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First Low-wing Tail dragger

Old 02-24-2006, 02:07 AM
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agexpert
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Default First Low-wing Tail dragger

I am still pretty new to flying. I have about 6 gallons through 3 planes (2 are .46's and one is a .91 4-stroke). I have only trikes. I have been afraid to get a TD or a low-wing plane, but it's time I move on.

I am interested in a 4-star .60. Prolly put a .91 4-stroke in it. Is that the best way for me to go?

I have seen the Dragon Lady and it looks nice too....lot's of wing. I also saw a u can do .90 flying today...you see, I am having some trouble ..... I intend to 'build' a SIG Mayhem ARF this summer too, regardless.

ARF's only please, I have to work sometime. (Who am I kidding?)

All opinions are appreciated.

Thanks,

Mark
Old 02-24-2006, 02:45 AM
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Red B.
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Default RE: First Low-wing Tail dragger

Get one!
A 4-star .60 is about the perfect aircraft for your purposes. With its low wing loading it is a very forgiving plane with nice flying characteristics. Do a search on RCU and you will find a lot of information. A .91 4-stroke will be adequate power.
BTW, a lot of people like to make modifications to the 4-star, while all are fine, none is necessary.

/Red B.
Old 02-24-2006, 02:49 AM
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forestroke
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Default RE: First Low-wing Tail dragger

both those planes are good. i'm sure you'll get an especially lot of good feedback on first one they love that plane here!

if i were you, though, i'd also consider these two

http://www.airborne-models.com/html/...p?ProductID=43

http://www.airborne-models.com/html/...p?ProductID=22

seriously good stuff :-)
Old 02-24-2006, 06:04 AM
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Default RE: First Low-wing Tail dragger


ORIGINAL: agexpert

I am still pretty new to flying. I have about 6 gallons through 3 planes (2 are .46's and one is a .91 4-stroke). I have only trikes. I have been afraid to get a TD or a low-wing plane, but it's time I move on.

I am interested in a 4-star .60. Prolly put a .91 4-stroke in it. Is that the best way for me to go?

I have seen the Dragon Lady and it looks nice too....lot's of wing. I also saw a u can do .90 flying today...you see, I am having some trouble ..... I intend to 'build' a SIG Mayhem ARF this summer too, regardless.

ARF's only please, I have to work sometime. (Who am I kidding?)

All opinions are appreciated.

Thanks,

Mark
Mark,

I am on the Mayhem 90 now after training for about 5 months on an Avistar. I have about 10 flights on my Mayhem 90 and am just loving it. Landing and taking off on a tail dragger for me is a ton more fun and much easier to me. The speed of landing is really incredibly slow, which really helps the transition to the more agile plane. I have dead sticked twice (SUPER NERVOUS first time) and just glided in and landed soft as cotton. It really bestowed a ton of confidence for me in the new plane. I am now learning high alphas, hovering, blenders, etc. The rolls are so much fun. The vertical authority is vastly different. It really has been a fun last couple of weeks for me.
Old 02-24-2006, 08:54 AM
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Lowlevlflyer
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Default RE: First Low-wing Tail dragger

I've got the Four Star 60 with a Magnum .91 four stroke, and love it. As was stated above, there are some mods that you can make to the Four Star, but none are really necessary unless you just want to give it more aerobatic abilities. Build it, stick a Magnum .91 and a 14x6 prop on it, and go have fun!
Old 02-24-2006, 11:31 AM
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Kwigen
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Default RE: First Low-wing Tail dragger

The toughest transition from trike to td is that we learn with a trike not to use much rudder on takeoff. I'm sure you had the same experience when you were first learning to fly where you either ran off the runway or tipped your plane over because you over-steered the nose wheel.

Taxi around for a while with your new td and get used to large rudder imputs.
Also, you will learn when and how to "hold" the tail on the ground. Taxi into the wind-up elevator. With the wind-down elevator. Keep your taxi speeds low and advance the throttle slowly at takeoff. As the plane speeds up the tail will come up and your rudder inputs become much less.
Remember, most of our planes are hugely overpowered and that most of the problems guys have with tds come from too much power applied too quickly.

Take your current plane out and practice with your throttle. I think you'll be surprised how little power it takes to takeoff. Practice "flying" your plane off the runway rather than powering it off.

Once you've flown a taildragger you will never go back to a trike. They are just easier to handle and maintain.
Old 02-24-2006, 04:56 PM
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TideFlyer
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Default RE: First Low-wing Tail dragger

Really, don`t fear a tail dragger. My second plane ( after my Avistar, great plane ) and first taildragger was a now-discontinued Kyosho PT-19. Using some rudder on takeoff was really not that hard at all. Now, landings were more of a challenge due to the wing mounted landing gear ( more likely to nose over ). My third plane was a 4*40. MUCH easier. I would recommend a taildragger with the gear in the fuselage as a first dragger, personally.
Old 02-24-2006, 06:54 PM
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Default RE: First Low-wing Tail dragger

I don't know if you will be able to find one (Ace stopped producing them) but I like the "Bingo". Plans were available from RCM but I think they are out of business.

