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Thread: Bushwheels to AirHawks on a 180.

  1. #1

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    Bushwheels to AirHawks on a 180.

    A quick pirep of my switch from 29" radial Bushwheels to 29x11x10 shaved Air Hawks on ABW 10" wheels. The swap also saw the removal of an XP Mods 14" tail wheel and installation of an ABW wide fork with a tube type ribbed tire (Gar Aero style). My first observation, the Air Hawks are a couple of inches shorter. The new tail wheel is also shorter so overall the AOA is about dead nuts to what it had been before. The new tires are everything they need to be. Plenty of flotation and forgiving enough for my needs. The tail wheel has far better steering and the flotation is every bit as good or a little better than the XP. The unexpected thing is that at 24/24 I'm seeing 6-7 mph faster speed with the new setup. So the new tires do what I want, are easier to steer during ground ops, and I can step up on the tire a little easier than before. Win, win, win. By the way, my mechanic made sure to break the glaze on the new rotors prior to install. My brakes were powerful from the initial taxi. That isn't always what guys report with the new wheels. Something to consider. See ya.
    Last edited by sierra bravo; 08-25-2012 at 09:22 PM.

  2. #2
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Thank you for the follow up report. Good info.

    Bill
    Very Blessed.

  3. #3
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Thanks SB,

    Good info. I imagine your 180 is keeping a a smile on your face!
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  4. #4

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    I have had a set on my 182 and love them. By the way they are for sale If anyone is looking. Three years old and lightly used tires and rims ABW airhawk 29" 11" 10".

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    One other comment. When ABW selected Airframes Alaska as their distributor I scratched my head at why. Being unfamiliar with them I had no idea how it would work out. After dealing with Airframes Alaska all I can say is ABW made a great choice. The service and communication was fantastic. Two emphatic thumbs up!

    I'm also a fan of Seaplanes North but they told me their wide fork wouldn't fit the XP Mods tailwheel head. ABW told me theirs would. It did, too. Works perfectly.

  6. #6
    Crash's Avatar
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    SB

    Just curious, what's your cruise at 24/24?

    Greg

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    Greg,

    In my typical weekend load with Kim, dog, a cooler, a couple of Rubbermaid totes, etc right at 152 mph. Twist it up to 24 1/2" x 2450 and it'll do 156-157 mph. Both are up 6-7 mph from before. My gut is that the tailwheel is primarily responsible. I remember the XP costing some airspeed when I put it on.

    SB

  8. #8
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    The XP tailwheel definitely will cost speed....in my experience.

    I'm glad you reported SB, Thanks.

    PS, I remember years back when you said how great your XP was set up, and it turned fine and all that. I always wondered if you were aware of how well the "other" option (ABW widefork or Gar-Aero) works. I guess an XP can be setup to work well, but I've fiddled with 'em and failed to achieve acceptable swivel-ease versus shimmy. Maybe others have been able to accomplish sweet handling from them.

    PS. What pressures in mains and tail??

    PPS. At 152 MPH, are you getting "main shake". That is standard for the 29x11x10 setups I'm familiar with.

    PPPS. what'd the mechanic do to prep the brake rotors?

    Again..Thank You for the info.!!

  9. #9

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    Hi Dave,

    Back when I was getting stuck and blowing tail wheel tires in the mud I couldn't find Gary @ Gar Aero, Bushwheel hadn't introduced any tail wheel products yet, and the XP was all the rage. I've not been unhappy with it but the reduction in height and the increase in the trail of the ABW fork (similar to the Seaplanes North version) led me to the change. Frankly I'd have changed it even had I stayed with 29" Bushwheels. The wide forks look like they have to be easier on the tail spring relative to the XP. Probably not important but another rationalization can't hurt, right? I believe the tires left the hangar at 20# in the mains and 25# in the tail. I'll get out and work those down as time permits. With the rivers dropping the idea of bar hopping will get easier. Main shake? Not that I've noticed. Now that you mention it I recall hearing about it before. I'll pay attention and hope nothing appears. As for prep, MEK wash and scuff the rotor faces. Probably standard stuff for you guys who are used to these black rotors. Not something I'd have thought about since 100% of my own experience is with Clevelands.

    New stuff is fun. These tires are no exception. VGs are going on as I write this. More fun to look forward to.

  10. #10

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    I've ran 29's down to 10 psi and have not sheared a stem yet. That was on a 182 D.

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    FWIW, I've settled on 12psi in the 29" Air Hawks. I could lower it to soften them up but I don't need to and lower pressure makes it harder to push back into parking. Everything is a compromise. 12# is mine. I'm pleased with the new tires, including the new tailwheel setup.

  12. #12

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    How are they to land on pavement? Although it is rough on the bushwheels, I absolutely love the way they handle on pavement landings in the 185. Do the Air Hawks have that awful screeching and excessive grab that are characteristic of many large tires other than bushwheels?

