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Why the V-tail did not become the mainstay in aviation ?

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  • J Boyle
    With malice towards none
    • Oct 2004
    • 9679

    #41
    Originally posted by Malcolm McKay View Post
    Was there any difference in the aerodynamic features of the rest of the Bonanza i.e. wings, fuselage and engine thrust line etc. between the V tailed version and the conventionally tailed version?
    No.
    Remember that the Bonanza was a commercial project (not a test bed or military type) so both versions were produced in the same tooling/fixtures.
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

    Comment

    • Malcolm McKay
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Aug 2004
      • 1775

      #42
      Hmmm .... probably was overall aerodynamically best suited to a conventional tail.

      Comment

      • J Boyle
        With malice towards none
        • Oct 2004
        • 9679

        #43
        "Best suited"...
        Maybe, maybe not.

        Look at it from Beech's perspective...
        They wanted a fast aeroplane. To aid that it had to be light and with reduced drag.
        The configuration also reduced weight and and cost (remember more parts mean more expense).
        And although the book doesn't mention it (the Ball Bonanza book is viewed by many as a semi-official Beech history) I suspect part of the reason it was adapted was it's unique look, certainly it would stand out in the crowded early post war aircraft market and suggest a modern look to buyers.
        Remember at that time, most general aviation types were steel tube/fabric covered types. (The Bonanza was slated to replace the venerable Staggerwing Model 17 in the Beech product line) so it was expected to be the last word in modernity.

        In short, there were several factors in its favor and no real reason why not to adapt it.
        Sure, under some circumstances, it displayed a tendency to fish tail, but few aircraft of the period (and given their price point and level of sophistication fewer general aviation types) without the odd handling quirk or piloting challenge.



        Last edited by J Boyle; 14th April 2019, 02:55.
        There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

        Comment

        • bazv
          olde rigger
          • Feb 2005
          • 5838

          #44
          Originally posted by J Boyle View Post
          "Best suited"...
          Maybe, maybe not.


          I suspect part of the reason it was adapted was it's unique look, certainly it would stand out in the crowded early post war aircraft market and suggest a modern look to buyers.

          In short, there were several factors in its favor and no real reason why not to adapt it.
          I would say the main reason for the Bonanza V Tail came down to it's 'fairly unique' 'Look' - any practical factors in its favour (both aerodynamic and performance) were questionable in the extreme.
          As I posted previously - the V Tail can look extremely attractive and its adoption for a light aircraft really comes down to the designer thinking that it looks 'cool' - for many reasons you cannot beat a conventional tail for a light aircraft.
          Last edited by bazv; 14th April 2019, 11:36.

          Comment

          • J Boyle
            With malice towards none
            • Oct 2004
            • 9679

            #45
            We'll likely never know if the appearance of the V-tail was a reason or the main reason for its adoption.

            I'll give Beech the benefit of the doubt that there was more than just looks to recommend its adoption. The Bonanza cost a huge amount of money to design, test and tool up for. Thousands would need to be sold to recoup those expenses.
            If It failed in the marketplace, Beech would have been in a very bad spot. Therefore, I think they really did believe it was best at the time. Simply, the risks invoke were too great for them not to offer up the best they could for the sake of mere looks.

            At any extent, the conventional tail works best on the long fuselage model 36, the only variant still being offered...and the best selling model since its introduction in 1968.

            A friend owns the very first production 36. I've flown in it, he (and his pilot wife) uses it quite a bit for business and personal flying. Despite its age, it's a beautifully built and capable (with modern avionics installed) aircraft that looks and performs like a much newer design.
            Last edited by J Boyle; 15th April 2019, 03:11.
            There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

            Comment

            • topspeed
              Get on uppah !
              • Jan 2009
              • 2630

              #46
              YF-23 is an excellent example of a well managed V-tail; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_-OqCJ34WE

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_YF-23
              If it looks good, it will fly good !
              -Bill Lear & Marcel Dassault


              http://max3fan.blogspot.com/

              Comment

              • bazv
                olde rigger
                • Feb 2005
                • 5838

                #47
                As has been posted on here many times - a V Tail on a military jet is a completely different kettle of fish than having a v tail on a light aircraft.
                Military jets have ultra expensive Active/Fly By Wire (FBW) controls which cope with any stability/control requirements - indeed modern military jets are designed to be unstable so that they are agile

                Comment

                • topspeed
                  Get on uppah !
                  • Jan 2009
                  • 2630

                  #48
                  Originally posted by bazv View Post
                  As has been posted on here many times - a V Tail on a military jet is a completely different kettle of fish than having a v tail on a light aircraft.
                  Military jets have ultra expensive Active/Fly By Wire (FBW) controls which cope with any stability/control requirements - indeed modern military jets are designed to be unstable so that they are agile
                  There is also a pilot in the cockpit which should be able to cope with different kinda situations even if the aeroplane is more efficient and cleaner. The Jack Northrop YB-49 is a good example of this.

