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All About Retracts - A Tutorial (Hopefully)

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All About Retracts - A Tutorial (Hopefully)

Old 12-23-2009, 09:13 AM
  #26  
smkrcflyer
 
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Default RE: All About Retracts - A Tutorial (Hopefully)

I have a question about the Spring Air retracts. Do they come up fast or is there some type of control to the motion. I’m thinking about getting a set for my TF 60 size P-47.
Old 12-23-2009, 09:20 AM
  #27  
MinnFlyer
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Default RE: All About Retracts - A Tutorial (Hopefully)

There is a control valve available for $20

http://www.retracts.com/Accessories.htm
Old 12-26-2009, 03:33 AM
  #28  
pappy69
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Default RE: All About Retracts - A Tutorial (Hopefully)

Actually there are 2 types of retracts as far as i know.
1st is the Air up Air down
2nd is the Air up spring down

The first system needs a closed cirquit of tubing because air acts on both movements.(needs air for extracts and retract)
The second system needs air to retract but once you release it it will extract by it self since there is a spring inside that pushes back the piston valve.

My personal opinion is that the Air up spring down system is more secure because in case that you loose your pressure (once you are airborne) or there is a cut or puncture in the line your system will always retract and in the worst case you will complete all your flight with your gear down.

As about the valves you can find different that will do the job.
There are valves like the Robart red that has regulator so the movement is more slow thus scale or single (blue colour) that just does the job.
The spring loaded cylinders will be more secure but the extraction part of the moovement will be not that scale even if you have a regulator that controls the releave of the air in the system. To me it just has to do with sacrificing scale movement to security.
Og course except robart you can search for FESTO that are more relaiable and have also some more functions like a proximity switch.
By the term proximity i mean that the piston internaly on the one side has a magnet.
This magnet will together with a magnetic sencor (i mentioned this in my previous post!!!) can have a use of many different uses eg. when retracts will be extracted then this magnetic switch makes landing lights go off and thus you can see from faraway if your landing gear is down and secure!!!




Old 12-26-2009, 09:35 AM
  #29  
DavidAgar
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Default RE: All About Retracts - A Tutorial (Hopefully)

It is tough to match Spring Air. I have used them for years and will not switch to any other. They are easy to install as each gear only has one air line and they are dependable. I would recommend staying away from the 5/32 inch wire struts and go with the 3/16 inch strut units. They are designed to be in the down position and it takes air to hold them up. Robart has released a seris of gear that do the same thing, but I have not tried them so I cannot speak to how they work. Good Luck, Dave
Old 12-26-2009, 11:22 AM
  #30  
mirwin
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Default RE: All About Retracts - A Tutorial (Hopefully)

I'm using Lado retracts on a GS P-47 and on a H9 .60 Corsair. I've been very happy with them. However, one of the actuators on the Corsair failed (appears to be an electrical problem), and I doubt I'll be able to replace the actuator since Lado is having troubles. So I'm considerinag alternatives such as Spring Air. I like the Air Up / Spring Down feature. But I have a question:

With Air Up / Spring Down, what happens when you remove the wings? Do the gear spring down? If so, how does one deal with that in terms of transportation? Do you learn to live with it?

This is a super thread, Beagle. I love my warbirds and no respectable WW-II warbird has fixed gear. But the retracts really are a PITA. This thread will be a regular for me!


Happy New Year to all,
Mike

Old 12-27-2009, 12:38 AM
  #31  
gsoav8r
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Default RE: All About Retracts - A Tutorial (Hopefully)

Hi everyone,

Ive had the pleasure of owning three brands of retacts. The first set I bought years ago was Spring Air and they worked great. The second set I had came with an ARF from Cermark and I was less than impressed. The last set I got last year were from Robart and also work great.

Personally I think the Robart and Spring Air are very good for the price and to which type to go for, spring down or air down, really might depend on your modeling goals. For example, IMO if you dont have gear doors to contend with save yourself some install hassle and get the Spring Air. If you have other considerations such as wanting more control over gear up and down speeds, gear doors...you might consider looking at the Robart stuff. They make a decent variable valve that uses simple needle screws.

With that said there are some things you need to know and do to have repeatable success with retracts. They are an extra source of maintainance on any model but to me well worth it once you get used to them.

