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Old Oct 25, 2014, 06:28 PM
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Greenville, SC
Joined Jul 2007
79 Posts
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Sailaire with flaps

I couldn't find the other threads where I had seen this subject mentioned so here's a new one. I recall that there were yea's and nay's on the subject but no comments from anyone having actually flown a Sailaire with flaps.

So I had to re-cover my 25+ yr old Pig and decided to change from spoilers to flaps in the process. The spoilers were not allowing me to de-thermal from spec altitude as quickly as I would like and I was very curious as to how effective flaps would be for landings. It was a simple re-do; I cut in 2 1/2" from the TE, then took 1/4" off the front of the flap ribs/caps. The main panels then got a 1/8" strip as a sub-trailing edge and the same was added as a face to the flap pieces. Resulting flap width of 2 1/4" is probably as much as one would want to go, given the ground clearance.

Test flights were today and WOW! I must say they exceeded my expectations. First flight was about 7 or 8 min, not a lot of altitude, so I waited until I was down to about 40 or 50 feet for the initial test. I lined up into a stiff breeze (est. 10-12) and pulled the lever. The 2 or 3 degrees of down elevator mix was perfect. That big 'ol beast just slowed to a crawl and stayed steady as a rock. An instant before touchdown I ballooned it and dumped the flaps and it just literally sat straight down in the grass with nearly no forward movement. Couple of launches later, I popped off into a monster thermal and let it get some altitude to check the flaps for quick descent. I was able to add in some down stick with no apparent over-speed. I also had one landing in a dead calm and the total 'skid-out' was not much more than 18 or 20 inches. Quite a change from the 6 to 10 feet the Pig is capable of.

The only casualty was a loose flap horn on the right side due to an inadequate glue job. I knew there would be some stress on the linkage if the flaps didn't get retracted soon enough on landing and thought I had put enough strength under the horn but just screwed up the glue job. If you have been thinking about adding flaps to a Sailaire but couldn't decide if it would be worth the effort, I can now tell you from experience that it is. Just make sure you use enough glue.....
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Old Oct 26, 2014, 04:47 PM
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United States, MA, Waltham
Joined Dec 2001
7,133 Posts
Have you tried the flaps and spoilers together?

If you come in slower than normal with flaps, you won't be able to stretch your glide by retracting them. If you keep the speed up, you can still do this. Probably doesn't matter much if you don't mind landing short and it's not gusty.

I've only flown a Sailaire with spoilers, and not for very long. I liked it, though.
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Old Oct 26, 2014, 06:34 PM
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Greenville, SC
Joined Jul 2007
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For this mod, I removed the spoilers. The mechanism was old and didn't work all that great. I'm also flying at at sod farm so I don't have issues with where it ends up.
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Old Oct 26, 2014, 08:28 PM
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Joined Nov 2005
3,589 Posts
Had a gentleman from Ohio that flew a Pig wth flaps for a numbers of years. He made them pretty big and they were pretty effective. Not that it made much of a difference in thermals, but it was a different way of doing things and it was better in the landing circle. Sad part, he could not fly it in RES or Nostalgia.

Marc
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Old Oct 26, 2014, 09:34 PM
fa2
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Joined Jan 2010
495 Posts
my pig was so slow that landing was never a problem - spoilers were fine for me - my buddies used to call my pig "old flat bottom"
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