That is the bad news the good news is that the 4-* 60 is very nearly the same plane and flies very good, has good ground handling and would be great with your 4 stoke .91.

I like the "Bingo" better and would go that way if you can find one.
Old 02-24-2006, 07:03 PM
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RCKen
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Default RE: First Low-wing Tail dragger


ORIGINAL: BingoFlyer

I don't know if you will be able to find one (Ace stopped producing them) but I like the "Bingo". Plans were available from RCM but I think they are out of business.
As of last month at least the RCM plans service was still up and running strong. Yes RCM magazine seems to have folded up, but the plans service has been and is seperate from the magazine and is still up and running. You should be able to order the plans that you want.

Ken
Old 02-26-2006, 01:05 AM
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Default RE: First Low-wing Tail dragger

My second plane and 1st taildragger was the Rascal 40 ARF. Beautiful plane and very easy to fly. Almost like a trainer, but more aerobatic. The thin wing lets it fly fast, but the 72" wingspan lets it slow down for landings. Flew it with a .52 fourstroke and a big shallow prop.

Jesse
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Old 02-26-2006, 01:41 AM
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Default RE: First Low-wing Tail dragger

The WM Rambler 45 is a great first low wing tail dragger, its a slightly big plane for a 40 size, handles superbly on the ground and in the air, all you need is any 46 2C and she is happy.

Like what Forestroke recommended, the WM Super Chipmunk is one of the best planes you can buy and fly for its class and price. Totally stable and will be very happy with a 90 sized 4C. She will come in for landing slightly hot if you do not flare her. The build is immaculate and flying it is a dream. She has almost no KE coupling. This is one of my favourite aerobatic scale plane. Old school but totally fun to fly ... my No. 2 is coming at the end of this month and it will have my YS110 in her.

Don't be scared of any tail dragger, its the same as a trike ... just watch the plane and do whatever it takes to keep the nose straight, it only means a little right rudder. Even on landings its the same as a trike. There seems to be more worry about flying a TD than it really is.
Old 02-26-2006, 10:55 AM
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Default RE: First Low-wing Tail dragger


ORIGINAL: whstlngdeath

My second plane and 1st taildragger was the Rascal 40 ARF. Beautiful plane and very easy to fly. Almost like a trainer, but more aerobatic. The thin wing lets it fly fast, but the 72" wingspan lets it slow down for landings. Flew it with a .52 fourstroke and a big shallow prop.

Jesse
Rascals are lovely things [sm=thumbup.gif]
Old 02-26-2006, 10:58 AM
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Default RE: First Low-wing Tail dragger

I wish I could get a Rascal for an EP project, here they cost a bomb, the distributor says its shipping cost, its listed at USD320!
Old 02-26-2006, 12:27 PM
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Default RE: First Low-wing Tail dragger

The main thing about tail draggers is that the main wheels contact point is in front of the plane's center of mass while on tricycles, the main wheel's contact point is behind the plane's center of mass.
On trikes, the centrifugal force of a turn acting on the plane's center of mass, attempts to straighten the turn. The plane is not only nose heavy to the wing's center of lift but also nose heavy to the wheel's center of traction. This means that the plane is stable when rolling as well as when flying.
Taildraggers, are nose heavy to the wing's center of lift so are stable when flying but are tail heavy to the wheel's center of traction so they are unstable when rolling. The centrifugal force of a turn acting on the plane's center of mass behind the main wheels tries to tighten the turn and in extreme cases results in a "ground loop", a turn that goes completely out of control. During high speed taxiing, a taildragger may need some opposite control to kill a turn once it has started and you have to watch out for overcontrolling the plane. If you find the plane going into a series of overcontrol oscilalations, it's best to thottle back and abort the takeoff attempt.

Planes like the 4*60, ugly sticks, etc have enough tail area that aerodynamic stability is already dominating long before they are going fast enough to take off. That is, the rudder and not the tail wheel is steering the plane during the takeoff roll. Beginners need not fear these planes, they almost don't count as taildragger experience.

Soft foam wheels, because of their higher rolling resistance and lower grip, tend to reduce the positive feedback that make TDs unstable on the ground. Just like your car understeers and plows through turns when the front tires are underinflated, the foam wheels sideslip and don't tend to hook the plane into a tighter turn. Also, since the wheel on the outside of the turn gets loaded and the wheel inside of the turn gets lifted, the increased rolling resistance of the loaded wheel and reduced rolling resistance of the unloaded wheel tends to fight the turn and helps stabilize the plane on the ground. If you have ever flown in a full scale taildragger, you may have noticed the pilot using the individual wheel brakes to keep the plane straight as the plane slows down after a landing or during the early stages of the takeoff.

