Wild West Aircraft

For general discussion of the Just Aircraft family of aircraft.
Includes: Highlander, Escapade, Summit and SuperSTOL.

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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby taildrgfun » Mon Apr 06, 2015 7:55 pm

Ken it didn't hurt the fuselage. It broke out both ends of the shock, bent the gear leg and broke off both Hiem joint connectors. Bent the aluminum stringer on the bottom a little but not the frame.

Joe I really like both of these engines. The turbo motor makes quite a bit more power but the other one is lighter, simpler and less expensive. If the cost doesn't matter much I'd go for the 914 or if I was going to be flying in and out of high altitude places I'd want the 914. I think the heavier planes can use the extra power too. My Highlander was exactly 700 lbs. on 21' tires (it has 31" tires most of the time). I am very happy with the 110 hp big bore in it.
Steve Henry, Wild West Aircraft
(the Dead Stick Take-off Guy)
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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby Johnny C! » Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:47 pm

Steve,
I glad you're & the plane are OK.
If we fly them, they're going to
dinged.

I found the video online & the
reporter was making lots of
assumptions for the dog &
pony show, wasn't he.

Later!

John
There are many things that happen really fast when you are
flying an airplane. There is no sense in rushing any of the others.

I would much rather be looking down at the runway, than up at it.

Duane Sorenson & Rick Norton Gone West 6/8/09. Godspeed
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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby SheepdogRD » Thu May 07, 2015 8:28 pm

Steve and the SuperSTOL are in a new EAA video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsQayd8dom0
Richard Holtz
Highlander N7340Z -- Ms. Tonka -- in gestation

If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.
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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby john2 » Thu May 07, 2015 10:03 pm

Great video, thanks for sharing Richard.
Take Care,
John Cooley
Kit #265 converted to SuperSTOL
N265JC reserved
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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby taildrgfun » Sat May 16, 2015 8:21 pm

I've got my SS and my HLDR both working so well! My Highlander is working better and landing slower than I would have ever thought possible until a couple months ago. Even though it has quite a bit less power than my turbo SS, it takes off just as short. It's a lot lighter. I've always known that a good Highlander will take off at least as short as a SS but they normally take about twice the distance to land. I've got my HLDR landing as slow as my SS and only about 10% longer. The SS landing gear absorbs more energy than the shock absorber gear on my HLDR making it land shorter. The HLDR takes a little more finesse to touch down on the exact spot because you have to be more gentle, but it is easier to see because the nose isn't nearly as high.

It sure is a lot of fun having both of these amazing airplanes!! Sometimes the hardest part is just deciding which one I want to fly today!

I haven't flown either of mine for 2 weeks because I've been so busy test flying a beautiful new SS that we did a builder asisst on.
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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby av8rps » Sun May 17, 2015 9:59 pm

Steve, can you share with us what you did to make your Highlander perform so well?

And can you also share with us what you are doing differently for technique that has allowed you to land almost as slow as with your SS?
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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby taildrgfun » Mon May 18, 2015 11:03 pm

First of all I really tried to keep my Highlander light weight. It weighed 700 pounds on 21 inch tires. I made my ailerons a little shorter and shaped the front of them more like the ailerons on a Superstol, my flaps are about 18 inches longer than normal, I have about a 1/8 inch wickerbill down the entire length of my flaps and ailerons. (that is just an 1/8th inch aluminum piece pointed straight down off the trailing edge). I made 18 inch wing extensions and also added 18 inches to my ailerons just recently. I definitely have the deflectors on the back of the wing in front of the flaps that some people call flap gap seals and vortex generators on the wing and also on the back bottom of the horizontal stabilizer. I have gap seal tape on my elevator. I have factory extreme gear legs with TK one racing shock struts and I normally have it on 31 inch Alaskan Bushwheel tires.

For years I have wanted to try a leading edge cuff on the Highlander wing and I finally got around to it just a couple months ago. (it is about a half inch bump that just makes kind of a chin on the lower front of the wing leading edge) I was totally amazed and happy with the way it made the airplane fly. It went maybe just a mile or two faster in cruise but the big thing was it allowed it to fly several miles an hour slower when landing, and it also makes the airplane takeoff shorter at a lower speed. It lets it achieve more angle of attack then a normal Highlander wing, (but not nearly as extreme as a Superstol), thereby allowing for good visibility out the front when landing. A Superstol will land as slow or maybe slightly slower but to do so the nose has to be way high completely blocking all visibility out the front.
As of now I do not know where we can get this leading-edge cuff for anyone to put on their wings but we are working on that problem. For anyone interested in making their Highlander or Escapade land slower and sweeter it is well worth the effort to put it on.

