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Keeping a Thruster outside?

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  • #16
    Keeping a Thruster outside?

    Simon, you're not alone.
    The wing tips are the main guarantor of a correct identification because many TSTs have so-called T300 mods. TSTs have less wing battens ('fewer' for the grammar school kids) and don't have the wingtip 'gate' which gives the square-ended look to the T300 and T600 types.

    A quick look at the general arrangement diagrams or pictures in the TADS will show what I mean.

    Joan

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    • #17
      Keeping a Thruster outside?

      Mark will probably know whether they're strictly necessary or not - but I've seen some TST/T300s which are stored outside with simple control locks to stop the control surfaces waggling around in the wind. One I saw at Popham had a rectangular piece of wood jamming the aileron horns under the fuse tube which I thought was neat.

      Here's a nice picture showing the wedge shaped TST wingtip (any excuse!)

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      • #18
        Keeping a Thruster outside?

        Very nice Tom, best viewed from the inside though :smilewinkgrin:

        On our school T600N our control lock consists simply of a bit of string with a loop at each end and one in the middle. Loop over the stick, pass arounnd cockpit stucture below the side front strut, repeat with the other side and put the centre loop over the stick, pull back the stick and secure with seat belts. If you've got your string the right length the stick and controls are secure and central. The big Volair tail cover holds the rudder and as we are on concrete we have little rubber car mats under the tyres as it scrubs away tread as the aircraft dances in the wind.

        The bit of string would be more difficult on a TST/T300 because of the very different cockpit structure, but not beyond a Thruster pilot I'm sure

        Ginge

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        • #19
          Keeping a Thruster outside?

          Control Locks:-

          A Square of Wood snuggly fitted ontop of the Teleflex / Push Rod on stops the Ailerons being pushed to exteams very well. Good idea to put a Hi Viz Flag on it though.

          When parked outside it best to park the aircraft tial to the prevailing wind & Tie the Stick forward. This will prevent the tail lifting or be buffeted when the wind blows from the rear.

          regards
          Mark

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          • #20
            Keeping a Thruster outside?

            Attached pic shows our Thruster tie down. Note 6-point tie down and also use of bungee as shock absorber between fore and aft wing tie downs to reduce risk of damage to strut attachments by gust loads. Volair wing and tail covers are fixed by combination of chord and bungee - important to ensure that wing covers can't blow off the wings because they'll turn into sails in a gale. The attachment bungees/chords will then act as sail-powered saws and the Thruster factory will earn some more money providing spare parts. Ailerons should be locked using either of the methods described by Ginge or Mark above (or below depending on which order you show the messages) or the tension in the cover attachments will pull them hard over one way or the other and may damage the control mechanism.

            The tie down points are anchor chain set in concrete which was poured into a generous hole in the ground. If the aeroplane succeeds in lifting that lot it deserves its freedom :-)

            The full pod cover in the picture is by Vertigo, though our own Mark Jones does a version too. We've found it good to ensure that fuel lines are covered to protect from UV and thus extend their working life.

            The exposed metalwork gets regular checks and protection with waxoil or ACF-50 (and various other gunges) as appropriate.

            Joan
            Edit: mnor typo

            Attached files

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            • #21
              Keeping a Thruster outside?

              I would strongly recomend Joan's suggestion to apply corrosion resisting compounds to all the exposed metalwork interfaces. We occasionally see some pretty bad cases of corrosion at the factory, usually where stainless steel rings fit over aluminium tubes ( plenty of those !) A creeping type of inhibiter is probably best, and topped up regularly. Another potential problem with outside storage is condensation inside the tubes, this can corrode through bolts quite badly and cannot be easily seen at a normal inspection. As Joan's link shows( Thank you), any Thruster with aluminium strut ends should have had an application of inhibiter.

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              • #22
                Keeping a Thruster outside?

                Ginge said: "Given a choice I'd stick with a 503, preferably a DCDI in a TST they make a beautiful match."

