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Thread: Need advice on new landing gear please

  1. #1

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    Need advice on new landing gear please

    OK, so after 18 years of PA18 ownership and landing in all kinds of places I need to buy some new landing gear with some urgency due to, er, something happening with a ditch and for which I am very thankful I have safety cables.

    Aircraft: PA18-150 with 31" BWs 160HP STC
    Otherwise mainly stock
    Currently running a 74-54 Sensenich
    Main use is beach landings and small amount rugged off airport work. Off airport work likely to increase in future in Tasmania and New Zealand.

    What should I buy?

    The Beringers look pricey. Are they STCed yet? I can't seem to find a reference to it.

    Airframes Alaska HD gear - regular or 3" extended?

    Cheers.

    David

  2. #2
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Or atlee’s http://www.fadodge.com


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  3. #3

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    With 31’s I would recommend 3” extended. Especially if you have a pod. I have standard length gear on an 18 with 35’s and a pod. I was advised to run standard length with the with 35’s. I think 3” extended would be better especially for skis. Grass is always greener.

  4. #4
    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Airframes 3" extended with long step on the right, fueling step on the left....but I'm a little biased

    Atlee 3" gear is great too and ever so slightly lighter but also every so slightly not as strong. Strength is relative and for 99% of people any modern PA-18 gear is plenty strong.

    You'll need to know and specify which axle diameter you'll need. 1.25" is fine with 31's and is a bit lighter. 1.5" uses Cessna wheels and brakes and is obviously much stronger (again maybe overbuilt?) and there are some wheel and brake mounting spacers you'll need to get along with possibly a new set of wheels and brakes if you're not already running that axle size.
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  5. #5
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash, Jr. View Post
    Airframes 3" extended with long step on the right, fueling step on the left....but I'm a little biased

    Atlee 3" gear is great too and ever so slightly lighter but also every so slightly not as strong. Strength is relative and for 99% of people any modern PA-18 gear is plenty strong.

    You'll need to know and specify which axle diameter you'll need. 1.25" is fine with 31's and is a bit lighter. 1.5" uses Cessna wheels and brakes and is obviously much stronger (again maybe overbuilt?) and there are some wheel and brake mounting spacers you'll need to get along with possibly a new set of wheels and brakes if you're not already running that axle size.
    1.25 is stronger than 1.5


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  6. #6
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Javron gear looks and is as strong as all the others, half the price.

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

  7. #7

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    Thanks, everybody, looks like I will be going with 3" extended, either from Airframes AK or FA Dodge. I am guessing you can't get the steps with the FAD gear?

    Javron is experimental and I need STC, unfortunately Glenn.

    What is everyone's favourite way to do bungees? Isn't there a bungee tool Univair sued to sell? I can't find it on their site now.
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  8. #8
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BritishCubBloke View Post
    Thanks, everybody, looks like I will be going with 3" extended, either from Airframes AK or FA Dodge. I am guessing you can't get the steps with the FAD gear?

    Javron is experimental and I need STC, unfortunately Glenn.

    What is everyone's favourite way to do bungees? Isn't there a bungee tool Univair sued to sell? I can't find it on their site now.
    Atlee is the ORIGINAL alternative step STC holder


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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike mcs repair View Post
    Atlee is the ORIGINAL alternative step STC holder


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    Thanks, Mike! Found it.

    http://www.fadodge.com/category/piper/steps/

    It will come down in the end to lead time. Airframes AK is about a week, they say.

    I really need it as quick as possible, because I am in an embarrassing situation, stuck far from home.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by BritishCubBloke View Post
    Thanks, everybody, looks like I will be going with 3" extended, either from Airframes AK or FA Dodge. I am guessing you can't get the steps with the FAD gear?

    Javron is experimental and I need STC, unfortunately Glenn.

    What is everyone's favourite way to do bungees? Isn't there a bungee tool Univair sued to sell? I can't find it on their site now.
    Eddie Trimmer May have the finished the STC for Maule oleo struts for the 3” extended gear on a PA18...


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  11. #11
    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Airframes steps are on the drawings for the gear as approved under STC so it's just one STC for the gear w/ steps

    Atlee has the gear under STC, the seaplane step under STC, and the fueling step under seperate STC. Their steps are bolt-on additions vs Airframes are welded on during production.

    1 week bare metal, 3 weeks powder coated on AF gear

    Mike, I'd be interested in hearing where you found that 1.25" is stronger than 1.5". I have it on VERY good engineering authority, mathematical models, computer models, and testing that 1.5" is stronger by a very large margin. Too strong if you ask me (transfers the failure point further up the gear and even into the fuselage) but it's stronger.

