Re: Landing and taking off in a canard


Telling folks not to “over-rotate” is like telling  them to “land good”

The only way a new pilot can really learn how to get the right site picture, pitch input, trim setting, airspeed and control input force before flying the airplane is to slowly sneak up on flying speed over many gradually increasing speeds on the runway. 

Start by trying to hold 35-40 knots, not 45. Almost everyone I’ve transitioned failed to hold 35 and instead blew right past up to 50 before learning to pull the throttle back enough to maintain precisely 35.  

Ok, now that the newbie has that speed mastered, add 5 and hold 40 for a pass or two. I hope we’re using a 5,000’ or longer runway for this effort.

Next, up it to 45. Canard elevator should be able to show some influence on the pitch  now and ailerons can rock the wings back and forth. 

Up to 50 now, Canard is getting lighter on this pass, maybe floating over bumps a little even. Try this for one or two more passes at 50.

This whole time with all these passes, our newbie is also getting accustomed to the cockpit, operating the aircraft, getting used to where to look on the panel for info and where to access controls all lowering the workload as our newbie gets used to the airplane.

 55 and 60 next. Learning to control speed precisely  in the previous passes really pays off here. The Newbie can now confidently target 60 knots and be reasonably sure to not blow past that speed. Why is that important? Because the Canard can fly before the Main wings can. This gives the Newbie time to practice controlling the pitch control of the aircraft attitude with lower risk of an unintended takeoff.

Newbie is smart and not on a rush which is why Newbie did this maneuver several times before going to 65 knots. 

Ok, now the big one. Making sure the CG is in range, there is adequate fuel, canopy is locked and the pilot and plane are ready for flight, we can try 65 knots. Canard flies with little more than a gentle back pressure. No such thing as a “rotation” on this flight. When its ready to fly it will do the work,  not like in a Cessna 172 where you have to haul back on the elevator to get the plane to pitch into a flying attitude.

At this point newbie and plane are ready to fly. Full throttle, we’ve been here before. Everything looks normal. Oil pressure good. Watching airspeed. Passing 60 the Canard starts to fly. Just hold that attitude. Passing 70, the aircraft should almost imperceptibly initiate a climb away from the runway. No rotation needed. As the speed increases the lift increases and the climb begins. Pitch for Vy and when there’s no more runway ahead and newbie is able, raise the nosewheel (if thats the protocol).  Watch the CHT’s close and make sure to keep things under control (420 or leas is good).

Go high, practice some slow flight. Note the airspeeds. When the adrenaline wears off, go back to the airport. Set up for a 2 mile final. Newbie needs extra time to get accustomed to the speed, and difficulty in slowing things down. No flaps or CS prop here to induce drag…..

Coming over the numbers at a carefully controlled 75-80 knots, aiming for the touchdown zone, supernewbie flies down to level off over the runway about 75 knots and holds that and removes all power. Hold altitude, speed comes down. Keep holding it off, keep holding it off until all the energy is gone. 

Mains gently touch down and now newbie is at 65 knots flying the canard, a maneuver practices many times previously. 

No PIO, no drama. Just good, precise, professional airmanship. Good job Newbie!

Its written in the POH, but what I wrote is what it actually feels like to execute the POH instructions (with some embellishments).

For crosswind landings, plunk it down in a crab. No low wing landings needed. Feels wrong but the plane can do it and you won’t drag a wing.


On Aug 14, 2022, at 10:38, Bill Allen <BillAllensWorld@...> wrote:

A pal of mine who is a CFI is doing an air test of a LongEz and asked me for any hints and tips. Apart from “read the POH” I also mentioned the rudder/brake/crosswind characteristic, and underlined the need not to over-rotate.
I said I’d dig out some youtube videos and send them to him, and guess what? - I found one of me landing in Knoxville TN about 17 years ago…… taken by Don Jones.


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