                Doesn't the 503 struggle a bit at the top end of the weight envelope? A couple of the guys at my airfield shared a TST at one time and enjoyed telling me how they once went straight off the end of a strip into the corn as they ran out of runway on takeoff! :-) (no damage, no-one hurt, but a bit embarrassing). We've got 400m of grass with a big dip in the middle and hedges at both ends (and bl**dy awful rotor when it's blowing easterly).

                Also - I believe that the 503 is pretty thirsty 2-up. I'm about 14 stone and the missus about 9-1/2 stone (don't tell her that I let that info out!!). So we're not real lardies but no longer sylphs, and I do like to carry plenty of fuel whenever possible, for navigational reasons.....

                Cheers,

                Tim.

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                • #23
                  Keeping a Thruster outside?

                  I refer to my post above: "If you stick to the placarded weight limits you'll find that a 503 is perfectly adequate for a TST."

                  There is some performance variation depending on what propeller you have fitted, what pay load you carry, what speed you try to climb at, and how old/stretched your wing skins are.

                  Our TST delivers 700fpm typically (slightly less on a hot dayfull load) according to the VSI at 45kt (50 till at safe height) with a Brolga prop, decent wing skins, and a full load. If you try to climb too fast (or too slowly) you'll get a shallower climb.

                  Thirst also depends on how fast you try to fly. The TST is a 1980's machine and should be treated as such: a good bimble speed is between 45 and 50kt.

                  Joan

                  PS. other people wil have other opinions.

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                  • #24
                    Keeping a Thruster outside?

                    I admit that I am very surprised to hear that anybody could have a problem on a strip as large as that. I have owned and flown fairly extensively in 503 powered TSTs for many years and a good few hours and into some tight strips. I have flown with differing props from a two bladed wooden Catto (not bad when in good nick) to the Arplast that I have now (brilliant). Climb angle has always been decent even when flying into heavy weight sink and I normally fly with two on board neither of us are small although both within seat weights although as Joan points out trying to climb at too greater speed really erodes climb performance.

                    I do recall on one occasion a good few years back watching a seriously overloaded TST depart from a 350' strip with trees at the end. Both folks on board were, shall we say, of generous proportions and they carried in every spare space and a few most would not consider spare a weeks camping gear and even some spare fuel and a full 40ltr tank. Despite barely concealed warnings they set off cheerfully and got away OK, although at the poorest climb rate I have ever seen from a TST. I'd not recommend that though. I would suggest that a TST not off in less than 200yds has a problem or a tailwind.

                    I have never yet flown a T300 with a 582, or a 532 come to that, but I have gained a few hours on a 390kg T600T equipped with a 582. It is a hell of a combination but I ended climbing out at 60kts to achieve a climb angle that didn't just give a screen full of blue. That was out of consideration of what would happen with an engine failure at that point and the inevitable pitch up when ,or if, it quit it did feel a bit like Cape Canaveral though.

                    With fuel consumption it depends on what you would consider high, with maximum all up weight we return 12/13 LPH this is at hands off trim speed of slightly less than 50kts. Solo with a full tank at the same speeds we get 10/11 LPH both these are regular over a number of years. It is easily possible to cruise faster than this but, as with any engine, if you push the airframe past its best cruise speed fuel consumption will rise sharply. The TST has the lower speed wing and a lot of airframe drag, the T300 has a stiffer wing although the airframe has the same drag, the T600 though has a cleaner profile as well as the stiffer wing, you'll find this has a greater effect on most effective speeds. If you exceed this speed you pay in fuel.

                    Our TST still has the old 33ltr tank although many now have the alloy that holds 40ltrs, we reckon on a range of 2 hours with plenty of reserve. After that time we normally are ready to stop off for a cuppa.

                    That anyway is the way that I have found it, fuel consumption I believe depends on your airframes most effective speed and the heaviness of the pilots throttle hand.

                    I have found the 503, simple, relieable, light and with great power for it's weight, not up the the heavy microlights that we now have but more that enough for the 390kg older types.

