"Why do you do 3 point landings over landing on the front wheels? It feels natural to just let the tail drop as you lose speed on the runway... 3 point landings just seem tougher!"
Thanks Boom for the kind comments! As regards the 3 pointers..I think its ingrained in me from countless taildragger landings before with tundra tires on numerous strips. Also, I remember ahem pranging the T6 a few times when I first got it. I fly a LOT of short runways and any way to stop quicker I've tried to use.
Oh also I use AS2016 and it loves to throw gusts at you on landing. Ive been blown off course and spun around several times!
I would LOVE any pointers from experts (I'm including yourself!) using warbirds as to how they land on short and long strips, especially regarding different surfaces.
The manual states:
"Perhaps the most difficult aspect of operating a T-6 is maintaining positive control
after the wheels touch down on landing. There is a lot of weight behind the
contact points of the wheels, which wants to swing around as the plane is slowing
down. This requires the pilot to either plant the tail down during a slower 3-point
landing (a landing where all three wheels touch down at roughly the same time) or
hold the tail up high into the air stream on a faster wheel landing (touching down
on the main wheels in a level pitch attitude). The worst thing a pilot can do is land
a “Six” with the tail hanging low, but not touching the ground because the rudder
is ineffective when it’s low and directly behind the fuselage and the tail wheel isn’t
giving any directional stability."
6 of 1 and half dozen of the other?
I'm no expert either, but here's a couple of things I would do differently for landing based on your video times:
7:40 - There is a small crosswind, at this point in time you are heading straight for the runway. Try to fix a "center point" between your plane and the runway's center lines and maintain that to avoid being pushed off of the center of the runway during your descent or while you're levelling off. The "center point" in this case is the bolt at the bottom of the red line; that is I'll try to keep that bolt centered with the runway center lines as I know it keeps me flying straight. The green line simply shows where the plane's center is actually pointing.
7:47 - Notice that as soon as your plane's center matches the runway's center line, the crosswind begins to push you off to the right. I find that fixing a point as previously mentioned will counter this.
Note: In order to land on the front wheels, simply apply some rudder to sync up your plane's center with the runway center; do this just before touchdown as this will also make you drift a bit too, depending on how much rudder you use. To keep vertical speed in check, I like to trim as I lose speed in order to keep about the same vertical descent rate; I do this on approach. Once you've levelled off, simply pull back slowly/gently on the stick as the plane gets close to the ground to decrease your vertical speed; make sure this doesn't case you to flare up! After touchdown, you want to pull the throttle back until you have 700-800 rpm so that your plane actually slows down; your tail wheel will automatically lower slowly as the plane loses speed. This has worked fine for me on gravel as well as the nicer runways.
7:52 - This seems a bit high for the flare. Perhaps you had some wind issues, but you levelled off a little too high above the runway in my opinion.
7:57 - This one is related to the previous point: your vertical speed indicator is increasing as you land. A combination of being too high and reduced airspeed required for landing starts making that plane drop like a rock. For smooth wheel chirp landings, I usually try to make it so that my vertical speed indicator isn't below -200 fpm. From 7:56 to 7:57 you can actually hear the wind sounds change a bit as you start to fall rapidly.
You can view a sample crosswind landing in my video here:
Times are 5:26 to 6:26 for the landing. I failed to apply rudder to center the plane wheels before touchdown (which would prevent harder handling after landing or a ground loop!), but it illustrates the crosswind aspect I talked about to keep yourself centered with the runway as well as the vertical speed being around 100 fpm just before touchdown. It is a little similar to yours, as I face wind issues near the runway! You can also see a bit of the rudder dance in action after landing as mentioned by Mr. dscott3984.https://youtu.be/nABSImGkaQk?t=326
These are suggestions based on my experiences, not rules, of course! A "critique my landing" thread could be fun; maybe over in the Pilot's Lounge or Pilot Academy.