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castering tailwheels

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Old 01-10-2004, 11:47 AM
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pete913
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Default castering tailwheels

I'm wondering if anyone has ever built or sold a full castering tailwheel for models, such as used on full scale airplanes? Seems like a neat idea to me. I've got a full scale Maule tailwheel around here, might even try it myself. It'd be sorta neat to pull up to the starting area and spin the plane around in half a wingspan and park it.
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Old 01-10-2004, 12:39 PM
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Default RE: castering tailwheels

Castering wheels have been done on many model aircraft (scale and funfly).

I have seen a couple of different types of design done. One was just using the normal tailwheels you buy for a couple of dollars and making a new wire leg from a threaded rod. The threaded end went through the mount and was bolted in place with nylon lock nuts to get the swivel action.

The other one I saw was a home made unit made from light alloy like the caster on a trolley with the wheel bolted in between the unit. It was bolted onto a second piece by nuts/washers also and mounted onto the frame in the same way.

Shouldnt be all that hard to make a unit on your own if you have the tools and material available.
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Old 01-10-2004, 12:44 PM
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Default RE: castering tailwheels

Yes I know what you're talking about, but maybe I should have explained myself better. What I'm talking about is a steerable full castering tailwheel with a detent mechanism allowing the rudder to unlock the tailwheel at full rudder travel,allowing the wheel to caster 360 degrees, then when neutralizing the rudder again, the detents catch and its steerable with the rudder again. I'm thinking what I should do is take the full scale one apart sometime and see what's involved.
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Old 01-10-2004, 12:52 PM
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Default RE: castering tailwheels

Ah. sorry about that.

I see what you mean. I believe it should be possible. Might take some design testing but definately should be possible.
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Old 01-10-2004, 04:33 PM
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Default RE: castering tailwheels

Why? Aren't they used for ground handling purposes and then lock for takeoff control? We just pick 'em up and turn 'em. No need to push them around.

In the case of the warbirds they were lock straight for takeoffs I believe.
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Old 01-10-2004, 07:17 PM
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Default RE: castering tailwheels

Yes thats how they work in small planes anyway. Larger taildraggers have a locking pin that is mechanically locked for takeoff and landing, steers with the rudder I believe. Funny, but I work as a machinist, and the other day I got to make one of these locking pins for a B17 that was being flown to an airshow and stopped here for fuel. It had broken, and as you can imagine, parts are about 60 yrs out of print for those. I didn't charge a cent for it, I just wanted to look at the plane lol.
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Old 01-10-2004, 07:38 PM
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Default RE: castering tailwheels

In that case it sort of eliminates the need for a full castoring wheel then I would think?
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Old 01-10-2004, 08:20 PM
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Default RE: castering tailwheels

Nobody yet has mentioned the toe brakes on the end of the rudder bar on a full size light aircraft.

You can turn tightly because you have differential brakes on the two main wheels, so you can brake on one wheel and let the other run freely.

It might be possible to do this with a model, but I can't really see why.

My 2c worth!

-David C.
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