kitfox vs Avid on landing roll out stability


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Posted

I have been wondering if the Avid is easier to handle on the ground than the KF. I have read that KF kept increasing the size of the vertical stabilizer and rudder. 

One long time owner said he has ground looped twice over the years.. He said that on the landing roll, if the plane starts to swing around you dont have enough rudder and brake to stop it. This was on theKF 1 and 2. I read the 2 and 3 had bigger fins and rudders and the 4 fin and rudder was same at the 3... the later kf had even bigger fins and rudder.. I have seen any  of this kind of changes on the Avid Flyers???

Does anyone know if the Avid flyer is any easier or docile to land than a kitfox? Had Avid changed or increased the size of the tail feather like Kitfox?????

Is it worth modifyig the stock vertical stablizer on the KF 2 and make it bigger, wider chord ????

Inquiring mind wants to know!!

I just sold my Ridge Runner 1 because it was very difficult to handle on the ground especially on landing roll out....It was so difficult I would not want to land on pavement with it. It was stock and the CG was in limits and everything as it should be, just the MLG was too far forward and the angle was over 20 degrees instead of the standard max of 12 degrees. This would be the angle if you level the plane, and drop a plumb from the CG location and then pull a line from the cg to he axle centerline. 12 degrees is about max more and you will not have enough brake and rudder to control it when it diverges,, The only way I could control the Ridge Runner was land 3 point slow full stall and same on takeoff, keep tail down and lift off 3 point....

 

 

 

 

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Posted

Both Avid and Kitfox finally made nose draggers - easy cure for groundlooping pilots!  ;<)  EDMO

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Posted

I've known just as many Avids go 'round as Kitfoxes.  Neither is better or worse than the other.  Most ground loops can be laid at the foot of the Maul tailwheel that came with the kits.  When set up properly they work acceptably.  They are far to easy to set up wrong.  Then it will ground loop.  Not if, when.

Neither has enough tail, IMO.  The newer Kitfoxes do, but the earlier ones, through the early 5, don't.  None of the Avids do.  The small tail was by design to keep the stall benign.

Ed is right with the nose draggers.  They don't loop.  They flip when the nose digs in.

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Posted

I've known just as many Avids go 'round as Kitfoxes.  Neither is better or worse than the other.  Most ground loops can be laid at the foot of the Maul tailwheel that came with the kits.  When set up properly they work acceptably.  They are far to easy to set up wrong.  Then it will ground loop.  Not if, when.

Neither has enough tail, IMO.  The newer Kitfoxes do, but the earlier ones, through the early 5, don't.  None of the Avids do.  The small tail was by design to keep the stall benign.

Ed is right with the nose draggers.  They don't loop.  They flip when the nose digs in.

Agree Larry - it's all up to the pilot no matter which end the 3rd wheel is on!   EDMO

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Posted

OK thats the info I was looking for.... I have a maule solid rubber TW on my KF4 but I ordered a pneumatic Matco 8" to install so maybe Ill put  that on....

 

The ridgerunner 1 I just sold has me sorta gun shy. I can fly but if it is so difficult to land on pavement it limits where I can go....

If push came to shove and I had to land on pavement Id try to land off the side of the runway or else do a 3 point full stall landing, then maybe there would be less damage if it  try to eat me !!

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Posted

I always 3 point my Avid for this reason. It’s doable to wheel land it but it’s squirrely as hell. The MK4 Avid had the rounded Rudder that was more surface area I think. Pics are below of the difference.  I think more an issue is by their nature they are short coupled. They say a Pitts is one of the hardest taildraggers to land and it has a huge Rudder. If everything is set up properly they are fine. Throw in an off toe gear with a 1940s tailwheel like Larry mentioned with an inexperienced TW pilot and you wind up with bent planes. Compared to a say a 170 or 180 these planes require much more foot work especially with 27” tires on pavement. I land in the grass at our airport to the max extent possible and it’s not because I’m worried about tire wear.

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Posted

Go with the wide gear and Matco tailwheel, makes it a completely different airplane.

