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  1. #1

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    Tail Dragger or Trike gear for beginners

    I have a casual friend that instructs new pilots from time to time that swears that the tail dragger is the best way to teach newbies like myself how to fly. And does so on a regular basis.

    According to him the learning curve for take offs and landings are a bit steeper with the tail dragger, but as the learner progresses it is much easier for them to learn to fly and land trikes later. As opposed to vice-versa.

    Of course, I have another aquaintence who thinks that the first man has been staring into the sun too long.

    What do you all think?

    As for myself, I was actually considering building my trainer as a tail dragger and learning that way. I tend to think that the benifits will justify the additional work. Of course my alterior motive was so that I could learn to fly warbirds faster....not to mention that great looking Great Planes Tiger Moth .60 thats now out...

    But thats just me....what about you?

    Jere

  2. #2
    magnum's Avatar
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    Tail Dragger or Trike gear for beginners

    Jere L,


    After a radio failure killed my first trainer, I bought one just like it and modified it for a taildragger.

    You will get different responses on this I am sure. But from my point of view, the taildragger is actually better.

    My first trainer we were always fusing with the nose wheel. My second we weren't


    Take-offs were no problem. It forces you to learn to use the rudder. And if you want to fly warbirds later - the more the better, that's why I did it.

    Landings took one or to to get adjusted to. But were no more harder than with the nose gear, I felt it was easier. And it also forced you to use the rudder more (do you see a pattern here?)

    Is your friend going to teach you? If he feels you can handle it, then why not.

  3. #3

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    Tail Dragger or Trike gear for beginners

    Magnum,

    Thanks for the insights.

    Unfortunatly my friend won't be able to train me. Our scheduals don't mesh too well, and he's up to his eyeballs in his new "up and down" obsession.....model subs. I guess he wanted to see if he could use it to find the PBY model he left at the bottom of lake Huron. Just kidding Chet...

    I'm still looking in my area for a club that I want to join. I've found that I have rather an embarassment of riches in my area. So over the next few weeks I'm going to be dropping in on a few to get a feel for which one I want to join. I must say, its rather nice to have a good selection of choices...

    I'm building a Goldberg Eagle II, and am now seeking advice on conversion to a tail dragger. Currently I'm seeing the work as requiring the addition of a tailwheel coupled (or attached) to the rudder, and the possiblility of the need for a relocation of the main gear a tad forward of the CG so that I don't end up arse over applecart when I find the inevitable bump.

    Care to share a few methods that you used for your conversions here?


    Thanks much,

    Jere

  4. #4
    magnum's Avatar
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    Tail Dragger or Trike gear for beginners

    No not at all.

    Let me fire up my other computer I may have some pics also.

    BTW.

    Getting involved in a club as going to be my next suggestion. But I think you are on the right track

  5. #5
    magnum's Avatar
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    Tail Dragger or Trike gear for beginners

    I will assume if you are undertaking this task you have building knowledge. If not, see if someone can help out.

    You are building your kit, which will make it easier. Mine was an ARF, so I had to add wood, which added weight.

    This pic shows the front landing gear moved forward under the front edge of the wing. I added some 1/8 ply backing on the inside of the plane in front of the bulkhead. And used triangle stock to beef it up. Remember this step. The plane is not designed for landing gear there, so it needs to be strong enough to withstand those hard landings. Adding triangle stock at that bulkhead might not hurt either.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
    magnum's Avatar
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    Tail Dragger or Trike gear for beginners

    Here is a shot of how the tailwheel was mounted.

    I couldn't get a rod from the rudder to the wheel without messing up the horz stab. Since I had switched the rudder over to pull-pull, I simply added pull-pull to the tailwheel.

    Remember I was wanting to use my rudder in flying. The pull-pull proved to be a good setup. All in all there were 4 cables going to my rudder servo.

    If you use a rod on the rudder control, this might not work, the rod might interfere with the cables.

    Notice I added a ply base for the wheel to mount to. This plane had tons of lighting holes so I had to add something. I covered it in epoxy. Wasn't concerned how it looked. And no one ever noticed it.

