The Aviat Husky is known for its STOL capability and nimble handling. How could anyone improve on that? By changing the aileron and flaps on the aircraft, says Stu Horn, owner of Aviat Husky, Inc.
The first thing Husky fans will notice, says Horn, is that the spade that hung off the wing has been removed.
“We shortened the span of the aileron and, in the process, increased the chord of it,” he says. “This reduced the drag, which really is not normal. In the process, we eliminated the spade that the Huskys have on their ailerons.”
In addition to the change in the looks, pilots will notice an improved handling capability at slow speeds — specifically at 1.2 Vso, which is around 60 to 70 mph, says Horn.
“For example, if you wanted to do a left turn with 30° of bank, then wanted to go to the right, the stick input force has been reduced by about two thirds,” he says. “And if you wanted to do the turn without using the rudder, the ball would be out less too.
We have eliminated the adverse yaw significantly at slow speeds. This means we’ve reduced the pilot’s work load and the aircraft will take less effort to fly.”
According to Horn, the roll rate has increased 50%. “It used to be 20° a second and now it is 30° a second,” he notes.
The change to the ailerons also facilitated a change to the design of the flaps.
“Because we shortened the span of aileron, we were able to increase the span of the flap,” says Horn. “We have slotted semi-fowler flaps. The new ones have more flap area, which gives us a steeper rate of descent. In the old style flaps, we could come down at 550 feet a minute at gross weight. With the new design, we can do it at 880 feet a minute. That also means, of course, we can lower the stall speed and take off in a shorter distance.”
According to Horn, the new flap and aileron designs will start appearing on the 2005 models this month.