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Thread: Elevator gap seal tape

  1. #1

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    Jan 2018
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    Default Elevator gap seal tape

    I have installed tape on my Kitfox and it improved response. What is required to make it legal on my Pacer?

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Elevator gap seal tape

    Ok, I may start an argument, and this does not constitute advice, but what the hell - life is short. First, what makes you think a Kitfox is anything like a Pacer when it comes to elevator response?

    Second, when investigating a potential mod. First, I'm inclined to investigate others opinions and comments to see if there is some reason to consider a modification. Then, when there is good reasoning to consider a mod, I see what others have done and try to walk that same path.

    You started off with, "how do I make this legal", as if you've decided that the response modification observed in one type of airplane is directly applicable to another type. I don't agree with that logic.

    If you can show me when/where a Pacer/Tri-P needs more elevator authority, I'd be very interested to hear it. My experience is that event occurs when the wing stops flying and the plane starts dropping out of the sky pretty fast, so I don't go there at low altitudes.

    Maybe you do so, if you do choose to install something not approved (Tape on control surface gaps) through STC or other (337), then just do it if you like to experiment and are ok with the uncertainty in all of that, and see if it helps, and if you like it, you're done! Success! Only remove it if and only if there is some FAA inspector saying it's a problem...Otherwise, fly and be free and happy.

    Off the cuff, I have to think it will matter slightly (mathematically) to performance, but real-world realized benefit may be minimal, or more people would be touting it after 70 years.

    Making it legal through a 337 would mean showing data that proves it is safe, with other examples as proof. FAA doesn't care if it performs better or not. Just safe as near as I can tell.

    Just my opin.
    Last edited by Subsonic; 09-24-2021 at 06:57 PM.

  3. #3
    Stephen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elevator gap seal tape

    Cub Crafters sells foam rubber gap seals stc'd for Super Cubs. A field approval for a Pacer should be straight forward. I found these gap seals made a difference. It helps the plane flair better at lower speeds.
    "You can only tie the record for flying low."

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Elevator gap seal tape

    Ok, I'd be interested to know if anyone has done these rubber gap seals on a Pacer and has seen an improvement in low speed elevator authority? Not a Super Pacer that stalls a 28mph, but a Pacer that stalls at 45mph or whatever...Or, my TP that stalls at 46 or so since I put on the VG's.

  5. #5

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    Default Elevator gap seal tape

    The Younkin mystery Pacer has spring loaded aluminum gap seals.they were for cleaning up the aerodynamics and reducing drag, not for changing handling characteristics.

    To do anything with flight controls today, you are looking at doing an STC. It is unlikely you can get a field approval for that today.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Last edited by dgapilot; 09-24-2021 at 07:46 PM.

  6. #6
    J Ryd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elevator gap seal tape

    RBA item

    Jan
    ​Jan
    1960 PA22-150 "Spud"

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Elevator gap seal tape

    OK since there seems to be some interest in this I will be more specific. My Pacer has a Crosswind Stol Kit with leading edge cuff, extended flaps, stall fences and fiberglass wing tips plus VGs. When landing with 2 or 3 notches of flap and a slow approach (60 mph). I run out of elevator authority and must give a slight burst of power to stop the decent to get a short 3 point landing. I am familiar with short wind sink propensity as my Tailwind will sink badly if slower than 70 over the fence, this is not that bad. My son just installed Maule approved tape gap seals to his M5 and said it helped the elevator slow speed authority and I believe it would help the Pacer.

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Elevator gap seal tape

    I like anything that reduces drag and makes the plane flybetter, try it and see if they help, according to this thread https://www.shortwingpipers.org/foru...ator-gap-seals
    they are effective and easy to install, looks like someone cut up a pool noodle and carved it a little to fit in the gaps.

    http://store.cubcrafters.com/Foam-Ga...18_p_1298.html
    Last edited by PA-16; 09-25-2021 at 08:15 AM.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Elevator gap seal tape

    ..........
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    Pacer42Z's Avatar
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    Default Re: Elevator gap seal tape

    Many Pacer/Tri-Pacer owners mention they can’t get into a full stall. I have spring loaded gap seals on my elevator and rudder. I can get my Pacer (PA-22/20) into a full stall. I have a 337 for it if anyone needs a copy. I think it is a good mod to make our short wings even better.

    Juergen
    Pacer N3342Z

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