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Everything you wanted to to Know about tailwheels
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Starduster History



Joined: 30 Nov 2006
Posts: 735
Location: St. Helens, Oregon

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:51 pm    Post subject: Everything you wanted to to Know about tailwheels Reply with quote

I get asked about this a lot and thought that it might answer many questions



TAIL WHEELS and TAIL WHEEL SPRINGS


Lets start with tail wheels Scott 3200 / is now Alaskan Bush wheel, Aviation Products Homebuilders Special, Maul Pneumatic, Maul solid rubber, Followed by Lang and Matco tail wheels.

For the sake of argument we will only focus on the two tail wheels most commonly used on Stardusters Scott/ Alaskan Bush wheel, Aviation Products Home builders Special.

(In my opinion) I think that the Scott/ Bush wheel has gotten a bad rap. In that if it is set up correctly it will work just fine. I can attest to this as I now have well over 2200 hrs on my airplane and have virtually no problems. First the down side to this wheel. (1) It has to be set up correctly IE: with positive caster. (2) It is heavier. (3) It is also more expensive.

Now the up side. (1) You have better directional control more rubber on the ground, it will grab and hold better than the solid hard rubber tire. (2) A softer ride especially on rough runways and taxiways. (3) If you have a heavy tail in three point 175 # to over 200# . This is a common occurrence with many of the early Stardusters, those that had short engine mounts, coupled with the early forward gear geometry, this would make it the only tail wheel that will live back there over the long run. (4) Where these wheels work the best are on big engined airplanes, those that have a IO-540 and C/S prop or that are powered with a Radial engine and that have tail weights of 60# or less in the level flight or the weighed position. This is where you could use the extra weight on the tail.

The aviation products home builders special The down side (In my opinion) (1) The hard rubber tire will transmit the rough runway and taxi way up into the airframe and loosen up screws (2) Also if you have a heavy tail 80# or more it will grind the rubber off the tire in a relatively short period of time (3) You will also have less steering control due to smaller surface contact especially on wet grass.
Now for the up side (1) It is a third the cost of the Scott, much cheaper (2) It is lighter and this is also a plus (3) And last and why most people really like them is because they instantly add positive caster, this coupled with the distance between the pivot and axle is shorter than on the Scott both of these items make it less likely to shimmy.

TAIL WHEEL SPRINGS

Tail wheel springs should be the next point of interest . Both of our airplanes have the taller gear. So when I had the three leaf springs made they not only have a deeper drop or down angle they are several inches longer than most springs and are 1 3/4 wide this will fit the Scott without the spacer insert, they also have the arch so that when the tail wheel is installed it will end up with the correct positive caster. The only down side to the wider spring is the hold down clamp and mounting bracket needs to be wider.




STEERING ARMS and SPRINGS


The steering arms on the bottom of the rudder can can be of different lengths and drops they can be of some trouble in that it can speed up or slow down the control movement or sensitivity. If one uses the dimensions on the plans it should not be a problem. The springs I use are compression springs, fairly stiff regular springs will also work, along with this I use heavy duty stainless steel sash chain that can be bought from Mc Master and Carr, to hook it all together I use 3/16' quick links.

One other thing of importance is that the chains and springs should not be overly tight or loose if they are tight or compressed and you brake one the other one will take you off the runway. If they are to loose you will have lag in your steering.


Several people at Oshkosh asked about the longer 3 leaf spring so I had several made and I still have two left, so if anyone is interested I will sell them for $ 65.00 plus shipping, as I said before they would work best on a 540 or Radial engined Starduster.

With this article, is a picture of the correct tail wheel geometry

Also with this article are pictures of our tail wheel installation. Dave












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Dave Baxter
Starduster History
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Timbob



Joined: 10 Nov 2005
Posts: 301
Location: Socorro, New Mexico

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:30 am    Post subject: I would like one! Reply with quote

Thanks Dave....
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Tim Parker
Socorro, NM
SA300 N169TR, SA100(almost)
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lewweb



Joined: 24 Feb 2009
Posts: 1
Location: Midland, Michigan

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave,
Enjoyed your post on tail wheels. As I'm dusting off my project
(SA-300), I'm interested in the long spring set you have.
I can be contacted at 989-636-7840
Lew
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H. DAVID HOLSINGER



Joined: 26 Mar 2008
Posts: 7
Location: Pataskala, Ohio

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:33 pm    Post subject: TAIL WHEELS Reply with quote

