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  • V-tails

    I saw a Bonanza take off this morning from my home airport here at KBMQ, and it got me to thinking, what are the pros and cons of a V-tail?

  • #2
    Pros: less interference drag because of less angles on the structure.

    Cons: Complicated control rigging/operation. Increased tendency to dutch roll

    I've never flown one so I can't say how it compares to a regular design.

    Have you taken Aerodnyamics yet? Its in one of the many textbooks that you'll have or will have had for that class.
    Last edited by screaming_emu; 2008-05-14, 19:10.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by pilotgolfer
      I saw a Bonanza take off this morning from my home airport here at KBMQ, and it got me to thinking, what are the pros and cons of a V-tail?
      I have heard the Bonanza referred to as the split tailed doctor killer. Not sure how accurate that is though.
      Signatures are overrated

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Airfoilsguy
        I have heard the Bonanza referred to as the split tailed doctor killer. Not sure how accurate that is though.
        Well the Bonanza (even the regular version) is known as the doctor killer. The reasoning for this is because people (doctors) who come into a lot of money would get their private pilot license, go out and buy too much of an airplane than they were capable of flying. You are seeing a similar thing happening with Cirrus. Many of the accidents are caused poor decision making due to lack of experience. At least cirrus has been trying to address this with training.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by screaming_emu
          Well the Bonanza (even the regular version) is known as the doctor killer. The reasoning for this is because people (doctors) who come into a lot of money would get their private pilot license, go out and buy too much of an airplane than they were capable of flying. You are seeing a similar thing happening with Cirrus. Many of the accidents are caused poor decision making due to lack of experience. At least cirrus has been trying to address this with training.
          Not to mention a lot of them put too much confidence in all the technology in those things and develop a false sense of security.

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          • #6
            My CFI has told me that, unless you look behind you, you can't tell the difference between a V-tail or traditional H-stab Bonanza.

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            • #7
              I have several hundred hours in Bonanza's. They are very fine flying aircraft. Fast and light on the controls. The "H" trough "S" models are the ones I have flown the most. I would gladly fly any of them (assuming legal fitness) anytime.

              The "V" model has a much higher gross weight and an increased C.G. envelope. In order to create the larger C.G. envelope, the chord of the stabilator's were increased however the larger chord didn't align with the fuselage structure attach points (bulkheads). Beech compensated by leaving the stabilator spars in their original positions and increasing the chord by adding length to the leading edge. The result is a tendency to twist the stabilator's off during high "G" pull outs.

              The aircraft builds speed quickly when the nose is lowered. At airspeed's above the red line, pulling in excess of 3.5 positive "G's" would overstress the tail and it would fail.
              Don
              Standard practice for managers around the world:
              Ready - Fire - Aim! DAMN! Missed again!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JordanD
                Not to mention a lot of them put too much confidence in all the technology in those things and develop a false sense of security.
                I'd make a pitch for an even more subtle mechanism.

                Light singles tend tend to lack fancier instrumentation/autopilots and tend to be incapable of IFR flight (with the clarification that they are technically capable of IFR flight, but radios and key instruments fall into disrepair to where they are NOT IFR worthy.)

                These planes to an outstanding and safe job of purely elective pleasure flights during severe VMC near their home base.

                The high performace single; however, winds up being used for genuine IFR flight and genuine transportation. While they are fully capable of IFR in IMC, IMC can also bring ice and/or thunderstorms, and plain ole elevated risk of loss of control due to instrument failure or faulty interpretation of ear-canals. Then throw in the fact that you are using the aiplane because you want to get there fast which leads to the potential "get-home-itis" or even simply flying in weather that turned out to be worse than forecast.

                I say all this because it is a bit too easy to say that "Doctors buy too much plane than what they can handle and then crash."

                While I'm sure there's plenty of pilots with ego and ignorance issues, there's also plenty who vowed they would be careful and not become a statistic, yet did.
                Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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                • #9
                  How is a high performance single any more likely to experience misinterpretation of bodily signals or loss of control due to instrument failure than a light twin or even a light jet? If a high performance single that's not cerfitfied for known icing goes into known icing and crashes, does that mean high performance singles are inherently more dangerous for IFR operations? In my opinion, no.
                  I'm also not too sure what you're trying to say about the radios and instruments on singles used for IFR falling into disrepair.
                  Using a high performance single such as a Cirrus, Columbia (I mean Cessna ) or Bonanza purely for VFR "pleasure flights" would be an incredible waste of a very capable airplane. There is, however, a difference between capable and invincible. I think sometimes owners stretch the capabilities of their aircraft too far.
                  Another thing about Doctors or people operating their aircraft for business purposes being killed is that they can often be on incredibly tight schedules, so the pressure to get to a location on time can be immense, and amidst all of the hurry it's very easy for someone to make poor decisions. Some of it could be inability to keep their mind focused purely on what's going on with the flight.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 3WE
                    I'd make a pitch for an even more subtle mechanism.

                    Light singles tend tend to lack fancier instrumentation/autopilots and tend to be incapable of IFR flight (with the clarification that they are technically capable of IFR flight, but radios and key instruments fall into disrepair to where they are NOT IFR worthy.)

