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captain132

CT2K advice required

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Hi Guys

I have recently acquired a CT2K. 

When I land, I seem to run out of elevator. That is to say I can’t get the nose up very high whilst flaring. It seems to happen with flaps 15,30 and 40. I have tried at 60kts and 65kts.

I can get the nosewheel higher than the main wheels but just! Even with the stick all the way back. I feel like it would be easy to land nosewheel first and bounce. 

What am I doing wrong ? Is this normal?

any wisdom would be much appreciated. 

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Some of this is sight picture.  When my CT was new I would cringe when another CT pilot landed my CTSW because the deck angle seemed too flat and that we would contact the nose gear 1st.  

If you stick is full aft and your attitude is flatter than you want it then you are too low on energy, maybe 5 more knots or learn to loose less during the round out.  If your stick is full aft and your nose isn't up then you got your stick full aft too quickly.

I land with a pronounced flare and full aft stick. It takes some feel to increase your attitude without ballooning.  This is prolly why your so low on energy, you can quickly bleed it away trying to avoid ballooning.

CTs are very hard to land and quite rewarding to get good at.  Be ready at  your throttle and not afraid to pitch down on approach.  Expect the sight picture to look different.  Do you trim for your final approach speed to keep your stick input simple?

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You should delete the word flare from your vocabulary and think round out to the runway. Keeping a high nose up doesn't happen in a CT and they tend to land fairly flat. As you mentioned the nose wheel touches down right after the mains.

 

"maybe 5 more knots"

This comment may have really hurt ED.  :giggle-3307:

That means he isn't at your full stall.

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Roger is right, the CT lands flat.  If your stick is back nearly all the way and the speed is right (45 to 55 knots at touchdown), your nosewheel will be off the ground, but it’s going to be a matter of 6-9”, not a foot or more like on a 172.  You have stubby gear legs and a vertical fin on the tail, so you’re limited in how much travel you have.

It will feel flat but will work out fine.  Have you ever landed on the nosewheel in your CT?  If not that should tell you you are getting it done.

Sit in your airplane on the ground and have a friend push the tail down until it touches the ground.  You might be surprised how shallow that deck angle is.

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52 minutes ago, Roger Lee said:

You should delete the word flare from your vocabulary and think round out to the runway. Keeping a high nose up doesn't happen in a CT and they tend to land fairly flat. As you mentioned the nose wheel touches down right after the mains.

 

"maybe 5 more knots"

This comment may have really hurt ED.  :giggle-3307:

That means he isn't at your full stall.

5 more knots approach speed so that he can get his nose up in a proper flare and land with his stick full aft.  That is a 'full stall'

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19 minutes ago, FlyingMonkey said:

Roger is right, the CT lands flat.  If your stick is back nearly all the way and the speed is right (45 to 55 knots at touchdown), your nosewheel will be off the ground, but it’s going to be a matter of 6-9”, not a foot or more like on a 172.  You have stubby gear legs and a vertical fin on the tail, so you’re limited in how much travel you have.

It will feel flat but will work out fine.  Have you ever landed on the nosewheel in your CT?  If not that should tell you you are getting it done.

Sit in your airplane on the ground and have a friend push the tail down until it touches the ground.  You might be surprised how shallow that deck angle is.

Most everyone here apparently land differently than I do.  The feel developed over time.  I get my nose up to a more normal looking flare and land balanced on my mains.  The first exit near my hangar is 2,000' down the runway and I routinely keep my nose wheel up till just before the exit.  This really helps develop feel.  You can land a CT on one main and maintain that as well which is good x-wind practice but the CT wants to settle on all 3 so you have to actively maintain balance if you want to roll out on less than 3 for a time.

 

Take offs afford similar practice, unless there is a fair bit of crosswind and gusts do your roll with the nose up to get used to the balance point and rudder steering.

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The CT sight picture can make it appear that it is touching down flat however you should not have any difficulty landing in an attitude similar to your Vy climb attitude at any flap setting.  How does the aircraft seem during power off stalls?  Does the pitch authority seem enough to result in a slight break, or only a slow descent?

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thanks I have been flying an Ikarus C42 before this so perhaps I just need to adjust to the new picture. I am wondering how I will land on a runway which is slightly upsloped<_<

 

I have the stick full aft at landing and touch down speed is probably 45-50kts with no power on. I thought if I had a bit of power on at landing it would give the elevator more authority, but that just makes me float and float down the runway.

