Improved Tailwheels for Chief 11cc

Landing gear, wheels, brakes and tailwheels for all aircraft.
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mark chandler
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Improved Tailwheels for Chief 11cc

Post by mark chandler » Mon Jan 08, 2007 00:48

I am a non pilot and I have just made an offer on a chief 11cc 0-200 and I have heard that there are several tailwheels that can be put on to improve ground handling. First of all can someone explain the difference between having tension springs vs compression springs (which I heard are better) on the tailwheel. What is the advantage and cost of a scott tailwheel. (I saw a 3200 on e-bay today) I also heard about an Alaska wheel. Does anyone have experience with this? Thanks in advance for your advice. I start ground school tomorrow. Cannot wait to get my Chief and learn to fly.

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Nathan K. Hammond
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Post by Nathan K. Hammond » Mon Jan 08, 2007 02:56

Hi Mark,

Compression springs will make the rudder pedals firmer when taxing, Tension springs will make the pedals a little softer. It really doesn't matter which you use, they both handle the same. I preffer tension springs because they're the standard on most applications, and I like a lighter, softer pedal.

Scott 3200 T/W's are nice because they are darn near bullet proof. Further, they've got a pneumatic tire which rides MUCH better than a solid rubber style. Plus you can adjust the tail wheel locking tention. In other words, you can have it break into a full swivel really easy or just the opposite; it doesn't break at all. They do have 2 downsides: cost and weight. Even used ones are running $600-800 US, and they are around 2-3lbs heavier than the smaller solid rubber versions.

Alaska Bush Wheels ( http://www.akbushwheel.com/ ) has made a clone of the Scott 3200. It is a high quality product, if not better than, and I would use it in place of a Scott 3200. Plus they're only $1000, new, compaired to $2600 new (Scott).

Have fun.

nkh
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joea
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Post by joea » Mon Jan 08, 2007 08:19

Mark,

Nathan pretty much covered it above. I had an old maule on my Chief when first started flying. Landings were a handful and once I finally figured out how to land the puppy realized that the tailwheel was going to send me off of the runway eventually.

An old hand told me to put a scott 3200 on the plane and it transformed it during landing. Yes its expensive but so is ground looping, especially if you catch a wingtip and damage things.

Just saw a 3200 go on Ebay for less than $400 but was minus the tire, so for $450 or so you could have had one.

Have heard good things about the Alaskan model but not sure if its legal for certified airplanes. It might be legal with a STC or 337, but since you are in the GWN you might be able to install it with less paperwork or easier.

Good luck, the 11CC is a good bird.

Joe A

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Post by joea » Mon Jan 08, 2007 08:27

Mark,

One thing to be very careful of is your instructor. Many of the 11 series did not have brakes on the right side so either you are going to start flying from the right side with the instructor in the left or your instructor is going to have to trust you a lot at first.

Make sure your instructor has A LOT of tailwheel time. Better if he has a lot o f Aeronca tailwheel time. Trying to learn with a 18 year old kid who is trying to work his way up to the airlines is not really what you need if you are starting out flying a taildragger, UNLESS the instructor grew up flying taildraggers.

If you need to know a good instructor I know of one in the Ontario area. He is an Aeronca owner and believe that he is still (or was) associated with a flying school. He now works for TC but is a real Aeronca person.

Just do not want to see you get a few hours in the Chief and end up with an instructor who knows less about the plane than you do.

Joe

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Post by MikeB » Mon Jan 08, 2007 08:48

Kind of on the same subject, I guess: I wonder if the rubber pad between the airframe and the tailwheel spring is really necessary. When I first finished my Champ it didn't have the "pad" (must have been that way before I bought it.........????). After a few hours I put a new Maule tailwheel on and it tracked and landed fine. Eventually, one of the tail wheel leaf springs cracked and I replaced the spring assembly and made a rubber pad (finally noticed that some other Champs had one). While it tracks fine, it feels "wiggley" or loose to me on hard surface runways (after a couple of hundred hours in this Champ, I can kind of feel what it's going to do next :? ).

I think it was Ron who replaced his rubber pad with a aluminum piece., probably to keep the angle up.

Any thoughts???

Mike Berg
"If God had intended man to fly He would have given us more money"

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joea
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Post by joea » Mon Jan 08, 2007 09:35

Mike,

Wonder what the factory drawing shows?

Joe

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Post by Mnflyer » Mon Jan 08, 2007 14:30

Hi Mark, another tailwheel to consider is the Lang D-501A tailwheel its not as spendy as the Scott (which I agree is the best) but is more than a Maule. The Lang is an excellent TW you never have the shimmy problems that you can get with the Maule, one thing that makes the Lang superior is the fork shaft bearing is of 2 needle bearings vs the bronze bushing of the Maule. and the Lang is lighter than the Scott 3200 but does have the solid rubber tire.
The Alaska bushwheel 3200 is a direct replacement for the Scott 3200 and is FAA-PMA approved.
Lang / ACS site www.acs-products.com
GB
GB MN.Flyer
Flying a Champ 7DC and a HKS Kitfox III

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Post by MikeB » Mon Jan 08, 2007 16:42

Joe:
Looking at my 7AC parts list it, it does show a pad, part number 1-557-1, so guess it's 'required'. The looseness might just be my imagination. I think one of the Champs on our field has few layers of inner tube for a spacer. I cut mine from a old FAA certified mud flap. As I said before, mine seems to track well and doesn't shimmy, but feels like I have to keep on the rudder more than when I didn't have it. Maybe I've just had more cross winds lately.

Mike
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Paul Agaliotis
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Post by Paul Agaliotis » Tue Jan 09, 2007 00:20

I,ve used the aluminum block and a shoe leather pad. Both have given me good service.
Doing some digging on the tail wheel installations I,ve found under CFR 4a that tailwheels were not certified or regulated. Just to add to the confusion!
Paul
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Post by Mnflyer » Tue Jan 09, 2007 12:50

Hi Paul, there was a discussion on that subject on the "T"craft site, and that is true but I wonder how far one would really get say installing a Matco tailwheel on a Aeronca. While they were not certified under CAR's the current FAR's / TCDS do call out tailwheels. I'm thinking most A&P's IA's would say its not worth the trouble of aruging with the FAA and say its not legal, or to cover themselves go with a 377.
GB
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Jody Wittmeyer
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Post by Jody Wittmeyer » Tue Jan 09, 2007 18:05

Definitely need the pad. My champ didn't have one when I bought it. Tailwheel spring kept loosening and the center bolt (verticle) kept hitting the bottom of the rudder, damaging it.
Blue Skies and Stay Safe, and preserve 'em

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