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Cross Country Flying
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RDavidson



Joined: 16 Dec 2010
Posts: 127
Location: Pueblo, Colorado

PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:33 pm    Post subject: Cross Country Flying Reply with quote

Hey guys, here are some pics from a cross country I took. I put about 17 hours on my Too. Also got caught in winds 28 gust 35! Thank God it was right down the runway! I think my landing roll was 10 feet! I actually killed the engine and taxied about 400 yards with the wind pushing me to the fuel pumps! The wind is always blowing in the Panhandle of Texas no matter what the forecast shows!
I'm finally getting to enjoy flying my Too!
I took my 91 year old Grandfather up...he loved it, but he said my Too didn't handle like his B-25 did!
These pics were taken by the passenger of an RV-6 while my Dad and I were flying on the wing.
The weather was great, the plane flew great, just have a few minor things to fix now.
Thanks again to everyone for helping me to get this plane flying safely.

By the way, I just used photobucket to post these pics...much easier!!! Thank you Bob for the idea!

Thanks,
Ron



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jsh



Joined: 19 Dec 2005
Posts: 354
Location: Burnet, TX

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

is that a camera on the tail?
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Tom Wilson



Joined: 04 Dec 2005
Posts: 151
Location: Fallbrook, California

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ron,
Great photos, thanks for posting them.

Sailing a Too on the ground to the gas pit is a new one to me! That's some wind.

In 2011 I flew my Too into Reno to attend the air races and found the wind blowing a gale 90 degrees to the runway. Of course, the cross wind runway was closed to park the overflow traffic on during the air races... Somehow I got lucky (again) because the wind was blowing very hard but very steadily. I landed on one main wheel and it was no big deal until I set the tail down and at nearly a walking pace the plane tried pretty hard to weather vane into the wind.

It was the first, and to date, only time I felt compelled to taxi using counter-wind control inputs.

Congrats on the x-country flights, and to your dad!
tw
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RDavidson



Joined: 16 Dec 2010
Posts: 127
Location: Pueblo, Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:20 pm    Post subject: Camera and Crosswind Reply with quote

jsh,

That is a camera...it is a Drift and it takes great 1080i video. I'm having a little bit of trouble finding a mounting position that holds the camera perfectly still. The prop wash on the tail shakes it pretty good with full power.

Tom,

Nothing like a good crosswind while landing in front of a crowd! Ha! I guess you just had to pray that your tailwheel wouldn't pop and swivel. I haven't had to land in a direct crosswind yet, I try to plan around it...

Yes, I made my engine out taxi sound cooler than it really was...the wind was catching the prop in idle and was making me accelerate to an unsafe taxi speed. I was afraid that I would get to a point where the brakes would make the nose want to go for the dirt! But stopping the prop did the trick.
That wind came out of nowhere, and it is so flat in that area that I had no other options! When I got my plane hangared there at Dalhart a local crop duster pilot told me that they land on the taxiways and basically anything that lines up with the wind when it gets windy, which is quite often! Good to know for next time!

Ron
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RDavidson



Joined: 16 Dec 2010
Posts: 127
Location: Pueblo, Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:29 pm    Post subject: Camera Reply with quote

By the way, if anyone is looking for a camera to mount on their plane, check out the new GoPro3. It is really cool, they have an app for your cell phone that lets you control the camera from the cockpit. The App lets you turn the camera off and on and view live feed from the camera or cameras. The app can manage up to 50 cameras within a 600 ft range using wifi. So no running wires or cables and therefore no extra weight either.
It would be real easy to have a 3 camera setup, one on the tail, one in front of the cockpits and one on the I strut looking back at the cockpits.

I believe that Thomas has three GoPro2s on his Acroduster "Power Play" and he had some great videos on youtube.

Anyway, worth checking out!

Ron
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RDavidson



Joined: 16 Dec 2010
Posts: 127
Location: Pueblo, Colorado

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 9:41 pm    Post subject: More Cross Country Reply with quote

Guys,

I just flew another cross country, and now that I'm more comfortable in the plane I have been running some numbers and they are surprising to me!

