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Thread: [musketeer mail] Wheel pants

  1. #1
    Orbiting Earth Orbiting Earth Smithy's Avatar
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    [musketeer mail] Wheel pants

    Greetings...

    I would question the ability of the average pilot to actually quantify a 6 knot speed increase in speed as there are so many factors affecting the performace of our aging aeroplanes. I suppose if you conducted the same trip in almost identical weather conditions, same aircraft load ten times with, and ten times without the spats you might be able to plot a trend. A calibrated ASI with a high resolution display would help.
    Every maker of after market parts, be they for aircraft, cars or even boats for that matter , make claims to justify the use of their product. Given that I have done a bit of this test flying caper and so know the odd thing about aerodynamics I tend to side with the people who contest that the increase in weight using the pants will counter any decrease in parasitic drag. Simple equation really. Aeroplane heavier means aeroplane will need more power to generate more lift. Would the improved airflow around the wheels make up for this??? I'd be suprised, but show me quantifiable, repeatable data and I'll be convinced. Untill then I'll agree on one thing..They sure look good!

    Mark Smith,
    VH-DYA.

    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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  2. #2
    Orbiting Earth Orbiting Earth sjcote's Avatar
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    [musketeer mail] Wheel pants

    Mark, et al,

    I agree with you that quantifying these numbers is next to impossible for us
    mere mortals. I often feel the same way about the pilot reports in the
    aviation press.sure, they got those numbers on that flight, on that day,
    under those conditions. Still, it is a relative indicator.



    However I have flown the prototype Sundowner and it is a real kick in the
    pants. Having said that, I must point out that it had both the wheel pants
    and the Powerflow exhaust system, making it hard to distinguish which
    devices provided the benefit. The airplane was certainly both faster and
    more powerful.but which was which?



    The only hard data my un-calibrated body could glean were as follows.

    Acceleration and climb were significantly improved over my own Sundowner.
    She (comparatively) leaped off the runway under very hot conditions and a
    Density Altitude of about 3500'. Climb was in excess of 1000 FPM to 4500';
    and she showed 138 MPH IAS at full throttle. (Pulled back to 2600 RPM more
    like 128.still not bad.) So, OK, the exhaust probably did what it was billed
    to do. And figures for that could be derived from a test stand.



    The wheel pants, hmm, how does one quantify that? Well when we got back to
    the airport, I pulled the throttle to descend.and she didn't! Normally we
    get an immediate and positive (negative?) descent. This bird did not want to
    slow down or go down. In fact, by final approach, I was having to completely
    close the throttle and pull some significant back pressure to get her to
    slow down going over the fence.



    I have to say I was sold...but on which component? I don't know. Would I buy
    either the wheel pants or the Powerflow? If I owned the aircraft by my self
    I would. I have 3 partners which makes this a hard sell; result is no, I
    will probably not get either in the near future. Would I expect stellar
    performance from a Mouse? No.but improved, certainly.

    I have pressed Robin Thomas on the question of separate performance figures
    for pants and exhaust. I honestly feel he does not know where that point is
    and has not really looked for it.

    Still, I was impressed with the combination,

    Steve Cote

    N1958L



    _____

    From: musketeermail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:musketeermail@yahoogroups.com]
    On Behalf Of michelle and mark
    Sent: Thursday, October 25, 2007 8:14 PM
    To: musketeermail@yahoogroups.com
    Subject: [musketeermail] RE:[musketeer mail] Re:Wheel pants



    Greetings...

    I would question the ability of the average pilot to actually quantify a 6
    knot speed increase in speed as there are so many factors affecting the
    performace of our aging aeroplanes. I suppose if you conducted the same trip
    in almost identical weather conditions, same aircraft load ten times with,
    and ten times without the spats you might be able to plot a trend. A
    calibrated ASI with a high resolution display would help.
    Every maker of after market parts, be they for aircraft, cars or even boats
    for that matter , make claims to justify the use of their product. Given
    that I have done a bit of this test flying caper and so know the odd thing
    about aerodynamics I tend to side with the people who contest that the
    increase in weight using the pants will counter any decrease in parasitic
    drag. Simple equation really. Aeroplane heavier means aeroplane will need
    more power to generate more lift. Would the improved airflow around the
    wheels make up for this??? I'd be suprised, but show me quantifiable,
    repeatable data and I'll be convinced. Untill then I'll agree on one
    thing..They sure look good!

