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Nieuport 11 - The Beautiful (Consistent) Landing


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#1 marshce

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 05:50

I've had quite of few hours learning how to fly the Nieuport 11 stably and confidently, and I've made enormous progress. I am able to land consistently time and time again without crashing. However, very rarely are these "beautiful" landings.

 

What I mean is this: Take a look at these videos of authentic Nieuport 11s landing:

 

1. http://wrightpatrol....t/FlytheN11.htm (Click the "Good landing" link on the right.)

 

2. https://www.youtube....h?v=C7XcneXDmVw (The landing commences at 3:47.)

 

Each of these landings is gentle and not jarring at all, and, obviously, the machines are completely undamaged.

 

But for me these kinds of gentle landings are not reproducible on a consistent basis. I almost always seem to bounce, and when I watch the video replays it looks like if I were really in the plane, I'd be seriously shaken up. Also, - most definitely because of the gyroscopic forces of the rotary engine - my machine always leans to the left as I land and, at the worst of times, my bottom left wing gets slightly damaged. (This happens less often now, but even when it's not damaged, the video replays show that it was a hairsbreadth away from damage.)

 

I've figured out how to throttle up a little while applying slight right rudder to stop my plane from swerving after I land, but I just can't seem to land without bouncing or dangerously leaning to the left.

 

I think I lot of new pilots to Rise of Flight probably visit that wonderful New Wings Virtual Flight School (http://newwingstraining.net/news.php) to get a few tips on how to land. But I have to admit that even the video provided for landing the Nieuport 11 shows a bounce (not too severe, mind you) that I think a 1916 flight instructor might frown upon.

 

Of course, in real life at this time, a flight instructor would have carefully shown me what to do a few times in a dual control craft, and after that would have provided me with a lot of immediate and direct feedback to help me as I attempted to land, but, unfortuantely, this isn't possible, and I have to flounder around on my own discovering these things.


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#2 marshce

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 06:25

You know what? Once again I just solved my own problem!

 

I'd like to stop anyone from wasting their time in responding. Sorry!

 

When I finished writing my post and started up Rise of Flight again, I realized that I had been doing two things wrong:

 

1. When watching that New Wings Virtual Flight School video again, I noticed that they mentioned something about leaning the fuel mixture. I had never even thought about doing this before! This time I leaned the mixture to decrease rpms when I was landing. That seemed to somewhat remove both the element of the gyroscopic forces and my landing speed.

 

2. Previously, I was always so concerned about reducing my landing speed that I always tried to keep the nose up when landing so I could reach the lowest speeds possible without stalling. However, I realized upon watching my own landing videos again that by doing this, I was in a sense flattening out 100m or so in the air! This time I just let my machine descend on its own (having leaned the mixture and throttled down, of course), and then flattened out just before landing.

 

When I followed these two points, I was able to land pretty decently! (Of course, there's room for improvement, but these were definitely the key points I had been missing all this time!) I took off and landed again five more times in a row, and never once did I damage my wing! It was such a wonderful feeling! I've become pretty proficient at flying the Nieuport 11, but landings had always been my Achilles' heel no matter what I tried. Finally, I feel like I'm truly on my way to earning my wings!  :icon_e_biggrin:

 

P. S. I've been reading through Stephen Longstreet's (rather opinionated) history of World War I aviation, and this sentence made me feel much better: "It is virtually a formula for many great aces to have been slow learners and bad landers."


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#3 Catfish

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 13:27

Have already posted this several times, but since people come up with the N11 and 17 landing ... (the N11 is actually quite easy to land i think, no excessive gyro force in comparison to the '17').


"This Is It, Brother", by Leroy Prince

 

Not all Worid War I pilots were aces. Leroy Prinz, who served with the U. S. 1st Pursuit Group in France, reveals disarmingly that he was often more of a liability than an asset.

" … In France I crashed and crashed and crashed. I got so I'd pull my throttle clear back and put my hand over my nose because when I landed I'd invariably break my nose. Invariably. I just didn't have the knack of it.