I flew with a tailwind up to about 20 knots and had an overall average fuel burn of 5.4 gallons per hour!
On my return legs I had a 20-30 knot headwind and averaged 7.4 gallons per hour!
I think these are pretty amazing totals! I was cruising with rpm set at 2450, and was hitting 110mph with the tailwind, and as slow as 70mph (GS) with the headwind.
The headwind leg sucked! I literally watched cars passing me below! I flew a 2.7 hour leg and was extremely uncomfortable. I need to build a new seat!

Anyway, the O-320 does make for an underpowered Starduster, it does make it affordable to fly, maintain, and purchase!

Everywhere I go people come out of the woodwork to see the biplane. It really inspires people to fly, we need more of that!

Thank all of you for your input and ideas, I love this little plane!


Thanks,
Ron
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jsh



Joined: 19 Dec 2005
Posts: 354
Location: Burnet, TX

PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

7.4 gph sounds right for that rpm on an O-320. I don't see how you have the difference (5.4 gph) if running the same rpm.....unless significantly higher altitude and leaned out. fwiw, if you have a mechanical tach (which I do) they are notoriously inaccurate. for example when mine indicates 2400 rpm, it is actually turning about 2200. my seat is very comfortable and the best thing I did for it was purchase a lumbar support......picked it up at a medical supply store....has a wire frame and a net type web that is flexible and conforms nicely. doesn't weigh anything.
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bmcj



Joined: 05 Dec 2005
Posts: 810
Location: California, Fresno

PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too was wondering about the flow difference between upwind and downwind. Seems like it should be the same unless you were trying to maintain the same groundspeed in both directions?
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Thanks,
Bruce

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Tom Wilson



Joined: 04 Dec 2005
Posts: 151
Location: Fallbrook, California

PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ron,
Thanks for the update on the cross country flying. Sounds like fun.

I agree with jsh; the engine doesn't know how fast it is going or if there is wind, so your differences in fuel burn are either reflecting changes in mixture, rpm or other conditions.

No matter what, your economical fuel burn makes for less expensive flying, and that means more flying--a great thing.

We're at the opposite end of the fuel spectrum (I've got a 540 in my Too), and you're already in high country, but for me altitude has been the big variable in my fuel consumption (that, and lean of peak). With 10:1 pistons and all that displacement it's not that big a deal to go to 10,000 ft, and the gain in fuel economy up there is incredible.

It's not surprising to get economical fuel burns at altitude, of course, but what surprised me was how little the airplane slows down. My airplane was roughly built and very draggy with all sorts of huge gaps, rough surfaces and an open cockpit (I routinely fly with the front windshield removed and the hole covered), yet it only slows down 10-12 mph at altitude, and most of that is due to LOP, I'd say.

My only explanation is our drag-factory biplanes have a disproportionate amount of drag to lose when going up into thin air. At any rate, it's been a pleasant surprise to be able to stretch the mileage with altitude.

And I'll double what you say about the Too garnering attention and kindling a desire to fly. The Too is an instant ice-breaker and ambassador to fun flying, and I think it's the fun part that people are most attracted too. Sitting in a chicken coupe pushing buttons is comfy and attractive to many, but gets boring after awhile, hence the attention to the open-cockpit biplane.
tw
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Tom Wilson



Joined: 04 Dec 2005
Posts: 151
Location: Fallbrook, California

PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ron,
Thanks for the update on the cross country flying. Sounds like fun.

I agree with jsh; the engine doesn't know how fast it is going or if there is wind, so your differences in fuel burn are either reflecting changes in mixture, rpm or other conditions.

No matter what, your economical fuel burn makes for less expensive flying, and that means more flying--a great thing.

We're at the opposite end of the fuel spectrum (I've got a 540 in my Too), and you're already in high country, but for me altitude has been the big variable in my fuel consumption (that, and lean of peak). With 10:1 pistons and all that displacement it's not that big a deal to go to 10,000 ft, and the gain in fuel economy up there is incredible.