  12. #12

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    I would just call. Atlee often has gear legs hanging on the wall powder coated in white or black ready to go. I imagine airframes is the same.
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  13. #13

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    I just bought the 3" extended gear from Atlee. Haven't installed them yet, but they sure do look nice . They did have powder coated in stock and shipping was quick. Also, they were a pleasure to deal with.
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  14. #14
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash, Jr. View Post

    Atlee 3" gear is great too and ever so slightly lighter but also every so slightly not as strong. Strength is relative and for 99% of people any modern PA-18 gear is plenty strong.
    Not according to the tests the Anchorage ACO did. Do you get the alignment issues squared away on your gear?
    Steve Pierce

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  15. #15
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike mcs repair View Post
    1.25 is stronger than 1.5


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    Everything I have seen shows 1 1/2" being considerably stronger that 1 1/4". Just look at .125" tube specs in each size.
    Steve Pierce

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  16. #16
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubdriver2 View Post
    Javron gear looks and is as strong as all the others, half the price.

    Glenn
    Yea, for an experimental Cub.
    Steve Pierce

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  17. #17
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    So I slid down a hill sideways in the back seat of my brothers Super Cub on 1 1/4" 3" extended Airframes gear. Didn't hurt the gear but bent the axle. 1 1/2" is considerably stronger. Rest of the gear is fine.

    Atlee Dodge is a sponsor of SuperCub.org, Airframes Alaska is not. Sad but true. Between that and checking alignment of Atlee gear with Airframes gear I would buy Atlee gear in a New York minute.
    Steve Pierce

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  18. #18
    SJ's Avatar
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    Steve, Airframes actually still supports SuperCub.Org, just not at the level they used to. We will take any support we can get!

    sj
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  19. #19
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJ View Post
    Steve, Airframes actually still supports SuperCub.Org, just not at the level they used to. We will take any support we can get!

    sj
    Glad to see they came around.
    Steve Pierce

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  20. #20
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Need advice on new landing gear please

    So there’s a new player coming to town as well. Acme Aero seems to have some gear options on the Table.
    STCs in the works it seems.


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  21. #21
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    Last edited by Farmboy; 08-07-2020 at 07:43 PM.

  22. #22
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I saw that earlier.
    Steve Pierce

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  23. #23
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    From the Super Cub Safety Seminar in Fairbanks January 2015.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Steve Pierce

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  24. #24
    aktango58's Avatar
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    I bet Atlee has them in stock. If you are running 31's, you don't need a fuel step, just the right side step Atlee originally STC'd to help get you in. Stand on the tire
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  25. #25
    PerryB's Avatar
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    I like my fuel step. It gives you a rigid point to put your left foot, and the wider stance helps with overall stability.
    After Monday and Tuesday, even the calendar says WTF !

  26. #26

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    Thanks, everyone.

    I have gone with the Atlee Dodge standard HD gear with a long step on each side, HD short legs and safety cables.

    I did not choose the 3" extended after talking to a good Alaskan friend of mine. He said the 3" extended came about to increase AoA in the days before BWs, but with BW that isn't so necessary, gives you a heavier tail to lift and an increased AoA on tie down, giving increased stress on wing tie-down attach points. I'm not flying in the Aleutians, but the aircraft will eventually be based in NZ where it does get breezy. Plus, I don't want more height than currently - it's already inconvenient enough.

    I also splashed out and bought the bungee buddy. I have done that job a couple of times without. Never again.
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  27. #27
    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    I'd advise you go back and change your order to 3" extended. The 3" gear may not be "necessary" to your buddy but it does help when you're really dragging the plane in for 3 point landings. IMO it's a no brainer to go 3" extended even with Bushwheels. Heck, every single person I know has 3" gear on their cub; it's almost the new standard for PA-18's in Alaska. 3" gear, 31's and a borer prop minimum.
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  28. #28

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    On the left side a long step is not needed and a fuel step is actually better because it can be mounted higher, foot placement is better and weight is less. On the right side a long step helps with fueling and getting in both front and back of plane. If you are going to be doing a lot of off airport work having a bit heavier tail can be a good thing when landing, if you get a wide fork tailwheel it will float much better when you have to push it around. I also prefer the 3 inch gear due to prop clearance. DENNY
    Last edited by DENNY; 08-08-2020 at 08:25 PM.

  29. #29
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I want the prop clearance. I would be curious how much more weight the 3" extended gear puts on the tail. I doubt it is much.
    Steve Pierce

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  30. #30
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    I want the prop clearance. I would be curious how much more weight the 3" extended gear puts on the tail. I doubt it is much.
    Boy,I bet it wouldn’t change the reading.....


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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    I want the prop clearance. I would be curious how much more weight the 3" extended gear puts on the tail. I doubt it is much.
    Here is a quick way to find out......

    Assuming the 3” gear raises the aircraft by the previously stated 1.5”, put a 1.5” block under the tailwheel and measure the decrease in tailwheel weight. It should be roughly equal to the increase in weight resulting from increasing the gear height.

