Hi Randy, I did the vinyl myself. I did pay a fellow who used to have a sign and did vinyl signage on the side of semi trailers to come for a day and helped me cover one wing. After he gave me the general procedure I went on from there. Couple of details: After fully assembling the plane I took the wings and tail feathers off and covered each piece including the slats off. I used not quite 2 full rolls of 3m vinyl (5’x75’) that were about $575 per roll. The two rolls weighted about 2 gallons of paint. Buffed skin lightly with alcohol and like a 3M pad that was not very abrasive, wiped off and then spayed the skin again with 91% isopropyl alcohol and wiped again. This proof has no residue. This was done in July 2015. Has been in a older hangar since then and wiped with a cloth looks just like it was installed. Very compound curves are not easy in one piece with this particular vinyl. You squeegee this vinyl on as you remove the backing different than big sheets of vinyl they just lay on a car and squeegee it down. You can heat and stretch or shrink this vinyl. Easy to repair but can be cut while paint is scratched. Does not like gasoline for any length of time but ok if you wipe off. Glad to send pictures if you wish. Paint takes 90% preparation for 10% spray. Vinyl is 10% preparation and 90% application. Regards, Rock
Randy, Thanks for the comments on the HD. It has a very fat wing so it is not a big surprise that the vortex generators didn't help much.
I don't have experience with that model, but let me make a couple of suggestions anyway for you to consider.
The issue of landing behavior is one I have spent a lot of time on in the last few years with two different airplanes - my Zodiac XL and Tecnam Echo Super. The Zodiac generally lands very nicely but the Tecnam was very sensitive to final approach speed. It likes 52 KIAS on final. Any slower and it just wouldn't flare at all. It just slammed into the ground no matter what pitch changes were made at the end of the approach. Any faster and it floated forever before settling on the ground. The point I am trying to make regarding your HD is you might want to try some different final approach speeds and see how it behaves. (BTW, the best way to determine final altitude for flare is to watch the apparent shape of the runway while looking at the far end.)
The other comment is about turbulence. This is a problem for all planes that qualify as LSA. The light wing loading, typically 10 pounds per square foot, guarantees horrible response to unstable air. One of my friends used to fly his C-150 all over the country with his wife and baggage. His advice to me, and my advice to you, is to start flying early in the morning and finish you flying for the day around lunch time. Spend the afternoons at the hotel pool with your favorite beverage. The turbulence builds all day long in the Summer and by mid afternoon is at its worst.
Randy, I consider the airframe problems with the Zodiac XL as old news. The upgrade seems to work just fine. I have installed it in my plane and flown off the 40 hour flight test period with no parts falling off at all. Also, the FAA engineers that originally said the design was deficient now say it is fine with the upgrade installed.
There is still one design problem with the XL which I believe doesn't exist in the other Zodiacs, but it isn't really a very serious one. It seems the XL has no yaw stability at all The fuselage is a diamond shape as viewed from the top and the full flying rudder means there is no vertical stabilizer. My plane will stay in whatever yaw position you put it (within +/- 11 degrees from straight until the aft fuselage shape kicks in) but if you want to fly straight you must figure out how to do that without any help from the design. I painted a white line on the top of my engine cowl for that purpose and it seems to work just fine. With no difference in the cross section of the plane in the 22 degree window the only time it really matters is when you are landing. Indeed you could probably land using a level crab to counteract a light crosswind.
Sorry, I got busy and it just slipped my mind. My Wife has a Paypal account so if you send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org stating your intent to purchase, which shipping method you have chosen and the total agreed price, my Wife will send you a request for payment from Paypal.
Apparently the Homeland Security fee was never charged to Canada and has since been abandoned by Homeland Security anyway.
Just getting back to you on those DVD's. At the moment $150 AUD is about $156 CAD. So we will just call it an even $150. Tomorrow I will weigh them and quote the freight and check if there is a Homeland Security fee like the US has which is $10.
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