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Posted

I've flown 10 hours dual as a student in a Pitts S2A, all in the pattern, in winds calm to light and variable.  All told probably a 100 to 120 landings.  I found that the takeoff, just as the tail comes up, would kick my ass quicker than any of the landings that I made.  When I finally get my S7S home I'm going to placard it; "RIGHT FOOT FIRST DUMMY".  The rollout with the Pitts is straight and truthful.  The airplane goes where you make it go.  The trick is to have absolutely NO sideways drift at touchdown and like Joey said a full stall three point. That means sometimes you're going to touch down on one wheel right?  Not often but sometimes. Most say that in a stout crosswind you're going to need to wheel land it. I didn't try any of those for lack of opportunity but I can imagine that it would take quite the dance on the pedals.  That's when you need rudder authority like the Pitts.  The Kitfox kept making the rudder and vertical stabilizer bigger because the airplane was so unstable in yaw while cruising.  At least that's the story I've heard.  The nose just wanders all over the place.  The tail follows along like the ass end of an old hound dog.  Like the front and the back belong to different animals.  Same with the Avid and it's clones.  I flew a CH701 Zenith that did that too.  Weird.  I'm told that in that airplane it's the friction in the nose gear lash up.  Viking engines makes a spring instead of bungee nose assembly that is supposed to cure the problem. My advice is to go fly with somebody who's good at it.  I'm so rusty I've got an instructor scheduled to whip me back in to shape.  

Ramblin.....  

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Posted

Comparing the distance from the rear wing attachment point to the elevator hinge on an Avid MK IV, and a Kitfox 4, I found that the Kitfox 4 dimention was 9" bigger.  Therefore, the Kitfox is not as short coupled as the Avid.  I imagine it will be harder for it to start a ground loop in the Kitfox 4.  Once it's fully developed it may be worse, but it might be easier to stop it before it gets to that point.  I think the earlier Kitfoxes are the same length as the Avid.  Rudder size isn't the only thing to consider.  JImChuk

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Posted

I've known just as many Avids go 'round as Kitfoxes.  Neither is better or worse than the other.  Most ground loops can be laid at the foot of the Maul tailwheel that came with the kits.  When set up properly they work acceptably.  They are far to easy to set up wrong.  Then it will ground loop.  Not if, when.

Neither has enough tail, IMO.  The newer Kitfoxes do, but the earlier ones, through the early 5, don't.  None of the Avids do.  The small tail was by design to keep the stall benign.

Ed is right with the nose draggers.  They don't loop.  They flip when the nose digs 

how should a tail wheel be set up to prevent ground loop. 

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Posted

That's a separate thread probably but a very good one to start or re-start. 

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Posted (edited)

Yeah misrigged tail wheel on my KF2 handed me two loops in my first day (only two I've ever done...  saving my next for a big audience at a fly in somewhere  LOL :) ).

A more experienced pilot could have powered out of what I continued to try to salvage that day, but I was too green, and the instructor next to me was giving little help.

Mech and I figured out the misrig (in my case the old maule wheel would hit caster click out with 3/4 left rudder application.. and not re-engage.   Brakes were too soft...  pilot too green... instructor not teaching the critical point (power up the tail!).... perfect setup for having my ass handed to me LOL!  

A quick rigging adjustment and I was off knocking out my endorsement.

I was lucky not to bend anything that day!  And I brought that learning to my tailwheel flying in the years to come, which I was better off with when flying more expensive planes in the future.

Edited by Yamma-Fox

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Posted

If you have a Maul, the best idea is to remove the unlocking cam plate until you have enough experience to handle whatever the plane can throw at you.

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Posted

If you have a Maul, the best idea is to remove the unlocking cam plate until you have enough experience to handle whatever the plane can throw at you.

Exactly!

Wish you'd have been there with that advice on my first day as a TW student!

But like I said...  guess I'm better off now for learning so much that day!

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Posted

I second removing the cam plate on the maul. It won't fully swivel that way and that can be a good thing. Only issue is it won't turn as tight and you have to pick up the rear end or put it on a dolly to pull it backwards. All and all I have no problem with mine. I put an 8" pneumatic on and it brought the tail up too high in relation to the main gear. It cost me a considerable amount of runway both getting off and landing. I put the maul back on and just got used to it and no its no big deal

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Posted

I suppose removing the unlocking cam might be OK for training but not an option if you use your plane in areas where you have to do tight ground maneuvering.  I could not put up with not being able to turn my plane on one tire.  My best advice is to: 1. Get wide gear (whatever style you chose).  2. Get good brakes. The stock Avid/Matco singe puck breaks are NOT adequate.  Recommend you look at dual or better yet, triple puck Matco with the remote reservoir master cylinders so you can get the leverage position mounted correctly on the brake pedals.  3. With the stock Avid, 3 point landings are the easiest and keep the TW locked on the ground as soon as it touches.  With the Avid+ and likely the later KF models, they can be landed with wheel landings pretty easily due to the longer fusalage.  I can land and taxi my Avid+ using brakes and power keeping the TW off the ground.  I couldn't think of doing that with my MKIV.

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