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speed mods

 
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Kayberg(at)AOL.COM
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 7:07 am    Post subject: speed mods Reply with quote

I wanted to expand a bit on possible speed mods for a Lightning.

Kent Paser did achieve a 64 mph increase in top speed over a stock Mustang II. However, as I look over the list of mods, I only see a couple that might apply to the Lightning.

His engine improvements, airflow through engine improvements, moving radio antennas, changing fuselage shape, fairing the airframe and landing gear accounted for 58 mph, none of which would apply!! The cowlings, airframe fairings, gear, etc are already part of the Lightning. The engine is already optimized.

The remaining 6 mph came from 18 other small projects. Of those, only flap gap seals, taping joints, prop to spinner seals, pitot fairings and flap attach fairings, would reasonably apply. I would expect the speed gain from those to be less than 4 mph.....probably not worth it for the amount of work involved.

I would not expect flap gap seals to make more than a couple miles an hour difference, depending on how tight the flaps were fitted to begin with. The huge issue is landing gear fairings. Without them a Lightning would cruise 135-145 at 2850, with them I would expect 160-175.  Little else would make much difference. IMHO.

Doug Koenigsberg


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dashvii(at)hotmail.com
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 7:22 am    Post subject: speed mods Reply with quote

Doug,
There's a huge need for flap gap seals on this plane. Piper STC'd kits
have claimed about 6-8 mph with flap gap seals, aileron gap seals, and hinge
fairings. I expect more from the Lighting. There's a 3 inch gap between
the trailing edge of the wing and the front of the flap. On the Piper it is
less than 1 inch. The ailerons there is about 1.5 inch gap I think.

I believe that there is always improvement that can be made to an airframe.
Maybe not 68mph worth, but certainly 10-15 could be found. I believe some
other ideas would be a leading edge extension for the wing and tail section
and be refaired into the fuselage. These have been done on racing Lancairs
to a good advantage. There's also the possiblity if you really wanted to
optimize the planform of trying to up the cross sectional area of the
fuselage the first few feet behind the wing. There's possibly a little
improvement in the nose gear fairing area. The cowling is good right now
for cooling, but there might be room for improvement there.

Lots of little things that could optimize the plane for speed on any given
design, but I won't know for sure on what the gap seals and hinge fairings
will do for speed until I actually test it. I'm hopeful for a few miles per
hour.
Brian W.


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