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_YB-49

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Dfj3SeMI-s

                  Best document of it ever; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkhziQF0AiI

                  Ignaz Etrich made first in 1906; https://www.alamy.com/etrichs-zanoni...228909800.html
                  Last edited by topspeed; 17th April 2019, 10:55.
                  If it looks good, it will fly good !
                  -Bill Lear & Marcel Dassault


                  http://max3fan.blogspot.com/

                  Comment

                  • topspeed
                    Get on uppah !
                    • Jan 2009
                    • 2630

                    #49
                    Wiki reveals that Beechcraft 35 Bonanza's structure was not sound.

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beechcraft_Bonanza
                    If it looks good, it will fly good !
                    -Bill Lear & Marcel Dassault


                    http://max3fan.blogspot.com/

                    Comment

                    • Hooligan
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Mar 2017
                      • 356

                      #50
                      Nothing there that hasn't been widely known in the aviation community for decades. Whilst beefing up the v-tail structure was certainly eminently sensible, as it says most of the in-flight break-ups were due to continued VFR flight into IMC, flying through thunderstorms and airframe icing, conditions that have led to plenty of other types exceeding their VNE/loss of control and breaking up in flight.

                      Comment

                      • topspeed
                        Get on uppah !
                        • Jan 2009
                        • 2630

                        #51
                        Originally posted by Hooligan View Post
                        Nothing there that hasn't been widely known in the aviation community for decades. Whilst beefing up the v-tail structure was certainly eminently sensible, as it says most of the in-flight break-ups were due to continued VFR flight into IMC, flying through thunderstorms and airframe icing, conditions that have led to plenty of other types exceeding their VNE/loss of control and breaking up in flight.
                        Ok !

                        This is what wiki has to say about it;

                        In the late 1980s, repeated V-tail structural failures prompted the United States Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct extensive wind tunnel and flight tests, which proved that the V-tail did not meet type certification standards under certain conditions; the effort culminated with the issuance of an airworthiness directive to strengthen the tail, which significantly reduced the incidence of in-flight breakups. Despite this, Beech has long contended that most V-tail failures involve operations well beyond the aircraft's intended flight envelope.[18][19] Subsequent analysis of National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) accident records between 1962 and 2007 revealed an average of three V-tail structural failures per year, while the conventional-tailed Bonanza 33 and 36 suffered only eleven such failures during the same time period. Most V-tail failures involved flight under visual flight rules into instrument meteorological conditions, flight into thunderstorms, or airframe icing.[20] In addition to the structural issues, the Bonanza 35 has a relatively narrow center of gravity envelope, and the tail design is intolerant of imbalances caused by damage, improper maintenance, or repainting; such imbalances may induce dangerous aeroelastic flutter.[18] Despite these issues, many Bonanza 35 owners insist that the aircraft is reasonably safe, and its reputation has lessened acquisition costs for budget-conscious buyers.[20]

                        I am after a extremely efficient design that is also safe. I figure V-tail is underestimated.
                        If it looks good, it will fly good !
                        -Bill Lear & Marcel Dassault


                        http://max3fan.blogspot.com/

                        Comment

                        • Gerard
                          Rank 5 Registered User
                          • Aug 2009
                          • 3043

                          #52
                          Click image for larger version  Name:	image_261836.jpg Views:	6 Size:	121.7 KB ID:	3860261MY PIC!!
                          This cut-away-model was used by Beech in a court of law to prove that the Bonanza was properly build and save. Beech won the trial !!!!
                          Last edited by Gerard; 21st April 2019, 16:12.
                          For Roundels of the World: http://www.drareg.nl/Markeringen/index.html or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/481843655359127/

                          Comment

                          • topspeed
                            Get on uppah !
                            • Jan 2009
                            • 2630

                            #53
                            Originally posted by Gerard View Post
                            This cut-away-model was used by Beech in a court of law to prove that the Bonanza was properly build and save. Beech won the trial !!!!
                            Nevertheless inflight brake up is a very serious issue.

