View Full Version : New Member + Shadow Performance

07-06-10, 13:15 PM
Hi, i would like to introduce myself to the forum, my name is George Harrower I live in Pinetown, South Africa and I fly a Shadow C/D with Rotax 582. I have only been flying for 2 years and 155hrs in the 2 years. I would like to be in contact other Shadow owners to share information and experiences with Shadows.
I'm busy with my next project/challenge, a Windlass 503 Trike.

07-06-10, 13:31 PM
Welcome to the forum George; I know there are some Shadow owners on the forum but the thread dedicated to Shadows is very quiet - perhaps you'll be able to change that!

The Shadow with 582 is on my list of planes to look at post-syndicate, so I for one would be very interested in your experiences with yours.


07-06-10, 14:17 PM
Thanks for the reply Pete. As i said, i'm a "new pilot", that comes from Kart Racing. My shadow does not meet the specs on climb rate. I don't know anyone else in SA that has a Shadow, here we have mainly Streaks. I have done a rear footwell modification, which is far better than the original and makes flying better for any Pax. I saw the mod on www.shadowowners.flyer.co.uk (http://www.shadowowners.flyer.co.uk). This is the only plane that i have flown and it has never made me feel unsafe. Bought it with a broke endercarriage and guys have scared me about how weak the undercarriages are. After a good couple of harder landings and dumps, I'm no longer worried.

07-06-10, 17:13 PM
Hi George
Interesting that you say your Shadow does not meet the climb spec... I have not come across that problem here, although most are with the 503.
I normally get well over 1000 feet per min solo (with my 85Kg body and full fuel) with my 503 and I would have thought your 582 should get more
Maybe the prop is not correctly pitched?

You will find more Shadow traffic and information on the BMAA Forum


Although you can browze, you do have to be a BMAA member to post there

As far as the undercarriage is concerned, the original version suffered from our CAA grounding them all, not due to an accident, but because they incorrectly thought that there could be!!!
If you get a chance fit the approved Crosbie modified version. tough as old boots!!!!

Good flying

07-06-10, 20:52 PM
Welcome to the forum George. Is the lack of climb due the thinner air where you live?

07-06-10, 21:19 PM
Welcome George

I don't think the air is thin in Pinetown, usually heavy with humidity. I remember it well, stayed in Gillits for a few months.


08-06-10, 07:19 AM
Isn't it as moisture in the air increases density decreases so it will be thinner air?

08-06-10, 07:40 AM
Thanks for the great response. I have a huge suspicion the air is playing a huge part, exactly how i don't know. My average climb rate is 400 ft/min @ 3500 ASL @ 25 Cel, and on a bad day 200- 300. Spec is 1100 ft/min. Maybe the pitch on the prop, 6200rpm on the roll? I'm talking about a regular climb at 55kts not an updraft. I also take off at AUW 386kg most of the time. My empty weight is 222kg which is way higher than Spec. Wally do you have a Streak or a Shadow and what are some of your spec's? Do you fly at the coast and what temp? Russell, the Shadow is so amasing to flyn from front, your view is amasing, i'm comparing to a Cheetah, which i flew in. Can pic's be posted here?

08-06-10, 08:19 AM
Yes mate, see my blogs for how. :D

Links at the bottom of my posts

08-06-10, 09:45 AM
Hi again George
I must admit when I posted before, i forgot that you live in the warm:-)
I have an old Shadow C-D and as mentioned with a 503 DCDI and now an Ivo prop.
I must admit that the Ivo does perform better than the original "Precision"... gets it off the ground better, climbs more rapidly and cruises faster.. bettrer all round.
I use 6500 static on the 503 and normally fly around 290 to 300 Kg AUW (.. Solo.. primarily because I operate from a 200 metre strip)

Here 25 Celcius is positively roasting:-)

I have uploaded an XL file onto my website


which I have produced, will allow you (or anyone else) to input variables such as temperature, weight, pressure altitude etc, etc (in the yellow boxes) and see the differences in take off and landing performance frpm which you can deduce the approximate difference in climb performance.
From which you will see considerable differences. Hope it helps
Please note that this does NOT include reduction in performance due to differences in engine power etc

Please note. this is specific to G-MVVT, empty weight 182Kg and 503DCDI so that results for any other aircraft can only be a guide.
In particular the CofG position calculation will be incorrect.

