Resecuring the Lancair ES nose wheel assembly
I recently had a close mishap with my Lancair ES. This is the plane built two years ago, and is on earlier blog entries. I overcorrected whilst flaring onto a grass field, and nearly stalled the plane!
The plane hit nose wheel first (only slightly), before touching down. I had plenty of prop clearance, and no issues occured per se, except that the nose wheel was becoming increasingly loose (on the fuselage) with significant play ensuing from the hard landing.
I decided to use Dubro 2.5mm (15mm long) capscrews and 2.5mm washers/nuts to BOLT the nylon collets onto the firewall. I used a 3/32" drill bit to drill the holes out where previously the stock screws were positioned, and used some graphite-epoxy to secure the nylon spacer nuts and slightly reinforce the fiberglass firewall where these were mounted. The whole job took less than 1 hour, and is rock solid now.
It does not interfere with battery placement, nor does it affect steering (other than being better than stock!). The capscrews are secured with a 2.5mm nut, and two washers: one on top of the nylon collet (where the gear strut fits into it) and one on the inside of the firewall.
I can now fly on even rougher fields without issue moving forward. I recommend this "upgrade" to anyone who flies this plane a lot, and are looking for a more secure way to have this nosewheel/gear stay in good working order over a large range of landing surfaces. Even flying on pavement, this beefier setup takes all the residual play out of the nosewheel now (except the tiny bit left between the nylon and nose strut needed for smooth turning).
I forgot to shoot some pix before replacing the cowling and prop, but if you refer to the earlier build images on my Lancair ES, you'll immediately see what I did. If anyone has questions, please feel free to ask!
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