My motor is a Rotax with a big bore kit making about 110 hp. I have an 80 inch Prince 2 blade propeller on it that I am very happy with. ( by the way I am a dealer for these propellers in case any of you want to get one please call me)
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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby danerazz » Tue May 19, 2015 7:42 am

Steve, do you have any pictures of your LE cuff installation? Really interested in how you made/installed it.
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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby av8rps » Tue May 19, 2015 7:06 pm

Thanks for that great info Steve. I have always thought the Highlander had more potential.

I remember flying my old A-model Avid Flyer (same basic wing as Highlander) around at extremely high angles of attack with complete stability at only 22 mph (advertised and real life stall speed on the light airplanes). So if one wasn't afraid of the engine quitting when at that high angle and close to the ground, you could fly approaches much like the SS. BUT, the weak link was the Avid landing gear and the under the seat trussed area that was nowhere near as strong as it needed to be to handle being dropped in hard. So while the Avid wing proved it can operate at super high angles of attack, and the airframe was stable enough to allow a low 20's approach with lots of power, the landing gear was the limiting factor. So in effect, the Highlander has proven itself to fly much like that early Avid (especially if modified like yours). So...if a person could just find a way to get the gear even softer you could inch up even closer to the SS territory.

I asked you about your mods and technique because I have Highlander project #2 in my garage and would like to incorporate some of what you did to yours, as well as trying to get it even lighter than my existing totally stock Highlander (which is 680 lbs on 8.50 tires - so you've done exceptionally well on yours with bigger tires and all the mods).

I was really interested to see that you extended the wings, as I will be flying mine on floats and one thing I have always thought the Highlander to make it a better float plane is to give it a bit more wing area (which was corrected with the SS). Ironically, I had determined that it should have 10-12 sq ft more wing, which sounds about what you gained with yours. I fly a Kitfox 4 on amphib floats currently, and even though the Kitfox wing is considered small for a float plane at only 132 sq ft, it is just big enough to get the job done. So knowing that, I think I am going to extend my wingtips and/or ailerons and flaps as you described yours. Doing so will probably put my Highlander more in line with my Kitfox wing loading, which I beleive will make it a better float plane as well as a better bush plane.

But one additional idea I'm kicking around is to try to incorporate a large fowler type flap on my Highlander much like is used on the SS. That would effectively increase my wing area when most needed, plus would help to slow the airplane down even more. Have you ever considered that on a Highlander?

The Highlander is a great airplane already as we all know. But I am convinced with even more tweaking here and there it can be even better. Your previous comments prove that. And granted, I like many think the SS is just a super, way cool airplane. But I also really like the Highlander. So if I can get it to operate in and out of similar places that you might only take a SS, I will be more than happy.

Paul S
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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby rmullins » Tue May 19, 2015 9:10 pm

Steve, any chance we can get you to post a picture of that leading edge cuff?
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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby taildrgfun » Tue May 19, 2015 9:55 pm

image.jpg
Leading edge cuff
You can see the shape of the leading edge cuff as compared to the stock show up on the wing tip.
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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby danerazz » Tue May 19, 2015 10:14 pm

Thanks, what did you make them out of?

How are they attached, and are they under the fabric or are they temporarily secured on top for testing?

They look like they are under the fabric, but have tape on the end.

By the way, I love the spades!
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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby taildrgfun » Tue May 19, 2015 10:47 pm

image.jpg
On the original wing is it plastic extrusion that is just taped on for now, although I would like to put it under fabric eventually. On the blue 18 inch wing extension that I built I made the cuff out of aluminum and yes that part is under the fabric.

You know it doesn't really need the spades but I like them too, they do make the ailerons work better. You can see in this picture the way we made the front of the ailerons more like the pointed Superstol ailerons.
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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby taildrgfun » Tue May 19, 2015 11:21 pm

image.jpg
Skinny road
image.jpg[/attachment]
These pictures are of a very nice Superstol that we did a build a assist on here at Wild West Aircraft. I took them at at place where I had to land on a little thorn lined ranch road in South Texas because it was nothing but fog up ahead for miles and miles. I was only about 250 miles from where I was taking the plane to my friend Jim Foster but it was either find something to land on and wait or fly about 50 miles back to the last airport that I had left. Since I practice landing on the little small skinny places all the time it was kind of a no-brainer. After I had landed and saw all of the huge thorns right very next to my 11 foot wide road I was sure happy that I practice landing in those little skinny spots.
image.jpg
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Re: Wild West Aircraft

Postby taildrgfun » Thu Jun 11, 2015 4:47 pm

I just flew in my Highlander on a 500 mile trip the last couple days on one fill up of fuel and I still had 6 gallons left in my tanks. I have the 110 horse big bore Rotax in it and for this trip I had a 76–51 Prince propeller which gives me right at 100 mile an hour cruise speed. I was running pretty hard and average 5.3 gallons per hour. I made my own 14 gallon aluminum wing tanks and also a 5 gallon header tank for a total of 33 gallons.
The purpose of my trip was to test fly Mark Hudgins brand-new Superstol. He did a very nice job building it and it flew really well.
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