08-06-10, 15:51 PM
Wally, what is the max AUW on a Shadow? I find a lot of conflicting weights. I saw 421 on your chart. I have taken off with 425, but how safe is it? I think i'm going to pull my prop, an arplast, check balancing and adjust pitch. How about a picture of your Shadow. I have been to the BMAA website and found a Shadow thread, think i saw your name there.
Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it. By the way, do you have the extended footwell and both fuel tanks?

08-06-10, 17:34 PM
The 421Kg you see on the chart was to demonstarte the automatic calculation of weight and balance and overloads.
You will note it is with a 200Kg pilot it shows ..........DANGER overweight aadjust CofG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Enter your own figures in the yellow boxes)
It shows 374 as max AUW.
I think you will find that the max all up weight is really determined by the "appproving" authority. So different countries may well set different levels. I believe, but am not sure, that here factory built had different AUW thatn self build.
Basically 2 main aspects of any weight "overload".
CofG position and strutural strength.

Assuming the CofG position remains within limits, then it "will" fly ok, but bearing in mind the approved stress levels (in the uk) are +4 and -2 at 374Kg, then by flying at 425Kg you have automatically the reduced these levels to around +3.5 and - 1.76
Thus pulling tight turns, flying in turbulance and any activity generating a small amount of negative g, such as over exuberant levelling out from a climb will put you in an area where failure can theoretically occur. ( also in most countries it is illegal to exceed the max AUW).
You will also need to ensure all landings are "greasers":-)

I do not have extended footwells, but do have the Crosbie wing fold, slipper tanks, windows end luggage panniers etc
It is rather a scruffy example (and hence cheap!!!!) and I have intended to re cover it ever since I have had it... but seem to prefer to fly it.
As you previously said, the view from the cockpit is good and having been brought up on a diet of sailplanes, that is why I bought it... it does soar reasonably well engine off (or in my case on tick over as it is only pull start) even in the Uk.
Recently, I flew around 50 miles, engine on tickover, with a couple of climbs from 1000feet to cloudbase at almost 5500 feet with a couple of climbs at around 1400 feet per minute ................. who needs engines!!! so,I guess where you are it should rocket up:-)

08-06-10, 18:10 PM
I have just thought... not sure if you have yet trawled the BMAA site, but there is a fellow South African.. Rudy Ventnor.
I am sure he would not mind you contacting him



08-06-10, 21:06 PM
Pardon me sticking my nose in, but would it make sense to move this thread to the Shadow section of the forum? Good discussion going on, just would be easier for people to find it in the future in that section I thought.....


09-06-10, 08:30 AM
Hi George, welcome to the forum, as you can see from my avitar I have a CD shadow with a 503 on the point of climb rate on your machine, a friend of mine has a 582 on his streak shadow and can out climb me pulling about 700ft/min two up it sounds like you may not have the prop tuned to give best power.


09-06-10, 09:06 AM
Just a point I forgot previuosly. Anyone trying the excel spread sheet. As I mentioned before it is specific to my C-D Shadow so can only be a guide for others.
To select Wet grass or Tarmac for example insert "1" in the appropriate box which may not be obviuos

09-06-10, 11:46 AM
Thanks again for the great response from all. It's great to see that there is still a lot of interest in this aircraft. The first time i saw one I said to the owner " this is not the prettiest aeroplane around" and then i go and buy one a few weeks later, however, it was all i could afford. I now get teased about my upside down aeroplane. I just love it. There are three at our field and one across the way. Three Streaks, one with 582, one with jabiru and 85hp rotax. The 912 I flew in climbs easy at 1700ft and that was 2 up. The one with the 582 also climbs at an astonishing rate, and not sure about the Jab. Trev your plane looks great in your avitar, can you attach a picture, no side Windows? As soon as i learn i'll attach a picture of mine. Wally your Shadow also looks great. Tell me more about your panniers. By the way I try grease every landing, dont want to experience a broken udercarriage. Anyone you know experienced it?

