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Thread: blasphemy I know but ..... Toe Brakes

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    hottshot's Avatar
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    blasphemy I know but ..... Toe Brakes

    Ok I'm not a real cub guy but I play one on TV.... Or used to .. Not real sure honestly. Ok so here I am and yes I have slipped into the dark side twice now.... I have a couple of Cubs and the one that is currently flying has the standard heal brakes but I am much more comfortable with Toe brakes. I do know HO Aircraft has a STC for the conversion but has any one done it and what is the cost as is't listed on the web page. Don't beat me up to bad Im still kinda fragile...

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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    How long are your legs? You will loose valuable leg room and in a Cub that is a premium. You really don't need brakes very much or often. You may be better off learning to use heel brakes comfortably. Learn how to handle your plane without using the brakes. Just a touch now and then.
    Last edited by skywagon8a; 01-30-2019 at 08:57 AM.
    N1PA
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    n40ff's Avatar
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    I have two airplanes one with heal brakes the other toe. Go back/forth and after a while it's no issue. IMO not worth the effort to change. Old adage, If not broke, don't fix.

    Jack
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    jrussl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n40ff View Post
    I have two airplanes one with heal brakes the other toe. Go back/forth and after a while it's no issue. IMO not worth the effort to change. Old adage, If not broke, don't fix.

    Jack
    Same here. I go back and forth without even thinking about it.

    Spend some more time in the cub and it will become very natural.

    Jeff


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    Carbon Cubs use toe brakes. So do Revs. You aren't the only one who prefers them.
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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Apparently the real problem is nobody knows how to spell “heel” brakes.....

    MTV
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    I've got a Tango cub that came with toe brakes from the factory, Was use to heel brakes in my Cubs but I've grown to like the toe brake setup and will probably leave them in when I rebuild.

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    SJ's Avatar
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    You just need more hours in the saddle with them. The great thing about heel brakes is you can mash the rudders with all your might and not worry about engaging the brakes - something you can't do in a toe brake cub or a c-180/170. I believe toe breaks will get you on your nose faster... So if there will be less "healing" with "heel" brakes...

    sj
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    That's bass akwards. The simultaneous use of rudder and brakes in controlled proportions is much easier with toe brakes. And if you need to smash the rudder while on the ground? Brakes are in the picture, too.

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    SJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    That's bass akwards. The simultaneous use of rudder and brakes in controlled proportions is much easier with toe brakes. And if you need to smash the rudder while on the ground? Brakes are in the picture, too.
    I disagree. If you started in a Cessna 180 where you used the toe brakes all the time as part of crosswind technique, steering, etc, maybe, but in a cub it is not necessary, and when it is - taxi turns, etc, it's easy to get used to. The only people I have seen that struggle with heel brakes after flying them for a long time are people with really small feet. Way too easy to hit the brakes in early model 180s 170s, and some later model planes.

    sj
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    ------------------------------------------
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  11. #11
    SJ's Avatar
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    P.S. the toe brake implementation in tango cubs (I have not flow the conversion) are very poor in my opinion.

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  12. #12
    Grant's Avatar
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    All the cool kids use heel brakes.

    In all seriousness, you will learn to use whatever you fly. You will assimilate and forget you ever had this concern. Its really a non issue.

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    You are likely to burst into flames and burn in Hell for just thinking about that. I do understand what you are saying about being comfortable with toe brakes. I learned in a pacer and the brake setup was perfect for me, I needed them often when I first started to fly. I now have a cub and a 180 and prefer the heel brakes mostly because I like bunny boots in the winter and hiking boots in the summer. I set high in the Cessna so my ankle is not quite at the best angle in the Cessna and use street shoes which give me better ankle flex. SJ makes a good point about foot size and I would also add to check too make sure you don't have bent rudder pedals which is very common. One thing to think about in a toe brake plane we land/fly with toes pointed up, in cub you land/taxi duck foot (heel on brake with toes pointed out to the side). Start doing this when you are just flying around and it will feel more natural when you hit the ground.
    DENNY
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  14. #14
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    Learn to use heel brakes, it is not that hard, after a 100 hours it is a nothing burger. Like others have said you really don't need that much brake in normal take off and landing situations, sooner or later someone will want you to fly there cub with heel brakes and you will be faced with the fact that you never learned to use them and be afraid. Learn them now and be done with it.... I put heel brakes in Bushwacker I like them so much now!
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    Quote Originally Posted by hottshot View Post
    Ok I'm not a real cub guy but I play one on TV.... Or used to .. Not real sure honestly. Ok so here I am and yes I have slipped into the dark side twice now.... I have a couple of Cubs and the one that is currently flying has the standard heal brakes but I am much more comfortable with Toe brakes. I do know HO Aircraft has a STC for the conversion but has any one done it and what is the cost as is't listed on the web page. Don't beat me up to bad Im still kinda fragile...
    The military Cubs had toe brakes. Somewhere out there, there is Piper drawings of the system.

