richard Pike
Kolb MKIII N420P (420ldPoops)
Kingsport, TN 3TN0

Forgiving is tough, being forgiven is wonderful, and Grace really is amazing.




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John Hauck



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 4627
Location: Titus, Alabama (hauck's holler)

PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:49 am    Post subject: Firefly aileron throw Reply with quote

I've been right there before.

Those are big wings on that little Fire Fly.

Check out the Fire Fly video following Richard P's Fire Fly.

john h
Titus, Alabama


--


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John Hauck
MKIII/912ULS
hauck's holler
Titus, Alabama
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Richard Pike



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 1527
Location: Blountville, Tennessee

PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Firefly aileron throw Reply with quote

John Hauck wrote:
I've been right there before. Those are big wings on that little Fire Fly. Check out the Fire Fly video following Richard P's Fire Fly.
john h
Titus, Alabama
--

Paste me a link John, Youtube is giving me every sort of irrelevant thing except stuff related to Kolb Firefly's.


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Richard Pike
Kolb MKIII N420P (420ldPoops)
Kolb Firefly Part 103 legal (Redoing the Firefly windshield)
Kingsport, TN 3TN0

Forgiving is tough, being forgiven is wonderful, and God's grace really is amazing.
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John Hauck



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 4627
Location: Titus, Alabama (hauck's holler)

PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:07 pm    Post subject: Firefly aileron throw Reply with quote

Tweren't nuth'n.

Bunch of YT vids of Fire Fly Airlines out of Malaysia.

john h
mkIII
Titus, Alabama

--


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John Hauck
MKIII/912ULS
hauck's holler
Titus, Alabama
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Richard Pike



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 1527
Location: Blountville, Tennessee

PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Firefly aileron throw Reply with quote

John Hauck wrote:
Tweren't nuth'n. Bunch of YT vids of Fire Fly Airlines out of Malaysia.
john h
mkIII
Titus, Alabama
--


Oh, THOSE! LOL! Had me goin' there for a while... trying to figure out "What am I missing this time?" ...<Grin>
And yeah, the wings are big. Original Firestar 5 rib wings, 28' wing span. Lot's more than the usual FF 22'. Which is probably how we can make the low speed end of the Part 103 envelope w/o flaperons. After we paint the wings & tail, we are adding StolSpeed VG's. Looking forward to seeing just how slow it will actually fly.


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Richard Pike
Kolb MKIII N420P (420ldPoops)
Kolb Firefly Part 103 legal (Redoing the Firefly windshield)
Kingsport, TN 3TN0

Forgiving is tough, being forgiven is wonderful, and God's grace really is amazing.
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Richard Pike



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 1527
Location: Blountville, Tennessee

PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Firefly aileron throw Reply with quote

neilsenrm(at)gmail.com wrote:
I'm a long time flyer of a MKIIIC. I have gotten used to the heavy ailerons. Here are a few thoughts that haven't be discussed. At slow speeds near the ground you need all the control you can get hold of. I used to have a narrow strip cut out of my woods. On more than one occasion I hit the stops on my stock ailerons and once I hit the stops both ways. My Kolb doesn't have a neck snapping roll rate but when I'm slow and near the ground and an unexpected wind gust hits it is nice to know I can keep my wing tips from hitting the ground. When at cruise speeds my ailerons are heavy and keep me from over stressing the wing.
I will never make that change to my airplane.
Rick Neilsen
Redrive VW Powered MKIIIC


Good on ya Rick, I respect how you configure your airplane. Each of us has to do as we think best.

OTOH, because of the way that high speed airflow loads up the ailerons, (and I have not compared the aileron tube diameter/wall thickness of the MKIII ailerons with the FF/Original FS) nothing you change or leave alone in the specific area under discussion will cause the ailerons to deflect enough to overstress the wing. The aileron tube will twist under applied force as airspeed goes up, and maximum aileron deflection relative to stick throw decreases as a function of increased airspeed.

Which was one of my premises: at high speeds the ailerons are not going to move much anyway regardless of how much the bellcrank is trying to move them. And yes; at low speeds the ailerons with the stock setup will move more, and if you think you need that, by all means keep it.

It would be interesting to mount a video camera on the rear cage below the trailing edge looking toward the wing tip to be able to show actual aileron deflection at full throw at different airspeeds.


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Richard Pike
Kolb MKIII N420P (420ldPoops)
Kolb Firefly Part 103 legal (Redoing the Firefly windshield)
Kingsport, TN 3TN0

Forgiving is tough, being forgiven is wonderful, and God's grace really is amazing.
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