Falko's Carbon SKIDS

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Falko's Carbon SKIDS

Postby Johnnybravo » Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:32 pm

With reference to recent discussions on 'landing techniques' and Wheels etc, I started to have a look at Skids. Even thought about making carbon ones myself. My view is that Wheels or Skids are a safety 'positive'.
Atos Skids (without the tracks) from Avian (see Avian on line) are priced at about £380 (plus postage). Thought that was a bit 'steep' for me.
However, I had a bit of a search on the pc and found Falko Kruger's carbon skids, in Germany. They are priced at 200 Euro for the Atos carbon bottom bar (220 Euro for other gliders- Wills Wing, Aeros, Icaro).
Falko flys a Aeros Phantom in the German Comps and he also is deeply involved(profesionally?) in aero modelling and he produces carbon skids for various gliders (with carbon base bars). His VR/VQ carbon Skids fit straight on to the base bar over the existing base bar knob protrusions (whatever you call those things!).
After a couple of emails to Falko, I found myself conversing with Falko's 13 year old son, Paul. I do not think Falko speaks much English, but Paul has been really good with his English.
I ordered the Skids (Falko wants money up front) and they arrived today (Only 3 days since Falko/Paul posted them). They look good and are very easy and quick to fit, no screws or bolts just an easy slide in carbon cap. All feels robust enough to me, but will have to try them out. Very light and aerodynamic.
Here is Falko's website :-
http://www.fluggeraete-zubehoer.com/
The website is a little awkward to use and you will need to 'click about' a little to see all the bits and pieces and pics.
Image
Image
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Re: Falko's Carbon SKIDS

Postby Johnnybravo » Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:07 pm

IMG_8977-001.JPG
front view
IMG_8977-001.JPG (82.92 KiB) Viewed 7746 times
IMG_8976-002.JPG
Falko Skids
IMG_8976-002.JPG (74.47 KiB) Viewed 7746 times
Pics on my basebar:-
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Re: Falko's Carbon SKIDS

Postby lukenicol » Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:36 pm

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Re: Falko's Carbon SKIDS

Postby chasleton » Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:49 pm

Are they solid john and could you post some pictures of the locking system Ta
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Re: Falko's Carbon SKIDS

Postby Johnnybravo » Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:53 am

Nick,
Not solid (no foam), completely hollow and completely enclosed . Only weighs 124gms each skid.
length 260mm
width 75mm
depth (top to bottom) 80mm
A small carbon turn button holds the rear of the carbon cap and a carbon tongue holds the front. Plus neoprene pad strips at the sides of the cap to make it snug. The cap has a location depression for the turn button to fit in. Cap has a retaining swaged nylon tie, so that it cannot be lost. All beautifully made. Fits on in seconds.
I guess the turn button may be designed to fail if the nose of the skids have too much upward force. However upward force on the tail of the skid makes it grab the bar harder.
See pics:-
IMG_8978.JPG
IMG_8978.JPG (40.19 KiB) Viewed 7705 times
IMG_8979.JPG
IMG_8979.JPG (46.74 KiB) Viewed 7705 times
IMG_8982.JPG
IMG_8982.JPG (61.29 KiB) Viewed 7705 times
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Re: Falko's Carbon SKIDS

Postby Martin » Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:15 pm

There looks to be some fundamental differences between these skids and the AIR skids. AIR looks to have chosen a flatter surface to meet the ground, perhaps a better distribution and less opportunity to dig in? Better in sideways skid?

The hollow inner (no foam or anything?) might make them weaker on the rocks? Without a core they might just self destruct with a rock strike.

On the other hand they are substantially lighter.

I agree they look good, but where I fly, we got no slippery green sheep dip LZ's.... just dirt and rock... oh and wheat stubble at the end of harvest (camouflaging dirt and rock ;-).

If somebody has a set of AIR skids, could they post some detailed photos of what they look like with a little more detail then what can be found on the AIR site (perhaps a shot of the saddle and fasteners).... heck a side by side comparison would be interesting.