    Sigh . . . if you insist . . . .

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.

  16. #16
    Cub junkie's Avatar
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    In one day, I have flown an airplane with toe brakes, one with heel brakes and then rode a motorcycle with right hand throttle and left hand shift and finally rode my Indian Chief with left hand throttle and right hand tank shift,foot clutch. I'm a stud.
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    Wup, call Dan @ HO and ask him about it. Heck, now I'm curious he's configuring the pedals.

    It isn't a badge of honor or a walk of shame to use one or the other. When I had the -12 I jumped from Cessna to -12 and back lots of times. It's like stick vs yoke. RH throttle to LH. It's just a control and we can adapt but if one feels better? Why not use it? My entire flying life has centered around a narrow strip that's usually got crossing winds rolling over trees. By narrow I mean 2-3' wider than the mains. I'm used to using rudder and brake at the same time, and sometimes with lots of dancing from left to right and back. I can control the plane better with toe brakes and applies to my new Cub as well. Is it because that's what I'm used to? Perhaps. What's wrong with that?

    On the theoretical side? The relationship between brake and rudder pedal position remains constant throughout the travel with toe brakes. It varies constantly with heel brakes. If a design engineer started with a blank sheet to design a Cub today and applied ergonomics in the design? Dollars to doughnuts it'd have toe brakes.
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    hottshot's Avatar
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    Boy I miss you guys... I'm a use all the tools in the toolbox guy I have flown a bit of heel brake aircraft and I'm cool with it but just a thought ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by DENNY View Post
    ….I set high in the Cessna so my ankle is not quite at the best angle in the Cessna and use street shoes which give me better ankle flex. ….
    I found that the angle of the rudder pedals in my C180 were awkward for me.
    Odd because the pedals in my two previous airplanes (C170 & C150TD) were just fine.
    I saw rudder pedal blocks like this in a couple other 180's and made a pair for mine--
    works much better now.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    Apparently the real problem is nobody knows how to spell “heel” brakes.....

    MTV
    I have been on this site daily for the last 6 months and my speling has drastikly changed. Grammar ain't so good anymore too.
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    We do this once a year. I am with SJ - the Tango toe brakes are flat-out horrible. Mis- adjust them and your toe will hit the firewall right when you need a brake the most.

    Learn the heel brake so you have the versatility to fly somebody else's Cub when necessary. Don't mess up a good Cub with heel brakes - heavy, complicated, lose front seat leg room . . .

    I too go back and forth daily - don't even think about it.

    But after thousands of hours with toe brakes, when I bought my Decathlon it took about six months to quit digging my heels in - I guess I thought I was in a Cub.

    Speaking of the Dec - the toe brakes work fine, but I shudder at the kind of work it will take to re-seal the masters. I can't even see way up in there.

    Don't do it.
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    And on the spealing and gramer - at least so far nobody has said "low and behold."
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    SJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    And on the spealing and gramer - at least so far nobody has said "low and behold."
    or "all intensive purposes"
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------
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  24. #24
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    Heel brakes were invented by the Devil!
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"
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    After flying piper's bastard child of a supercub for almost a year now, I cannot echo one of the bad words cast at the toe brakes in the Tango cub. Now I would never take the time to convert a heel brake plane to toe brakes because I do like the heel brakes better But I have none of the issues that people cast apon the Tango's toe brakes. I'm 5'11" and have zero problem with leg room, never had a problem with the brake pedal hitting the firewall even with full rudder and I don't have to add or subtract fluid with temp changes the brakes almost work as good as when you have Steve's vented boosters(almost) This fall I was jumping between the Tango and a couple other Cubs exercising the stable and have zero problems going between them.

    If a guy really likes toe brakes jump on in the water's fine(get the welder warmed up) that's what makes Cubs so wonderful you can easily make them whatever YOU think is the ultimate plane.
    Last edited by PA-22/20-160; 02-03-2019 at 05:16 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Foy View Post
    Heel brakes were invented by the Devil!
    Funny, that's what I think about toe brakes, but then again I learned to fly with heel brakes. When I first started out I would cheat and put my toes on them while taxiing, which my instructor had me do a LOT of...
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!
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    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    12,000 on toe brakes. 500 on heel brakes.
    Never saw a heel brake until I bought Miss P.

