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Aug 02, 2019, 06:40 AM
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Using the Valiant 1.3 Landing Gear in another model


The Valiant 1.3 Landing Gear (E-flite - Valiant 1.3 Landing gear set - 4955) can be used on other models with a little modification. I have purchased (under $15) and installed about 8 so far in Apprentices, Timbers, and Turbo Timbers. The gear comes with screws and a tailwheel that fits the Valiant. The gear might be on backorder and I had to wait a few weeks for my latest shipment. If you are looking for one of the best SAFE intermediate sport designs purchase the whole model (with the AR636 RX) as itís my favorite plane to instruct with. It is slightly smaller, faster, and more aerobatic than the Timber but can land slow with the nice flap design.

For the Turbo Timber remove the screws that secure the stock landing gear. I put all the wheels, legs, springs and parts in a large plastic baggy. This way you can trial fit the Valiant gear into the battery bay without interference. The U shape portion of the gear is designs so that the battery can fit between the legs. I put the U shape all the way aft in the battery bay and secure it with low temp hot glue. If you need to remove the gear then use 95 percent alcohol and a small brush to break the bond. For my original Timber (that does not have the 4 carbon fiber reinforcement tubes) I made up some balsa ply sides to reinforce the foam fuselage. These sides support hardwood so the included screws can be used to remove the landing gear for float gear installation or for belly landings.

The wheel pants can be angled up or down in relation to the centerline of the fuselage. I made a centerline on the side of the wheel pant with tape and made the gear parallel with the centerline of the fuselage. I then tack glued the gear at that angle and added more glue and reinforcement to the mental and surrounding foam or wood.

Iíve seen a few modified gear shear away from very bad crashes. In that case the gear may have to be re bent. The metal is soft enough that it can be hand bent back into shape. A vice or a pair of Vice Grips makes it easier.

Once the gear is secured in place you can use your stock battery and straps. I usually remove the stock straps and use better velcro. I hot glue small velcro tabs on the sides of the battery bay to keep the straps attached until the battery is placed inside and hooked up. I then use a single strap to keep the battery from shifting fore or aft. I put 1/8 to 1/4 inch of hard foam between the battery and battery floor as a cusion to keep the battery tight and secure rather than use hook and loop velcro.

The foam belly door can be relieved on the sides with a small box cutter for clearance between the aluminum legs and the fuselage battery bay. Any large areas of foam that are missing can be filled in with scrap foam and regular CA and then sanded. I use white trim Monocote or white electrical tape to cover gaps and recesses left by the stock plastic Timber landing gear support parts.

The CG is moved forward with the new landing gear. Itís not much and if you use SAFE the elevator gyro will command the elevator to keep the fuselage level if you let go of the elevator stick. Without SAFE you can go to a lighter battery pack or tape a penny on the tail. CG is not important unless you want to fly inverted for extended periods with out having to hold down elevator. If thatís the case go to another model design.

The forward placement of the Valiant landing gear moves the wheel axles forward and the resultant is a reduction of nose over forces when the model touches down and/or decelerates on the runway surface. The type of surface and grass length will change the physics of the nose over forces. In all but the most severe landing surfaces no nose overs will occur.

The forward placement of the landing gear will increase the forces for ground looping so use the rudder and elevator until lift off. Up elevator on take off acceleration keeps the tailwheel on the runway and along with rudder keeps the fuselage straight with crosswinds. Rapid throttle takeoffs can be done but be prepared for a left yaw because of the propwash and P factor forces. A 5 to 8 second takeoff run is about right. It looks more realistic and gives you time to correct with rudder.

Ground looping can be used for very tight ground maneuvers. With full up elevator and full rudder you can slowly add full power and do a 360 rotation in one second. This must be practiced to perfect but is fun and can come in useful when slow taxi turning around a ground obstacle does not work.

The wheel pants can be used for ground ops with out the wheels. One time a flyer removed the axles and wheels and did not tighten one of the axles and it got lost in the grass. I removed the other wheel and used clear tape to cover the wheel hole. The wheel pants acted like skis on the grass. This was fun as it offered sliding and braking to the ground operations. It also reduced the weight and moved the CG aft.
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Sep 12, 2019, 07:02 PM
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