1. If you cant land a moderately wing loaded plane well and repeatedly forget them. They will be more headache then there worth.
2. Ive found that for quality go with a name brand. No knockoffs. They just plain work better from the start. Also, you will eventually need service parts, like o-rings.
3. When installing set screws in any part be it trunions, struts, axles, collars, etc you have to make flats for the set screws to seat in. None of that set screw seated against a perfectly round axle like a beginner would do.
4. Use loc-tite on All fasteners that are metal to metal. Engine vibrations will make something come apart otherwise. Ive seen it happen in just a few flights.
5. All that plus regular checks for wear, loose screws and nuts will normally keep things happy.
6. Retracts are not install and forget.

Heres a few pics I have of a GP F4 Phantom II I built last year. Shes heavily modified.
Pic 1 shows the air line routing thru the wheel well. The wire you see is for the right nav lamp.
Pic 2 shows the inner gear door mechanics. The wheel catches the lever (pop sicle stick) and pulls the door closed. The rest of the bits are common hinges, control horns, ball link.... the spring keeps the door open.
Pics 3, 4, 5 show the nose gear door. The nose gear pushes the door open and the spring you see pulls the door closed when the gear is up. The 3/8in hole in the door is for the landing light.

Cheers,
James
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Old 12-27-2009, 01:33 AM
  #32  
Bozarth
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Default RE: All About Retracts - A Tutorial (Hopefully)

Spring Air makes a small inline restrictor which slows down the retract speed.

Regarding transportation - I made a small key to hold the gear in the retracted posistion during transportation.

Kurt
Old 02-21-2010, 03:38 PM
  #33  
Robinaire
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Default RE: All About Retracts - A Tutorial (Hopefully)

HI Bama. I just happened on this, so forgive my lateness! I'm curious; what scale is your P-51? Kit or plans built? Lee Robinson W. Palm Beach.
Old 02-26-2010, 11:08 PM
  #34  
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Default RE: All About Retracts - A Tutorial (Hopefully)

Regarding the straightening of the nose wheel prior to retraction some retract systems take care of this in their design. In the attached picture notice two small spring wires whose role is to straighten the nosewheel when the pull pull steering lines go slack as the gear retracts.
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:24 PM
  #35  
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Default RE: All About Retracts - A Tutorial (Hopefully)

I have a question about gear door's and how to mount them to the retract strut. the instructions on my retracts say's to glue wood blocks that have been drilled to fit over the struts. that would be ok if the struts where an old set but as they are new and nice and shiney custom pollished aluminum well lets just say that is not the way I want to go. is there any other way that any one knows of conecting the gear doors . I guess I should mention the plane it is a 150 size P47D from troy Built Models .
thank you
hyflyer9.
Old 05-06-2010, 09:48 AM
  #36  
gsoav8r
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Default RE: All About Retracts - A Tutorial (Hopefully)


ORIGINAL: hyflyer9

I have a question about gear door's and how to mount them to the retract strut. the instructions on my retracts say's to glue wood blocks that have been drilled to fit over the struts. that would be ok if the struts where an old set but as they are new and nice and shiney custom pollished aluminum well lets just say that is not the way I want to go. is there any other way that any one knows of conecting the gear doors . I guess I should mention the plane it is a 150 size P47D from troy Built Models .
thank you
hyflyer9.
Hi,
I dont like the idea of gluing blocks to the gear either. Ive seen them used before and I dont think they hold up well nor look good.
That said, Robart makes some nice aluminum Gear Door Mounting Brackets. You can see them in the first two pics I posted above.
Robart list them on their site under the individual strut size page. ie.3/8 strut size page has the struts and brackets.
The cheapest Ive found the brackets is at Tower.
Cheers,
James
Old 06-09-2010, 07:18 AM
  #37  
Skyseeker1
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Default RE: All About Retracts - A Tutorial (Hopefully)

Never, was so much written by so many for so little need. If only our modeling industry would have had the common sense to take up where Phil Kraft left off. Kraft had electric retracts way back in the last millenium. No air tanks to find room for, no elbows and Tee's to leak, no valves to fail. For certain, in-flight batteries and electric retract technology needed refining, but hey, it's 2010! The LADO retract system has come along just about 4 decades late. Soon now, the electric retract system will be seen everywhere, and, the air systems will become museum artifacts that will serve as testimony to a modeling industry whose imagination was out to lunch 40 years ago. Modelers, you have struggled with air systems un-neccessarily for that long.

The only problem - LADO

They have a great product whose time is way overdue, but , someone who knows what the hell they're doing needs to buy them out and operate their business! Because as of now LADO is a nest for theives and liars.
Old 06-09-2010, 08:22 PM
  #38  
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Default RE: All About Retracts - A Tutorial (Hopefully)

Has anyone noticed these yet? 60 - 120 Tricycle Electric Retracts by E-flite. Not out yet it seems. There is a video on You Tube from the Toledo show.

Sale link info is http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products...ProdID=EFLG430
Old 06-09-2010, 08:34 PM
  #39  
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Default RE: All About Retracts - A Tutorial (Hopefully)

is it normal for the one way fill valve to release the pressure after about five cycles of the retracts
thank you.
Old 06-09-2010, 09:56 PM
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Default RE: All About Retracts - A Tutorial (Hopefully)


ORIGINAL: hyflyer9

is it normal for the one way fill valve to release the pressure after about five cycles of the retracts
thank you.
Hey hyflyer9,
Your Fill Valve shouldnt lose air. However, its normal for the Control Valve to bleed air during cycles. When you pressurize one side of the system the other side has to bleed off for the system to work. My system which is air up/down has a small robart tank and loses about 10psi/cycle (up and down). Or 5psi for up or down. If your using Spring Air type gear you only bleed air when the gear is lowered.
Cheers.
Old 06-09-2010, 10:16 PM
  #41  
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Default RE: All About Retracts - A Tutorial (Hopefully)

go to www.downandlocked.com they are a new electric retract manufacturer that specializes in electric conversion of your air or mechanical retracts and they are located in North Carolina
Old 06-09-2010, 10:24 PM
  #42  
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Default RE: All About Retracts - A Tutorial (Hopefully)

it is actually the fill valve that is releasing the air the system is air up/down but it seems it only will only release the air when it gets to a low point of remaining air . this takes about 5 cycles of up/down
Old 06-09-2010, 10:34 PM
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Default RE: All About Retracts - A Tutorial (Hopefully)

I have a 46 size vq hurricane with a set of spring airs on it and they have been nothing but trouble. They dont allways work upside down, like gravity is enough to stop them. Twice one of the gears has failed to spring down at all. Is it a valve problem or a retract unit itself problem?
Old 06-09-2010, 11:01 PM
  #44  
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Default RE: All About Retracts - A Tutorial (Hopefully)


ORIGINAL: hyflyer9

it is actually the fill valve that is releasing the air the system is air up/down but it seems it only will only release the air when it gets to a low point of remaining air . this takes about 5 cycles of up/down
Interesting. Ive not run into that before. Its my experience that if the fill valve is functioning properly it should not leak air regardless of the systems pressure. Id be concerned that the valve could worsen over time and start leaking at even lesser cycles.
What brand of valve and model? How old is it?
Thanks.
Old 06-09-2010, 11:20 PM
  #45  
gsoav8r
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Default RE: All About Retracts - A Tutorial (Hopefully)


ORIGINAL: tmaucher

I have a 46 size vq hurricane with a set of spring airs on it and they have been nothing but trouble. They dont allways work upside down, like gravity is enough to stop them. Twice one of the gears has failed to spring down at all. Is it a valve problem or a retract unit itself problem?
Hi, are your retracts actually made by Spring Air or are they some other brand?

In general spring air style gear dont work well upside down. Your right that gravity can be enough to stop them. When the plane is inverted the spring force in the pistons have to overcome the mass of the wheels, struts, wheel pants.... you generally need the gravtiy assist to get the gear down and locked.

If the gear is failing to come down odds are you have a retract problem. Could be many reasons. Dirt in the gear jamming the action. Maybe the gear is old and the springs have relaxed some and need replacing. Maybe the pistons seals need lube. Not to mention what a bad landing can do to make gear not work right. Ive been there done that.
Old 06-09-2010, 11:26 PM
  #46  
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Default RE: All About Retracts - A Tutorial (Hopefully)

the air control valve is robart new two days and the fill valve is new as well but it is esm brand I'm not going to chance it just going to replace it with a new robart
thanks
cheers
hyflyer9.
Old 06-09-2010, 11:40 PM
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Default RE: All About Retracts - A Tutorial (Hopefully)

Yeah, Ive no info or experience with ESM stuff. Hope the Robart valve fixes you up.
Cheers.
Old 11-15-2017, 01:40 AM
  #48  
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Default Tail Wheel retract issues.

Hi fellow searchers, 2017 and I still have the same problem.

It should be so easy with digital rc equipment to have the retract switch/servo also generate the on/off state for a Tail wheel servo . . . even if it is mixed with the rudder servo. The tail wheel servo is on its own channel.

That would solve my problem . . 🤔
Old 08-22-2021, 10:22 AM
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orthobird
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Default

what is the recommended pressure for SIERRA retracts?

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