RCU Forums

RCU Forums (http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/)
-   Beginners (http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/beginners-85/)
-   -   Tri Gear versus Tail Dragger (http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/beginners-85/11340962-tri-gear-versus-tail-dragger.html)

Friartuck 12-22-2012 05:03 PM

Tri Gear versus Tail Dragger
 


<span style="font-size: larger">I'm reentering the R/C Aviation hobby after 30+ years (essentially starting from scratch). I've purchased an already builtKadet Senioras my trainer and want to do some mods like include airelions. I'm also considering changing the current Tri nose landing gear arrangement into a tail dragger. My flying field is just short grass with no hard runway. My thinking is the grass will impede take off speed and control whereas a tail dragger might be easier to control. My future Aviation interests will be WWI Warbirds and early experimental scale models (all are tail draggers). Is ditching the tri nose arrangement on a trainer a mistake?? Thoughts and comments please.</span></p>

jetmech05 12-22-2012 05:46 PM

RE: Tri Gear versus Tail Dragger
 
I learned with an LT-40 on a grass runway...kept short...it wasn't a problem

Gray Beard 12-22-2012 06:50 PM

RE: Tri Gear versus Tail Dragger
 
I learned to fly with a tail dragger and didn't fly a trike geared plane for a lot of years until I started teaching flight. Trike gear is much easier, I only have one trike geared plane and it's my real high wind plane. I like it because it is able to turn in a cross wind after landing or when taking off when it's really blowing. I fly from hard packed so can't really say anything about trikes and grass. I don't think it's anything I would bother doing a mod for. Just wait until you build your old warbirds for the tail dragger.

acdii 12-22-2012 07:02 PM

RE: Tri Gear versus Tail Dragger
 
From my experiences with trikes on grass, the nose wheel tends to get the prop in the grass(Apprentice comes to mind), so a larger one is sometimes needed on certain planes.  While not a problem, as it helps in take offs, landings though, if you do a 3 point, or slightly nose down, it will dig in and cause a not so good landing.  

However I feel a taildragger makes you a better pilot in the long run. It is prone to ground loops and keeps you on your toes during transition from tailwheel to rudder on takeoff, while trike makes for better ground handling.

noveldoc 12-22-2012 07:05 PM

RE: Tri Gear versus Tail Dragger
 
Agreed.  Trike gear is a bit easier to taxi around and land.  Plenty of time to drag your tail later.

I did the aileron conversion though and really liked it better.  I think it was easier to fly.

Tom

Gray Beard 12-22-2012 07:34 PM

RE: Tri Gear versus Tail Dragger
 

Quote:

ORIGINAL: noveldoc

Agreed. Trike gear is a bit easier to taxi around and land. Plenty of time to drag your tail later.

I did the aileron conversion though and really liked it better. I think it was easier to fly.

Tom
Yep, ailerons on your trainer would be a lot better mod then changing it to a tail dragger.

GaryHarris 12-22-2012 08:08 PM

RE: Tri Gear versus Tail Dragger
 
I've never flown off of grass, but I prefer a tail dragger and I'm not quit sure why! I like the looks better but I really haven't noticed one advantage over another.

JohnBuckner 12-22-2012 10:48 PM

RE: Tri Gear versus Tail Dragger
 
First despite what you do with the gear is somewhat imaterial and the airplane will work well with either type and its usually done just for macho reasons.

But what is more important is the conversion to ailerons and depending on what you do can be a complete failure. You did not say if you are starting out with an already built airplane or just starting to build from a kit. This is a vital question be cause if the wing is already built to kit plans with plans diehdral then added airlerons either barn door or strips will not work properly and be very ineffective. If the airplane wing is already built with plans dihedral you must cut it appart and reduce the dihedral substancially. That figure is around half or less of the plans indication. Also maintaining some dieheral will make for a better flying airplane than one that has gonne totally flat.

John

Friartuck 12-23-2012 05:32 AM

RE: Tri Gear versus Tail Dragger
 
ACDii comment about the prop being a grass cutter was sort of my concern (field is not manicured short) and John's reply about the diehral angle is something I didn't consider. The plane I have is already built (acquired from an auction) and the wing's angle is fixed (probably per the build sheet), so I won't change that. I just don't see how adding airelons woud be a failure. My plan was to add a single servo in the middle and use bell cranks to airelons cut into the wing. While I could use seperate servos, my intent was to keep this at four channels and let the plane always be a entry level trainer. Thinking is most entry level pilots buy minimum plane and radio to get started.

