How to fly it

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Comments from various people on how to fly the Bleriot:

How do you steer while taxing

Just give it short blasts of power with rudder fully applied in the direction you want to go. I also keep full forward stick so there is less ground friction to keep you from turning. Just pretend you are a Harley driver at a stop light revving your engine.

Brap, Brap, Brap.

You just want the tail skid free of the ground and no higher.

What’s the secret to landing

I don’t know. I have never looked at airspeed. I could always feel what was going on.

The thing will hang in and plow at a high angle of attack but that probably isn’t advisable or comfortable.

I would just practice hopping down the runway and practice flying in ground effect until you get comfortable.

Just fly it on and chop the throttle. It’s pretty straightforward but a bit draggy. That’s why I say to fly it on because it slows down real quick without power.

Over Banking Tendency

This happens with (old) slow flying planes, like the Bleriot. When you make a turn in a slow plane, the outer wing tends to go a lot faster then the inner wing, where as with fast planes that difference is a lot smaller.

Now when you start a turn in a slow plane with the aileron, making the plane bank, the banking gets magnified as the outer wing goes faster and will produce more lift, lifting it even higher.

If you try to correct this with the aileron, the slow inner wing tries to produce more lift, but it also creates more drag and makes the turn even sharper. So the solution is to use mainly rudder, and a little bit of aileron to assist the turn. Basically always flying horizontal, well almost.

Wheel landing

A nice description of a wheel landing:

  • With the main landing gear touching on the runway,
  • push the stick forward to pin the main landing gear on the runway.
  • Stay in that level attitude until you can’t hold the tail up any longer.
  • Then and only then let the tail fall and
  • pin the tail with pitch up elevator (stick back).