Full Lotus Installation
Specific Full Lotus aircraft installation problems.
In all of the cases above we have talked about pusher aircraft. Now lets look at aircraft in a tractor configuration.
A number of problems have been reported when using Full Lotus 1200 or 1260 floats on craft such as the Merlin, Rans Courier, Rans Coyote, Kitfox, Avid, L'il Buzzard and L'il Hustler.
The reported problems are:
- the submersing of the front of the floats when taxiing, especially right after the throttle has been backed down
- the submersing of the front of the float while taxing in rough water
- being able to get on the step and take off with one pilot but NOT being able to get on the step when two pilots are on board
These problems can be traced to floatation. In my opinion the 1260 floats do not have enough floatation in the front section of the float for most two place, tractor aircraft.
In most pusher configuration aircraft the weight put on the craft is distributed over the full length of the float. In the case of the Challenger front pilot is supported on the front section of the float, the pilot sits on the step or middle section and the fuel and motor sit on the rear section.
In the case of MX the pilot(s) sit in the step area, the motor and reduction on the rear section and the fuel on the nose section.
On a tractor aircraft the full weight of the engine sits on the front section, with two pilots and full fuel normally located near or on the middle area of the float.
In the case of tractor engine, tandem seating craft the weight is spread out more evenly but still ONLY towards the front of the plane. This is why the craft becomes a submarine on the front end when you taxi in rough water, or back the power down quickly. When pilots adjust the float forward for more floatation they can't get off the water because the step is in the wrong location. The plane just plows through the water nose high a lot like a boat with too much weight in the rear.
Trike flying problems with full lotus floats
Trike aircraft present also have problems with the Full Lotus Float system.
Trikes do not have a tail with a control system to help force the float up on to the step.
Trikes center of lift changes as the control bar is is moved forward and aft.