    Quote Originally Posted by OLDCROWE View Post
    Funny, that's what I think about toe brakes, but then again I learned to fly with heel brakes. When I first started out I would cheat and put my toes on them while taxiing, which my instructor had me do a LOT of...
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"

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    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hottshot View Post
    Ok I'm not a real cub guy but I play one on TV.... Or used to .. Not real sure honestly. Ok so here I am and yes I have slipped into the dark side twice now.... I have a couple of Cubs and the one that is currently flying has the standard heal brakes but I am much more comfortable with Toe brakes. I do know HO Aircraft has a STC for the conversion but has any one done it and what is the cost as is't listed on the web page. Don't beat me up to bad Im still kinda fragile...
    Whats next, you'll want to buy one of those girly Harleys without a kick starter?

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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    Hey! I resemble that remark! Converted both Cubs to B&C starters, and have not regretted it for even one second. Well, maybe while sawing that starter pilot . . .

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    Cub junkie's Avatar
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    I think heel brakes have reached that new toxic masculinity stage. Whats next?
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    Predating Orville and Wilbur, I believe the Flintstone/Rubble heel brake is the original stopper.
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    hahahaha you guys crack me up, after pulling a cub out of the ditch today (not mine) I am pretty sure was primarily due to the fact he had not ever flown Heelies. I will most likely leave it as is but will play with the idea a bit more in the future. Like I said before I have flown with heelies and din't have a problem but am more proficient with toes. and with any tool I believe in working it until i'm as well versed as I can be.

  33. #33
    texmex's Avatar
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    You will loose valuable leg room and in a Cub that is a premium.
    This. There is never enough room in the front of a Cub.

    I don't even notice the difference between heel and toe brakes. Both feel natural.
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  34. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by cubdriver2 View Post
    Whats next, you'll want to buy one of those girly Harleys without a kick starter?

    Glenn
    I used to have a hanger neighbor that bought one, he sold it right after we started calling it his “GeezerGlider.”
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!
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  35. #35
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Money to burn, modify that puppy. It will only turn into a snow ball. Me, I'm a cheap bastard and learn what is already there. I have more projects than I cane keep track of so I'll be damned if I am gonna take a flying airplane apart over something like toe vs heel brakes. I think your scared and looking for an excuse. Put Kyler up front, he knows how to work the brakes. You only need them when you are about the run off the end of the gravel bar anyway.

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    Steve Pierce

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  36. #36
    hottshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Money to burn, modify that puppy. It will only turn into a snow ball. Me, I'm a cheap bastard and learn what is already there. I have more projects than I cane keep track of so I'll be damned if I am gonna take a flying airplane apart over something like toe vs heel brakes. I think your scared and looking for an excuse. Put Kyler up front, he knows how to work the brakes. You only need them when you are about the run off the end of the gravel bar anyway.

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    Buy I wish I had your kind of money Steve,🤣😎🤣... Wait I do... It's all in airplane and kids graduation s.... More important things like big tires and avgas to burn money on at this time.(before Kyler gets it all in May) And I ain't afeard of nothing, I posted this thread here didn't I .
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  37. #37
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Ha, I've already graduated two from high school and had two in college. Just you wait, Texas Tech is getting all my money right now.
    Steve Pierce

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    Will Rogers
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  38. #38
    Todd long's Avatar
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    Just wondering,
    For those that say you’ll lose a lot of leg room, how tall are you? And have you flown one of the planes with HO’s conversion?
    I’m 5’10” and have flown the HO aircraft many times along with a Javeron with the toe brakes. It is more comfortable than mine and when taxiing with amphibs where most turns involve some brake application they are nice. At the very most maybe lose 1” legroom?


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  39. #39

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    If you are 6', an inch can make all the difference. I fly a lot of different J-3s, often in the front seat. One inch of Oregon Aero padding means I have to leave my boots in the baggage compartment. One half inch of extra instrument panel metal means a serious struggle.

    The Ellis Cub? I literally had to bring my own seat cushions. I simply could not get in or out otherwise.

    Super Cubs have more room, but not all that much more. Three hours in a stock Super Cub, and I need help walking for the first 15 seconds.

    My students are all comfortable with heel brakes at about the third hour. And since I use Maule tailwheels, they have to use brakes now and then.

  40. #40
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    It's like bowling, adapt to the lane conditions or go home mad.

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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