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Checkride Tips #1 Trike Flying Stalls & What Not To Do Stalling a Weight-Shift Control Aircraft

Paul Hamilton demonstrates various stalls and provides some tips on takeoff, minimum controlled airspeed and stalls for the FAA Practical Test Checkride.

I am asked many times from pilots learning to fly weight-shift control aircraft and applicants getting ready for their practical test checkride about stalls. Here is a demonstration of the recommended stall procedure for the checkride and some other stalls, not recommended, for further information of performing stalls.

Here is some information on the basic aerodynamics of stalls for Weight Shift Control Trikes.

As the AOA increases to large values on the wing chord, the air separates starting at the back of the airfoil. As the AOA increases, the separated air moves forward towards the leading edge. The critical AOA is the point at which the wing is totally stalled, producing no lift—regardless of airspeed, flight attitude, or weight.

Because the AOA of the WSC wing root chord/nose is so much higher than the AOA of the tips, the nose stalls before the tips. It is similar to stalling with the airplane canard in which the nose stalls first, the main wing (or tips for the WSC aircraft) continues to fly, and the nose drops due to lack of lift.

In most normal situations, the root chord/nose stalls first because it is at a much higher AOA. The tips continue to fl y, making the WSC wing resistant to a complete wing stall. A pilot can even bring the aircraft into a high pitch angle stall attitude and keep the nose high. The nose stalls and rotates down because of the loss of lift, while the tips keep flying and maintain control of the aircraft.

If flying within the operating limitations of the aircraft and the WSC reaches a high AOA, the nose stalls, but the tips continue flying. However, it must be understood that there are many wing designs with many types of stall characteristics for each unique design. For example, high-performance wings could have less twist to gain performance, which could cause the wing to stall more abruptly than a training wing with more twist.

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