It's not surprising to get economical fuel burns at altitude, of course, but what surprised me was how little the airplane slows down. My airplane was roughly built and very draggy with all sorts of huge gaps, rough surfaces and an open cockpit (I routinely fly with the front windshield removed and the hole covered), yet it only slows down 10-12 mph at altitude, and most of that is due to LOP, I'd say.

My only explanation is our drag-factory biplanes have a disproportionate amount of drag to lose when going up into thin air. At any rate, it's been a pleasant surprise to be able to stretch the mileage with altitude.

And I'll double what you say about the Too garnering attention and kindling a desire to fly. The Too is an instant ice-breaker and ambassador to fun flying, and I think it's the fun part that people are most attracted too. Sitting in a chicken coupe pushing buttons is comfy and attractive to many, but gets boring after awhile, hence the attention to the open-cockpit biplane.
tw
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RDavidson



Joined: 16 Dec 2010
Posts: 127
Location: Pueblo, Colorado

PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 9:22 pm    Post subject: Good Point! Reply with quote

Ha! Good point guys!

Well, I'm going to have to think about this harder, but one thing would be altitude...I cruised at 11,500 on the way down, with the wind, and 6500-8500 on the way back, against the wind. I'm not sure that would make that big a difference, but it would be a difference.

However, you are right, set rpm = set flow with headwind or without. My stupidity on that comment!

Another question for you, when I was cruising with the tailwind the wind was actually pushing my prop to higher rpms as it gusted. I checked this with the manual tach in the front seat and the electronic tach in my cockpit, therefore I had to pull the throttle back to maintain rpm...wouldn't that be burning less fuel?
It was about 50 to 100 rpm that the wind was contributing.
I also saw a big increase in my oil temp, but I figured that was due to a decrease in actual air movement through the cowling.

I'm thinking altitude was the main contributor, but maybe that 50-100 rpms helped too.
Let me know what you think...


Ron
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RDavidson



Joined: 16 Dec 2010
Posts: 127
Location: Pueblo, Colorado

PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 9:59 pm    Post subject: Tom your are right! Reply with quote

Tom, jsh

Altitude was the big difference...I just looked at the O-320 fuel burn vs altitude chart. That and the fact that I probably had a heavy hand on the way home, against the wind, after I passed the 2.0 mark, so I might have pushed it up to 2500 or a little higher. Sorry for my confusion...

I could really use your bigger engine...it would be worth the extra fuel to be able to climb quickly! I get embarrassed flying here in Colorado, when I fly into some mountain field and when leaving I have to do a few circles overhead to climb high enough to leave! But at least I can get there!

You are right about the attraction! And not being harnessed with beeps and squeaks! A lot of my military buddies that I used to fly with go crazy over this thing...open cockpit is just nostalgic and reminds people that flying is actually simple and fun! I wish they were more economical and not so draggy, but then everybody would be flying biplanes! It does seem to me that the prices of Starduster's have gone up in the last couple of years...I don't know if that is the sellers wishful thinking or a stretch of quality aircraft, but it looks good!

Thanks for correcting my mistake on the rpms! Not the first time or last time I'll say something stupid! If I stop making stupid comments I'm probably dead...

Cheers,
Ron
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Tom Wilson



Joined: 04 Dec 2005
Posts: 151
Location: Fallbrook, California

PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ron,
When you're done making dumb comments I'll take up the slack!

That engine, rpm, manifold pressure and fuel flow relationship is not very intuitive. For decades I thought flying faster meant burning more fuel, etc. It wasn't until I was in the middle of overhauling my 540 and considering different airplanes for it that I realized the engine doesn't really know what airframe it is in. A certain amount of power requires a certain amount of fuel and it's up to the airframe to determine how fast the combination will go. Your O-320 goes something over 100 mph in a biplane and might go over 200 mph in a specialized plastic-fantastic monoplane at the same fuel burn. The engine will also burn the same amount of fuel going nowhere when bolted to an engine dyno... It was an "ah ha" moment for me.

As for the big engine vs little engine, I've come to deeply appreciate the "big block." It's not for everyone--there are definite trade offs--but for my flying I've come to depend on the performance and accept the fuel burn.

