News:
Support----><----Support




  • December 18, 2017, 07:54:57 AM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Flying off of grass  (Read 929 times)

Offline Gary Dowler

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Commander
  • ****
  • Posts: 176
Flying off of grass
« on: August 12, 2017, 09:43:29 PM »
Ok, so for all of you who routinely fly on grass fields, what is your standard for how deep is too deep? 2"? More?  I'm talking about flying typical Ringmaster sized birds.
Profanity is the crutch of the illiterate mind


Offline Brent Williams

  • 2017
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 459
  • Making America Fly Stunt Again!
Re: Flying off of grass
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2017, 02:28:22 AM »
Be cautious when ground launching from grass.  This was the aftermath of a stooge launch in grass that I thought was just barely too long.  I picked the shortest spot and it still ended up catching the inboard wheel which then launched the plane up and in at me.  I couldn't run backwards fast enough to gather it up and a few seconds later it was all over...the ground... Thus ends the tragic tale of the splatted splat.

We end up hand launching 90% of the time at the grass fields around here.
Laser-cut, "Ted Fancher Precision-Pro" Hard Point Handle Kits are available again.  PM for info.

Offline gene poremba

  • 2017
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 95
Re: Flying off of grass
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2017, 07:18:47 AM »

 Gary, I fly off a grass field at our local airport. The city cuts the grass on a regular basis, however in between cuttings we cut the circle as low as our mower can cut. We lay down a 4X8 sheet of cardboard in front of the stooge. The models gain enough speed to roll thru the grass once they pass off the sheet of cardboard. In the area we launch at if there are a few sprouts of grass sticking up we hit them with a string trimmer(weed eater). Landing on the areas that have slightly higher grass hasn't been a problem. I usually install slightly oversize tires also.....Gene

Offline Perry Rose

  • 2015
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 637
Re: Flying off of grass
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2017, 09:27:16 AM »
I launch off a stooge all the time and hold full up until the plane has enough speed to roll over the grass which is 3 inches high or more at times. I'm more concerned about a tall spike of grass catching a line. 2 inch wheels on some planes 2 1/4 to 2 1/2  on most. All 54 inch wing span or more. And no, flaps won't over ride the elevator at launch.
I wouldn't take her to a dog fight even if she had a chance to win.

Offline john e. holliday

  • 2017
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 18861
Re: Flying off of grass
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2017, 05:04:22 PM »
I have a piece of scrap carpet that I use when the grass is too tall for some of my planes.   Yes I usually put the next size up on for wheels and some times even bigger depending on plane design.  I think most planes have too small of wheels.  I fly off a stooge most of the time, especially when by my self.  I have lost a plane or two because of a line catching a weed I didn't spot.  Used to carry what is called a grass whip for those.  Mostly I raise the flying arm high and step backwards enough to keep lines tight.  Also not too much up as you want plane to excellerate as fast as possible.   Landings the landings the plane flips over on it back.  The big secret is keeping lines up and tight. H^^
I was always taught to respect my elders, but it keeps getting harder to find one.
Today I broke my personal record for most consecutive days lived.
John E. "DOC" Holliday
10421 West 56th Terrace
Shawnee, KANSAS  66203
AMA 23530

Offline Gary Dowler

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Commander
  • ****
  • Posts: 176
Re: Flying off of grass
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2017, 10:41:43 PM »
 ~>Thanks guys. I'm launching off a stooge 90% of the time. Yesterday the grass was about 2-1/2" tall, same as my wheels.  I picked the driest, thinnest area the wind direction allowed. 3 tries with the Shoestring Stunter, 3 times it nosed over within 10-12'.  Only ever had it do that once, when grass was clearly too tall and I tried anyway.
My 45" modified Flying Fool with a 46 (53oz), got up fine (same 2-1/2" tires), but it flipped nose over on landing. This one is the mystery to me. CG, is correct. But this is its third landing on grass, and third nose over.  Third time to damage its tail. One oops might be due to a tad high landing speed, but the other 2 were very slow and controlled.
If you look at the flying Fool note the gear. I altered mine just to improve grass field performance. Moved the mounting point one bulkhead aft, then raked it forward 45deg, the result actually placing the axels 1/4" ahead of stock location.
The SS is light and I understand very well how it could hang up and nose over on launch or landing. But this super Flying Fool has me stumped as to its inability to remain upright when landing in grass.
Just measured and gear is fully 6" ahead of the CG.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 11:03:02 PM by Gary Dowler »
Profanity is the crutch of the illiterate mind

