Spoke Eagle wrote: ↑
Sat May 18, 2019 1:09 pm
I read on Google the Tomahawks have over effective rudders because Piper used an airfoil that would stall hard and spin easy to help CFI's during spin training. They also suffered twice the average stall/spin accidents. I'd rather not fly one IMHO.
TC. Dual typing...
I have many hours in a PA38 Tomahawk, all of them instruction. The PA38 had a rather abrupt stall and a wedge was added to the outboard leading edge of the wing to induce buffet; but as this was not too effective a second wedge was added to the inboard section. (On the fuel tank, IIRC) As a trainer the PA38 had a nice seating position above the main spar which gave the pilots good visibility; compared to the C152 where you sat on the 'floor' with a big sunshade above your head.
The stall speed of a Tomahawk clean was ONE Knot IAS more than a stall with full flap. This made the Tomahawk a bad trainer, in my opinion. However as a spin trainer the Tomahawk was EXCELLENT. The stall was abrupt (compared the the C152 which didn't really meet stall criteria.) so spin entry was assured if the aircraft was unbalanced. The spin happened slow enough for the instructor to patter the entry, the incipient stage and then the full spin stage.
However, and herein lay the problem for the inexperienced, the spin rate was slow. This meant that the recovery gyro B/A ratio was weak. A Tomahawk in a fully developed spin WILL NOT RECOVER WITHIN ONE TURN, but again as an instructing tool it was excellent. You could patter the student: Apply opposite rudder and release back pressure (allow elevator to find neutral) now wait... note the spin rate increases, the nose moves towards the landing gear and SNAP it is out of the spin. Then the normal lecture of recovery without overstressing the airframe etc...
Any reputation the Tomahawk might have due to spin problems was because the people concerned did not understand that a spin recovery in a Tomahawk happens slowly. Just wait, it WILL recover. The UK CAAB brought out a recommendation that the standard spin recovery was to apply stick forward, but I never found this necessary (assuming you have the height) just wait for 1 ¼ turns it WILL recover.
Excuse the thread drift but Stef needs to fly one to learn what a spin is really like.
The Traumahawk had an unfair reputation and this was due to the Piper sales department. A fly on the wall told me, they said sales were down. What can we do? And one clever guy said "fit a T-tail to all models..." The rest is history. The T-tail caused many AD's.
Rule #2 Hurry up Slowly.
Cynic: One who knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.