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Old Nov 26, 2006, 07:48 PM
Here comes the rooster...
JesseB's Avatar
Joined Aug 2006
95 Posts
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Grass Landing Sport Plane

Hey all,

I've been searching the net for a good aerobatic/sport (not interested in 3D) airplane that can land on grass, with just about 125 of runway. I live in front of a bunch of fields, but my lawn limits me in landing distance.

I've been looking at the Sportster EP, but the Harmon Rocket and Pulse XT are also interesting. Unfortunately, someone posted that the Pulse has weak landing gear, and will break landing on grass.

http://www.electrifly.com/largeelectrics/gpma1160.html
http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products...ProdID=SEA3050
http://www.hangar-9.com/Products/Def...ProdID=HAN4100

Does anyone here routinely land on grass?

Thanks
Jesse
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Old Nov 26, 2006, 07:54 PM
Hold my beer and watch this!
Jeremy Z's Avatar
Northern IL
Joined Oct 2005
2,380 Posts
Well, landing on grass is easy if you get a plane that was designed to belly-land. I land on grass all the time with my EasyStar, TwinStar 2, Piper Cub .20, Overlord wing. I've given up on trying to make these smaller planes land on grass. They need short grass and big wheels. Forget that, I can do without taxiing on the smaller guys.

Another cool thing about belly-landers is that you can take off and land from snow & ice, which keeps me flying year-round.

OK, now to answer your original question.

1) GWS Formosa - a classic, and rightly so. Keep it light and don't skimp on the power system, and you'll be happy. It comes with the trademark GWS "baby carriage wheels" landing gear. Throw this right in the garbage. Then "glass" the bottom of the fuse with clear packing tape. It's a great belly-landing.

2) Ultrafly PC9 - Not quite as aerobatic, as it's modeled after a military turboprop trainer instead of a pattern plane, but this is a nice plane.

Many planes with weak stock landing gear can be modified to belly-land. I modified my Ultrafly Ultimate to do this by building little clear fairings for the aileron servo arms out of a small canopy. People who are not into belly-landing buy nice stiff aluminum landing gear at the LHS. Check the Du-Bro catalog online.

Let us know what you end up with.
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Last edited by Jeremy Z; Nov 26, 2006 at 08:03 PM.
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Old Nov 26, 2006, 08:06 PM
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Murocflyer's Avatar
United States, CA, Tehachapi
Joined Nov 2005
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Get the SQuiRT with the aileron wing, leave the wheels off and you'll have just what you're asking for. I land in my yard all the time with mine. I really like the no wheels option.

Frank
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Old Nov 26, 2006, 10:59 PM
Registered User
Colorado Springs, CO
Joined Oct 2004
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I don't think there's any gear, short of something that would be so outrageously large and draggy that it would mess up your aerobatic performance, that can land successfully on grass. I have access to a very well maintained field near where I work and the gear would just catch and flip the plane over.

That's why the pattern ship I'm flying now is designed to have removable main and tail gear. It's got a fairly deep fuselage and a mid wing and belly lands just fine.

Besides, taking the gear off frees up about an ounce.
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Old Nov 27, 2006, 07:10 AM
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Methuen, MA
Joined Sep 2002
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All I ever fly off is grass. I've got no problems with it. Especially this time of year when it thins out. Just put bigger wheels on it. The Dave Brown Lectra Lite wheels work very nicely. Put minimum 2-1/4" wheels on the smaller 100-200 watt ships. Bigger is better. Pick a plane that has the wheels well forward of the cg, or rework the gear so that it is. The Super Sportster needs the gear bent forward. You may want to ditch the wheel pants. Nothing beats a graceful touch and go on a grass strip.
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Old Nov 27, 2006, 03:57 PM
BEC
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Auburn, Washington USA
Joined Jan 2001
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I fly off of grass mostly. Current favorites that work well are MM Dandy Sport and Stevens Aero stik (see the details here: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=571116). The Dandy Sport, with bigger than stock wheels, can handle some pretty thick grass since the gear is well forward. The tall and skinny wheels of the stik work just fine as well.

Neither of these airplanes are precision aerobatic machines but both are capable and the stik is a little better at most things.

I like shooting landings too much to fly a "belly flopper".
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Old Nov 27, 2006, 04:27 PM
Here comes the rooster...
JesseB's Avatar
Joined Aug 2006
95 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by BEC
I like shooting landings too much to fly a "belly flopper".
Same here BEC... I bought my wife a Skygo and a Slow Stick, and I enjoy landing those versus belly flopping in with my plane. Though I must admit, even with those, it sometimes gently noses over once it has slowed down.

