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Variable Geometry

Ed Cesnalis

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When I started flying I had no flaps.  I had no  plane either I flew a foot launched hang glider.

Before long I wanted more performance but I was limited on landing speed because I foot landed.  When it's your tennis shoe clad feet that contact first your understanding of the relationship between landing speed and risk is more evident.

Of course the answer to my dilemma was a wing with variable geometry (same as flaps) so I could fly fast but take off and land at lower safer speeds. 

This same concept is far more elusive to a new CT pilot that fears his diminished control at slow speeds and doesn't fear a landing sequence gone bad. The new pilot struggles to control an airplane for the first time so that part is very real but a landing gone bad is not so more speed is a very enticing fix that seems instant.

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