Lessons learned – so far!

Gals, send me your flying pictures or I might have to resort to more Rans pictures and ME! I’ve added a new email address to receive your pictures, updates, and whatever you’d like to send me, so feel free to forward to LadyTaildraggers@gmail.com when you can.

Until then, this the latest on how my Rans S7 is breaking me in. It’s been a way bigger transition than I expected. I actually thought I’d hop in, recognize there were a few minor differences in the way it flies from what I’ve flown before, and it’d be a piece of cake. Not so! Here’s what I’ve figured out so far….

– It only weighs 690 pounds empty so there’s a whole lot of rocking around and pitching going on if the air’s not pretty smooth. Riding in a kite comes to mind.

– It’s a slick little guy and it takes a little planning to slow it down without gaining altitude. I’ve made some adjustments and am now slow flying it by the time I hit the pattern, keeping it slow all the way around. With not much power and some airspeed it’ll stay up there forever. After the floats came off, it was running 500 RPM too high and would taxi at 20 mph unless you held the brakes. Those extra RPMs in the air caused all kinds of havoc trying to get the power back far enough to land. Last week Boyd set the idle RPM to the minimum - now it will actually decend, with a little coaxing!

– There’s no such thing as no bounce landing gear on a Ran S7. Slicking it on is not impossible but you’re always going to know you’ve arrived. That wonderful feeling you get when you grease one on and aren’t even sure you’re even rolling, I have not yet experienced!

The gale force winds (I'm known to exaggerate) subsided for one night and I finally got a "feel good" flight in!

That’s the highlights so far. I had a great flight last night and was dreaming about really green, short grass strips in my sleep so that’s a good sign!!

  • Dee Holm
    Posted at 22:34h, 02 April Reply

    Having flown co-pilot in our Kitfox Classic IV Speedster from Glendale,AZ to Winthrop, WA and back, I always say it is like being in a Dixie cup in a fast flowing river!!! I have a difficult time just keeping the wings level. As for slowing down–HA! My husband always takes the power out and slips; sure hope I can learn to do the same. My SuperCub training is taking a while longer than I had hoped but it is still fun if not a wee frustrating to have it skip at the last possible moment before touchdown. Oh well…. Enjoy yourself with your new toy!

  • Lisa Martin
    Posted at 11:16h, 01 April Reply

    There’s always a new challenge, isn’t there? This morning my husband said, “I’m thinking we should sell the Cub and get a helicopter.” My mouth dropped open after a snotty “What??” Then he said, “April Fools. I think we’ll keep it til we die.” But he does have a tendency to trade things off the MOMENT I start to get comfortable 🙂

  • Posted at 19:06h, 31 March Reply

    Well Judy sounds like you have been flying a Taylorcraft. Now you know what I’ve been going through. But trust me once you nail it you will love it, and you’ll be even a better pilot for it. Being a light aircraft, you will have lots of floatability, which if there were an engine failure will give you time to hopefully find safe ground to put her down easy. Flying your Rans is very much like flying our Taylorcraft. I love it.


  • Dee Ann Ediger
    Posted at 15:29h, 31 March Reply

    Those no-bounce landings will come sooner than you expect. The Kitfox is just about the same weight, and the landing gear is almost identical. I remember when Ken was first learning, I nearly always held on to the framework with my right hand to brace for the landings till he got the hang of it. I had the advantage of his learning curve when I started flying it. Over the numbers no faster than 55 and touch down at 45 or less is what finally got me to have better landings. I now even prefer wheel landings, which lots of tailwheel guys say are harder to grease on. Patience and extremely minute control inputs in the flare plus lots of practice on grass help to nail it. Oh — and slips are a total BLAST! Point the wing down the runway — that’s how you get it down!

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