    Jeff


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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash, Jr. View Post
    I'd advise you go back and change your order to 3" extended. The 3" gear may not be "necessary" to your buddy but it does help when you're really dragging the plane in for 3 point landings. IMO it's a no brainer to go 3" extended even with Bushwheels. Heck, every single person I know has 3" gear on their cub; it's almost the new standard for PA-18's in Alaska. 3" gear, 31's and a borer prop minimum.
    you don’t need 3” gear unless you are running skiis in the winter... 31’s and standard heavy duty is a nice setup.
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  33. #33
    DJ's Avatar
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    The difference in lift-off speed is really dramatic between the Cub I fly and a stock Cub on short gear and 8.00 tires. For getting in and out short AOA is critical unless you have Keller flaps. On 35s with 3" gear and extra AOI I can still touch the tailwheel on rotation and the plane will fly off at a very low airspeed. Also helps put in on the mains slow at touchdown.

    I destroyed a set of early TK1s doing something stupid (safety cables hit the limit) and the Javron 1.5" HD gear survived unscathed, to Tony's utter disbelief.

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  34. #34
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Everything I have seen shows 1 1/2" being considerably stronger that 1 1/4". Just look at .125" tube specs in each size.
    Yep. A few years ago I compared the bending strength of 1 1/2 round tube with 1/8 wall to 1 1/4 solid round. The 1 1/2 was computed to be stronger. I was amazed. It did not take into account the possibility of crushing, but still - - -
    Gordon

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  35. #35
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Crash, Jr.

    Atlee 3" gear is great too and ever so slightly lighter but also every so slightly not as strong. Strength is relative and for 99% of people any modern PA-18 gear is plenty strong.




    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Not according to the tests the Anchorage ACO did. Do you get the alignment issues squared away on your gear?
    Junior, Has Airframes addressed these alignment issues?
    Steve Pierce

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  36. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Originally Posted by Crash, Jr.

    Atlee 3" gear is great too and ever so slightly lighter but also every so slightly not as strong. Strength is relative and for 99% of people any modern PA-18 gear is plenty strong.






    Junior, Has Airframes addressed these alignment issues?
    You keep beating this horse- how recently have you had all these issues- I’ve installed several new sets of their gear legs over the last few years and never had any alignment or fitment issues with them...
    Last edited by ak49flyer; 08-13-2020 at 02:11 AM. Reason: Spelling

  37. #37
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak49flyer View Post
    You keep beating this horse- how recently have you had all these issues- I’ve installed several new sets of their gear legs over the last few years and never had any alignment or firmest issues with them...
    That is why I keep asking the question that no one can answer after several phones calls over the last several years to no avail.
    Attached Files Attached Files
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  38. #38
    Bearhawk Builder's Avatar
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    Airframes 3 inch about a year ago fit up perfectly.
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  39. #39
    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Originally Posted by Crash, Jr.

    Atlee 3" gear is great too and ever so slightly lighter but also every so slightly not as strong. Strength is relative and for 99% of people any modern PA-18 gear is plenty strong.






    Junior, Has Airframes addressed these alignment issues?
    Steve, I've been kind of avoiding answering your question directly on here because I'm not on here to represent Airframes. It's just me on my personal time trying to learn about cubs and contribute the best I can in areas in which I have some knowledge. If you or anybody has Airframes related questions feel free to send me a PM or call during business hours.

    Short answer: no, Airframes has not done anything different with the landing gear. Just like with Atlee or Univair they are built in jigs that are conformity checked bi-yearly for alignment. Tops are pinned in place in the jig in alignment with one another. Landing gear legs do some crazy things when you weld the vee at the axle but the tops have bushings pressed in and are line reamed during final assembly to ensure best alignment.

  40. #40
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash, Jr. View Post
    Steve, I've been kind of avoiding answering your question directly on here because I'm not on here to represent Airframes. It's just me on my personal time trying to learn about cubs and contribute the best I can in areas in which I have some knowledge. If you or anybody has Airframes related questions feel free to send me a PM or call during business hours.

    Short answer: no, Airframes has not done anything different with the landing gear. Just like with Atlee or Univair they are built in jigs that are conformity checked bi-yearly for alignment. Tops are pinned in place in the jig in alignment with one another. Landing gear legs do some crazy things when you weld the vee at the axle but the tops have bushings pressed in and are line reamed during final assembly to ensure best alignment.
    I have, from the bottom up over the years. Heather said they were aware and that they were working g on it and she wanted me to come up and see what they were doing. Shortly after that she left so that was the end of that.

    I have jigs to rebuild Short Wing and Cub gear as well as fuselage jigs along with other components so have some experience with how stuff can move.

    Curious about your comment about Airframes gear being slightly stronger than Atlee's?
    Steve Pierce

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