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Thread: J3 trailer launch question

  1. #1

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    J3 trailer launch question

    We have a j3 with a c85 we just out the floats on and need to take it to the water. We are going to utilize a Tahoe with trailer to launch the airplane. The runway where it is now is is 2670í. Anyone have any experience with this as far as accelerate stop distance type issues?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    We launched a 90hp J-3 on a 2300' strip. No problem. We didn't use a wheeled trailer, it was a skid. The biggest problem was the skid flying after the airplane lifted off. Make sure your trailer has weight on the tongue once the airplane is off of it or you will wig wag your tow vehicle. Have your pilot keep it stuck on the trailer in case there is a burble created by the Tahoe.

    Tim

  3. #3

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    Tim,

    Thanks for the reply. Any recommendations on weight for the tongue ? I’ll be the pilot apparently as I’m the only one of the group with a float rating. I’m assuming you mean to keep the airplane pinned to the trailer with forward stick pressure. Any recommendations onnwhen to rotate? Thanks again for the response!

  4. #4

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    Make a couple runs at speed with the trailer only to see how it behaves without the Cub on it. That will at least give some idea how it will behave once the Cub lifts off.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5

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    I used to use a boat trailer with cross bar "Saddles". The tongue is nice and long so the plane was not close to the tow vehicle. On 3000' grass I could accelerate to be faster than needed and stop again easy enough. You want to be faster than needed if you know what I mean.

    End of season he either brought the plane back early in the day and landed on the wet grass or would wait it out till the first snow.

  6. #6

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    Thinking on this a bit, there are a billion pontoon boats out there in the world now. Look into one of those trailers.
    Likes Chicken Hawk liked this post

  7. #7
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    You don't want to leave till you have over 50 mph. If you leave at a lower speed you risk settling back on the trailer and risk damage. You want a positive pop up to get away from the trailer. You can put a 2x4 under the step so that your at a negative AOA till the target speed. It's scary but fun

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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  8. #8

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    Iíve trailer launched a Taylorcraft a few times behind my Yukon. Our strip is three thousand feet but that is WAY more than is needed. I just accelerated moderately and when up to flying speed the Taylorcraft eased back on the yoke and is gone. Really nothing to it at all but the first time was a little nervous. We use a two place single axle snowmobile trailer and I made a real simple tongue extension out of steel 2 x 4 square tubing. It bolts under the regular trailer tongue in about two minutes. Gets the propeller about 12-15 feet behind the truck. I screw two 2 x 4 blocks flat behind the float steps just in case the plane wants to slide back but I truly donít think it even wiggles on the trailer. The plane is positioned on the trailer to give just a little tongue weight (maybe 20-25 pounds) before the longer tongue is bolted on. Trailer pulls perfect with no side to side whip even though with the long tongue it is very springy.
    I will soon do three more the same way, the Taylorcraft again, my Citabria and hopefully my 172 if I can get the floats completed before winter comes back. Might look for a bigger trailer for the 172 though.
    Again, with a little thought and planning there is really nothing to it other than the nerves the first time. If I can figure out how to post the videos, I do have a couple.
    Good luck,
    Jon
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  9. #9

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    Hopefully have the videos figured out....

    https://youtu.be/WS0pDg9Dsoo

    and

    https://youtu.be/pDuejRpXMrc

    Jon

  10. #10

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    It’s almost a non event...I do it with my TCraft too.

    https://youtu.be/zmyAHuY3W5s

  11. #11

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    You'll be in the air in seconds. Don't sweat it. Done it many times with only 75hp and cruise prop.

    Blue Skies,
    Denny
    If you get lost while flying, don't try hail a cop. Pick up the first railroad you find and hug it until you get somewhere.

  12. #12

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    Thanks for all the great feedback! I’ll try to get some video and let you guys know how it goes!

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