At some point, I'm just going to get the Sportster EP, and put big wheels on it. Sure, it'll add air resistance, but at least I'll be able to land in grass. If it doesn't work, I'm only out a cheap airframe.

BTW - I already saw that post you did on the SA Stik, and have already notified the wife that she'll be graduating to that when she learns to manage the Slow Stick as is. Very nice review, and nice looking airplane.
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Old Nov 27, 2006, 06:13 PM
Here comes the rooster...
JesseB's Avatar
Joined Aug 2006
95 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Tully
All I ever fly off is grass. I've got no problems with it. Especially this time of year when it thins out. Just put bigger wheels on it. The Dave Brown Lectra Lite wheels work very nicely. Put minimum 2-1/4" wheels on the smaller 100-200 watt ships...

Nothing beats a graceful touch and go on a grass strip.
What planes are you flying? I'd like an idea of what works. BTW - Those wheels do look nice...sure, it'll make the plane look like a bush plane, but that's better than vaulting the plane over!
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Old Nov 27, 2006, 06:19 PM
I havent decided yet
Indiana
Joined Jun 2006
2,120 Posts
i only fly my super sportster off of grass and i use the stock wheels and wheel pants.....have never had a nose over.......in the winter, put some skis on
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Old Nov 27, 2006, 06:55 PM
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United States, CA, Oakland
Joined Dec 2002
2,333 Posts
Hey now,
My Lazy and Speedy Bees both land well on grass, they have Trexler ballon wheels, those huge wide tires just kind of float over the grass.
However on most models they'd look silly and cause a *lot* of drag.
On the other hand, models of planes with retracts look really bad with oversized wheels on them, not to meantion the drag issue, so I leave them off.
My TwinStar II, Twin Jet, HET Yak1, F5D, and F5B models don't have any gear, fly well and look great in the air. I'd say just leave them off entirely.
RobII
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Old Nov 27, 2006, 07:20 PM
Registered User
KY
Joined Aug 2004
257 Posts
I fly an Extra 300E from Extreme Flight http://www.extremeflightrc.com/html/extra300e.html but I took the landing gear off since it won't take off in grass taller than an inch or so. It flies noticibly better without the gear and landings are a breeze with no wear to the plane at all as long as you keep it in the grass. With flaps programmed in you can kill a lot of energy on the approach for a short field landing.
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Old Nov 27, 2006, 08:08 PM
Balsa to the Wall
Deep in the East Texas Piney Woods
Joined Dec 2001
4,557 Posts
I have several planes including a Mini Super Sportster that I land on grass. I frequently have to adjust the lg, but with the big wheels and no pants, there's no problem.
Here is a partial list of the planes we fly off grass.
Lil Banchee
65" ws Decathlon
Extreme Extra
Hyperion Yak 54
Hyperion Mini Cap
Rambler

Just have to get used to it.



Chuck
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Old Nov 27, 2006, 08:25 PM
Hold my beer and watch this!
Jeremy Z's Avatar
Northern IL
Joined Oct 2005
2,380 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by BEC
I like shooting landings too much to fly a "belly flopper".
I shoot landings with my TwinStar 2 and EasyStar all the time, no problem. They just can't be belly-floppers AND tractor props, hehehe.

Try either of these two planes from their bellies from snow? It's a thing of beauty. Just be careful landing them. The TwinStar II slides about 50 yards when landing on snow. (the belly is coated with clear packing tape)
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Old Nov 27, 2006, 08:33 PM
Serg
Rostov-on-Don, Russia
Joined Apr 2005
247 Posts
I fly SA Stella with 2" wheels from a grass field. No problems at all (unless I manage to hit a really deep pothole ) and they do not look too big.
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Old Nov 27, 2006, 09:15 PM
Registered User
KY
Joined Aug 2004
257 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serg
I fly SA Stella with 2" wheels from a grass field. No problems at all (unless I manage to hit a really deep pothole ) and they do not look too big
My Extremeflight Extra 300E with 2" tires and no pants couldn't handle 2" tall grass. The landing gear mount isn't strong enough and it kept cracking the supports just from the force of the grass pulling back on the gear. Belly landings without gear is the way to go unless your grass is very short and smooth like the grass shown in the picture above. I'm not sure how tall that grass is but you couldn't land the Extra in grass taller than the tires because its such a lightweight plane and not very strong either.

The nice thing about the Extra is you don't even have to toss it to take off. I just hold it by the wing and let go and up it goes. The strength of the motor and prop wash give plenty of control even from a dead start.
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