I was the only guy in the 1st Pursuit Group who wasn't a hero. The Germans had to shoot somebody down, you know. On my first flight over the lines I was flying number-three position on
the left. Well, unless you've been in the air you don't know how blind you can be. I swear, I looked to the left, and when I looked back I was alone. It seemed that the squadron had seen a patrol or something and they' d all gone. Well, 1 had no more idea where I was than a jack rabbit.
And I started thinking, "God, wouldn't it have been wonderful if 1'd studied those contour maps?
Wouldn't it be nice if I knew something about a motor? What would you do if your machine gun
jammed?"

I had snuck through, as they say, every bit of training, and there I was alone in the air, and
God knows where. I said, "WeIl, the first thing I'll do is climb high. If anybody gets me, it
will have to be from below."

I finally got that baby up till that altimeter was just wiggling at around 17,200 and shaking like a man with palsy. I didn't understand why I couldn't breathe. There was no such thing as
an oxygen mask, and nobody'd ever told me about this. I was gasping, trying to catch my breath, and my motor was spluttering. I thought, "Oh well, 1'm going to fall to pieces. This is it, brother."

I finally got the compass and it pointed in the opposite direction to what I was going. I tumed around, made a long gradual glide, and came to a cloud bank. Lo and behold, there was a silhouette - a plane in front of me. I thought, "Oh, this is nobody else but Richthofen." I didn't stop for combat, I just pulled both guns and let hirn have it.

Then I was on my long glide, and all of a sudden I saw tracer bullets going by my wing. Brother ! I didn't know who was on my tail, but I put that baby into a dlve, and I dove and dove, and pretty soon I ran out of gasoline. I made my usual landing in a field and smashed the be-jesus out of this Nieuport. As usual, my nose was smashed, too.

When I came to, they were Yanks !
They took me back to Toul and I reported to Major [Harold] Hartney.
I said, "I've been up in combat, sir. I lost the patrol and on my return I attacked an enemy aircraft. I don't know how I could have missed it. Then as I was flying along, I was attacked by a squadron of German planes, and my motor was conking out so I took a long dive and landed."

He said, "Very interesting. Well, I'll tell you something. Two and a half hours ago you passed over this field going hell-bent for election."
l' d missed my own field !

And at that, Johnny Wentworth walked in and he said, "And let me tell you something, the next time you take a shot at me in me air I'll really shoot you down!" All I had done was
to get lost, shoot at my own man, and crash another plane. I never lived down that phony report.

Later General Billy Mitchell invited us up to headquarters, and he sent for me.
"I want to see the insignia on your collar," he said.
I said, "WeIl, it's U.S. A.S.S.C. That's regulations, sir."
He said, "I thought you might have an Iron Cross up there. You are the damndest ace the Germans have. I'm going to ground you for a while so we can build up the air force."


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#4 marshce

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 05:09

I'd like to add an addendum to my message above.

 

For me, as I said, the key to improving my Nieuport landings was adjusting the engine mixture, but my landings - even after this discovery - were still rough and a bit hit and miss. I've scoured the forums here for any tips and I found a lot of people having exactly the same problems as me, albeit with the Nieuport 17. There were all kinds of suggestions offered, but no one seemed to have the perfect solution. Everyone seemed to find their own individual compromises (and they all do seem to be compromises). No one, however, had a definitive answer to the problem of landing these planes. I gathered together all of these tips everyone offered and tried to experiment to find some consistent results.

 

One or two people even went so far as saying that anyone who says they can land the Nieuports 11 or 17 with ease is a liar! While I don't agree with such a silly attack on people, I do understand their frustrations. Like most everyone else, I was getting extremely frustrated that no matter what I would try, I would consistently, time and time again, break my bottom wing when landing (and at the worst of times, crash). This seemed like an impossible machine to land.

 

I've made major progress since all of this, though, and, as I said, the key was adjusting the engine mixture.

 

I'd like to offer for future reference my solution to the problem of landing the Nieuports:

 

1. This goes without saying, but you must land into the wind. (This really goes without saying, but I'll say it here just for completeness.)

 

2. When you begin your final descent toward the aerodrome, throttle down and then lean your mixture until just before engine shut off at about 400rpms or so. After this, enter your gliding angle keeping airspeed just around or under 100km/h as shown on the air speed gauge. (I always use the actual air gauges. This is not the exact airspeed, of course.)

 

3. As you approach the aerodrome, if you are too low just add some throttle to gain a bit of height. At this very lean mixture, you have much more subtle control over the engine and hence the lift is much more slight and manageable, surprisingly so actually.

