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Old Oct 05, 2008, 03:00 AM
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Originally Posted by jbourke
I don't see any reason why the plane would prefer one roll orientation over another. The drag caused by the remaining wing imparts yaw only, assuming the plane is neutrally stable to begin with. Yak-54s have nice round fuselages and mid-wings, so they are about as neutral as you get. Of course, in the real world each axis is only in balance with all the pieces in place, so losing a wing will impart some amount of roll in some direction. That doesn't mean that the plane will stop with the wing up or down, though. Most likely it would just keep on rolling.

As for how to fly a plane with one wing, consider that the remaining wing has a lot of drag so it would be very hard to fly knife edge with the wing on the bottom. Putting the wing on the top helps the plane stay in knife edge. I consciously chose to put the wing on top and keep it there.

Holding the plane in knife edge and guiding it around required pressure on all three axes. By that, I mean that left on its own, it wanted to roll, pitch, and yaw. Finding the center position needed to keep the plane stable was really the only trick to the flight.

Understand that I only have about a minute of real-world experience with this. We can watch the video over and over, but in real time it all happened very quickly.

My thought process was something like "Let me try a snap roll at high speed...oh, hey, the wing fell off...let's see if I can find a control center to keep it stable...looks like that keeps it in knife edge...I'll try turning it...looks like pitch and roll are coupled...I'll just coax it around to my right...keep the airspeed the same and bring it down in the pattern...I'll just put it over here in the grass...hmmm...I bet I can land it...I'll try rolling it level and see what happens...ok, back to knife edge...and now let me give it a shot...hey it worked!"

If you read that while you watch the video you'll have a sense of what I experienced, and you can see that there isn't much time to learn about this flight regime. However, I have played with it a lot on RealFlight, mostly because I kept getting confronted by people who thought this behavior was unrealistic in the sim. It turns out that RealFlight has it correct, and I was only able to do this in real life because the sim prepared me for it.

Jim ,
Me and my son have flown enough cheap foam gliders to know when the wing falls off the remaining wing always points up. Flying rather well also.
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