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#4610940 - 12/22/17 07:18 AM So how does one learn how to fly an unusual plane?
CincyDavid Offline


Registered: 03/03/16
Posts: 708
Loc: Cincinnati, OH USA
The discussion about flights in a P51 got me thinking...it must be pretty straightforward to learn to fly a common plane, but what about a P51, or a P38, or what about some oddball, say a ME262 (don't know if any are flying, just pulled it out of a hat). How would someone learn how to fly a rare bird, without killing themselves and destroying the plane?

Will we reach a point where there is nobody alive who can successfully fly some of these rare planes, especially older ones?
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#4610951 - 12/22/17 07:34 AM Re: So how does one learn how to fly an unusual plane? [Re: CincyDavid]
Taildragger Offline


Registered: 10/17/10
Posts: 437
Loc: SW Florida
RTFM. Actually there is quiet a wealth of knowledge out there. BTW, there are a couple of ME-262s flying. Think that they are new production with modern engines.
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#4610953 - 12/22/17 07:37 AM Re: So how does one learn how to fly an unusual plane? [Re: CincyDavid]
fenixguy Offline


Registered: 02/08/17
Posts: 307
Loc: NC
I'm not a pilot, just an aviation enthusiast. You have to remember, every aircraft's first flight was with a pilot with 0 hours experience on the airframe. So you take it slow and learn, I would imagine.
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#4610963 - 12/22/17 07:51 AM Re: So how does one learn how to fly an unusual plane? [Re: CincyDavid]
46Harry Offline


Registered: 01/08/12
Posts: 409
Loc: hawthorne, Ca.
I learned to fly more years ago than I care to remember in an old Piper J3 Cub. Flying more complex airplanes such as the Mustang or P38 is like learning to drive a big truck. It is an acquired skill that some people excel at and others have problems or can't do it at all. Most Mustangs flying now are dual seat so a pilot that is new to the airplane will fly with an experienced instructor to gain the skill needed to fly the airplane safely.

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#4610968 - 12/22/17 08:02 AM Re: So how does one learn how to fly an unusual plane? [Re: CincyDavid]
Cujet Offline


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 7164
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
Of course, flying by V speeds is critical. However, nearly all aircraft fly the same way, so once you are up and flying, any competent pilot can fly nearly anything. Because of my job, I get to fly a very wide variety of aircraft. I am not God's gift to aviation. I consider myself a novice in everything until I get years of experience.

For instance, putting a private pilot in our EC135 helicopter would be no problem, once it's up and flying. Hover, approach and landing is another story. In that case, the private pilot would need hours and hours of training and very specific instruction as to what's happening and why. The manual would never cover it.

So, if one were transported to a universe where there was zero experience, difficult to fly aircraft would take some serious, slow and dedicated effort.
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#4611080 - 12/22/17 10:17 AM Re: So how does one learn how to fly an unusual plane? [Re: CincyDavid]
wings&wheels Offline


Registered: 12/05/03
Posts: 581
Loc: New England, USA
Don't forget the rather demanding trainers made for transitioning to those aircraft; T6/Harvard/SNJ, Vultee "Vibrator"...can't remember the German one...Taifun?

I have had the pleasure of flying a T6..."unforgiving" comes to mind...but some of my favorite hours in the air.
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#4611092 - 12/22/17 10:26 AM Re: So how does one learn how to fly an unusual plane? [Re: Cujet]
maximus Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 723
Loc: TX
Originally Posted By: Cujet
Of course, flying by V speeds is critical. However, nearly all aircraft fly the same way, so once you are up and flying, any competent pilot can fly nearly anything.


This right here. If you can fly a cessna 150, you can fly a widebody boeing.

A P-51 is just a high performance tail tragger, nonetheless.
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#4611101 - 12/22/17 10:39 AM Re: So how does one learn how to fly an unusual plane? [Re: CincyDavid]
OneEyeJack Offline


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 7479
Loc: S California
If you have reasonable eyesight and health than all you have to do it want to fly bad enough to just do it. There is a learning curve and a sort of apprenticeship one must serve as you move up to bigger and better things.

I learned to fly in a J3 that you had to "prop" to start. In high school, I traded work for instruction and flying time. Your first solo flight is something you'll always remember. Once you've started it's up to you how far you go.

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#4611135 - 12/22/17 11:09 AM Re: So how does one learn how to fly an unusual plane? [Re: maximus]
CT8 Offline


Registered: 10/09/14
Posts: 11012
Loc: Idaho
Originally Posted By: maximus
Originally Posted By: Cujet
Of course, flying by V speeds is critical. However, nearly all aircraft fly the same way, so once you are up and flying, any competent pilot can fly nearly anything.