09-06-10, 13:16 PM
Hi George,
here is the latest picture of my Shadow, landing at a fly in at Baxterley, my grandson Jack in the back seat


09-06-10, 14:16 PM

09-06-10, 14:35 PM

With footwell, Panniers, side windows. Still haven't got a nice photo from the side, they always out of proportion. Trev, what have you done with your Undercarriage? Looks really good!

09-06-10, 16:07 PM
Hi George, love that colour scheme, just wish mine had the extended footwell, I did quite a bit of flying from the rear seat when my son was learning to fly and after an hour it got realy cramped so a few extra inches would have made all the difference. How are your panniers attached?

The undercarriage fairings are manufactured by Mick Forman another Shadow pilot I think they finish the plane off nicely they do seem to give a little extra lift (maybe all in my mind). Mick also makes extended dash boards to bring the panel nearer to the pilot and give a little more room for mounting all the toys, Ill be getting one off him for a winter project so I can incorporate moving map gps into the dash.

safe landings


09-06-10, 17:14 PM
Pictures lie:-) My Shadow is actually scruffy:-(

As far as I am aware there has never actually been a broken undercarriage in the UK. Only a crack found in one of the original design "stub axles" which sent our CAA into an ever tightening spin and eventually, I believe led to the demise of the factory.
The luggage panniers are a Crosbie design and are built into the wing "stubs" each side the boom and are accessable from over the top of the wings.

09-06-10, 17:21 PM
Thats a great use of space, do the lids lock? would hate the things to fly off when airborne, I presume a minor mod needed to fit them.


09-06-10, 19:19 PM
Yes the lids lock:-)
4 spring loaded "L" shaped pins.
Max weight caoacity 5Kg each

Not certain if they are a separate Mod as they were fitted before my time and are part if MAAN 1340 (Wing Lockers, Wing Fold and side windows)

10-06-10, 07:50 AM
This is really great, to see the different ideas. Wally i been wanting to do the wing lockers, and suspected they went there, never seen them before, but was looking at fitting from the bottom. Come one Wally now you got me going, any chance of some close up photo's and more details of the construction. I have to have those lockers. Russell i got the idea of the panniers on the www.microlighters.flyer.co.uk (http://www.microlighters.flyer.co.uk) and was in contact with one of the guys, dont remember who, but was very helpfull. I manufactured myself from fibreglass. Trev there are two hanger brackets over the rear sills with alluminium threaded inserts epoxied into the fibrelam, one bracket into the rear wall, one below the side window and a belly strap. Works like a dream. No mod though, they can remove in 10min or less. You should really consider the footwell if you fly with pax. Couldn't find anyone from UK to help with the mod, so done it all myself, from design to construction and fitting. Now fully legal and mod approved. Must admit though, I done it first and then done the paper work later. I have a Swiss guy that hangers with me and he has this saying " Dont ask for Permission , ask for Forgivness" and i like it and use it now. CAA were extremely helpfull. I also heard about the Dash and would love to do something about it. I'm a short **** and have to loosen my seat belt to adjust QNH. If any of you guys come to Durban, South Africa contact me. georgeh@axxess.co.za cell 0827096544. Trev i see you flew from the rear teaching your son, are you an instructor or are you as a pilot, allowed to fly from the rear with a pax? I have been led to believe that only an instructor can fly from the rear.