JohnBuckner 12-23-2012 06:19 AM

RE: Tri Gear versus Tail Dragger
 
yours is the worst case senario and likely has the full three channel dihedral. Sit the wing assembly on a table with one panel flat on the table and measure how high the other wingtip comes above the table near the tip. The stock dihedral the wingtip will be around six inchs above the table and that is far to much when ailerons are used. reducing this to around three inchs then the ailerons will work nicelyl

Yes the aileron conversion can and will be a failure unless dihedral is reduced when you find the controll response is far slower than that avalible when using just rudder!

The typical fix in this situation is a last minute resort to modern electronics and mix in around 25 to 30% rudder to aileron. Thats not simplifing anything and you are far better off if you want airerons to do it right or not do it at all and fly your airplane in its already simple setup as a three conctrol. I have flown many three control Kadets and the common attitudes that you cannot do aerobatics is BS and most fly wonderfully.

John

da Rock 12-23-2012 07:01 AM

RE: Tri Gear versus Tail Dragger
 
A taildragger is just as apt to eat grass as a tricycle gear. They both will be level sometime during takeoffs and landings and will cut grass with too long a prop. Put the correct prop on the model and neither one will give you a problem.

Taildraggers often give beginners a problem that trike gear doesn't. It's a problem you really need to consider too. Lots of guys have really lousy takeoff strategy. It's proven in our crash statistics. A huge number of model crashes happen on takeoff because so many modelers firewall and pray. They are often the ones who never learn to use the rudder. They want to get the takeoff over with quickly and haven't learned that rudder helps greatly on takeoffs and is absolutely necessary when the throttle is firewalled.

Learn to roll the throttle in under control and steer with the rudder and you won't need help making your model easier to fly. However, if you want it easier and safer on takeoffs, leave the tricycle gear on it.

As for ailerons... If the airplane is designed without them, it'll teach you to fly with the rudder. You'll be better off leaving the plane the way it is and learn to fly it. While you're doing that, build a replacement wing for it. Building a replacement wing takes the same skills modifying an existing one does. Build a wing that has ailerons and less dihedral than the one you've got without ailerons.

There are a number of things you're jumping the gun on. Get the present plane ready to go without spinning off doing unnecessary modifications. Get out and fly. Once you're flying, try out the other things you want to see work. Your present plane sounds like the best trainer design ever, the rudder/elevator/motor model. Back when RC was new, that layout taught almost everyone to fly. And almost every one of them learned to use the rudder and had no problem with models with more controls later on.

nekked_man_2000 12-23-2012 07:51 AM

RE: Tri Gear versus Tail Dragger
 
if you have a computer radio with mixing, you can do what I did to teach my son how to fly with a 3 channel cub. I hooked up the rudder so the aileron stick controls it (which I've done with every 3 channel plane I've ever done, and I've done a few), but on his I finally had the idea of mixing rudder so he can taxi and take off using the rudder just like with a 4 channel airplane. So when he flies 4 channel he doesn't have to relearn anything.

Also, most good 3 channel trainers won't fly a whole lot different with ailerons until it comes to rolls, snap rolls, and inverted, but for the basics you wouldn't really notice the difference with all of that dihedral in the wing. If anything, like what has already been pointed out, it will be more responsive to the rudder than ailerons unless you remove a lot of dihedral.


aspeed 12-23-2012 09:05 AM

RE: Tri Gear versus Tail Dragger
 
I usually corvert to a taildragger because I am too lazy to hook up the steering.  It is different, but has good and bad points.  OK for grass, and can taxi with little jabs of throttle and rudder.  The nosewheel won't bend or break the arm etc.  It maybe is harder to taxi in strong winds as it will weathervane.  Takeoff is into the wind anyway so it is pretty much a wash.

Hossfly 12-23-2012 10:32 AM

RE: Tri Gear versus Tail Dragger
 
Quote:

ORIGINAL: Friartuck



<span style=''font-size: larger''>I'm reentering the R/C Aviation hobby after 30+ years (essentially starting from scratch). I've purchased an already built Kadet Senior as my trainer and want to do some mods like include ailerons. I'm also considering changing the current Tri nose landing gear arrangement into a tail dragger. My flying field is just short grass with no hard runway. My thinking is the grass will impede take off speed and control whereas a tail dragger might be easier to control. My future Aviation interests will be WWI Warbirds and early experimental scale models (all are tail draggers). Is ditching the tri nose arrangement on a trainer a mistake?? Thoughts and comments please.</span></p>
If you were a proficient solo-qualified flier 30 years ago, you will be the same after a few trips around the field. It comes back quickly, maybe not the competitlion level, but good safe flying does. Welcome Home! ;)

Ailerons work fine on the Super Cadet. I have one that I picked up in a flea-market. Flew it several times and then went to adding ailerons. I cut into the wing about 2.5 inches one rib inside from the wing tip. Made them 4 rib-spaces long. Aded a spar on both sides, TE and aileron LE using 1/2" thick hard balsa. Used the slanted rib,
aileron top inging method. Raised the Aileron TE about eyeball a 1/4" above wing TE for washout. Works great. Same dihedral but never know it. Light airplane is a dream to fly as compared to the Tower/GP Trainers, which are excellent themselves. I have separate servos, regular 40 oz. types. Easier to drop servo extensions down the wing than try to use torque rods. HA! Lazieee!

