Online Community of Zenith Builders and Flyers
Now let's see ... if a 701 is the "Sky Jeep" and the 750 SD is the "Super Duty" (aka Ford F250!) then what does that make the "regular" 750 STOL ... a F150 pickup??? If it is a pickup, what does it need worse than anything? A third seat? Nah ... it needs a mud flap! ;>)
As a member of that elite fraternity that paints the belly of their plane white, it really bugs me when water or mud gets thrown up on that belly! After all, white belly airplane owners work very hard to develop the correct "patina" of evenly distributed dust, dirt, and exhaust stains ... and if carefully done and evenly distributed, you can "almost" convince someone that it is not dirty, but rather it is "off-white!"
HOWEVER, when that darned naked nose wheel treks across wet grass - it sprays the belly with droplets that absolutely ruins the "patina" with big ugly streaks and splotches! And we won't even mention what happens if you hit mud, or worse yet, a cow pile!
So, I recently noted on John Heather's first engine start video that he had a mud flap on his nose wheel and shamelessly copied it, with modifications:
Since I had down-sized my tires to 600x6x15's, I had plenty of room between the tire and the fork to mount the L's on the inside of the forks. I used .040 fabricated L's with doubler L's under the front 4" of the L. The flap is .063. On John Heather's flap, the L's are mounted "upside down" relative to mine, but give him a break ... he is in Australia (aka Down Under)! ;>) OK, the truth is he had to mount his on the outside of his Cruzer's forks for clearance purposes and therefore the L's have to be "upside down" to have a flange facing the exterior of the fork.
The entire assembly was brushed and clear-coated with ProtectaClear metal coating. I like this coating for small jobs as you can brush it with a foam brush but it is self-leveling so you get a nice finish and, it seems more durable than rattle-can clear coat. I used it on the fork and landing gear legs and it has held up well as you can see on that fork after 5+ years and 500+ hours!
The flap is slightly angled downward so that it will be parallel to the slip stream in normal flight attitude. I doubt it will cause much drag as it rides in the area shielded by the tire. We've had near-daily rains lately, but of course, as soon as I finished this it quit raining! So, a follow-up will be in order when wet weather returns. I've no doubt it will work well as many planes have similar flaps.
If you are into Jeeps and Fords, that's OK, but us CruZers fly Range Rovers, or maybe even Porsche SUVs. John A-you need another major project! GDay from Australia, John H.
I don't need a Range Rover ... in the States we have paved roads! Haha! ;>) Since you mentioned Porsche's, here's my last major project - Walt Snyder called it my "airport car," completed after the STOL 750:
I avoided holes in my gear leg by mounting two L pieces, one either side of the top of the fork using the four bolts already in place. This allows me a tow rod attachment and a mud flap without anymore holes.
Could we have a pic of that mel
my 701 when completed will be all polished with no paint. Would ProtectaClear be appropriate coating for an entire aircraft to preserve that polished look???
It's been my experience that it tones-down polish and leaves more of a "satin" look. It definitely would prevent oxidation and preserve the metal, and although the manufacturer says it can be sprayed, it is a self-leveling liquid, so I would suspect it would tend to run until it sets up on vertical surfaces - in other words, I think it would be difficult to apply to large surfaces and would be expensive. Seems to me that a conventional clear-coat paint would be better for what you have in mind, but I'm not a painter and there might be adhesion/durability issues since it would not being applied over a base coat as is usually done. Maybe someone with some experience in that area can chime-in?
I think I'd better get started on the mud flaps...
Wow! You definitely could use them on all 3 wheels! If you come up with a design for the main gear, let us know.
I've seen a pic somewhere; I thought it was on this forum.
If I recall correctly, it was fiberglass, cantilevered around the back of the tire. Sorry I can't remember more . . .
Hi John A - nice Porsche. I thought after, maybe Cruzers are the Range Rovers of the fleet and the 650's are the Porsches.
Anyway, to interested parties, a mini story. I looked and didn't favor the supplied Zen spats for my mission:
In pre-flights, I want to see my wheels and brakes. I have an underbelly radiator I want to protect. The club Jabirus I fly have grimy bellies. I trawled the Interweb and came up with these 3, best of:
And my adaptation for my Cruzer (not yet flying). I consider this guard might become a disposable/replaceable item:
Those resemble the ones about which I was thinking.
I just recently got around to making some mud-flaps for my 701. They just clamp on, no holes drilled in the gear-legs or nose-wheel fork.
They're not elegant, but they work.
No more spending ages washing sheep dirt off the airplane after flying.