Swept Wing Landings — How to land jets using and understanding sink rate

Swept Wing Landings — How to land jets using and understanding sink rate

All successful swept-wing jet pilots “fly sink rate” on final as indicated by the nose-high approach, with the aircraft’s flight path pointing to the touchdown point on the runway.  With the continuing development of high-performance turbine engines and electric ducted fan power systems, flying RC jets has become extremely popular over the past several years.

2nd.DSC_4963Today, the true turbine power and high-output electric ducted fan power systems have made almost any-size jet project possible. Flying jets is almost foolproof, but there’s one thing that needs to be addressed: landing technique.

swept2When flying a swept-wing jet, a completely different landing approach and landing technique is required for a successful touchdown. The approach is characterized by a distinct nose-high attitude, with the nose above the horizon. The airplane flight path, however, is pointed downward toward the touchdown point on the runway. This ability to fly a nose-high descending approach is called “flying the sink rate” and is common for all swept-wing aircraft.

swept1The key to flying a sink rate approach and landing is to slow down the airplane. To do this, however, it is first very important to get familiar with both the slow-speed flight—and stall—characteristics of your particular model. Start by flying at a safe altitude, then reduce the throttle to about half power…

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