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-   -   Airplane With The Nicest Handling (https://www.pprune.org/pacific-general-aviation-questions/642970-airplane-nicest-handling.html)

Post Flight 29th Oct 2021 05:05

Airplane with the nicest handling? What a fine question — and its numerous tangential queries are things of dreams and fantasies.

A Texas swing band called ‘Asleep At The Wheel’ did a song by the name ‘Dance With Who Brung You.’ If the site allows, I’ll post it (just tried and it won't allow -- sorry, fun song and great group.)

The USAF bought me into the aviation dance; so I mostly only know military aircraft. Financial limits keep me away from civil aviation.

I’ve flown Cessna’s 152, 172, and their T-37 (tweet); the Northrop T-38; varieties of the Lockheed C-130; and Boeing’s 727 (100, 200), 738NG, 752, 763, and 772.

Is defining best handling determined by the aviator’s current realm of flight? Besides renting a C-152 to airdrop a family friend’s cremated remains into the bayou in front of his home for all his friends gathered, all I know of flying is work-related.

Nicest handling was the C-130. If you had time on it, you could nearly pull off anything with the utmost of consistency and joy. The four turboprops, highlift wing, instantaneous lift generated by the props across the wings, sturdy gear, and reverse prop thrust makes it legendary. It is a magnificent, great handling aircraft provided good maintenance and qualified crew members are in the mix. The Brit mil know it as well as, if not better than, any operator.

The little Cessna 152 rental behaved predictably and gracefully while her novice in-type pilot (me) was 50’ off the water circling tightly for all the deceased’s friends and family to witness the drop of flowers then second pass, ashes.

The tweet was sublime for wrapping around and getting lift from growing benign CBs. Terrific fun for learning aerobatic, close and trail formation. Honest handling with thrust attenuators to help with the slow 35-second engine spool up rate.

The -38 was a supersonic trainer with an electrically activated canopy (bad ass approaching the active) and requiring g-suits and O2. How about a roll rate of 720 degrees/min! I could go on and on about that afterburning, neutral wing-camber amazing jet. It was solid for formation and rockin' on low levels. Hitting the pattern was a thing of awe due to the use of AOA, ‘elephants stomping the wings’ during the final turn, and the highest landing speed of all. It was an honest and harsh jet.

The 727 had a wing that just about disassembled itself for landing … 56 different, moving surfaces if I recall. If you could see your landing spot over the nose, you could aggressively pull it off without a hitch! 400 kts down 7-mile beach going into Grand Cayman Island, throttles idle, configure on speed, roll into final, spool-up, flare, land … all safe fun, good pax carriage, and a good day flying! The 727 was perhaps the last of truly engaging flying, but that’s days gone by. Loved that jet too — flew all three seats, in the Caribbean no less.

The 757 was a wayward rocket. Fantastic power to weight ratio, that and its looks. We all HAD to like it but not really so much. Its handling was as slow as it was powerful.

The 767 was a Cadillac, a Cadillac Brougham if you ever got to drive one. I did since my neighbor often lent his to me. All I can say is that it was comfy, solid, and sweet!

The 777-200 was an epiphany. Cannot imagine the 787. The 77 had so much automation, system’s synoptics, redundancy, comfort, and ease. Everybody loved it. I did too but sorely and usually missed true stick and rudder. The PES — pitch enhancement system — made me loose the 3D concept of flying.

The Boeing 737-800 NG was the worst aircraft I’ve flown. It had excellent engines and a great wing but it handled curmudgeonly if you can say that about an airplane. I understand that some of the earlier models were nice, but how does a newly produced aircraft (at the time) arrive so old? Its gripes were widespread from A to Z. Keep stretching an airframe and rig everything around more seats? The brakes improved yet the tire footprint remained the same.

Today an A-10, Warthog, overflew my home. He did a quick right-left jink that I chalked up to “the other left.”

From all I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading here, I wish for some time flying the ‘Chippie.’ Still, if a Chipmunk and a Warthog were on the ramp free to use … up, up and A-10 — a ag-tractor/crop duster on steroids!

Great thread!!

OMAAbound 3rd Nov 2021 09:27

Interesting thread, took me two-days to read through it.

Worst - A330-200/300/F, any of them, they were and still are shite!

Best - The aircraft I am being paid to fly!


Pinky the pilot 3rd Nov 2021 10:18

How about a roll rate of 720 degrees/min!
Per minute?? You sure about that?:confused::E

Uplinker 3rd Nov 2021 11:09

OMAA, obviously your opinion is 100% valid, but I could not disagree with you more :)

A330 is majestic. It is not nimble, but that is not its role - it is like a limousine. I had to teach myself how to operate the side-stick and FBW combination, nobody could ever explain it. I also learned how to land the A330 gently, (without floating), and then for me it became a fantastic machine.

Aerostar6 3rd Nov 2021 19:24

Airliner - B767. I used to prefer the 757, but the ailerons on the 767 were stupendous. I rolled her on odd occasions in the sim, and I reckon you could do a fantastic air show sequence in a light one, right up until they pulled your licence!

Aerobatic - Yak 50 - best fun you can have with your clothes on.

Warbird - P-51D, no doubt for me. Spitfire is lovely, (not the 2-seat if there is someone in the boot), but I have never felt more at home in an aircraft that I have never flown before, and it gets better with every flight. And any aircraft that you can taxi with your elbow on the canopy rail gets my vote!!!