Cheers

Martin
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Re: Falko's Carbon SKIDS

Postby christownsend » Sun Dec 15, 2013 3:42 pm

Photos of my A.I.R. carbon basebar skids:

http://www.photobox.co.uk/slideshow?album_id=2306251108
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Re: Falko's Carbon SKIDS

Postby lukenicol » Sun Dec 15, 2013 3:57 pm

Chris, I know you keep your skids on the base bar and carry separately. If you wanted to keep the basebar in your glider, how quickly could you attach the skds? Is the Allen key head the same size as the tails Allen key (so would the rigging tool do up the four bolts?)
I do want to get some skids- out of the two, the atos ones look like they would take a harder 'landing' but the other ones look very smart, quick to fit and quite a bit cheaper.
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Re: Falko's Carbon SKIDS

Postby Martin » Sun Dec 15, 2013 5:38 pm

Chris,

Thanks for posting the photo link. Nice to have a more detailed look at how they are made. Definitely a flatter profile on the bottom and not not as clean looking as the Falko skids. Nether are chicken scratch on my side of the planet, the Falko's will run $310 cdn and the AIR skids $475 (plus shipping and what ever taxes get slapped onto them).... oh and times two... two rigid wings in the family.... no wonder I drink. (FYI, for any US based pilots that read this forum, US AIR, recently offered them for sale @ $495 usd).

One thing is for sure, all the wheel options suck.

Cheers

Martin
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Re: Falko's Carbon SKIDS

Postby christownsend » Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:57 pm

Hi Luke, yes "the tool" fits the Allen bolts. Each bolt probably takes 20-30 secs to secure so you should attach each skid in one minute. That sounds quick but feels like a long time, and fiddly, which is why I leave them on.

One difference to note, that I think somebody asked about, is that the A.I.R. skids don't have a hole in them (except to take the bolts) and so don't have that potential inherent weakness when landing hard. When I have aerotowed with them, I have been worried about the amount they bounce on the hard metal trolley over rough ground but they have survived the few aerotows I've done and a couple of clumsy landings since I acquired them.
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Re: Falko's Carbon SKIDS

Postby nev » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:06 pm

I have been worried about the amount they bounce on the hard metal trolley over rough ground but they have survived the few aerotows I've done


Chris, grip that rope tighter!
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Re: Falko's Carbon SKIDS

Postby Johnnybravo » Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:57 am


One difference to note, that I think somebody asked about, is that the A.I.R. skids don't have a hole in them (except to take the bolts) and so don't have that potential inherent weakness when landing hard.


The Falko skids do not have a 'hole' in them either. They are totally enclosed. They do have one small 4mm diameter hole where the Cap tie is attached to the skid, with a nylon tie. I have put all my weight (via the base bar) on one Falko skid standing on a rough concrete floor with no deflection or indentation. I do however take on board Martin's point ref:- rocky/stoney surfaces, which in my view would affect both the Falko and AIR skids in a similar manner. I have therefore filled my Falko Skids with two part high density PU expanding foam. Now if they get cracked on rocks, I can easily repair them. I made sure it was the high density stuff, since I suspected the low density PU foam would be too soft. I test loaded the high density foam and it seems that on it's own it would be more than strong enough, but of course it would have no serviceability characteristic. Measured the skid approx volume by water displacement (about 500ml), and only required about 90ml of foam mix for each skid (the expansion ratio on the High Density foam that I used was about 6:1). Just followed the instructions and after a little test mixing, it worked out really well (masked up the skids with tape). Each skid now weighs just under 200grams (previously 125grams). Each of my AIR wheels weigh 550grams each!! and the AIR skids are quoted by Avian to be 300grams each.
Can tell you more when I get to use them!
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Re: Falko's Carbon SKIDS

Postby christownsend » Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:59 pm

nev wrote:
I have been worried about the amount they bounce on the hard metal trolley over rough ground but they have survived the few aerotows I've done


Chris, grip that rope tighter!


Ha ha, good advice. But actually it was when Ozzie towed me back up the field on the trolley after landing about half a mile down the runway. My fingers aren't that strong! ;o)
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Re: Falko's Carbon SKIDS

Postby Randombloke » Fri Dec 27, 2013 8:44 pm

Has anyone thought about persuading Seedwings to add the Atos to their rage?

http://www.seedwings.at/en/accessories/wheels/wheels.html

Image
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Re: Falko's Carbon SKIDS

Postby christownsend » Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:44 pm

Johnnybravo wrote:

The Falko skids do not have a 'hole' in them either. They are totally enclosed.


Sorry Johnny, that was my misinterpretation of the photos.
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