Topic Author
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2001 4:30 pm

Gap Seals And Other Mods For Small A/C

Mon Apr 18, 2005 2:26 pm

I have been doing some reading on mods you can do to the Cessna 172, 182, etc. And the Piper Cherokee series and notice how the addition of gap seals on the flaps and ailerons as well as different wheel pants and on the Cherokees some enhancements to the wing can give the airplane as much as 35 MPH extra speed.
I am wondering if anyone has had experience with these types of mods on there airplane, and how they have affected the handling qualities of the airplane, and if they just gave it better speed or if it made the climb better or runway performance better also.
A friend of mine has a Mooney and they installed some new performance stuff to the wing on it and she reported that the handling quality was not the same, it was faster but didn't handle as good in slow flight or stalls.

Any help with these questions would be appreciated, and if the increases have been as good as stated by the manufacturers


Posts: 694
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 1999 11:44 pm

RE: Gap Seals And Other Mods For Small A/C

Mon Apr 18, 2005 11:51 pm

HI Miles, Buzz here. Gap seals would fall into the Supplemental Type Certificate area, if somebody did it they'd need to get the mod FAA approved as it wasn't originally built that way.
I forget if the LoPriesti mods added gap seals. While sweating out slowly climbing Cessna 150's in the summer i've wondered if seals would improve what little lift i was generating.
A lot of DC-3's / C-47's have aileron gap seals installed, a strip of metal covers most of the gap between aft spar and aileron leading edge. It helps a little bit, less air leaking from top to bottom. I recall reading of an AC-47 that had one removed, tended to roll away from the side where the seal was still installed.
Some ultralight aircraft (which don't fall under the FAA's supervision) have tape to seal the gap between elevator and horiz. stab. I don't know what would happen if you removed it.
Posts: 175
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 12:34 pm

RE: Gap Seals And Other Mods For Small A/C

Thu Apr 21, 2005 3:12 pm

Take that "35 MPH" with several grains of salt; it'll help, but probably not that much.
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