10-06-10, 08:25 AM
Hi George,
Like you I now realy want to fit those wing lockers..come on Wally more info please. I am not an instructor but as I understand it as my Shadow has full duel controls the P1 position could be either, obviously you can't fly from the rear without a pax up front. there were a few difficulties like deploying flaps and my PTT is in the front only so when I needed to use the radio I would touch Lee's neck with my finger and he would push the PTT button (worked a treat) a word of warning though you do need to have full trust of anyone up front on rejoining the circuit and especialy on finals the view from the rear is very restricted and you need the pax to keep a good look out and call out the hieghts on the final approach. The experience gained by Lee while he was training paid dividends though because he was having lessons with an instructor in my plane and as we were flying around the country he was notching up experience and confidence, now he has his own plane a lovely mini max we now fly as a pair.
Love the idea of side panniers, somewhere to store all the toys will have to look into that mod.

10-06-10, 15:48 PM
Trev, i fly from a flight school and these guys are full of Crap. You absolutely right though, the vision from the back is terrible. The guy that instructed me, now a good mate of mine, took me for a test in the back, done two landings, he said i'm good to go, but not sure if "I" am. Wanna teach and give my wife the opportunity to fly from the front, I know she'll love it. I have also ordred the upgrade on my intercom and headsets for dual PTT, Cost equivalent of 100 of your pounds. Where's Wally now? PS. We got the world cup starting tomorrow and gonna mess our flying around. Dam!!!!!!

10-06-10, 16:02 PM
Hi George, that's exactly what I did with my son, he couldn't book the time in the front seat before he qualified but it gave him the experience and I was there "just in case", if you are doing a lot of flying from the back seat a good set of ANR headsets will stop you going deaf, I took the plunge and upgraded to PA179's and matching intercom and never looked back. good idea for twin PTT's but these days I seem to be the fuel bowser for the mini max. My eight year old grandson had some "hands on" last flight and he did well, got to start 'em young.


10-06-10, 16:17 PM
You learn something new everyday:-)

Whilst looking for info in the wing lockers, I discovered I DO have the extended foot well.... living in the wilds of the "back and beyond" I had only ever actually looked at my Shadow so was happy in my ignorance.
The lockers are Danny Crosbie design and brief details (together with his other mods) are still on the Shadow Flyers website


I suggest you drop him a line, although I will try to get some closeups tomorrow.
It basically consists of a fiberglass "tray" and lid. The tray being moulded to fit over the spar etc.

I too suffer from the short arm syndrome, as luckily did the previuos owner who had fitted an extension.
I have no idea where it came from, but it looks as if it was specifically designed to do the job.

10-06-10, 16:22 PM
Hi Wally, I've got the same sort of extension on my altimeter, not as posh as yours mine is just a piece of fuel pipe.


21-06-10, 09:02 AM
Russell, i had the same thoughts, the performance is still good though. I can get 80-85kts straight and level without a problem. Dont know how other Shadows perform, because i dont know anyone else in SA with one. Dont know if i should expect more than 400-500ft/min at 2500-3000 ASL at 25 degrees celsius and at 386kg. Think I must take the panniers off sometime and do the test. Removed balanced and leand the pitch of my prop, tested yesterday, what a difference, 6400rpm on the roll, i used to have a vibration at 5000rpm, now nothing, so smooth. Never balanced a prop before and was in a spot when i found i had to add weight. I decided to trim pieces off the stainless leading edges on the heavier blades. Frustrating but it balanced. Anyone done this before?

21-06-10, 11:17 AM
I'm busy with my next project/challenge, a Windlass 503 Trike.

Welcome to the forum :)

What is the Windlass 503? Please be so kiind ... pictures, specifications. Thanks :)

21-06-10, 13:30 PM
2628Thanks, this forum has been great. A Windlass is a Trike, as in your Avitar, but it goes back to the late 1980's. Mine is 1991. It has a Rotax 503 motor, hence "Windlass 503". They were manufactured in South frica by a company called "Solo Wings" they now manufacture the "Aquilla" mainly with Rotax 582 motors. I will try attach a picture. AUW-350kg. Cruise 100kph. If you still want to know more about the Windlass, let me know or you can also try google, Solo Wings in South Africa.