 

4. As you near the ground a few meters from landing, pull back on the stick gently until the horizontal crosshair of your gunsight is level with the horizon. As you do so, add a little throttle to maintain slight forward movement.

 

5. Keep your gunsight exactly on the horizon. You'll need to move the stick slightly (always with very gentle movements) forward. Move forward or back as necessary to keep the gunsight at the horizon.

 

6. Your front wheels will touch down and you'll have to add or lower the throttle as necessary to keep moving, but make sure there isn't too much throttle.

 

7. Very soon your front wheels will stay on the ground. At this point apply a bit of right rudder as you let your tail gently drop and then close the throttle until the machine comes to a rest.

 

Note: If you do start the old cheval de bois (that constant friend of a Nieuport 11 and 17 flier!), pull the stick far to the right as you are turning, and this will prevent the left wing from being damaged.

 

I've tried this again and again, and while I'm still learning the exact subtle controls, this seems definitely to be working for me and is quite repeatable. The key seems to be having forward speed and momentum as your wheels touch down. However, you don't want too much forward speed, and this is where the lean engine mixture weakens the thrust but gives enough to maintain stability.

 

When I first stumbled upon this, I couldn't believe it! For the first time ever, my Nieuport 11 came to a very gentle rest on the runway! I thought it was some kind of freak occurrence never having ever experienced this before in hundreds of landing attempts! But - wonderfully and amazingly - the video replays of my landings looked strikingly similar to those real life videos I provided links to above.

 

Anyway, that's my solution to the problem. And before someone accuses me, I'm not lying!  :D


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#5 1PL-Husar

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 06:26

Nice, my congratulation to you. You would be great instructor :) Btw did you try to land with three point technics ?
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#6 marshce

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 06:31

Btw did you try to land with three point technics ?

 

:icon_eek:  Let's not get carried away!  :)


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#7 J2_Marx

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 08:57

@Catfish, i really enjoyed that story......could have been me if i was born 120 years earlier :icon_mad:  :icon_lol:


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#8 unreasonable

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 09:08

Three pointing an N17 is not the best idea: as in marshce's description the key is to get wheels down with some speed on and allow the tail to settle naturally.

 

This is perfectly doable with the engine completely off as well. Actually you should practice this on about 50% of your landings, since you may need to do it from time to time, perhaps in a hurry on an unfavourable field with a flock of Albatrice pecking your tail feathers.... 


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#9 marshce

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 13:03

This is perfectly doable with the engine completely off as well.

 

Unreasonable, I'm really curious. In my posts above, I've been talking about the "perfect" landing with the Nieuport, not just a normal landing. This is the one demonstrated in those videos of real Nieuports landing. When I was able to perform the landing sequence I mentioned above, my plane gently came to a rest on the ground almost like a feather falling to the earth. There was no jarring or harshness in this landing at all. In fact, when I landed, for a moment I thought I was still flying in the air! It was really magnificent!

 

Can this "perfect" landing be done with the engine completely off as you described? If so, how do you do it?

 

I'd love to hear your method.


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#10 unreasonable

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 14:25

Unreasonable, I'm really curious. In my posts above, I've been talking about the "perfect" landing with the Nieuport, not just a normal landing. This is the one demonstrated in those videos of real Nieuports landing. When I was able to perform the landing sequence I mentioned above, my plane gently came to a rest on the ground almost like a feather falling to the earth. There was no jarring or harshness in this landing at all. In fact, when I landed, for a moment I thought I was still flying in the air! It was really magnificent!

 

Can this "perfect" landing be done with the engine completely off as you described? If so, how do you do it?

 

I'd love to hear your method.

 

It is the same as "your" method, (which just sounds like the description of a normal power on landing) - only with the engine off. :)  A "perfect" landing is just a normal landing without any obvious bouncing or swerving: with the engine off this is easiest when the wind is quite strong. 

 

As you say you must be smack into the wind, you must retain speed and let it bleed off slowly. The key is making that flare at the right height: too high and you risk dropping too hard, too low and you will touch down going too fast.