David J Pilkington 3rd Nov 2021 20:11

Originally Posted by Pinky the pilot (Post 11136528)
Per minute?? You sure about that?:confused::E

Last year there was a FB group discussion on the roll rates of various aircraft. We made videos of multiple rolls and someone analysed them to record the data in a spreadsheet. Someone posted this video of a T-38
with multiple rolls at 11:05. Dudley Henriques commented "3/4 would be max for the lateral stick throw on a roll series. Those seeking a max roll rate should be advised that the rolls on the film by the TB solo are being performed at somewhat less than the .9 Mach required to achieve max roll rate in the 38. These rolls were well below the coupling limit. I would add that watching Kirk Brimmer (TB T38 Solo Pilot) doing his vertical rolls through the Diamond break he could have gotten pretty close to the coupling limit." Bret Davenport posted data from USAF & NTPS reports: just less than 200 deg/sec at 0.8 M for a T-38. The roll rate is down there with an old Pitts.
From Spencer Suderman.

43Inches 3rd Nov 2021 22:58

FW-190 could achieve over 160 deg/sec, almost double the spitfire and 109 capability. Although it's high stall speed meant it couldn't translate that into a tight turn radius.

I do remember someone referring to QF 737 (pre -800s) in flight as a maggot, "whitish and just seems to wallow around and not get anywhere fast" or the veritable "fart in a bathtub, shoots to altitude and then lingers...", seems to follow the line that 737 are not pleasurable to fly. I think the later comes from the trans continent races where the AN A320s had to get into particular position or be slowed to follow the 737 across the country with no RADAR/ADSB back then.

David J Pilkington 4th Nov 2021 01:18

Originally Posted by 43Inches (Post 11136900)
FW-190 could achieve over 160 deg/sec, almost double the spitfire and 109 capability. ...

NACA Rept 868, Summary of Lateral Control Research, in 1947 shows the Spitfire at 105 deg/sec and, with the clipped wing, 150 deg/sec. It shows the FW-190 as a tad over 160 deg/sec.

Aerostar6 5th Nov 2021 14:10

Originally Posted by David J Pilkington (Post 11136929)
NACA Rept 868, Summary of Lateral Control Research, in 1947 shows the Spitfire at 105 deg/sec and, with the clipped wing, 150 deg/sec. It shows the FW-190 as a tad over 160 deg/sec.

I have been lucky enough to confirm that this year, flying a clipped wing MkXIV after a few years flying a conventional MkIX.
The roll rate is fantastic- but I’m reserving judgment on the Griffon vs the Merlin!

megan 6th Nov 2021 01:48

but I’m reserving judgment on the Griffon vs the Merlin!
Care to tell why Aerostar, that's the sort of detail some of we nutters thrive upon. Jealous as hell of your carriage.

43Inches 6th Nov 2021 07:25

NACA Rept 868, Summary of Lateral Control Research, in 1947 shows the Spitfire at 105 deg/sec and, with the clipped wing, 150 deg/sec. It shows the FW-190 as a tad over 160 deg/sec.
I think I was a bit too vague, but was referring to early FW 190 vs Earlier model spits, the A series in particular. By the time the spits were advancing to the IX and beyond the 190 had also changed significantly and by the D had lost a lot of its roll rate in exchanged for higher altitude performance. So early war the 190 was superior in roll, however by the end of the war was marginal if not inferior to to the later model spits, esp the clipped wings.

PS From my understanding the clipped wing spits, they gave away a lot of altitude performance, climb rate and speed to achieve that extra roll rate, there was also a wing extension for high altitude performance. The griffon models had a new wing redesigned to alleviated problems with ailerons at high speed, particularly reversal. The FW 190 eventually morphed into the TA 152, which had two distinct forms, one with almost glider wings for high altitude intercept, and the other with traditional FW 190 type wings for ground attack roles, by then it was not really a challenge for spitfires of the griffon range, they were just made to hunt armored targets on the ground or bombers at altitude.

Post Flight 7th Nov 2021 04:45

Originally Posted by Pinky the pilot (Post 11136528)
Per minute?? You sure about that?:confused::E

So glad you caught my error, as I mistakenly made it. Correction: 720 degrees/second. I waited. Thanks PtP!

This IS a long thread. How long is it? It's as long as the types of airplanes are myriad and have differences to the operators, who flying them, love and hate them.:ok: Thanks D J P for the 1980 Thunderbirds video. Believe it or not, the Thunderbirds came into existence simply because USAF aviators were having difficulties during the transition from props to jets way back -- too many crashes and bad morale. Leadership decided a demonstration team was necessary to show the troops how it's done. A bit of trivia. So many things to enjoy on this site!!:D

cafesolo 12th Nov 2021 17:22

After doing my 120 hours on Chipmunk (ab initio) I was moved to BALLIOL T2. I've no idea of its ceiling or its roll rate,can't even remember its stall speed, but I'll never forget its Gotcha ! Go around: Failure to get the stick well forward before whacking the throttle open will result in a flick role; you will know how lucky you are as it cart-wheels: when it's standing on its nose,is it going to fall back on to its belly, or on to the cockpit transparency ? The joke of the flight line chief regarding the Merlin 35 was,"Actually,it's just a Merlin 3 with a Merlin 5 carburettor." It still produced 1250 h.p. Wish there were still some about.

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