View Full Version : Ever flown a plane with a V-tail ?

30th Jan 2002, 13:08
Have you ever flown a plane with a V-tail? Do you have flown both tail variants of the Bonanza and can tell me about the differences in flight characteristics ? . .There are a lot of planes with V-Tails, most popular seems to be the Beech Model 35 Bonanza but there are much more of them like the Fouga Magister (French Army Trainer), a lot of gliders build in the late 60īs (SKH, SB-5, Standard Austria ...) and even some modern planes like the Robin ATL.. .From the engineers standpoint it is the lightest possible tail design and is also very effective to reduce drag. It is cheapest and requires least tooling investment.. .From the pilots standpoint it is much more controverse, lotīs of them donīt like it although they never flew one. I just had two flights on the H-30 (about 4 hours total time) and really loved it. It was very effective and had low control forces, on the other hand the plane had lot of stability. The control system mixer was poor design, full rudder means centered elevator and vice versa, but this was not too bad because the very efficient controls did not need full deflections of rudder or elevator.

Can someone tell me more ? About different types of aircraft and maybe about spinning characteristics ?

31st Jan 2002, 08:08
Try the American Bonanza Society at:

<a href="http://www.bonanza.org/" target="_blank">http://www.bonanza.org/</a>

to see if they can answer your question.

1st Feb 2002, 12:24
Nobody there, who could give you a more qualified . .reply than me?. .Yes, I've flown Fouga Magister occasionally in the Navy 32 years ago for specific weapons training tasks.. .No, no personal experience with Bonanzas. . .A long story the reason I never liked that little french double seater, not to interesting for you.. .One item though I remember, because you ask for it:. .Some more experienced pilots at that time who had completed regular basic training in France on this flying maschine warned us 'not to try any kind of spin' due to 'unpredictable recovery problems' related to the V-tail. Inverted spin recovery even worse, they said.. .So, I never tried. Unfortunately in 1966? the German Navy lost 2 F-104 pilots flying a Fouga Magister on a training mission. They went into an inverted spin and never recovered.. .To get more infos about F-Mag. spin characteristics, you could ask our friends in the French Forum? The AC is still flying over this beautiful country in large numbers. <img src="smile.gif" border="0">

17th Feb 2002, 18:50
Volume. .I found something out about spin characteristics of the Fouga Magister. Still interested in? Just type in yes.. .Regards

18th Feb 2002, 04:20

18th Feb 2002, 17:08
Andy,. .You should have asked, we could have spent those long night TFSs discussing this.. .Volume,the Fouga has a very benign erect spin when in the training fit, I don't know what the spin was like when the aircraft was armed. Spin entry is to appraoch the stall, at the light vibration apply full rudder, watch as the aircraft pitches, roll and then yaws and it does this sequentially (fantastic for teaching), as the nose passes the horizon apply full aft stick and maintain full pro spin controls. Easing the stick forward tends to make the spin go toward higher rotational speeds. I recall that any aileron input produces a response which is reversible, I think that outspin aileron makes the spin oscillatory and you can catch the aircraft on an 'upnod' centralise the controls and fly it away, inspin aileron steepens the nose attitude. I never went into an inverted spin, but talked to a guy who had, apparently the recovery procedure works.. .The Fouga Magister is a development of a glider design and it shows the spin is very gentle.

18th Feb 2002, 20:19

I have flown the Bonanza V35B and the A36 (a lot).. .The V tail is lighter in control forces required, is very well harmonized and is lighter and slightly faster than the F33A.

The reason they stopped building the V35B in favour of the F33A is mainly the larger W&B envelope that the conventional tail allows.

If you look at a plan view for the V35B, you will see that the V tail has less area that serves as horizontal tail, as far as the fin area is concerned, it has ample, airplane was very nice to land in strong crosswinds, remember you have two surfaces acting as vertical tail.

Never spun a Bonanza, but those who did it say it is just fine for less than one turn.

The military T34 that was developed from the Bonanza uses a conventional tail.

18th Feb 2002, 20:45
The 'V' tailed Bonanzas' are indeed a delight to fly, however in turbulence, tend to wag their tail a bit. Some are fitted with a ventral fin (or two fins) to counteract this problem. Then their is the problem of the attach fittings, subject to an AD...but otherwise a fine machine and highly prised by their owners.