 

Sometimes you will get it more accurately, sometimes less, but that has nothing to do with whether the engine is on or not. It simply means that you cannot cover up a poor touch down or loss of directional control by adding power after you have made initial contact, which is why gliding in a little too fast is better than a little too slow (hence wind helps), it maintains airflow over the control surfaces during the roll out.

 

I suspect that it may be harder for us sim pilots that in RL since it can be tricky to judge those last couple of feet of height with our coarse ground textures.

 

You should try it a few times, I think that you will see that it is much the same, only with the added advantage that you have less to worry about.


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#11 marshce

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 14:45

As you say you must be smack into the wind, you must retain speed and let it bleed off slowly. The key is making that flare at the right height: too high and you risk dropping too hard, too low and you will touch down going too fast.

 

Sometimes you will get it more accurately, sometimes less, but that has nothing to do with whether the engine is on or not. It simply means that you cannot cover up a poor touch down or loss of directional control by adding power after you have made initial contact, which is why gliding in a little too fast is better than a little too slow (hence wind helps), it maintains airflow over the control surfaces during the roll out.

 

Thank you for the explanation.

 

But, man, I must have tried flattening out at every possible moment conceivable in my landings, yet I was never able to land gently! Sadly, I just don't seem to have a natural touch. (But, like you said, it is quite challenging to judge distances compared to real life. All of the contemporary books I've been read do recommend looking a few yards in front of the plane and not directly down close to the plane to help judge distances, so I get the feeling that this was challenging in real life too.)

 

By the way, I went back to that first link above from Dayton, Ohio Wright Patrol, and I noticed that the person there detailed how he lands the plane. Oddly it's a very similar story to mine and a lot of people here:

 

I approach on final at 55 and reduce power (but still carrying power) to achieve the threshold at 50, raise the nose a bit which slows it to 45, and push forward to make the wheel landing.  To date, I make wheel landings on grass only.  With a wheel landing, you can carry power and keep the tail up so it has control as it slows.  Lots and lots of rudder in the landing.  The first time I flew it, I ground looped it as I did not know it would not flare without power. I pulled back the stick and it sank like a rock.  I hit hard, broke the tail wheel and rode the horse around the pole.  My buddy Rick and I repaired the wing in short order.

 

That definitely sounds like a powered landing. (And it brings more than a little bit of satisfaction to me that he too damaged his wing!)


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#12 unreasonable

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 16:44

I am not saying there is anything wrong with power on landings or that people did not do them, but that it is worth getting used to a power off landing as well, firstly because you may have to do this at some time whether you want to or not, and secondly because it actually has some advantages: namely:

 

1) Eliminates or reduces precessional effects of rotary engines 

2) Fewer things to worry about and coordinate 

3) Turning off fuel flow is safer in the case of an accident (not modeled in RoF)

 

In the quote above the reason he broke his kite is that "he pulled back the stick and it sank like a rock". So glide in with speed up, level off, and do not pull the stick back to try to force the tail down: the tail will settle gradually itself as drag slows you down. This is not rocket science: thousands of people land gliders like this every day. Personally I find it much more satisfying!


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#13 B24_LIBERATOR

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 16:48

It's dangerous to land with power off, it's necessary sometimes but not often (unless you get your engine shot up a lot). You need power on during a landing in case of emergencies (ground loop, go around, etc...).  But land however you feel comfortable, there's no consequences in RoF so it won't matter whichever way you choose.

 

EDIT: Gliders are designed to belly land, airplanes are not. Millions of people land airplanes with power on every day, I find it safer :icon_e_biggrin:


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#14 unreasonable

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 17:55

It's dangerous to land with power off, it's necessary sometimes but not often (unless you get your engine shot up a lot). You need power on during a landing in case of emergencies (ground loop, go around, etc...).  But land however you feel comfortable, there's no consequences in RoF so it won't matter whichever way you choose.

 

EDIT: Gliders are designed to belly land, airplanes are not. Millions of people land airplanes with power on every day, I find it safer :icon_e_biggrin:

 

I really do not know why some people are so defensive about this issue.

 

WW1 aircraft, especially the earlier designs, were little more than powered gliders. They were light, with good glide ratios. WW1 engines often failed for no particular reason and RoF engines are easy to over cool or over rev: both conditions that could lead to a forced landing, quite aside from getting "shot up". The chief staff officer of the RFC recommended that pilots turn their engines off before landing.The RFC did it as a matter of course: until well into the 20s power on landings were considered unprofessional.   