                            If it looks good, it will fly good !
                            -Bill Lear & Marcel Dassault


                            http://max3fan.blogspot.com/

                            Comment

                            • J Boyle
                              With malice towards none
                              • Oct 2004
                              • 9679

                              #54
                              Originally posted by topspeed View Post
                              Nevertheless inflight brake up is a very serious issue.
                              Yes it is, for all types.
                              Since it doesn't happen with warbirds these days, many forum members may not appreciate the continued flight in IMC, leading to loss of control which leads to in-flight breakups.
                              If happens to higher performance, owner-flown types because they are out there in the bad weather whereas lesser types are still on the ground. If the pilot is a bit rusty with his/her instrument work, bad things can happen. Unfortunately, many who own high performance IFR capable aircraft are busy professionals...which is how they can afford the aircraft in the first place...and despite training requirements put in place by the FAA
                              and their insurance companies...get into trouble.

                              Yes, Beech won the trial and also the FAA conducted a special review of its type approval and found it safe.
                              There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

                              Comment

                              • Gerard
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Aug 2009
                                • 3043

                                #55
                                I have another picture, made it at the Beech heritage museum in Tennessee
                                Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC04386.jpg
Views:	83
Size:	440.9 KB
ID:	3860266
                                For Roundels of the World: http://www.drareg.nl/Markeringen/index.html or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/481843655359127/

                                Comment

                                • topspeed
                                  Get on uppah !
                                  • Jan 2009
                                  • 2630

                                  #56
                                  Gerard..thanks for the pics.
                                  If it looks good, it will fly good !
                                  -Bill Lear & Marcel Dassault


                                  http://max3fan.blogspot.com/

                                  Comment

                                  • topspeed
                                    Get on uppah !
                                    • Jan 2009
                                    • 2630

                                    #57
                                    Originally posted by J Boyle View Post

                                    Yes it is, for all types.
                                    Since it doesn't happen with warbirds these days, many forum members may not appreciate the continued flight in IMC, leading to loss of control which leads to in-flight breakups.
                                    If happens to higher performance, owner-flown types because they are out there in the bad weather whereas lesser types are still on the ground. If the pilot is a bit rusty with his/her instrument work, bad things can happen. Unfortunately, many who own high performance IFR capable aircraft are busy professionals...which is how they can afford the aircraft in the first place...and despite training requirements put in place by the FAA
                                    and their insurance companies...get into trouble.

                                    Yes, Beech won the trial and also the FAA conducted a special review of its type approval and found it safe.
                                    Is the Type Approval open source info ?

                                    If it looks good, it will fly good !
                                    -Bill Lear & Marcel Dassault


                                    http://max3fan.blogspot.com/

                                    Comment

                                    • Gerard
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • Aug 2009
                                      • 3043

                                      #58
                                      Originally posted by topspeed View Post

                                      Is the Type Approval open source info ?
                                      I'm pretty sure they can help you with that information here; https://www.beechcraftheritagemuseum.org/
                                      For Roundels of the World: http://www.drareg.nl/Markeringen/index.html or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/481843655359127/

                                      Comment

                                      • topspeed
                                        Get on uppah !
                                        • Jan 2009
                                        • 2630

                                        #59
                                        Originally posted by Gerard View Post

                                        I'm pretty sure they can help you with that information here; https://www.beechcraftheritagemuseum.org/
                                        Ok . Test pilot died when v-tail separated the aircraft. http://kuknamys.cz/1_48/0262.htm

                                        https://beech-bonanza.org/beechcraft-bonanza

                                        I get the impression they never really solved the problem of the weak tail assembly.

                                        --

                                        Bill Odom made a record with it; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XpRptVPrtI
                                        Last edited by topspeed; 22nd April 2019, 10:44.
                                        If it looks good, it will fly good !
                                        -Bill Lear & Marcel Dassault


                                        http://max3fan.blogspot.com/

                                        Comment

                                        • KurtB
                                          Rank 4 Registered User
                                          • Feb 2018
                                          • 164

                                          #60
                                          Are there any technical details of how the controls to the V tail are connected/mixed?

                                          Comment

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