                    Ginge

                    Tim Walker wrote:
                    Ginge said: "Given a choice I'd stick with a 503, preferably a DCDI in a TST they make a beautiful match."

                    Doesn't the 503 struggle a bit at the top end of the weight envelope? A couple of the guys at my airfield shared a TST at one time and enjoyed telling me how they once went straight off the end of a strip into the corn as they ran out of runway on takeoff! [IMG]/emoticons/smile.gif[/IMG] (no damage, no-one hurt, but a bit embarrassing). We've got 400m of grass with a big dip in the middle and hedges at both ends (and bl**dy awful rotor when it's blowing easterly).

                    Also - I believe that the 503 is pretty thirsty 2-up. I'm about 14 stone and the missus about 9-1/2 stone (don't tell her that I let that info out!!). So we're not real lardies but no longer sylphs, and I do like to carry plenty of fuel whenever possible, for navigational reasons.....

                    Cheers,

                    Tim.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Keeping a Thruster outside?

                      Ginge, Joan,

                      Thanks for the replies, I'm very grateful for your knowledge. The incident with the corn wasn't at our strip, it was a much shorter one, I believe.

                      The figures I was basing my assumptions on were the ones given in the TADS for the TST/503 - 21litres given as the consumption to calculate ZFW/MTOW and 500fpm at MTOW (though even 500fpm's not bad, it's just that I'm used to 850fpm out of the 582).

                      Cheers,

                      Tim.

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                      • #26
                        Keeping a Thruster outside?

                        ZFW is calculated using fuel consumption at maximum continuous rpm, which I believe is 6500 for the Rotax 503. If you want to fly under those conditions, expect to pay for a lot of fuel. We usually expect about 12 lph at a realistic cruise at MTOW.

                        500fpm at 45kt is a perfectly decent angle of climb - work it out.

                        Oh, and by the way, flying the TST solo is an absolute delight (ours has the TAL 03-6 aerofoil struts and an Arplast prop iaw Mod number... can't remember).

                        Joan

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                        • #27
                          Keeping a Thruster outside?

                          I think that you'll find that the climb rate in the TADS is based on the original prop fitted, in the case of my TST this was a two blade wooden Catto and that is what that prop delivered. The present Arplast gives 50% better with the same cruise and fuel consumption cruise revs in this configuration cruise revs are 5420, it is a heck of a prop although far from cheap. At this kind of throttle setting for cruise you are operating mostly in the mid range using the the needle jet and needle, on higher revs you are using mostly or wholly the main jet and the difference in consumption is vast.

                          As Joan points out climb angle is a combination of speed and rate of climb, you have only to watch a well flown earlier type of low speed trike, the rate of climb may not look much on paper but at the speed involved the angle can be spectacular.

                          I hope that helps
                          Ginge

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                          • #28
                            Keeping a Thruster outside?

                            On the subject of control locks which was raised earlier in this thread. Mark said:

                            'A Square of Wood snuggly fitted ontop of the Teleflex / Push Rod on stops the Ailerons'....

                            I'd like to do this but can't visualise what Mark is talking about. Can anyone help?

                            S

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                            • #29
                              Keeping a Thruster outside?

                              OK, On the T300 & T600 you have 2 belkranks fixed to either side of the fuse tube that move when you move the stick side to side.

                              From these you have 2 pushrods that connect to the aileron arms fitted to the inboard end of the ailerons.

                              When you move the stick side to side this moves the pushrods in opposite directions. If a square of wood is cut to fit to the dimentions between the belkranks on the tube and the aileron arms ( when in the nutral possition ) and then fitted on top of the pushrods, the ailerons can no longer move as they should. They are now locked.

                              Please put a warning flag on the control lock to remind you it is there even though you should do a control check anyway.

                              Regards
                              Mark

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                              • #30
                                Keeping a Thruster outside?

                                Having just made one, here is a picture of the aileron control lock Mark was talking about...
                                :idea:

                                Attached files

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