Dave - Great discussion on tail wheels. I too have copied it a placed it with my Starduster Tech. papers.
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mgapilot



Joined: 03 Dec 2005
Posts: 69
Location: Woodstock, Georgia

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dave, as always good info. I have the same setup on my radial .
I'm having a bit of a time coming up with the correct combination of links to get the tension on the springs right, but it's coming together.
Kevin...
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Starduster History



Joined: 30 Nov 2006
Posts: 735
Location: St. Helens, Oregon

PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:47 pm    Post subject: Tail wheel springs Reply with quote

For those of you still interested I have recently had made several more of the longer and wider tail wheel springs with the correct down angle. They are 1 3/4" wide by 16 3/4" long and sell for $ 80.00 plus $ 15.00 UPS. I also have one regular three leaf short spring that has been re arched to this best caster angle that is $ 75.00 plus Ups so if any are interested let me know. Dave
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Dave Baxter
Starduster History
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Starduster History



Joined: 30 Nov 2006
Posts: 735
Location: St. Helens, Oregon

PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:03 am    Post subject: Tail wheel spring Reply with quote

Bill Haven't received any message yet, but try giving me a call this evening around 6:00 pm as there are several things we have to talk about depending which spring you use. 503-366-2970. Dave
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Dave Baxter
Starduster History
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Gary B



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 4
Location: Salem, Oregon

PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave, Thanks for the information. I initially set up my Scott 3200 with heavy rebound springs instead of compression springs. I flew it last Sunday and it felt loose on landing roll out. The wind condition did not help. I am in the process of installing compression springs just like yours. I had the same springs on the previous Maule TW and it worked pretty good. I will let you know how the set works.
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jimrice



Joined: 02 Dec 2005
Posts: 65
Location: Collierville, Tennessee

PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:38 pm    Post subject: Tailwheels Reply with quote

A friend of mine here in TN, Gilbert Pierce, has a very good article (same photos) he wrote for the Short Wing Piper Club around 2002 after searching for a fix to his tailwheel shimmy problems. I've had no problems with my Starduster's Maule since following his advice and rearching my springs.. King pin angle is absolutely critical.

Article
http://www.pierceaero.net/tws.php
Drawings
http://www.pierceaero.net/techdata/tws.jpg

BTW, I just sold my Starduster. Just waiting for the weather to warm up and dry up for the new owner to come get it out of my hangar.

Jim
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Piper J-3C-65 N7155H (Project nearing completion)
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bmcj



Joined: 05 Dec 2005
Posts: 809
Location: California, Fresno

PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 4:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Tailwheels Reply with quote

jimrice wrote:
BTW, I just sold my Starduster. Just waiting for the weather to warm up and dry up for the new owner to come get it out of my hangar.


Where is it going?
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Thanks,
Bruce

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Alan Williams



Joined: 04 Dec 2005
Posts: 444
Location: Chipley, FL

PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats on selling, I know you've had it up for sale for a long time. Looked like a great deal to me.
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jimrice



Joined: 02 Dec 2005
Posts: 65
Location: Collierville, Tennessee

PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Tailwheels Reply with quote

It will be going down to Evant, TX which is about 50 miles west of Waco IIRC.

The Starduster was a fun plane but I needed to let something go. I need the room in the hangar to work on my Cub project. Right now, we barely have room to close the hangar doors.
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Piper J-3C-65 N7155H (Project nearing completion)
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Starduster History



Joined: 30 Nov 2006
Posts: 735
Location: St. Helens, Oregon

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:43 am    Post subject: Tail Wheel Spring Clamp Reply with quote

Steve and Bob The angle of the bracket can be angled forward at the bottom and not make that much difference both mine and my son Dans are like that. A wedge shape piece of hard rubber is installed with a little silicone between the spring and back lower part of the tail post.

Also one other thing, you should also install several washers between the front top of the spring and mounting bushing bolt hole. This will allow you to adjust the angle as the spring will start to sag some, if your tail weight is high over the years and can be removed to accomplish this. Please view the pictures of Dan's tail wheel installation in this post for clarity. Dave
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Starduster History
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steve



Joined: 16 Sep 2007
Posts: 86
Location: Davenport, IA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dave, I'll take a look at it
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Starduster History



Joined: 30 Nov 2006
Posts: 735
Location: St. Helens, Oregon

PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:52 pm    Post subject: Everything you wanted to to Know about tailwheels Reply with quote

Dewitt Please check this post out, and I will try to call you Sunday morning. Dave
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