On grass hold back pressure to keep nose from bouncing. Works. Trikes on hard surface keep the nose down pressure to keep contact for steering.
Always taxi with full aileron INTO the wind. Some taildraggers will want to swing to pointing into the wind. Then full rudder with back pressure to keep the tail wheel down will help. Pretend you are in full scale. :)

thepamster 12-23-2012 10:33 AM

RE: Tri Gear versus Tail Dragger
 
It has always been my experience that tricycle geared planes are easier to take off but more difficult to land and taildraggers are more difficult to take off bet easier to land. Choose you option.
If you wanted a trainer plane with ailerons then you probably should not have bought that one. I would recommend just learning to fly that plane the way it is and save any mods and ailerons for the next plane.

KaP2011 12-23-2012 04:02 PM

RE: Tri Gear versus Tail Dragger
 
Not sure if you've thought about it but if you really want ailerons on your senior you could order a wing kit from Sig for $38.99 + about $10 shipping. It's my oppinion but I think it would be alot easier to build the wing fresh. I've built 2 senior wings this summer and did both in less than a day each. If you had to have the plans, they are $10.99. I built both wings without the plans, I just downloaded the instruction manual from Sig.

Just an idea.

da Rock 12-23-2012 05:36 PM

RE: Tri Gear versus Tail Dragger
 

Quote:

ORIGINAL: KaP2011

Not sure if you've thought about it but if you really want ailerons on your senior you could order a wing kit from Sig for $38.99 + about $10 shipping. It's my oppinion but I think it would be alot easier to build the wing fresh. I've built 2 senior wings this summer and did both in less than a day each. If you had to have the plans, they are $10.99. I built both wings without the plans, I just downloaded the instruction manual from Sig.

Just an idea.

Excellent idea....

Friartuck 12-24-2012 05:36 AM

RE: Tri Gear versus Tail Dragger
 
<font size="4">This has been a very informative thread and I'm glad I posted it. A wide range of ideas and comments. The take away I got from this is simply go out and fly the plane. Its afterall a trainer, the very method to learn things.</font>

thepamster 12-24-2012 08:18 AM

RE: Tri Gear versus Tail Dragger
 
Some people continue to fly their trainers long after they learn to fly but I think that most don't. It is just a stepping stone to learn on and then move on to bigger and better planes.
All of these are opinions and none are neither right or wrong. do what works for you and have fun.
Good luck to you, happy flying, and Merry Christmas. Or Happy holidays. Whichever may be appropriate.

Gray Beard 12-24-2012 09:08 AM

RE: Tri Gear versus Tail Dragger
 
Pretty much what pamster said. I have had all the trainers I use given to me by folks that have moved on to bigger and better. I still enjoy flying trainers though and have been known to pull it out on real windy days just for fun.
The nose wheel/gear does take a beating and I have just flipped it around {the spring doesn't seem to care what direction it is facing on a trainer} or I have pulled the leg and straightened it out with my vise and a hammer.
Trainers take a beating and are hard to kill though. Just fly the plane and don't worry about the gear leg until it becomes a problem.
I only have one trike geared plane, an old pattern plane and I have to land it like it was a tail dragger, if I don't set it down on the mains first I can strip the servo gear I have controlling the front laqnding gear. I used a micro servo to control it and have it slaved to the rudder. That just saved a lot of linkage set up for me. It is controlled with a brass or copper wire running to the servo arm but still, if I miss the landing and hit the nose wheel first or too hard it strips the servo gears!!
Do that once or twice and you will perfect your landings.

hugger-4641 12-24-2012 09:55 AM

RE: Tri Gear versus Tail Dragger
 
I would also recommend leaving the plane as it is and just flying it. As some one else mentioned, buy the wing kit, build it without the dihedral and put ailerons in that wing if you want. <div>As far as the grass,  I teach people to fly with both trike gear trainers and tail dragger cubs, most people have an easier time taxiing with the trike gear, and they are definitely easier to handle while taxiing crosswind. I fly out of rough grass and soy bean fields at my home and have no problem with either type of gear. I have put slightly larger wheels on the nose of my Avistar's and on my .60 sized T-34 to help roll over the clumpy crab grass in my yard. </div>


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:08 PM.