 

Having power on is not a panacea for emergencies - indeed it will sometimes make them worse. What is approved and regulated as the technique for peacetime GA with modern aircraft is not necessarily best practice for war time. (After all, firing guns and carrying bombs is not very safe either). Go around should not be a big issue when landing on large open grass fields. Perhaps RoF MP fellows are concerned with go-around because new players spawn in the middle of airfields and take off without looking - but this is just a game design issue: play Career and you would never worry about that. 

 

I actually do not believe it is more dangerous to land WW1 aircraft with power off once a pilot has a feel for the behaviour of his plane - the only thing that can make power off landings dangerous is the failure to practice them and then fall into a panic because you think you are doing something "dangerous".. 

 

If anyone prefers always to land power on it is nothing to me - your loss if you are not practicing a landing that you may have to make in a field in an emergency. I do feel, however, that those new to the game or WW1 aviation will benefit greatly from learning to land power off: up to them later on which method they prefer. 


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#15 =HillBilly=

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 18:06

Mmm I wonder why instructors teach "Dead-Stick" landings. ;)


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#16 B24_LIBERATOR

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 18:42

I'm not saying it's pointless to know how to do it, I'm just saying it's safer to use power on on a regular basis. If you feel more comfortable landing power off go for it, it's a game. Nobody's going to yell at you for it. And if you do end up banging up parts on your plane then you can just spawn a new one.

 

I do enjoy multiplayer so people not looking before they take off is an issue (and I've encountered it many times) that is easily fixed with a quick increase in throttle (so are the instances of ground loops). Honestly control on the ground is the major reason why I believe engines should be kept on, low airflow over the rudder/elevators isn't going to help you much.

 

 

I think I've had my share of emergency landings to know when to have the power on and when to have it off :icon_lol:

 

 

To each his own I guess.


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#17 unreasonable

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 03:36

Well that is certainly a case for power on!  :icon_e_salute:


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#18 1PL-Husar

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 07:54

I read when they land power on - everybody on aerodrom was thinking that something is wrong.
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#19 Bursucel

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 01:11

   How to land a tailglider airplane..... and how to land the Nieuport 

   Let me tell you before that I am an expirienced PZL Wilga pilot, AN2 and Glider. If you are doing what I am telling you you will land any airplane perfect...or..

 

    1. Come on landing at an 30 degree angle engine cut

    2. When about 30m from ground start to level up and increase power gently 

    3. At about 20 m your airplane should be standing in level flight with power as needed at about 20km+ of your landing speed

    4 Settle with power..... cut power-but not more that needet- gently while maintaning airplane level -at this point your aircraft will start to descend

    5 Mantain power as stated above and start to flare gently Attention Attention -- to keep flare make stick movements from neutral to your chest at an pulsating mode like : neutral pull neutral pull nutral pull.......... gentle and keep moving. The reason is simple but I am not going to explaind everifhing now...too long. Simple mode : less airspeed- less airflow- risck of wing drop

     6  If you made corectly step 5 you will tuch gentle the ground if not... restart but this is tha way and there is no other 

     7  once you stabilise the aircraft on wheels keep stick in neutral and move tail in order to stop any oscilating movement

    8  once your aircraft is going straight on the ground cut power completly and gently pull stick to your chest

    9   keep aircraft straight with rudder padels until it stops. If you need to add power at this point it meens that you made rong step 7.. takeoff and try again

   10  add power in order to taxi only after the aircraft was copletly stop

  Practice Practice Practice 

 

To takeoff is simpler

 1.   Keep stick pull at your chest and add power until aircraft seems to pull you over.....in games dificult to say but you will see if tips over or not. if not full power etc

2  When nose seems to pull gently alow the stick in neutral -gently- while keeping the tail straight

once tail stabilised gently pull stick to chest --only a small amont

3 at this point airplane will takeoff.. do not do not change your stick seting or power until safe altitude ..50m

after that allow stick to nutral and make angine adjustments to prevent overheeting

 

      Important:   do not think you will able to do landings and takeoff in short distances at the bigining.  first duit right then when you know your aircraft you can try to cut distances and make point landing. Until than Bonne chance !!


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