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Taking off with tail dragger

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Old 06-20-2003, 01:08 PM
  #1  
borna
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Default Taking off with tail dragger

Would someone please give me some hint for taking off using tail dragger?
I have a PT-19 and I was told that I need to apply up elevator before advancing the throttle for take off otherwise the tail comes up fast and causes the nose to hit the ground. It works but the plane airborne very soon and prematurely.
So how can I be able to build enough speed without making the plane airborne?
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Old 06-20-2003, 01:13 PM
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bearmech
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Default Taking off with tail dragger

As you advance the throttle and the plane builds up speed ease of the elevator until flying speed is reached. As you back off the elevator the tail should lift with the plane gaining speed. When flying speed is reached the plane should lift off into a nice gentle climb with only a little up elevator.
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Old 06-20-2003, 01:44 PM
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Default Taking off with tail dragger

Another method to consider. I just started flying the GP Ryan STA, one of the most beautiful ARF's around. With a Satio 150 I don't use full throttle on the take off roll. Beautiful looooong scale like takeoffs can be had by; Applying full up elevator to keep the tail down and the tail wheel working. Apply more than 1/4 throttle but less than a little over 1/2. When you have rudder control let off on the up elevator and let the tail come up. Roll magnificently along on the mains, admiring your (or in my case Great Planes) handiwork. When the roll is long enough push up the throttle and go fly!


Oh and then there's landing. Just found an old full scale trick. The STA has stiff stock gear and starts to porpoise on either a wheel landing or a three point. Remembering a ride I once had in a Cessna 140 I tried pushing (very slightly) forward at the first contact or just after the first skip. This lowers the AOA on the wing dumps the lift that's adding to the bounce and lets the bird roll out just beautifully. Again the secret is SLIGHT down elevator.

HTH
YMMV
Fly safe

Tom
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Old 06-20-2003, 02:32 PM
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MinnFlyer
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Default Taking off with tail dragger

The trick to a taildragger takeoff is to "Fly the Tail" .

Apply full up as you're taxiing, or on takeoff roll this is to keep the tail from lifting as power is applied and nosing over. As the plane gains speed, Reduce the amount of elevator and let the tail rise. At the same time, you will be appling rudder to keep it tracking straight, hence the term "Flying the Tail". The wing hasn't reached flying speed yet, but the tail has, so you must control the tail's attitude to avoid turning right or left, or to avoid nosing over, or taking off too soon.

(And you guys thought this was easy!)
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Old 06-20-2003, 03:58 PM
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Tattoo
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Default Taking off with tail dragger

Just recently I've discovered that to increase the length of the tail wheel wire, so the tail is higher off the ground, reducing the wings AOA on take off roll, lets you gain much more speed on the ground before the critical elevator to rudder transition, therefore reducing the chance of slow speed lift off and goof ups...in other words, it's helped my tail dragger take offs look somewhat like I know what I'm doing

Also, making sure the mains have toe-in makes a big difference in the plane's tracking once the tail is off the ground! I'll never forget the day (years ago) I was having no luck getting my plane off the ground due to ground loops. An old timer took a look at my plane, grabbed some channel lock pliers, bent some toe-in into my gear and said go for it. Down the runway I went straighter than an arrow...and off I went.
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Old 06-20-2003, 04:07 PM
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Default Taking off with tail dragger

Also make sure both main wheels rotate freely on their axles... it's tough trying to take off with one side acting like its got the brake on!
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Old 06-21-2003, 12:29 PM
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RobStagis
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Default Taking off with tail dragger

What MinnFllyer said. Taxiing requires full up. Take offs ain't a real problem.
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Old 06-22-2003, 04:15 AM
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Default tail wheel setting.

Make sure your tail wheel is lined up with your rudder. I turn on the tx and rx. and roll my fuse on the garage floor. If the rudder is straight, the plane should not veer left or right.
I was ground looping one day and discovered my tailwheel had slipped and was wanting to turn the plane RIGHT when up elevator was applied. (to keep the wheel down on taxi and roll out). The wheel was doing the steering until the tail came up. Now the LEFT rudder I was appling was not what most planes need on take off to correct for engine torque. As a result I quickly ground looped left
..lownslo........ Bob
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Old 06-22-2003, 11:45 AM
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Default Taking off with tail dragger

Along with the many other good points given here.
Advance the throttle slowly, don't try to blast off from a dead stop, get it rolling first.
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