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Old Apr 25, 2012, 05:45 PM
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United States, OR, Canby
Joined Aug 2011
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Originally Posted by SilverState RC View Post
Really its going to be up to you. Ive been told with full size aircraft a tail dragger will get airborne faster (less runway). Not to mention the fact that you can turn a larger prop as it will sit higher with the tail on the ground. But landing with a larger prop forces you to have to make a 3 point or near a 3 point landing to save the prop.

Ground handling in my opinion is better with a tail dragger. My reasoning for this compared trike gear is if you have to turn hard on the ground with a trike typically the nose wheel works like a pivot point the plane is more likely to tip. Where with a tail dragger your steering from the rear and the tail will swap ends and with little tip over tendancy.

Taking off is pretty much the same you still have to put in a little right rudder to keep it going straight to counter act the torque of the motor. But this is where a tail dragger excells over a trike. Once the tail is flying on a tail dragger you can almost forget about rudder inputs and concentrate on getting the plane airborne. Where with a trike your riding the rudder stick almost untill it gets airborne. But this will also depend on runway surface and wind conditions.

These statements are my opinions and experience's. Others may disagree. But Ive been told by full size aircraft pilots that REAL pilots fly taildraggers.
From the perspective of full scale. Tail draggers tend to be more difficult on the ground because the CG is behind the main gear which causes them to want to swap ends, i.e. ground loop, this is a danger as long as the wheels are on the ground but lessens as you reach flying speed. You don't stop "flying" a TD until it has come to a complete stop. With a trike the CG is ahead of the main gear and tends to keep the plane straight when the wheels are on the ground.

Trikes don't like hard turns in a high speed taxi, they tip over like a kids tricycle. The proper takeoff technique is to lift the nose wheel as soon as possible. In a soft field takeoff you pull the yoke to your chest right from the start then let off pressure as the wheel comes off the ground so you don't whack the tail on the ground.

Both types require you to stay on the rudder because of the left turning tendancy of torque and P-factor.

Real Pilots fly tail draggers because they are more difficult to take off and land plus pilots tend to have big egos and Trikes are used as primary trainers for ease of ground handling.

Yes I have flown full scale and have flown TD but only for a flight review and not to solo them.
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