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Old Dec 26, 2002, 01:14 PM
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Steven9026's Avatar
Lexington, South Carolina
Joined Oct 2001
514 Posts
Switchback Landing Gear

Is anyone else having problems with the landing gear bending on their SB? I am flying in a school yard that has a soccer field that is not mowed nearly as often as it needs to be. The grass gets a little tall sometimes. I have one tiny spot where it stays low enough that I can do ROG take off. I try my best to land in the same spot, but if I come up a little short, or go come in a little hot and over extend the landing, I hit the taller grass. It's not tall enough to cause the plane to roll over on it's back, but it goes to a really quick stop. About ever 3 to 4 flights I have to straighten up the landing gear wire. It will start bending aft on one side or the other. My landings so far have been pretty good ones, nothing really hard. The plane comes in so slow it's hard to have a real bad landing. I am looking for a way to eliminate the bending of the gear. I thought about trying an aluminum gear, but I'm afraid the fuselage will not take the stress. I like the way the wire gear is forgiving, and offers the flex. I thought about going with a little bit heavier wire. So I'm open to suggestions.

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Last edited by Steven9026; Dec 26, 2002 at 03:56 PM.
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Old Dec 26, 2002, 02:39 PM
an earth bound misfit, I
Basketcase's Avatar
St. Pete, Florida
Joined Sep 2001
9,429 Posts
Hi Steven, IMHO going to the heavier wire is the best option. I had the same problem with the legs bending, after bending them straight again so many times one of them broke off at the bend. Have since gone to retracts and they are causing me problems in the grass too.

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Old Dec 26, 2002, 03:56 PM
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Steven9026's Avatar
Lexington, South Carolina
Joined Oct 2001
514 Posts
Well, my next problem is getting the ply cover off of the plane to replace the wire. it cracked on me one time while I was trying to straighten the gear, so I used epoxy to glue it back, instead of CA. LOL, I don't think the CA debonder will work on that. I might have to just sand all of it off, and make up a new ply piece.

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Last edited by Steven9026; Dec 26, 2002 at 03:58 PM.
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Old Dec 26, 2002, 04:10 PM
Name it, I've crashed it
Bill Germanson's Avatar
Joined Feb 2002
1,556 Posts
Landing gear mod for SB.

Steven, I had the same problem with my first SB but with the second I followed some advice from others here and just "switched" the landing gear around so that the top of the 'Y' that makes up the landing gear mount is at the front of the plane. It sticks out past the sides of the fuse a little but if you sand the points down it's not much.

I think the heavier wire is a good idea also but I didn't have any and this modification worked well. I've had about 15 flights and the gear have not moved a bit even with my plane, motor and battery combo being about 4 oz's heavier than stock.

- Bill;
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Old Dec 26, 2002, 04:17 PM
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North Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined Jun 2001
170 Posts
There is a mod to make the landing gear removable and reversable. Check some of the other switchback threads.

mike i.
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Old Dec 26, 2002, 08:08 PM
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BEC's Avatar
Auburn, Washington USA
Joined Jan 2001
12,946 Posts
The Switchback retract gears have .078 wire (5/64) rather than the 1/16 of the fixed gear and it's about strong enough...... When I put fixed gear on an SB I will do the heavier wire as well.
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Old Jan 02, 2003, 10:43 AM
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cfossa's Avatar
Stow, MA
Joined Mar 2002
1,041 Posts
Hi Guys,

Has anone tried moutning the SB landing gear the intended way, but angling the wire forward a bit? I like the idea of reversing the gear to prevent nose-overs, but it looks almost too far forward this way. I am thinking of angling the gear forward a bit to get the wheels somewhere between the forward and reverse location.

The drawbacks I can think of are less ground clearance for the prop, and possibly the wire will bend easier on landings this way.

What do you think?

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Old Jan 02, 2003, 02:30 PM
Registered User
Joined Oct 2002
9 Posts
Augment with additional wire?


As everyone knows, with the 8 cell battery pack that can be used, this adds to more weight for the landing gear, such that the SB is not controllable after landing (ie, when the aircraft slows down to a slow enough speed, one does not have anymore yaw directional control anymore due to the bending of the gear). So, either I change the "toe-in" of the landing gear, or add more strength to it. So, ....

If you don't mind adding few more grams of weights, try adding a "parallel set" of landing gear (ie, an augmented gear set). I saw a friend of mine do it to his 3D Lazer. I'm in the process of adding the 'additional' landing gear to my SB; ie, another piece of wire in the same shape as the original gear.

Making (getting) an exact duplicate of the bending can be tricky, but, I'm gonna try. The only difference in bending, is the base of the gear (the 'Y' part) near the fuse. I'm going to add additional balsa to make a new mount for the additional (augmented) gear. Then, use some string (Kevlar ?) in key areas, with glue, to attach the new gear to the original gear.

I'm gonna weight the parts before attaching to see how much weight is added. What does everyone thing of this idea?

Happy New Year.

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Old Jan 03, 2003, 01:55 AM
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RMihara's Avatar
San Mateo, California, United States
Joined Nov 2001
5,007 Posts
In the beginning I too have had my landing gear 'bend over backwards' to the point that I had one side snap off exactly like Wayne's did.

I had tried angling the struts forward by as much as 6 but that still did not stop the gear from bending rearward over the course of several landings.

I've since replaced the gear wire with 5/64" OD wire, added a 2mm CF rod crosslink between the two legs and now have a pretty tough landing gear.

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