The following stories from the January 25, 2008, edition of AOPA ePilot were provided to AOPA members who expressed an interest in the particular subject areas. Any AOPA member can receive information tailored to their areas of interest by updating their preferences online.
My ePilot - Turbine Interest
GROB AEROSPACE TO WORK ON LEARJET 85
The Learjet 85, touted as the next generation of Learjets, will use Grob Aerospace to build the first four primary and secondary composite structures for the all-composite midsize jet. It is the first Bombardier Aerospace jet to feature an all-composite structure, and, the company said, the first to be built to FAR Part 25 standards (airworthiness standards for transport category airplanes). Read more on AOPA Online.
My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
LIFT, DRAG, AND FLAPS
Flaps increase a wing's lift and drag. The increased lift allows flight at lower airspeeds, and the increased drag permits steeper approaches. But that's not the whole story. Lift and drag team up differently at different flap settings. Understanding how they vary is necessary to know what kind of performance to expect from your aircraft. The changing influence of lift and drag as flap deployment changes also explains why the immediate partial retraction of flaps is required during go-arounds after a full-flap approach in many aircraft.
"Flaps represent a way to increase the approach angle because the lift generated by flaps is accompanied by an increase in drag. Although it varies with the exact type of flap (Fowler, slotted, unslotted, simple hinged), it is generally assumed that as flaps are extended past 15 degrees, they begin generating more drag than lift," wrote Budd Davisson in the February 2008 AOPA Flight Training feature "Controlling your approach path: Drop flaps or slip the ship."
The acceleration-inhibiting drag prevalent in intermediate to full flap deployments is the reason that go-arounds may require immediate flap reductions. "In a balked landing (go-around) climb, the wing flap setting should be reduced to 20 degrees immediately after full power is applied. Upon reaching a safe airspeed, the flaps should be slowly retracted to the full up position," says the pilot's operating handbook (POH) for a 1980 Cessna 152, a trainer with flap settings of 10, 20, and 30 degrees. (Note that it is the lift provided by the first flap setting that enables the Cessna 152 to make better short-field and soft-field takeoffs with one "notch" of flaps extended.)
In flight, understanding the performance and control implications of flap settings helps a pilot to choose among the options available when facing a given set of runway and wind conditions, as discussed by Alton K. Marsh in the August 2004 AOPA Pilot feature "The flap about flaps." Always observe the airspeed limitations on the use of flaps as depicted on the white arc of your aircraft's airspeed indicator and as noted in the POH. Also note any cautions in the POH about combining slips [see the Feb. 24, 2006, Training Tips] with flaps.
The right amount of flap extension, at the right time, will give you the best performance.
My ePilot - Training Product
PEN PAL CLIP KEEPS WRITING TOOLS AT HAND
When you need a pen or pencil, scrambling to locate one in a flight bag (or retrieve the one that fell on the floor during the takeoff) can distract you from flying the airplane. The Pen Pal is a clip with a circular loop that keeps extra writing tools handy by attaching them to your kneeboard, pocket, or flight bag. Constructed to hold one ($3.75), two ($4.75), or three pens ($5.75), the Pen Pal is available at Ace's Pilot Shop.
Note: Products listed have not been evaluated by ePilot editors unless otherwise noted. AOPA assumes no responsibility for products or services listed or for claims or actions by manufacturers or vendors.
My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: I'm having a difficult time anticipating turbulence while flying. Do you have any suggestions?
Answer: Turbulence is often caused by wind-particularly when you cross the path of winds blowing from two directions (wind shear). Environment also plays a part in turbulent air movement. Mountains, high buildings, and rough terrain can interrupt an otherwise smooth airflow and cause the bumps you feel as you fly over. Weather front movement also produces turbulence, and this should be studied a day or so before your flight to assist you in making a go/no-go decision. More information on turbulence is discussed in the AOPA Flight Training article, "The Weather Never Sleeps: Turbulence 101."
Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail to [email protected] or call the Pilot Information Center, 800/872-2672. Don't forget the online archive of "Final Exam" questions and answers, searchable by keyword or topic.