    Don't worry about the servo, it's mounted wrong and I had to add it in the back because I added a larger engine in the plane.
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  7. #7
    magnum's Avatar
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    Tail Dragger or Trike gear for beginners

    And last but not least, a shot of the cables coming out the belly of the plane running to the tailwheel. Not noticeable in flight. And was not effective to much by grass.

    Hope this helps some
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  8. #8
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    Tail Dragger or Trike gear for beginners

    Magnum,

    Nice job - both on the plane and the pics!

    Jerry
    # 93 in Club Saito; Carl Goldberg Ultimate Brotherhood # 12; Pulse brother # 2;Hellcat Brotherhood #8;P-47 Thunderbolt Brotherhood #18

  9. #9
    magnum's Avatar
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    Tail Dragger or Trike gear for beginners

    Hey Jerry!

    Thanks. That's a nice flying plane. Especially with a 91FS on it.

    I planned on setting it up to tow banners at the big bird last year, but radio peoblems got it first. I won't post that pic

  10. #10

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    Tail Dragger or Trike gear for beginners

    Thanks for the pictures.

    Having seen and read some of your changes, I now have a pretty good idea of what I'll need to accomplish my alterations.

    Nice pictures by the way, I've downloaded them so that I can reference them as I go along.

    Jere

  11. #11
    magnum's Avatar
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    Tail Dragger or Trike gear for beginners

    Anytime!

  12. #12
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    tail dragger

    The tail dragger route does take a bit longer to get on to. You use the elevator more on a tail dragger. Full up to keep the tail wheel on the ground for slow speed taxiing. 1/2 up for starting the takeoff run, thn go to neatral as the plane gains speed and then add up again for the takeoff. Simple, yes?!? Landings aren't much different except you can come in at a bit nose higher attitude.
    Current favorites: GP RV-4 1/4, Great Planes Stuka 60, Modeltech P47 60, Seafury 60, Rascal 40

  13. #13

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    Taildragger

    If you are building the Eagle II Kit the instructions should show you how to convert it to a tail dragger. If it is the ARF I can find my instruction book and scan the pages for the taildragger setup and send them to you if you would like.
    \"Ashes to Ashes\"
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  14. #14

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    Tail Dragger or Trike gear for beginners

    Your friend that recomended the tail dragger is right as far as I am concerned, especially on a grass runway.. If you use a trike gear on our runway you had best to install a few extra coats of epoxy on your firewall as I've seen many firewalls break out upon even slightly rough landings.. Our field is usually windy and the trike gears are placed so close together that the airplane blows over onto a wingtip with great regularity.. Learning a tail dragger is somewhat harder, but not enough to impede your learning process.. I'll admit I go to the trouble and install a rudder controlled tail wheel (just for manueverability in taxi )... rather than to just let the tail drag .

  15. #15

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    Tail Dragger or Trike gear for beginners

    Originally posted by Jere L
    Magnum,

    Thanks for the insights.

    Unfortunatly my friend won't be able to train me. Our scheduals don't mesh too well, and he's up to his eyeballs in his new "up and down" obsession.....model subs. I guess he wanted to see if he could use it to find the PBY model he left at the bottom of lake Huron. Just kidding Chet...

    I'm still looking in my area for a club that I want to join. I've found that I have rather an embarassment of riches in my area. So over the next few weeks I'm going to be dropping in on a few to get a feel for which one I want to join. I must say, its rather nice to have a good selection of choices...

    I'm building a Goldberg Eagle II, and am now seeking advice on conversion to a tail dragger. Currently I'm seeing the work as requiring the addition of a tailwheel coupled (or attached) to the rudder, and the possiblility of the need for a relocation of the main gear a tad forward of the CG so that I don't end up arse over applecart when I find the inevitable bump.

    Care to share a few methods that you used for your conversions here?


    Thanks much,

    Jere

  16. #16

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    Thanks for the input

    Thanks for all the input guys,

    I am building my Eagle II as a taildragger, and appreciate the insights you've given me on this subject.

    Clear skies

    Jere


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