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    I can't answer your question. You'll have to ask somebody who operates on pavement.

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    Phillip Elgin's Avatar
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    SB, would you by chance be willing to part with one (or two) of your used 29s? have one tire that i need a match.
    Likes pfm liked this post

  15. #15
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra bravo View Post
    FWIW, I've settled on 12psi in the 29" Air Hawks. I could lower it to soften them up but I don't need to and lower pressure makes it harder to push back into parking. Everything is a compromise. 12# is mine. I'm pleased with the new tires, including the new tailwheel setup.
    do people stake(screws) the tire to the rim with the bushwheel 10" rims? or need to?? we always did the gar-aeros(seaplanes-north now).....

  16. #16
    jimboflying's Avatar
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    Where do you get shaved Airhawks?

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    Phillip, sorry, but I'm holding on to mine.

    Mike, I've never seen anyone stake the new black wheels. Can't imagine why anyone would need to. If they need tires that soft they should run Bushwheels.

    Jimboflying, Ak Bushwheels (and their Alaska distributor, Airframes Alaska) and Seaplanes North both sell shaved or "scrubbed" 29" Air Hawks. I'm not sure if anyone shaves the 850x10s.
    Last edited by sierra bravo; 10-10-2012 at 10:23 PM.

  18. #18
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Denali Bandag used to offer "buffing" to remove excess rubber from these tires.

    MTV

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike mcs repair View Post
    do people stake(screws) the tire to the rim with the bushwheel 10" rims? or need to?? we always did the gar-aeros(seaplanes-north now).....
    The bead seats on much harder with the BW wheels than the gars. Different bead design. I don't think its necessary with these. Mine haven't moved. ~10-15 psi depending on mission

  20. #20
    thrushdrvr's Avatar
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    A large number of ag aircraft run the 29" air hawks. Keep it in mind if looking for used ones.

  21. #21
    nanook's Avatar
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    I'm surprised you were still running the XP. Every XP used off airport up here cracked in the upper radius of the fork post. Way too hard of a tire and too much sticking down below the head.

  22. #22

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    My XP served me well. No complaints. The reason I switched the fork to a wide Bushwheel fork was to reduce the height. I do think the increased trail angle of the Bushwheel fork has to be easier on the tail spring but my tail feathers and prop liked the XP better. The XP taxied with less power on soft/uneven ground. Compromises. My XP fork is flying for a different owner now. My Bushwheel wide fork is wearing a new Burl's tailski. Everybody's happy.
    Last edited by sierra bravo; 12-11-2012 at 10:01 AM.

  23. #23
    Rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thrushdrvr View Post
    A large number of ag aircraft run the 29" air hawks. Keep it in mind if looking for used ones.
    Would work to get out of a bind, but the Ag / Caravan / etc.... Tires are 10 ply, vs 4ply for the ones the Seaplane and Bushwheel folks are selling. A wore out thrush tire weighs more than a brand new unshaved Airhawk.

    Take care, Rob

  24. #24
    hottshot's Avatar
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    Also just an FYI for you all, we don't just "shave or buff" our 29/11/10's we use a tire Truing machine in house to true the tire and then we balance the tires as well to get you the smooth running tire wheel combo. good to hear they are working well for you SB. Also on the bead seat design we increased the overall diameter to seat the tire with out going crazy... it has worked well so far.

  25. #25

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    A follow-up comment. I've noticed more prop damage with the Air Hawks than I was used to through the years on 29' Bushwheels. I know it's the contention of some that the treads in some airplane tires pick up rocks. That may be a contributor but my shaved Air Hawks don't have much tread. I think the shape plays a part. I believe Buswheels and even Goodyears drop rocks where the more square profiled tires like Air Hawks are more prone to tossing rocks over the top and into the prop. The change in shape of a Bushwheel from flat contact patch to round tire where not bearing a load probably spits most of the rocks, or so it seems as I visualize the issue. Perhaps it's time to point a video cam at the mains to see what really happens. Or not. I'm favoring going back to Bushwheels. Cheaper than a prop.

  26. #26
    soyAnarchisto's Avatar
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    How do you true or balance a cast wheel? I've never seen auto style weights on aircraft tires.

  27. #27
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    SB, point the camera at your tailwheel and go run in some gravel some time. You would not be surprised if the old skinny tailwheel was throwing the rocks at the prop.

  28. #28
    Rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soyAnarchisto View Post
    How do you true or balance a cast wheel?
    I can not speak for the fine folks at bush wheel, but I can say that most people either don't bother or use one of these;
    http://www.desser.com/store/products...NCER-AS01.html

    I have been using one of these with great succes;
    http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalo...elbalancer.php

    Quote Originally Posted by soyAnarchisto View Post
    I've never seen auto style weights on aircraft tires.
    Because we aren't flying autos

    I *think* the bushwheel folks use these ;


    The rest of us usually use these;



    Take care, Rob

  29. #29
    Rob's Avatar
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    SB... 3 in one day? dang... at least give it a couple hours for us to show some interest

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    The lack of interest was my own. Cheers.

