Originally Posted by Paul5910
Good looking bird Aros! I would give anything to see that bird streaking by at my flying field. Do you think retracts would be hard to install? Is there plenty of room, etc.? Did she come in fast for landing?
Retracts are easy to install...The ones that come stock with the airframe are fairly self explanatory. In the past, I found the retracts to be fine. I never had a problem with them. Cheap as they are, they always seemed stout to me.
They have made plenty of room for the retracts. In fact, it's one of the areas of this plane that I thought they did a decent job, even early on. Flight dynamics is another matter. Understanding how fundamentally different this bird is to fly versus anything else you will ever fly due to it's delta wing and elongated fuse is paramount to have many successful sorties with her but retracts is definitely not one of the issues.
As for landing, she slows nice and easy, but you have to be mindful of the flare phase as the nose likes to point to the heavens in a hurry if you aren't careful. I forget the author who said the following (in the Don's Wicked SR-71 thread) but I find this a helpful bit of information in regards to landing the SR-71, regardless of size:
...I believe that it's the tail (or rear half of the plane) stalling, and being heavier than the nose (or front half of the plane) the back of the plane sinks rapidly... I believe this is a characteristic of all delta wing aircraft, when they no longer have enough flying speed to create lift they'll try to do a backflip as the back half of the plane starts to free-fall and the front half of the plane get's pushed up and over by the oncoming airflow. That Concorde that crashed in France did the same thing when the pilots stalled it (trying to keep the nose up with the engines failing, the plane reportedly did a complete backflip and fell onto the hotel below).
In fact, it happened on my maiden today. I gave the controls to a trusty RC pilot and buddy who is a better flyer than me. Although he showed impressive skills during the flight, coming in for the landing I warned him of the nasty tendency for the Blackbird to pitch up drastically with flare right before touchdown and sure enough, it happened. Luckily the plane plopped on the ground hard before hitting a fence (it was actually his flying skill that saved my Habu's front fuse from looking like tiny pieces of black popcorn) and just needed to be re-glued from the original hinge point. A clean break and a lucky one to boot.