Like other posters have noted, there is no need to fear taildraggers, they aren't that hard to handle. If you pick a day when there is a little headwind on the runway for your first flight, you will have absolutely no problems. Taking off or landing downwind is just asking for a groundloop however.
Old 02-26-2006, 01:53 PM
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Default RE: First Low-wing Tail dragger

The Sig 4*60 was my first glow plane and I strongly recommend it. I have a TT.91RFS on it, balances perfectly and swinging an APC 14x6.

Old 02-26-2006, 10:14 PM
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Default RE: First Low-wing Tail dragger

B.L.E. - are you sure? while your centrifugal force (which doesn't really exist it's mere momentum) explains ground looping, i always attributed ground looping to weathervaning in winds. on a calm day, i never ground loop. but then, i'm no expert

i think the main reason why TD require more skill on the ground is because the tail dragger configuration demands that the plane's rear wheel be really small, otherwise the plane may not be able to easily rotate on take-off or flair on landing. this small wheel isn't as effective for three reasons

1. the small wheel is, well, small, so it doesn't have much traction
2. at a neutral attitude, the wheel isn't even on the ground
3. because it's so small, the designs of tail draggers don't put too much weight on the tail wheel.

the effects of this can be reduced by choosing a plane with a very long moment (long fuse) so that the lack of traction is offset by added leverage. also, as B.L.E. mentioned, a larger rudder which may be effective even before the tail is off the ground. the trick is to get the rudder working right as the tail loses traction. another way that is common, but i think it's not very sophisticated, is to bend their main gears forward. this squat stance puts a lot more weight on the tail wheel and allows the plane to sit more level. it's not very scale takeoff but it works.

it is also much easier to tip stall a tail dragger on take off because of the CG being aft of the main gears and the tail wheel allowing enough AOA to stall. on the other hand, a trike configuration, the tail must work against the CG to rotate the plane so it's more balanced.

and lastly, it's nearly impossible for a trike to nose over. but it's natural for a taildragger to have that tendency. on my cub, i have to be very quick with elevator on take off because the downthrust will bring the nose down quickly if you're not careful. and of course on landing, if anything goes wrong (my right wheel fell off mid flight this past weekend [:@] doh!) you're bound to scratch up the cowl (as i did) or end up on your back. bending the gear forward does wonders for this. i just witnessed six KMP GeeBees with G26s this weekend and didn't see a single nose over. the builder (store owner) had raked the gear forward and shortened it to a degree that once the plane got on the ground, that squat stance just took over.

in terms of flying, once it's in the air, they are the same.

the best TD ground handling i've experienced is on my WM ZEN50. it's heavy weight, long moment, and generally neutral attitude on the ground helped it tremendously. needless to say, the worst is my cub, which is light, has a short fuse, sits very angled up and loves to spin. but with just a little practice, anything is not just possible, but beautiful
Old 02-26-2006, 11:04 PM
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Default RE: First Low-wing Tail dragger

forestroke, I aced physics in college so I'm well aware that "centrifugal force" is a psudo-force, but using it sometimes makes explaining things a little simpler even though it offends the purists.
With TD gear location, you have to deal with sort of a dilemma. Move it forward, ahead of the plane's CG and the plane is less likely to nose over but more likely to ground loop. Move the landing gear closer to the CG and the plane is less likely to ground loop but more likely to nose over. The taildraggers that I own seldom nose over which probably explains why mine like to ground loop, except my Ultrafly Outrage which loves to nose over on landing but never has a groundloop problem, even though it does not even have a tail wheel, or maybe it just is flying before it has a chance to get out of shape. It's so overpowered that it takes off like a flushed quail.
Old 02-27-2006, 12:01 AM
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Default RE: First Low-wing Tail dragger

for a floaty ARF that is fun and cheap try the U-can DO 46. on lo settings it flys like a trainer and Hi you can do all the acrobatics your sticks can handle for ARF it builds easy
Old 02-27-2006, 03:33 AM
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forestroke
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Default RE: First Low-wing Tail dragger

B.L.E. - college physics :-) didn't do so poorly myself! well i've only had a few planes that love to ground loop, the cub is notorious, and the neiuport was a pain to keep in a straight line. both with super short coupling. my caps, sukhoi, rambler, zen and other planes are all okay. on second thought, the funtana was pretty easy on the ground as well.

agexpert, the funtana is pretty nice, too but doesn't(you shouldn't) fly very fast.

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