21-06-10, 14:23 PM
Thank you :) I found manufacturer :)

22-06-10, 09:23 AM
Can anyone tell me if they are Shadow owners that fly from an airfield near East Tilbury, Essex or know who has Shadows that fly from an airfield near by? My daughter and son inlaw were over here a few months ago and went for a fly with me. They enjoyed it so much that they may be interested in going down the "Aviation Road". What price are Shadows selling for over in the UK?
Thanks George.

Bepe Vidor
22-06-10, 19:49 PM
Hiya I am Bepe Vidor I am new to UK and just getting to grips with microlights

23-06-10, 07:57 AM
Hi Bepe, welcome, I'm not from the UK, i'm from South Africa. Do you own a Microlight?

29-06-10, 07:42 AM
Trev, took my first flight from the rear with my wife upfront, not easy. Had two successfull landings, not the best though. Will have to perfect. Must say the rear brakes are so much better than the front. The plane is flying so well at the moment, has to be the weather, a lot cooler now, climb rate at the moment is between 500 and 700ft. Do any Shadow owners own a trike?

29-06-10, 08:28 AM
Hi George,
The landing from the back seat gets easier with a bit of practice, I bet your wife loved the view from the front seat. I did have a trike for thirteen years before moving over to the dark side (three axis) still hanker for a bimble about the sky on a nice summer evening in an open flex wing but don't miss being thrown about the sky in summer thermals, the Shadow is much more forgiving. Just got back from a four hour trip to the East coast to the sea side with my grandson as passenger, he fell asleap on the way back home (must have worn himself out on the sands at Skegness.

29-06-10, 10:22 AM
Hi Trev,
Oh my word, never thought anyone would be able to sleep in the back of a shadow. The long flights are amazing, i love the new experiences. My wife was really nervous about flying up front but has all the trust in the world for me. I'm really proud of her, helped her a bit on the roll and once we were up she's fantastic. Sha really enjoyed it, a totally different experience, lots of sun. Trev, what area of the UK do you live?

29-06-10, 14:41 PM
Hi George, we live in the centre of the country in Staffordshire. on the way back I let Jack have a go at formation flying trying to keep the same postition relative to his dad who was flying in his mini max, "this is difficult grandad" but he did well seeing as he is only 8 years old.


19-07-10, 08:30 AM
Hi All, went flying to the Drakensberg Mountains Sunday, battled a 30knt headwind for some 40min. Almost turned around, 10min before losing the headwind. We were up at 8000ft, 15 degrees outside and managed to climb at 500ft/min. I was totally surprised at the performance at that altitude. Going to the Berg again this weekend and we going to try push to between 10 000 and 12 000ft. Trev do you rig and derig everytime you fly?

19-07-10, 11:58 AM
Hi George, it sounds like you are having great fun, hope you don't get vertigo at 12,000 ft it would take forever to glide down from that height. Yes I de rig ech time and take to my industrial unit where she is safe and sound (only five minutes from the airfield) it only takes ten minutes from trailer to flying and as she is kept at work if I want a tinker in slack times I don't have to dissapear down the field.

safe landings


19-07-10, 13:07 PM
I know about vertigo, so wouldn't do it alone and i will have a mate come along in his plane. These Shadows are amazing in the glide. I am really enjoying the flying at the moment. Trev i pitty you with having to rig and derig. I bitch every time i have to move 2 planes out before i can remove mine from the hangar. You obviously have a trailer for your Shadow, is it closed? It is very nice to have the plane at work to tinker on tho. You are lucky to be so close to the airfield, I'm 35min away. How many flying hours you got now? I'm only on 170hrs in 30mths. Busy with my conversion onto my Trike now. This is really different.

19-07-10, 17:22 PM
Hi George, about 420 or so 300 on flexies make sure you don't get the imputs wrong..he he he