And I'm guessing my flying and your flying are somewhat similar. I fly my Too very much as a X-country airplane and I typically need to fly 7-10,000 ft due to mountains, even though I start at 708 ft MSL. Having what most people would call an excess of horsepower allows fast climbs and some performance reserve at altitude. And cruise speeds with 6-cylinder Stardusters are meaningfully faster than with the 4-cylinders.

I should also clarify that I've become a huge fan of increased compression ratios. My 540 has 10:1 pistons (the engine was built by Ly-Con and they figure 10:1 pistons are simply run-of-the-mill for their experimental customers), and it's sort of like poor man's supercharging. My 10:1 engine and it's 8:1 former self lose power at the same rate with increasing altitude, but the 10:1 starts out with more power, so at our typical cruising altitudes (say 8000 ft) you still have more power.

Higher compression is also more fuel efficient. A 10:1 engine burns less fuel to make 100 hp than an 8:1 engine making 100 hp.

So, with the higher compression you can either choose to burn more fuel and fly or climb faster, or fly the same speed and burn less fuel.

Combine 10:1 with 540 cubic inches and you have a real tiger under the cowling, but keeping tigers as pets can be expensive. Obviously 6-cylinders cost more in every respect than 4-cylinders. The 10:1 pistons cost more than standard pistons at overhaul time. The airplane gets really heavy... mine is 1,480 lbs empty, and that really doesn't help. It's nose heavy and runs out of elevator in the flare (my 3-blade metal Hartzell constant speed doesn't help at all with weight or money, either). Control efforts are higher (both from weight and because of increased air speeds), and if you're a fan of Pitts or Bucker control "weights" (from what I've been told) a big block Starduster will feel like a truck. Flown with gusto at low altitudes and you can't get it away from the fuel pump. Every flight, seemingly now matter how short, ends up at the fuel pit.

But with experience I've learned the throttle works both ways. Down near sea level I can throttle back to 22 inches MP and go for a scenic flight and burn way less fuel while still going faster than a 4-cylinder Too. At altitude there is little MP anyway, and it's like flying with the throttle pulled back. Then I go for lean of peak and the increase in fuel mileage is really quite stunning--and for a surprisingly small loss in speed.

To put numbers to it, 50 degrees LOP at 8000 ft with say 21 inches of MP and 2300 rpm the fuel burn is around 10.5 to 11 gph and the airspeed 148 to 150 mph indicated. Down low 24 inches and 2400 rpm is well over 160 mph indicated at an eye-watering 18 gph. Take off power at sea level is 29 gph (but you're only there for maybe one minute, and then you're at 3000 ft).

I've blathered on too long, but for where you're flying I think you'd feel safer and less compromised with more horsepower. Fitting higher compression pistons next time you need to go into the engine would be a good move. In the meantime I envy your fuel burn, and when you're flying maybe slower than you want or are circling to climb you can think of me on the ground, working after dinner to pay my fuel and engine overhaul bills.
tw
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RDavidson



Joined: 16 Dec 2010
Posts: 127
Location: Pueblo, Colorado

PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 4:44 pm    Post subject: Thanks Tom Reply with quote

Tom,

Thanks for explaining that! I am glad to know what the 10:1 pistons do for you. And yes you made me feel better about being able to get 3 hours of flying out of one 24 gallon tank! Even though cars pass me!

You are correct, the HPs would suit the mountain flying a lot better. I don't even try to cross these mountains, or passes in the late Summer...I can barely takeoff!

I think a third job is going to be necessary for all of us with these gas prices!


Thanks again for the info,
Ron
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Bob E.



Joined: 31 Oct 2007
Posts: 147
Location: Central ND

PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good info on fuel burn between the two engines. When I saw $6.45/gal for 100LL a couple weeks ago I got wondering why I am putting an IO-540 on mine Embarassed Having no mountains to go over here in flat ND I'm sure most of my joy rides will be down low however the idea of getting to altitude in a hurry and reducing fuel burn sound good while still having the power available.

Mine is going to be a stock 250HP version. Trying to build as light as I can and have a three blade Catto on order but the canopy will add some weight.

Tom, ya got any pics of your 540 TOO you care to share? Love to see them.

Bob
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