This right here. If you can fly a cessna 150, you can fly a widebody boeing.
My neighbor was a Naval Aviator and recently retired as as major airline pilot and he said the same thing about flying. First you learn to fly then you learn how to fly the plane. Big jets have lots of switches and knobs to learn. I spent some time drinking coffee in a 747 cockpit and some time in a Cessna 152 and the 747 would be quite an upgrade in skill.
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#4611145 - 12/22/17 11:19 AM Re: So how does one learn how to fly an unusual plane? [Re: Cujet]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6178
Loc: Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: Cujet


For instance, putting a private pilot in (nearly any aircraft already flying straight and level) would be no problem, once it's up and flying. Hover, approach and landing is another story. In that case, the private pilot would need hours and hours of training and very specific instruction as to what's happening and why.


There, I fixed it for you grin
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#4611150 - 12/22/17 11:23 AM Re: So how does one learn how to fly an unusual plane? [Re: CincyDavid]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6178
Loc: Waco, TX
The degree of fly-ability depends a LOT (or entirely) on the dynamic stability of the aircraft.

Cessnas and big Boeings are all pretty stable, and are forgiving of "stupid" inputs.

You can't take a low hours pilot and expect them to fly a Gee Bee or Cassutt without almost certainly killing himself.

The only way a pilot can fly an unstable ("touchy" or "finicky") aircraft is have them work up in steps.
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#4611251 - 12/22/17 12:57 PM Re: So how does one learn how to fly an unusual plane? [Re: CincyDavid]
i_hate_autofraud Offline


Registered: 05/19/16
Posts: 706
Loc: Canada


My dad flew for years on several types of planes. The allowable flight parameters and procedures for each are unique and critical.

You needed to book learn the details for a plane and know it until it's second nature before take off, if stuff happens, you have to
know in real time what to do or you're dead.

If you have 3 totally different planes and you jump from one to another in the same day, you're ripe for an accident!
You need totally adjust your mindset from say, a 'King Air' turboprop to a 'Cessna 172' and not screw up.

Killer example:

Unlike most civilian planes, you can fly and land during an engine failure. BUT if you're in a BD-5 plane and the
engine quits, it'll nose-up into an instant stall! You have a fraction of a second to nose it over and maintain airspeed!

Why?

As a pusher prop plane, the thrust-line of the engine is way over the wings and the CL of the plane, when the engine dies
the prop creates drag, no thrust, so it noses up right away! Test pilots nearly died several times until they figured that out.


So if you have a Cessna pilot in the cockpit of a 747 without knowing ALL the operating limits, cruise numbers, you can easily
bugger it all up!

A pal runs a microlight strip, he says, it's the pilots of regular planes most likely to have an accident, the microlights
require a totally different touch and more patience!

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#4611571 - 12/22/17 06:36 PM Re: So how does one learn how to fly an unusual plane? [Re: CincyDavid]
maximus Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 723
Loc: TX
Stick and rudder skills are fundamental and applicable to just about all fixed wing types. Obviously learning systems and llimitations are critical to safe operation. This is why the FAA requires a type rating for aircraft over 12500lbs mtow OR anything with turnbojet(fan) engines.

This is why a pilot can transition from a cessna or piper straight to a regional jet.
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#4612697 - 12/24/17 05:37 AM Re: So how does one learn how to fly an unusual plane? [Re: CincyDavid]
billt460 Offline


Registered: 03/30/15
Posts: 4416
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
Remember most of the P-51 and P-47 pilots during WW II were little more than kids. Many were under the age of 21, or barely a year or 2 over that. Most had minimum hours, and what little training they had was in Stearman's and AT-6's and the like. Those big radial tail draggers were not the most forgiving aircraft to fly. They learned, and learned fast.

They had to, we were at war. But all those airplanes were not only plentiful back then, they were owned by the government. Who also sold the paper War Bonds, and owned the printing presses that printed the money to buy them. Today with privately restored P-51 D Mustangs selling north of $1 MILLION, there would no doubt be a LOT more training involved..... Expensive training. Today P-51 Mustangs cost in the neighborhood of $1,500.00 an hour to operate.

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#4612798 - 12/24/17 08:25 AM Re: So how does one learn how to fly an unusual plane? [Re: billt460]
cjcride Offline


Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 1815
Loc: Ontario Canada
Originally Posted By: billt460
Remember most of the P-51 and P-47 pilots during WW II were little more than kids. Many were under the age of 21, or barely a year or 2 over that. Most had minimum hours, and what little training they had was in Stearman's and AT-6's and the like. Those big radial tail draggers were not the most forgiving aircraft to fly. They learned, and learned fast.

They had to, we were at war. But all those airplanes were not only plentiful back then, they were owned by the government. Who also sold the paper War Bonds, and owned the printing presses that printed the money to buy them. Today with privately restored P-51 D Mustangs selling north of $1 MILLION, there would no doubt be a LOT more training involved..... Expensive training. Today P-51 Mustangs cost in the neighborhood of $1,500.00 an hour to operate.
A lot of eye opening info in 1 post.
Thanks for posting


Edited by cjcride (12/24/17 08:26 AM)

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