18th Feb 2002, 22:53
WINO you typed "yes". Ok. .Talked to friends(ex SR), who had full transition training on Fouga CM 170R Magister in France long ago. Also found an old flight manual dated 1966.. .As said before, no personal experience in spins on that type, just had a short introduction phase. .to fly around and what was required for liscence. What I heard and what I read:. .Spin entry into normal spins standard during first turn, than during next two turns "rather distinct pitching, roll and yaw oscillations (as posted by weirdy) are recorded, as well as SEVERE ELEVATOR BUFFETING." (Rumour: more pronounced than in a Cessna T-37 with conventional tail). "Latest after 3 revolutions, the spin is more quiet and stabilized at about 45° nose down attitude.". .Recovery standard: "brisk full rudder opposite, after one to two seconds stick straight forward SLIGHTLY over the neutral position."

Intentional inverted spin prohibited. However,"you may enter unintentionally an inverted spin by EXCESSIVE forward movement of the control column......, for example during the half roll of the Immelmann or after an incorrect recovery from normal spin." I was told that's what happened to some pilots. Their forward input went further then SLIGHTLY neutral( as learned in other AC) and they entered inverted spin.. ."During inverted spin recovery, the AC may pitch through the vertical after rudder has stopped the initial yaw. If all controls are not IMMEDIATELY CENTRELIZED at this point, spinning may continue.". .I think, that's what they called a bit tricky.. .There could be 3 points related to V-tail spin characteristics here:. .1) pronounced elevator buffet when entering. .2) applying to much stick force input during normal spin recovery could end up in an inverted spin(misuse of rudder also a factor?). .3) recovery from inverted spin required exact application of described "centrelization.". .Regards

[ 18 February 2002: Message edited by: Captain104 ]</p>

19th Feb 2002, 15:30
I spent 3 happy years with the French Air Force teching both basic students and instructors, a large part of the time was spent on the Fouga. I don't recall severe elevator buffeting, but then maybe I just got used to it or just lost the feeling in the normal stall buffet. Overcompensating in pitch during the recovery is a not uncommon way to get into an inverted spin in a jet.. .As far as the inverted or any recovery goes, if the aircraft is not stalled it is not spinning. No buffet, no spin. If the momentum of an oscillatory spin takes it in and out of the stall then catching it when there is no buffet means that you can fly it out; if on the other hand you hold the controls, it will re-enter the stall and the momentum will take it back into the spin

19th Feb 2002, 18:24
Weirdy,. .in this case I'm fleeing the stage with joy. Cannot keep up with your experience and competence in this area. <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> . .Perhaps, understood Volume wrong. Thought he also was interested in comparisons concerning spin characteristics: two simular AC (in this case 2-engine training jets same size T-37 and Fouga) one with V-tail other with conventional tail. . .Thought, they differ a bit. In a T-37 for example, to much stick forward in recovery no problem. Very friendly and forgiving spin characteristics, that I know.. .Regards

[ 19 February 2002: Message edited by: Captain104 ]</p>

19th Feb 2002, 20:21
The V-tail is not really an issue when comparing aircraft like these. Aircraft of the type you mention are principally trainers and have been designed to produce certain characteristics of flight, spinning being one. More important than the tail design for spinning is the ratio of momentum about the pitching and rolling axis and the interplay between aerodynamic and inertial forces.

The one thing that is noticeable with a V tail is the inherent stability in that area caused by the exagerated dihedral. Rapid rolling inputs produce adverse yaw around the tail's centre of pressure giving the impression that that part of the aircraft really doesn't want to follow!

Incidentally the Fouga was initially designed as a wooden glider the CM813 with a conventional tail. France's first jet engine the Turbomeca Pimene with a thrust of 90kg was mounted behind the cockpit on top of the fuselage, the eflux impinged upon the fin, so they replaced it with a V tail! The rest is history. A subsequent development the 4 seater Paris resorted to a T tail, it's bulbous canopy masked the shorter V tail.

[ 19 February 2002: Message edited by: weirdy ]</p>

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