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Thread: J3 flying from front seat

  1. #41
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by labrador_cub View Post
    skywagon I'm curious your take on spins in a float plane?
    In order for any single engine plane to be certificated in the normal category one of the requirements is that it be able to recover from a spin. First it must complete one full turn, then it must stop the spin prior to the completion of the second full turn. I did the flight testing to certify the EDO 696-3500 amphibious floats on the Cessna 185 with my 185. For the spin portion of the testing, the plane was loaded to the aft CG limit at max gross weight. The spins were done in both directions. Some with the power at idle. Some with the power at full throttle. Some with the flaps up and some with the full 40 degrees of flaps down. Some with the ailerons into the turn and some with the ailerons against the turn. The nose was pointed well down in the turns. In none of the spins was recovery ever a question. Lots of spins.

    These spins were done during the investigating phase of the testing and again during the demonstration to the FAA. After this demonstration the airplane is placarded "Intentional Spins Prohibited". In order to remove the no spinning restriction, a six turn spin must be completed prior to stopping the spin in one turn. There is no advantage for a float plane to be certified to allow intentional spins.

    Due to the floats hanging low the plane does spin a bit more nose down than a plane without floats. If you have wing tip fuel tanks and spin with one tank full and the other empty, it will turn faster in one direction than the other. Spin testing is required for extra fuel tank installations also.

    My take? A spin is a spin. Floats or no floats. I did spin testing with my E-AB TCOW Cub on floats. Chances are few pilots have done intentional spins with float planes since they are taught that "Intentional Spins Prohibited". When I did these spins the airplane was licensed in the Experimental-Research and Development category.
    N1PA
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  2. #42
    labrador_cub's Avatar
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    thanks! its nice to hear first hand info like that. eases my mind now to play around some more in my PA12, I still wont be doing any intentional spins though. just more stalls in different conditions so I know the plane better.
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  3. #43
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by labrador_cub View Post
    thanks! its nice to hear first hand info like that. eases my mind now to play around some more in my PA12, I still wont be doing any intentional spins though. just more stalls in different conditions so I know the plane better.
    Keep in mind, a spin is a stall maneuver in which one wing is stalled. As a result the forward indicated airspeed will be low. So, after you stop the rotation raise the nose quickly before the speed builds. This will keep the wing loading low. If you hesitate in raising the nose the speed will rapidly increase due to the nose being pointed at the ground. In that case raise the nose more slowly to avoid over stressing the wings.
    N1PA

  4. #44

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    Never really had a chance to play with spins in the J3, but in a 7AC, I found it was great for demonstrating the impact of CG on the spin to a student. Enter the spin and both occupants lean forward and the nose drops noticeably. Then lean back and the nose comes up and the rotation slows. Lots of fun and a great demonstration.


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  5. #45
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgapilot View Post
    Never really had a chance to play with spins in the J3, but in a 7AC, I found it was great for demonstrating the impact of CG on the spin to a student. Enter the spin and both occupants lean forward and the nose drops noticeably. Then lean back and the nose comes up and the rotation slows. Lots of fun and a great demonstration.
    Good demonstration of the effects of CG on the spin.
    N1PA
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  6. #46

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    well, you were all correct of course. the first five hours of dual from the back i hated it. could not figure out sight picture. then things started to click. by the time i flew off the dual requirement for insurance and got to fly solo, i love the back. no interest in shoe horning myself up front. view from the back is spectacular. i’m fully converted. Click image for larger version. 

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    ps: trying all combinations of door and windows open/closed. everything open is my favorite but it does seem to reduce climb a bit.
    Last edited by arborite; 04-10-2021 at 09:04 PM.
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  7. #47
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arborite View Post
    well, you were all correct of course. the first five hours of dual from the back i hated it. could not figure out sight picture. then things started to click. by the time i flew off the dual requirement for insurance and got to fly solo, i love the back. no interest in shoe horning myself up front. view from the back is spectacular. i’m fully converted. Click image for larger version. 

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    ps: trying all combinations of door and windows open/closed. everything open is my favorite but it does seem to reduce climb a bit.
    They don't call it the best trainer ever for no reason, you didn't stand a chance resisting ;- )

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  8. #48
    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Probably my best landing ever in the J3 was in the back seat on a very dark (surely not illegally dark) evening. Just felt my way down and felt the yaw in the seat of my pants and greased it right on. Sitting behind the center of yaw and pitch really lets you feel what the plane is doing and when you don't have a lot of visual cues to lead you astray you kind of have to "use the force" so to speak and it works out pretty good.

    Congrats on the plane, she looks beautiful. Glad we could convince you to give the back seat a try.

  9. #49

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    It’s great to fly in the back in J3 especially in the summer with door and window open. Fun to surf winds over mountain ridges in CT.

  10. #50

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    Most planes can fly slower in an aft CG configuration assisting with shorter landings. A standard J-3 is usually in a forward CG configuration due to the fuel. That’s the reason they are typically flown from the front seat. As fuel is used the CG moves aft. Use extreme caution if you are flying a J-3 from the front seat. If you get on the brakes you may find a very sudden stop. Usually however they go over on there backs at a very slow speed when the elevator is no longer effective.

    for off airport landings I find the front seat valuable because I can continue to see obstacles in front of me. This prompts some to wheel land for better visibility. I have a thick cushion on the 18 seat in the front of my J-3 which puts me very close to the spar attachment. I wear a helmet. My J-3 has also been converted to Pa-11 configuration so all fuel is in the wings.

  11. #51

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    I have tried flying my J-3 from the front seat to accommodate giving a flip to someone too large for the front but, even though I also have a Cruiser and fly that from the front, it feels terribly wrong in the J-3. I love flying it from the back seat.Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #52

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    The nicest thing about flying from the back is that long moment arm from your eye to the front of the airplane. Very easy to see pitch changes. Likewise, it forces you to look out the side during landings. Depth perception is much easier when looking forward at a diagonal to the edge of the runway.

  13. #53

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    I love the J3, I've owned two of them. One had a C90 the one now has an 0200. Get rid of the front tank, add 12 or 18 gallon wing tanks, extend the baggage and rebuild the back seat and install a super cub seat up front. Only way to go for serious two person or backcountry flying in my opinion. Otherwise just enjoy it how it is and cruise around the patch in circles.

    Click image for larger version. 

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