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Old Aug 24, 2011, 08:17 PM
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Fixed tail wheel or movable on tail dragger

Got a question for you folks' I recentlly aquired a Telemaster 66 complete in the box. In the intruction/plans it has a fixed tail wheel provided. Which would you guys recommend, go with the fix tailwheel, or a movable tail wheel? The runway will be short grass. Sugestions gent's and girls,
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Old Aug 24, 2011, 09:46 PM
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The tail wheel should track with the rudder for best control. A fixed wheel will not allow you to turn or keep the takeoff run straight,until you get a good prop blast over the rudder and tail up.
Did you really mean fixed in position or "fixed" as not a caster?
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Old Aug 25, 2011, 05:19 AM
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Yes it is a non caster, the tailwheel wire is fixed to a former and is non turning. I have a couple of the caster types in my parts box, so I think I will mount one of those instead. Thanks for the reply.
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Old Aug 25, 2011, 08:56 AM
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The best setup is a tailwheel that turns with the rudder. A castering tailwheel (i.e. one that is free to turn in any direction and not attached to the rudder) is worse than a fixed tailwheel, at least on grass. So if your choice is between castering and fixed, fixed is better: at least you'll get a straight takeoff run once you get the plane lined up.
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Old Aug 25, 2011, 09:12 AM
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Top gunn that was what I'am going to do, have it work with the rudder. It was 4am this morning when I was writing that and had not had my first cup of coffee. Thanks a bunch.
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Old Aug 25, 2011, 11:09 AM
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If you are flying off grass, the fixed tail wheel will be almost as good as a steerable one, you could even substitute a skid instead of the wheel to save weight and simplify. A wheel does help on a hard runway but even there it is not necessary.
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Old Aug 25, 2011, 03:57 PM
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slave the tail wheel to the rudder. i've had tail skid and non slaved tail wheels. swore them off over 10 years ago. it's not worth the weight savings!
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Old Aug 25, 2011, 04:05 PM
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I use a couple castering type and like them. They are a challenge and if the wind isn't to high they are no big deal. I get a kick out of some of the guys that can't handle it. It's all in what YOU can use and what you want. ENJOY !!! RED
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Old Aug 25, 2011, 04:20 PM
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I've got very mixed feelings about tailwheels, for the most part, I've found inexpensive tailwheel assemblies to be rather flimsy and over time, they get bent out of shape, especially if flying off grass, which also tends to tangle up in them.

That said, steerable wheels can be a boon, but on smaller models, I've never really found them to be much better for directional control than a tailskid which ends in a fairly small radius.

I don't like physically linking rudder to tailwheel, at least without some breakaway built in, so that a hard landing, divot or a slightly skewed landing doesn't transmit all that load directly to the servo.

What I have seen is a semi-castering wheel which freely casters but only within a limited range. I quite like that idea. Taxying isn't an issue for the most part since taxying in and out of the pits is verboten at my club.
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Old Aug 25, 2011, 04:35 PM
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Taxying in ond out of the pits is forbidden at my club too BUT, taxying back from the landing at the other end of the field is much easier with a steerable tail wheel when a cross wind wants to weather vane you

BTW we fly off pavement so don't have the drag of grass to help keep it straight.
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Old Aug 25, 2011, 05:16 PM
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Ah, see, we have grass, divots, lumps, bumps, sand and wheel ruts from full size aircraft, so taxying anything other than a reasonably large model is rather hit and miss (or indeed hit and nose over!)

My approach is to land such that the landing roll out (what little there usually is) finishes up more or less opposite where I am standing.
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Old Aug 26, 2011, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCarlton View Post
Ah, see, we have grass, divots, lumps, bumps, sand and wheel ruts from full size aircraft, so taxying anything other than a reasonably large model is rather hit and miss (or indeed hit and nose over!)

My approach is to land such that the landing roll out (what little there usually is) finishes up more or less opposite where I am standing.
My goal is to do that too, however my DeNight Special 50 does not land that slow and we stand at the front end of the runway.
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