 

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It does give more authority because of prop wash over the tail. The stick controls your speed, not the throttle. Just pull the stick back more and slow down more before touch. 2500-2700 is not enough to keep you flying. If you keep the plane flat it will extend the landing some, but if you pull the stick back soon enough and far enough you will land in the same place and at the same low speed. The stick position is the key here.

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Very few of us here have flown a CT2K, so our advice is generic to the CT series aircraft. The longer wings of the CT2K may make it fly a little different than what the late airplanes fly. Just a thought, maybe you should check to make sure the stabilator is rigged properly with the correct control deflections.

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8 hours ago, captain132 said:

Stalls are very mushy and is only a slow descent.

Might be worth putting an inclinometer on the stabilator to ensure the proper deflections are being reached.  The maintenance manual will have the procedure and deflections to verify.

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The longer wing CT2K has some easy mushier stalls depending on how you get into them. A slow pull back can ride you down on a mushy stall without breaking over on the nose depending on your speed.  You can make it break straight over, but the initial nose up attitude needs to be a little steeper and quicker. Recovery is straightforward.

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Hi captain132,

Have nearly 10 years flying my Ct2k and for what it's worth here are my thoughts.  I have flown alongside a Ctsw and never noticed much difference in the air but the landings are subtly different. I think the 2k needs to land in a narrower speed envelope i.e slower over the hedge and never high speed. With a 30 feet wingspan and 585 lbs empty weight they take off very quickly but will float if coming in with excess energy. I do see a nose high attitude on landing but this can flatten out at full flap setting. I seldom use more than 15 or 30 degrees. I could never get the nose off the ground at the same taxiing speed as a C42.

 

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Hey Cap,

I also have a CT2k (note the first correct use of capitalization in this thread). I have about 1200 hours in it over 12 years.

You're right! We lose elevator authority on landing before getting the nose up... Or perhaps the angle of incidence of the wing is too high... or the main gear is too short... or the nose gear too long. The result anyway, is that we can't hold the nose off by much or for long. And even less with additional flaps.

Once upon a time Dave Ellis, the founder of Cambridge Aero Instruments, conducted exhaustive flight tests on his CT2k, with his own unique instrumentation, and wrote extensively about it on the CT forum which proceeded this one. Unfortunately, that work is now lost in the ether, but I can tell you his basic conclusion was that the plane cannot be landed. He promptly sold his.

As for myself, I hold 1.3 Vso until short final, slow down, flair, hold the plane just off the runway for as long as possible, then plop down when it quits flying. I guess Dave didn't consider this landing. I do. However, it does not allow rough field operation. The nose will catch on something and rip off or flip the plane over.

My former partner used to come in at a bit lower speed, pull up just before the runway and plop down, skipping the flair completely. But he still wasn't holding the nose off, at least not for long.

Though the "Short Wing" CTSW may be similar in some respects, it may not be identical. We need to be wary of potential differences.

For example, landing with power is really not an option... unless you're landing on Rogers Dry Lake. If you nudge the throttle forward even a hair, the plane will float in ground affect seemingly forever (that's why they made the Short Wing version). I have my carbs set near the bottom of the allowable idle speed range so I can make the first turnoff without scrapping the trees half a mile from the threshold. Still, I use a forward slip on short final as often as not. Now, maybe adding a lot of power and holding the nose way up (on the back side of the power curve where increased pitch also increases descend rate) then chopping the power when the wheels are just off the runway. Maybe that would work... if you try it, which I don't recommend, let me know how it goes.

Ed's suggestion is a "dynamic landing" where you use the aircraft's inertia about the pitch axis to get the nose up higher than you could get otherwise. I think we may all do this to some degree. Just before the plane stalls we pull up, but it doesn't balloon because the wing stalls instead the plane settles (plops) down on the runway. I don't think Dave measured this. His test data was taken at what I would call static or steady-state conditions during landings at various airspeeds, power settings and flap angles.

One trick I have used quite successfully to improve nose wheel clearance on landing is to install larger diameter "tundra" tires on the mains while leaving the smaller diameter wheels on the nose. My calculations show this provides an additional 3 degrees of pitch angle before nose wheel contact - still no help on a rough field.

