By Ed Wischmeyer
In my experience, ailerons are the most significant factor in how much a pilot enjoys the aircraft handling qualities. The SeaRey amphibian has new Frise ailerons that are much lighter than the already sensuous ailerons of the LSX, and I’m looking forward to visiting the factory and trying them out. I do want to let the southeastern summer abate, so I can avoid the oppressive heat and humidity, though. The SeaRey discussion on the shores of Lake Winnebago with designer and old friend Kerry Richter was much more enjoyable because of the cooler Wisconsin summer.
Meanwhile, out in Arizona, my airport neighbor who built a full-scale replica Spitfire added servo tabs to his ailerons to reduce aileron forces. It was surprising to read that the original Spitfires had heavy ailerons and light elevators, the reverse of recommended practice, but pilots raved about the handling qualities of Spitfires. That seems to reinforce the observation that the great majority of pilots adapt to their airplane’s handling qualities instead of being objective about them. Pilots will often express many enjoyable qualities of their airplanes in ways that really describe their experiences with the aircraft rather than the aircraft itself. In any event, he won an award for his Spitfire, well deserved in my opinion.