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Thread: Bushwheels

  1. #1

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    Bushwheels

    Im sure this could start a Chevy versus Ford argument and I hope not but does anyone think 31 inch Bushwheels on a 95 hp Pa-18 is a bad idea? Taking to a Carbon Cub driver yesterday, he claims going from 8.00s to 31 inch BWs only cost him 2 mph (yes he has double the HP) but since I am typically going nowhere slowly anyway, I would like to increase my odds of winning against a sand bars hidden treasures that occasionally pop up out of nowhere.

    Constructive advice is requested. Bushwheels haters, we already know how you guys feel, lol.

  2. #2

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    Lower HP they will cost you more like 6-9 mph in cruise.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

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    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    EX Pa18/0200 going from 800x4 about 5mph, going from 25x11x4 about 3 mph. But 31s are heavy, added about 75' to my TO Roll

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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    What tires are you currently running?

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    I've only ever flown a 150hp PA-18, so take my lack of experience for what it's worth, but if you're in no hurry and might be landing in places with large rocks, I fail to see a downside. I landed on a gravel bar with larger than expected rocks this weekend, and after walking the strip I was pretty darn glad to have 31" tires. I'm good with my 75mph cruise speed if it means I can land in rougher terrain.
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  6. #6

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    Call Reeves (bushwheels in anchorage ) and ask for Gabe, get his advice. He has a J3 with similar power. Then call Steve and see what tire is good in Texas. I took a Pacer lots of places with a 26 inch Goodyear. A 26 in Bushwheel with low pressure should handle most sandbar stuff and is lighter, but, ask Steve if you need a heavy tire for Texas thorns.
    DENNY

  7. #7
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I have a package for a 337 Field Approval to install Air Streaks. I used 29" Airstreaks and they worked great on the PA18-95 because they are lighter than a Bushwheel. Also put 31" Bushwheels on a PA18-95 along with a Baby Bushwheel tail wheel. There is more of a weight penalty on the lower hp Cubs but worked for us banging around on the Brazos up here nd then two of us flew it up to Alaska. The Airstreaks work well because of the lower weight and the bouyancy. The PA18-95 fell between the cracks on the Airstreak STC since the tires are approved for more than 1500 lb Gross weight aircraft. Would be glad to send you my field approval package if you wish to go that route. Will save 10 lbs over 31" BWs and 8 lbs on 29" BWs. Weight is a huge deal to me especially on the 90 hp Super Cubs.
    Steve Pierce

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  8. #8
    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    I have a package for a 337 Field Approval to install Air Streaks. I used 29" Airstreaks and they worked great on the PA18-95 because they are lighter than a Bushwheel. Also put 31" Bushwheels on a PA18-95 along with a Baby Bushwheel tail wheel. There is more of a weight penalty on the lower hp Cubs but worked for us banging around on the Brazos up here nd then two of us flew it up to Alaska. The Airstreaks work well because of the lower weight and the bouyancy. The PA18-95 fell between the cracks on the Airstreak STC since the tires are approved for more than 1500 lb Gross weight aircraft. Would be glad to send you my field approval package if you wish to go that route. Will save 10 lbs over 31" BWs and 8 lbs on 29" BWs. Weight is a huge deal to me especially on the 90 hp Super Cubs.
    (Gabe @ Reeves here)

    All of what Steve said. For light cubs with low horsepower it's 29" Airstreaks all day. Unfortunately because the -18's are under the same TC as the bigger cubs the STC for the tires only allows the Bushwheel line (higher weight rated, higher weight tires) on the -18 (and -18-95) models. With Steve's field approval paperwork you can put the 29 Airstreaks on which are good for up to 1700lbs gross weight and are within spitting distance size wise of the 31's but are 14-15lbs lighter per pair than the 31's. For a plane so light you really don't need the bigger 31" tires as you're just not putting the same amount of energy through the gear or tires as you would be with a heavier 150 horse cub.

    Go with the 29" Airstreaks and go with Steve's field approval and enjoy.