                    These planes to an outstanding and safe job of purely elective pleasure flights during severe VMC near their home base.

                    The high performace single; however, winds up being used for genuine IFR flight and genuine transportation. While they are fully capable of IFR in IMC, IMC can also bring ice and/or thunderstorms, and plain ole elevated risk of loss of control due to instrument failure or faulty interpretation of ear-canals. Then throw in the fact that you are using the aiplane because you want to get there fast which leads to the potential "get-home-itis" or even simply flying in weather that turned out to be worse than forecast.

                    I say all this because it is a bit too easy to say that "Doctors buy too much plane than what they can handle and then crash."

                    While I'm sure there's plenty of pilots with ego and ignorance issues, there's also plenty who vowed they would be careful and not become a statistic, yet did.
                    Spend some time looking through some accident reports for light singles...really not many of them are caused by instrument failure. There are many many single engine GA aircraft that are flown in IMC safely every day. Part of your basic instrument training is learning how to avoid storms, get out of icing, and cope with instrument failure. All of which is perfectly possible. All accidents have many many factors that come into play, but something that is almost always present is poor decision making...often caused by a pilot overestimating his skill and/or experience.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dmmoore
                      I have several hundred hours in Bonanza's. They are very fine flying aircraft. Fast and light on the controls.
                      I've always wanted to fly one. The guy who used to run the an airport I frequented while I instructed flew one of the signature Jaguar ones for some rich guy. He asked if I wanted to come along on a day trip last summer, but unfortunately I had a full schedule of having students scare the hell out of me in a Katana

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by screaming_emu
                        Spend some time looking through some accident reports for light singles...really not many of them are caused by instrument failure. There are many many single engine GA aircraft that are flown in IMC safely every day. Part of your basic instrument training is learning how to avoid storms, get out of icing, and cope with instrument failure. All of which is perfectly possible. All accidents have many many factors that come into play, but something that is almost always present is poor decision making...often caused by a pilot overestimating his skill and/or experience.
                        Ok, I may have jumped over a part of the puzzle:

                        Light singles tend to have lower accident rates than "high-performance" singles.

                        I don't think it's only because the high-performance airplane is "too much to handle" for a rich, cocky, low time pilot.

                        I think that a major reason is that the "high performance airplane" is "more dangerous" is that it is flown for genuine transportation, and frequent IMC; while the light single mostly dodges puffly little cumulus clouds.

                        I don't discount your comments at all, and in fact, Emo, you make no mention of the type of single above.

                        My deal is that there are folks who vow to be good pilots, try to do the right things and still crash, and I like to look for the subtle little nuances that come into play.

                        In your one sentence above you say that your basic instrument training tells you how to deal with problems and that IFR in those conditions is "perfectly possible". Later you say it's pilots over-estimating his experience....does that mean that "basic training" isn't enough but that you need experience too?

                        Anyway- no argument, I just want to highlight that it's not simply the airplane, and not simply the pilot, and not simply the procedures, and not simply get-there itus.

                        Experience helps, currency helps, and two recurrently trained and constantly-flying pilots flying a two-engine-CRJ that has lots of power (relative to a single), icing certification, ability to get above a lot of weather, results in a differing accident rate for a CRJ as compared to a high performance single.

                        And the light single that stays in the pattern in VMC also has a lower accident rate than the high-performance single that goes places and penetrates clouds.

                        But those stats are a reflection of a whole lot of factors.
                        Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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                        • #13
                          The V-tail is one of my favorite planes... I've heard from owners, that the main complaint of the v-tail is the wallowing or light roll back and forth, kind of like a bobber in the water. I'm told that once you get used to it, and expect it, it's actually entertaining. Speaking of V-tails have you guys seen THE JET by Cirrus? I can't wait to see one of those!!
                          http://www.the-jet.com/infobase.html

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JJR
                            The V-tail is one of my favorite planes... I've heard from owners, that the main complaint of the v-tail is the wallowing or light roll back and forth, kind of like a bobber in the water. I'm told that once you get used to it, and expect it, it's actually entertaining. Speaking of V-tails have you guys seen THE JET by Cirrus? I can't wait to see one of those!!
                            http://www.the-jet.com/infobase.html
                            The cockpit is unique with engine placement to make your mechanic cry.
                            Signatures are overrated

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JJR
                              The V-tail is one of my favorite planes... I've heard from owners, that the main complaint of the v-tail is the wallowing or light roll back and forth, kind of like a bobber in the water. I'm told that once you get used to it, and expect it, it's actually entertaining. Speaking of V-tails have you guys seen THE JET by Cirrus? I can't wait to see one of those!!
                              http://www.the-jet.com/infobase.html
                              Flown K-35, V-35B, A36, and F-33 Bonanzas. The v-tail does wallow a little as you've heard, but there is an air skeg on some later models that pretty much eliminates that.

                              The F-33 flew just like the V tails, the A-36 similar, but a little more nose heavy than the others. Either way without a doubt the finest single engine recips out there.

                              The doctor killer moniker comes from guys with more money than pilot skills buying Bonanzas, then wadding them up from poor decision making (generally). It's a very capable airplane that can be more capable than the person flying it at times.
                              Bite me Airways.....

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