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Thread: Odd description of flight characteristics

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    Jon B.'s Avatar
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    Dec 2003
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    Odd description of flight characteristics

    Last Saturday, we had a guest at our EAA chapter meeting. He's in his 60s - maybe even 70 - and has built and restored dozens of aircraft. He also has experience flying all sorts of unique machines. For example, he and the owner flew a Marchetti amphibian (a 1920's hulled aircraft with a Kinner 125hp radial) from England to Italy for a celebration some years ago. They shipped it to England, assembled it and flew it across the continent.

    Anyway, his friend was killed a few years ago in a Jenny and a passenger was badly injured. The Jenny was underpowered, and he had recommended to the friend/owner to never make a level turn. His advice was that every turn be 'downhill' as the thing didn't have enough power or stall margin to make level turns. The owner didn't follow his advice, it seems, and attempted a low-level 180 soon after takeoff. They couldn't get over (or under) a power line and crashed into it.

    The comment he made to us about the Jenny was "Not only is the flight envelope small, but it's full of holes." I thought this particularly profound. Perhaps other aircraft have this 'feature', wherein there are exceptions to the normal operating limitations even though you stay within the flight 'envelope'. I hope I never learn the hard way.

    His current 'ride' is a J-3 with PA-18 wings & tail and an O-200 engine. We invited him back but "bring the Cub". He and another guy arrived in a really nice RV6.

    Jon B.

  2. #2

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    As I recall, the Jenny's flight manual, such as it is, warned against commencing a turn below 600 feet, as there is not enough altitude to complete the maneuver.

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