It has been my experience that the 1956 - 1959 straight tails (especially the 57 model) take less ground roll (as much as 400 feet) than the early 60's models when they first introduced the swept tail. All have the 0300 engines.
Other than the swept tail the main difference is that in 1958 the landing gear was moved aft by three inches. Any one else experience this or is it just the particular planes that I happen to fly. Engine time has been about the same on each plane.
I suspect the A model gained a little weight. The early planes are only about 1300lbs empty and the newest ones are nearly 1700. The A is somewhere between.
1947 North American Navion N8747H. It isn't the fastest, doesn't have the biggest payload, burns gas almost as fast as I can pour it in the tank and requires lots of TLC, but it's cool as hell and that's why we play the game.
The straight tails are lighter so they take off and climb a little quicker, typically. My 1961 fastback is faster than the straight tails Ive flown in for the following reasons: smaller [shorter] landing gear streamlined fuselage and windshield has vacuum pump [no venturis] strut cuffs fuel tank vent behind wing strut brake lines behind gear legs
Loc: Arizona, Alaska, Various Place...
Take off, climb and cruise performance are subjective - as ya'll know, a plane with a cruise prop will cruise faster than the same plane with a climb or cruise/climb prop. Then, things such as parasitic & induced drag, engine condition, prop type/pitch, etc. need to be factored in. I've flown a nice 172 with a 180 hp conversion that was a real dud due to it being heavy (full instruments, leather interior, etc.) with no fairings and having a cruise prop. It's performance overall, even in cruise, was disappointing. I like my straight tail much better. The early models sit higher which has saved my head on numerous occasions. Plus, as Combahee said, straight tails are just cooler!
Edited by Bush Pilot (11/22/1306:28 AM)
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