Flight Training - June 2021 - 43

characteristics make it especially easy to
land-even on wet or icy runways.
The old truism that you can't judge a
book by its cover still applies to airplanes.
A Douglas DC-2 is externally hard to
distinguish from its successor, the DC-3.
They're both twin-engine, low-wing,
metal airplanes designed a few years
apart in the 1930s by the same engineers
at the same company. Yet the DC-2 had
a reputation for being maddeningly
difficult to land, while the slightly larger
DC-3 is incredibly forgiving in this area.
Author and former airline pilot
Ernest K. Gann, who flew DC-2s as a
new co-pilot, was repeatedly humbled
by them.
" When taxiing, the braking system
was activated by a heavy horn-shaped
handle protruding from the left side of
the instrument panel, " he wrote. " By
simultaneous use of the rudder and
handle, the desired left brake, and right
brake could be applied. Since there
was an inevitable lag between motion
and effect, the DC-2 was stubbornly
determined to chase its own tail on
the ground, and in the crosswinds,
sometimes switching ends to the embarrassment of all aboard. "
The DC-3 got a beefier main landing
gear, better shock absorbers, toe brakes, and
a larger, more effective rudder and elevator.
Aircraft designers have made a science of understanding, quantifying, and
improving aircraft landing characteristics
over time, and the evolution of trainers
reflects that storehouse of knowledge.
Piper Cubs and Aeronca Champs,
widely used as trainers in the mid-twentieth century, were tailwheel designs
with basic flight controls-and lots of
adverse yaw-that student pilots learned
to anticipate and counteract. They were
replaced by less demanding, more robust,
metal, tricycle-gear aircraft capable of
standing up to decades of rough treatment in the flight training environment.
Now, another generation of composite Cirrus SR20s and Diamond DA40s
are joining the training market, as well as
light sport aircraft such as the Van's Aircraft RV-12 and Vashon Ranger. These
trainers vary widely in performance and
handling qualities, but their differences
shouldn't come as a complete surprise.
In the words of baseball great Yogi
Berra, " You can observe a lot just by
watching. " FT

JARGON

Brake fading

Watch those toes! Your instructor may caution you not to " ride
the brakes " while taxiing; this practice not only causes flat
spots and tire wear, but it may overheat the brakes and cause
a reduction in braking power known as fading.

dave.hirschman@aopa.org

AOPA.ORG/FT  43


http://www.AOPA.ORG/FT

Flight Training - June 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - June 2021

Contents
Flight Training - June 2021 - Intro
Flight Training - June 2021 - Cover1
Flight Training - June 2021 - Cover2
Flight Training - June 2021 - Contents
Flight Training - June 2021 - 2
Flight Training - June 2021 - 3
Flight Training - June 2021 - 4
Flight Training - June 2021 - 5
Flight Training - June 2021 - 6
Flight Training - June 2021 - 7
Flight Training - June 2021 - 8
Flight Training - June 2021 - 9
Flight Training - June 2021 - 10
Flight Training - June 2021 - 11
Flight Training - June 2021 - 12
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Flight Training - June 2021 - 16
Flight Training - June 2021 - 17
Flight Training - June 2021 - 18
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Flight Training - June 2021 - 20
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Flight Training - June 2021 - 29
Flight Training - June 2021 - 30
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Flight Training - June 2021 - 40
Flight Training - June 2021 - 41
Flight Training - June 2021 - 42
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Flight Training - June 2021 - Cover3
Flight Training - June 2021 - Cover4
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