    Mark Smith,
    VH-DYA.

    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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  3. #3
    Orbiting Earth Orbiting Earth Smithy's Avatar
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    The only way for there to be a true comparison is for the manufacturer to start with a clean aircraft with no mods, perform a flight test schedule to ascertain ROC and TAS for that particular aircraft, add the pants only and then perform the same flight tests. When thats completed take em off, add the exhaust system and do the same again. That way there is a bench mark to measure any improvement in performance.
    Even comparing the performance of your aircraft VS their modified one by simply flying it is liable to lead to subjective conclusions. Whats the age of the engine on their aircraft to begin with, how clean is the airframe, how well is it rigged?
    In another life I was involved in helping aeronautical engineering students learn about test flight practice and analyzing data. We took 3 C-172's..all M models that were 15 years old at the time and were all seemingly identical. Yet their performance varied considerably.
    As I said show us quantifiable, repeatable objective data.
    Now its a beautiful day here..I'm going flying!!!!
    Mark Smith
    VH-DYA

  4. #4
    The PowerFlow test pilot spoke at BACFest and explained the test flight regimen. They do the tests with and without the pants. Basicaly they climb at Vy and measure time to climb to specified altitudes, using 29.92 altimeter setting and adjusting for nonstandard temps. They then set WOT cruise at 8500 and let the speed settle for 10 minutes before reading the IAS. I think there was more, but that's all I remember.

    There is more involved than just the pants. The Struts on our birds are too fat for good airflow. Take a look at the tufting video at speedpants.com and you will see air flowing FORWARD around the original struts. The pants also include new struts. The DVD will have a tufting video with the new stut/pant installation. Much better airflow.

    The brochure claims a 5 knot increase and a 60-day money-back guarantee. If you remember, they refunded (sometimes forcibly) the deposits on the Sundowner exhaust when they couldn't get the desired performance on schedule.

    I fully expect them to make the advertised numbers or refund the deposits, then it becomes a price/performance/looks issue.

    I also flew their Sundowner at BACFest 2006 and was impressed.

  5. #5

    [musketeer mail] Wheel pants

    I got 7 knots on my Cessna 152 with factory wheel pants.

    I plan to put a deposit down on these wheel pants as soon as I can get
    my finances figured out. The gear, cowl, and windshield transition are
    the biggest and most obvious sources of drag on the 60's birds.

    Joe


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  6. #6
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    [musketeer mail] Wheel pants

    The wheelpants for the Musketeer/Sundowner/Sport line are still in their
    development stage, which is why final numbers are not yet available.


    We have done close to 100 hours of testing on them, and are prepared to
    guarantee at least 5 mph increase in cruise speed.

    Since the strut fairings are still being improved, I'm expecting a little
    more for the final result, perhaps as much as 8 mph. Many flights have been
    made over an 18 month period, all at gross weight, and all the results have
    been carefully recorded. There is also a gain in rate of climb of
    about 1.5minutes in a 7000 foot climb, which is over 56 ft/min..

    You may not know that I have been designing and making Wheel Pants for
    Pipers since 1985, and that they have had many tests reported in the press,
    with substantially greater gains than these, as you expected. You can find
    further details, including some tufting tests at www.speedpants.com

    As to the weight, you are close, Bob... each pant weighs five
    pounds.Whenyou include the hardware and the strut fairings, I believe
    the total for
    all three to be very close to 20 lbs. But bear in mind that there will be
    fuel savings associated with that, so you won't have to carry as much fuel
    for a given trip.

    Some of you have questioned whether the Beech SpeedPants produce any benefit
    at all. If you knew this company, you would not question that. We have STC's
    for aircraft that we have never marketed... because the gains did not meet
    our standards. We want to keep our high reputation intact. We have a
    performance money back guarantee on every roduct we sell... and most of our
    products have been tested by magazines such as Aviation Consumer, AOPA,
    Flying, Plane and Pilot nd others, and every time a test has been performed,
    the results have equalled or exceeded our claims.

    Robin Thomas
    President
    Laminar Flow Systems Inc.
    Power Flow Systems Inc.


    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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  7. #7

    [musketeer mail] Wheel pants

    I'm saving for a deposit now.

    Joe
    A23-24 driver


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