Shortening the nose gear is a non-starter based on prop clearance, but if you're willing to go experimental, longer main gear legs might be worthwhile.

Another idea would be to move the cg toward the rear of the allowable range. This would decrease the elevator loads, essentially increasing elevator authority, while remaining within the aircraft's design envelope. More directly to the elevator authority issue, adding vortex generators to the underside of the horizontal might do the trick... Or maybe add them to the top of the wing so it will keep flying at a slightly higher angle of attack.

Mike Koerner

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19 minutes ago, Mike Koerner said:

Ed's suggestion is a "dynamic landing"

Discovering dynamic landing was a breakthrough for me landing my CTSW.  I didn't have the static vs dynamic articulated instead I have a memory of a bird reaching  forward with its gear to grap the approaching perch.  If I imitate that I get a beautiful nose high to a balance point flare.  I can keep my nose up as long as I want which can be useful if there are pot holes.  CTSW not 2k

 

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Runtoeat   

I don't think you can get better help landing your CT2k than with Mac and Mike's advice.  As Eric and Tom suggest it is also recommended that you check your elevator to make sure it is rigged to provide the proper pitch angles.  One suggestion I might give is to do what my friend Phil did with me.  He built up some wood blocks which raise the nose off the ground to a point where one wants to be at touchdown.  As Andy indicates, this is about 7" to 9" off the ground and leaves the right amount of clearance at the tail skid.  Sit in the plane, preferably on the runway, and get the sight picture of a reference point at the top of the instrument panel and the far end of the runway.  Get that picture in your mind of what this nose up angle looks like and use it when landing.

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WmInce   
15 hours ago, Runtoeat said:

. . . As Andy indicates, this is about 7" to 9" off the ground and leaves the right amount of clearance at the tail skid.  Sit in the plane, preferably on the runway, and get the sight picture of a reference point at the top of the instrument panel and the far end of the runway.  Get that picture in your mind of what this nose up angle looks like and use it when landing.

I have a name for that sight picture. It's called the "tailbone dragging" sight picture. And that's exactly what if feels like.:rolleyes:

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Mike Koerner quotes Mike Ellis of Cambridge Aero Instruments " A CT2k cannot be landed".

It's satisfying to know I've managed 1297 impossible landings.

;)

 

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26 minutes ago, WmInce said:

I have a name for that sight picture. It's caled the "tailbone dragging" sight picture. And that's exactly what if feels like.:rolleyes:

color it 'screen full of runway' for me :)  

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Runtoeat   

The "tailbone drag" is something I've seen happen on a CT first hand and it's not a good thing.  Dragging the tail is very easy to do if a newbee lands with "0" or "-6" flaps, doesn't hold sufficient speed and tries to arrest the sink by pulling back on the stick instead of using large doses of throttle to stop sinking.  This is a major reason why it is beneficial to use full flaps.  This allows one to keep the nose pitched down during final approach for a great view of the runway and then allows a slow final touchdown with just enough back pressure on the stick, using that sight picture mentioned to hold the nose off (with good tail clearance) during touchdown.

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20 minutes ago, Runtoeat said:

with just enough back pressure on the stick,

great post. if you get the stick to the aft stop the need for 'enough' pressure goes away.  

 

  • if you trim on the way down no need for pressure on approach
  • if you make the aft stop no need to hold correct amount of pressure

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Runtoeat   

Ed, if closer to you, I would like to take a ride and observe your technique.  I am pretty much doing what you do but I just like to keep that little amount of rearward stick travel for reserve.  Guess that until I get the stick full back, I'm still in the learning mode but I'm comfortable landing this way.  I seem to recall that Tom Baker teaches the "stick full back" landing technique.

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Dick, my technique mimics yours.  To me the important consideration is not stick position per se, but the proper landing attitude and speed.  The stick position is usually a good analog for this, but not always.  Wind, throttle position, etc can all throw wrenches into the stick position.

I aim to get the attitude and speed right at the point the mains contact the runway.  Sometimes this happens immediately, sometimes I have to hold it off a moment and work the stick back.  I usually have the stick about 90% back, sometimes I bump the rear stop.  But I don't notice a difference between them in speed or deck angle at touchdown.

Every landing is different, and I think it's better to concentrate on doing what you have to do to get the desired result, and not "I have to get that stick to the stop every time."

My opinion, of course.

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