  31. #31
    spinner2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    SB... 3 in one day? dang... at least give it a couple hours for us to show some interest
    I wanted to watch the Pilgrim takeoff again on my bigger monitor instead on the ipad mini I used the first time. But it looks like it was deleted? I thought that was a great addition to the Pilgrim thread.
    "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything." Wyatt Earp

  32. #32
    dalec's Avatar
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    Stewart

    I am interested in what you determine to be the advantage of the 29" bushwheels other than the obvious weight savings, if it really does reduce rocks through the prop as you suspect I may be induced to make the same move. Good week last week, managed 10 hours of flying in the 180 and a great trip the long way to Fairbanks via Rainy Pass. I for one appreciate your insight into the C-180 as it is still a relatively new animal to me. Thansk

  33. #33
    nanook's Avatar
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    Whenever you give the weight of the Airhawk, it doesn't do anybody any good, if you don't supply the tire ply number with it. There have been three diff ply ratings so far (maybe four), ranging from ten ply down to three...

  34. #34

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    4 ply shaved Air Hawks mounted with tubes on ABW 10" wheels- 49.8#. New 29" Bushwheels mounted on 6" Clevelands with two syringes of No-Tubes added- 39.8#.

    Dale, I ran my original 29" Bushwheels for 10 years and had a pretty good idea of the rhythm of required prop filing through that time. I believe I had more damage with the Air Hawks. I've had discussions with several local guys who think the same is true. I operate on gravel and silt primarily so my conditions are different than guys who have sand/grass/D1, etc. I was just reporting my own thoughts. The bottom line is that I'm more comfortable on Bushwheels for my everyday needs. My 180 is back on Bushwheels.

  35. #35
    nanook's Avatar
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    I just was discussing this tire shape, rock throwing issue with a friend, who, was removing racing slicks and going to 31 Bushwheels. The racing slicks are soft, flat and wide...and they throw more rocks forward into the prop then anything I have ever witnessed. SB, you may be on to something with the tire profile/shape causing rock slinging...there also has to be some consideration made towards the landing/takeoff surface conditions...sticky mud with small rocks, sharp angular type rock that stick to rubber and on and on....

  36. #36

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    Nanook, another factor for the mental exercise, my 180 has lots of camber in the gear. I have access to a boom truck so that's how I lift it and it never fails to surprise me how bow-legged my plane is when off the ground, and also how much of that camber is maintained when I let it down until I taxi out. Put that into context of tires. Bushwheels' contact shape (round) will be the same regardless of camber. A squared tire will land on the "corner" and will then flatten out. Something that guys who fly cambered gear and Air hawks know about when landing on pavement. I thought about pointing a strut-mounted cam at my tires but it may be more educational to mount a camera on the tail looking forward to watch the main gear change position through landing and takeoff, and how if affects gravel and rock deflection. Or just switch tires and go fly, which was my choice.

    Also of interest in this context http://www.faa.gov/other_visit/aviat.../SAFO10007.pdf
    Last edited by sierra bravo; 05-21-2013 at 09:02 AM.

  37. #37

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    I have been following along with great interest because I was intrigued by a tire that was almost as soft as a bushwheel, but with greater longevity (meaning cheaper to operate since we all know how expensive BWs are). However, the advantages of bushwheels keeps me a loyal supporter.

    Speaking of propeller damage, I agree with observation that propeller nicks are reduced with bushwheels. Of the tires I have had on the plane, the absolute worst tires were 8.50x6 followed by 26" Goodyears. Not only were propeller nicks reduced but that gravel spray from the tires that kick rocks into the fuselage and horizontal when landing is essentially eliminated. Rather than squirt rocks out from under the tires, the bushwheels seem to just roll over the gravel better.

    I even love the way bushwheels feel when taxiing; almost like riding over a cushion of down pillows.

    I'm glad to see there are other supporters out there.

  38. #38
    nanook's Avatar
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    Yea well the disadvantages of running Bushwheels, keeps me from having a gushy love affair with them... Watching the rubber disappear off your $4000 tires while operating on hard surface runways is a major flaw in my book... I'll keep my shaved 4ply 29X10s for those situations...

  39. #39
    DJ's Avatar
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    I realize it has been a couple of years but do you still have the ABW rims with 29 x 11 x 10 tires. I'm looking for a set for a T182 that we are planning to use around Lake Titicaca in Bolivia for medivac/mission/humanitarian work.

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    My tires are gone. Good luck with your mission.
    Last edited by stewartb; 07-27-2014 at 10:31 PM.

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