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Skis And Directional Control

Sat Sep 30, 2006 3:13 am

Has anyone here flown an aircraft equipped with skis? How is the directional control? I would imagine it would be much more challenging to maintain centerline in a crosswind, and taxiing must also have it's share of challenges. Are there any particular methods and/or techniques employed that differ from an equivalent aircraft on wheels?

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RE: Skis And Directional Control

Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:17 am

Although I have never flown an aircraft with skis, I would assume its similiar to a floatplane.
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RE: Skis And Directional Control

Sat Sep 30, 2006 5:15 am

I have a few hours on skis. Directional control, in my experience, is not a big issue. First, if you're not using on a runway, you can take-off and land more into the wind. Even if your "runway" is narrow, you can still point the airplane somewhat into the wind, reducing the crosswind component.

Second, all the skis I've ever seen (not many) have a steel runner down the ski centreline, that helps the ski dig in. That works very well at keeping the airplane straight.

Once you get used to the idea of having no brakes, it's not much different from wheels. Taxiing is no problem, but you have to be a bit careful going over the ridges and bumps in the snow.

Not having flown floats, I don't want to speculate on the comparison.
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RE: Skis And Directional Control

Sun Oct 01, 2006 4:36 am

From what I can tell its the same idea as a snowmobile. The wheel that would normally turn the aircraft on the ground still turns, so that ski turns the aircraft. On the ski I'd imagine its the same deal as a snowmobile, having some sort of metal runner that digs into the snow and some ice, pushing the ski around the corner, and bringing the attached aircraft with it.

What could possibly go wrong?

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