Offline Tim Wescott

  • 2016 supporter
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 9788
Re: Flying off of grass
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2017, 11:27:23 PM »
How tall the grass can be depends on the plane and the grass.  If it's nosing over -- yup, the grass is too tall.  As short as you can get away with is just about right -- but I like John's carpet idea.
AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline Gary Dowler

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Commander
  • ****
  • Posts: 176
Re: Flying off of grass
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2017, 01:29:10 AM »
Just thought of this. Regarding the super Flying Fool nosing over on grass, could it have anything to do with it being a biplane and having the mass of the much larger upper wing so far above the centerline of the plane carrying it over on landing?  Also, the engine is mounted vertically and is, I now know,  significantly larger than this plane needs. This too adds weight both forward and above centerline. Anyone have similar troubles with biplanes?
Profanity is the crutch of the illiterate mind

Offline Perry Rose

  • 2015
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 637
Re: Flying off of grass
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2017, 06:43:22 AM »
How about a side view picture of the models? 6 inches should put the wheels under the fuel tank.
I wouldn't take her to a dog fight even if she had a chance to win.

Offline Gary Dowler

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Commander
  • ****
  • Posts: 176
Re: Flying off of grass
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2017, 01:50:38 PM »
http://resizepic.com/resizedimage.php?file=640x480-7cd8cc342a7c2c0512447d9d1d78468d.jpg&format=jpg

Hope this worked....   Here is a side view of "Nose Over Natalie"..

« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 10:41:48 PM by Gary Dowler »
Profanity is the crutch of the illiterate mind

Offline john e. holliday

  • 2017
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 18861
Re: Flying off of grass
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2017, 02:32:42 PM »
A lot depends on the type grass that is the field.   If we could have grass like the putting greens we would be in seventh heaven.   Then there is what I call field grass with big blades that is what our field has.  Then the grass we have for our yards is okay .  Don't use stream line wheels like the old Veco wheels as they cut into the grass.   Use balloon tyoe wheels that will roll over the grass.   Even my big stunters will nose up on landings once in a while.  Now Don's B-25 takes off like a dream and lands very nicely.  I just need to get back in shape.  I now remember Rat Racers with the landing gear long enough that the wheels were in line with the propeller as grass was all we had to fly off of way back then.   Randy C. should remember those.
I was always taught to respect my elders, but it keeps getting harder to find one.
Today I broke my personal record for most consecutive days lived.
John E. "DOC" Holliday
10421 West 56th Terrace
Shawnee, KANSAS  66203
AMA 23530

Offline Gary Dowler

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Commander
  • ****
  • Posts: 176
Re: Flying off of grass
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2017, 08:20:53 PM »
Grass is comparable to that of a typical yard with regard to consistency and blade type. Not the lush over watered and over fertilized yard grass.
Tired are balloon type. 2.5".
Profanity is the crutch of the illiterate mind

Offline Steve Helmick

  • AMA Member and supporter
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 7799
Re: Flying off of grass
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2017, 08:37:44 PM »
My preference is for "slick" tires...wide, square shoulder...more "float" to stay on top of the grass. I seem to have the best luck on landing with a fast landing, as opposed to a slow, stalled-in landing. The latter just sticks the wheels down into the grass and over it goes.  y1 Steve
In 1944 18-20 year old's stormed beaches, and parachuted behind enemy lines to almost certain death.

In 2015 18-20 year old's need safe zones so people don't hurt their feelings.

"Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet." General Mattis.

Offline Sean McEntee

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 676
Re: Flying off of grass
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2017, 11:47:43 PM »
If you're flying at a grass site that you never have before, take a beater to test it.  Grass length is a factor but also density as well as how flat the actual ground its.  Center field of an actively used soccer field tends to be pretty rough.  So my best advise is to take something you dont mind banging up a bit and give it a try.

Offline Gary Dowler

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Commander
  • ****
  • Posts: 176
Re: Flying off of grass
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2017, 12:32:18 AM »
How about a side view picture of the models? 6 inches should put the wheels under the fuel tank.
Gear (theoretical axel line) is actually about 1/4" ahead of the firewall. Only weight ahead of the wheels is the engine.
Profanity is the crutch of the illiterate mind

Online Dave_Trible

  • 2017
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 3930
Re: Flying off of grass
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2017, 04:46:32 AM »
The shorter grass is best.  We mow every 7-10 days, maybe more if been raining but between mowings I carry a small reel-type mower with removable handle in the trunk to touch up the takeoff run between power mowings.  2 1/4" wheels and slightly longer gear than you would use on pavement works pretty well.

Dave
AMA 20934
FAA Certificate FA3ATY4T94


Tags: