Author Topic: Locking Tail Wheel  (Read 3142 times)

Phil Kite

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Locking Tail Wheel
« on: January 27, 2013, 08:04:28 PM »
I have seen some small non-steering but locking tail wheels used on some aerobatic aircraft.  I realize that the original Culver had a non-steering fully castering tail wheel.  I am working on my project but have never flown a Culver :(.  Would a locking tail wheel be an improvement to fully castering?  Or does the full swivel wheel work just fine?

Cheers,

Phil

JoeB

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Re: Locking Tail Wheel
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2013, 10:15:16 PM »
Hi Phil,
I really can't answer your question about a fully castering wheel as I have a steerable on my Culver.  I can tell you that the ground handling is excellent with the steerable wheel and it unlocks nicely when needed.
Best Regards,
Joe

Bill Poynter

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Re: Locking Tail Wheel
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2013, 09:03:01 AM »
I've had two Cadets with full-swivel tail wheels.

My experience has been that if the brakes are working well, the full-swivel version is no problem.  The Cleveland brake conversion would pair up nicely with the original, non-steerable tail wheel. 

Culver Dreamer

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Re: Locking Tail Wheel
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2013, 10:53:00 AM »
 I havn't flown with a non stearable tailwheel Cadet either. I don't know why you would want it that way. With a stearable tail wheel you have the advantage of positive controll while taxing, less brake wear, less strain on the entire airframe and landing gear from constant jabbing of the brakes to maneuver, better control in a crosswind.
Having made my point above as long as there is sufficient rudder ( and the Cadet has plenty of rudder) it will probably work out ok as origionaly designed. I flew the DC3 and it had a lockable but free wheeling tailwheel which I found a pain but hay the design hasn't been modified on it in its working lifespan.
Mark

Tim Lunceford

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Re: Locking Tail Wheel
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2013, 02:27:26 PM »
My first Cadet had the stock castering tailwheel and the oridginal brakes.  At the time ( early '70s ) I had flown 13 different types of tailwheel equipt aircraft.  Mostly antique or homebuilt with no problems.  Imagine the bruising my ego endured when I ground loop the Cadet 3 times in 2 days!!  The brakes had been set up with little clearance in order to increase braking.  They would get hot after a touch and go.  On the next landing they would grab and around we would go.  My flying buddies all found this very amusing.  I suggest Cleaveland brakes and a steerable tailwheel as good practical insurance  Tim

Brett Lovett

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Re: Locking Tail Wheel
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2013, 11:15:38 PM »
I havn't flown with a non stearable tailwheel Cadet either. I don't know why you would want it that way. With a stearable tail wheel you have the advantage of positive controll while taxing, less brake wear, less strain on the entire airframe and landing gear from constant jabbing of the brakes to maneuver, better control in a crosswind.
Having made my point above as long as there is sufficient rudder ( and the Cadet has plenty of rudder) it will probably work out ok as origionaly designed. I flew the DC3 and it had a lockable but free wheeling tailwheel which I found a pain but hay the design hasn't been modified on it in its working lifespan.
Mark

Mark,

The reason that someone would want it that way is because that's the way that it was built.  I don't believe the factory ever produced an LCA or LFA with a steerable tailwheel.  The addition of tailwheel steering on the Culver is not as straight forward as in an aircraft where the bottom of the rudder can serve as a mounting point for a rudder horn.  The rudder horn isolates the tension of the tailwheel springs from the rudder cables.  I have copies of Culver factory drawings for a tailwheel steering installation, but one which does not isolate the tailwheel steering spring tension from the rudder cable.  A portion of the steering cables were erased from the drawings.

I've seen a few steerable tailwheel installations on Culvers that ignore this issue (including on my own), and some that use some type of horn to address it.

Brett