    *edit* I should mention that 26" Airstreaks or 26" Goodyears work fine for a lot of things. I've taken my J3 in some pretty rough spots on the 26 Goodyears and not had too many regrets. 29" tires definitely give you more room to breathe however when your landing spot has some unknowns or you are forced to land on random tundra or beach without the chance to really look at it first.
    Last edited by Crash, Jr.; 10-15-2020 at 11:40 AM.

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    I have a set of 26" Goodyears with tubes for sale, like new, hardly used, only 50 hours TT on them. Put 31's on this Husky now.
    $1200 plus shipping.
    John Schwamm 480.766.9990 jschwamm@cox.net

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    How much does a J3 weigh. I had the Goodyear's on my Rans S7 and it was like landing with the brakes on. I have 850's on it now which seem to do fine for the terrain I land on. Would love to put the Airstreak 26"'s on but too many landings and long taxiing on tarmac.

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    Yes, the 29" airstreaks are a little lighter, which helps (!)
    I put them on my 135 cub, since it has a lighter gross weight. And I do everything I can to help the ol' empty weight. And they are stc'd so that helps.
    ...he was so far behind the airplane, he wasn't even a good witness to the crash

  12. #12
    Scouter's Avatar
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    a bit of thread creep here, but has anyone vacuum deflated a set of bushwheels to get them smaller to stuff in the baggage of the cub? I want to take the cub to fl on the amphibs, but also take the bushwheels. I need to call Airframes to get their opinon.
    thx
    jim
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  13. #13
    TurboBeaver's Avatar
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    You really can't compare 26" Goodyear's to 26" Airstreaks, very different animals.
    A Bushwheel/ Airstreak tire is essentially a very thick "inner tube" with valve stem in the side, that will fully inflate at very low air pressure. A 26" Goodyear is a HIGH pressure tire, same as a 8:50 Goodyear if you try to deflate them to make them softer
    they look "deflated" you loose your clearance, and the resistance required to move (roll) them deflated, becomes greater. Requiring longer takeoff distances.
    Comparing tubed high pressure tires to Airstreaks is not really a fair comparison,
    No matter what airpreasure you run in HP
    Tubed tires they will never; roll over softball sized rocks without transferring
    MUCH greater stress on the gear fittings/ airframe than Airstreaks will.
    Buy a true low pressure tire or weep later.
    Good Luck
    E

    Jim/
    Back in the early 80's when Guy Selman owed Antique Tire&Rubber in California, when he shiped tires to Alaska they came fully deflated and stacked like washers, The 30" Airstreak is about 30% of its original size when fully deflated from memory..........
    Cheers.


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    Last edited by TurboBeaver; 10-16-2020 at 03:57 AM.
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  14. #14
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dstr59 View Post
    Yes, the 29" airstreaks are a little lighter, which helps (!)
    I put them on my 135 cub, since it has a lighter gross weight. And I do everything I can to help the ol' empty weight. And they are stc'd so that helps.
    Airstreaks STC'd for a PA18-135?
    Steve Pierce

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Airstreaks STC'd for a PA18-135?
    My PA-18-135/L-21B with a 1500 lb gross weight needed a field approval for Airstreaks.
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  17. #17
    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurboBeaver View Post
    You really can't compare 26" Goodyear's to 26" Airstreaks, very different animals.
    A Bushwheel/ Airstreak tire is essentially a very thick "inner tube" with valve stem in the side, that will fully inflate at very low air pressure. A 26" Goodyear is a HIGH pressure tire, same as a 8:50 Goodyear if you try to deflate them to make them softer
    they look "deflated" you loose your clearance, and the resistance required to move (roll) them deflated, becomes greater. Requiring longer takeoff distances.
    Comparing tubed high pressure tires to Airstreaks is not really a fair comparison,
    No matter what airpreasure you run in HP
    Tubed tires they will never; roll over softball sized rocks without transferring
    MUCH greater stress on the gear fittings/ airframe than Airstreaks will.
    Buy a true low pressure tire or weep later.
    Good Luck
    E

    Jim/
    Back in the early 80's when Guy Selman owed Antique Tire&Rubber in California, when he shiped tires to Alaska they came fully deflated and stacked like washers, The 30" Airstreak is about 30% of its original size when fully deflated from memory..........
    Cheers.
    I wouldn't say the 26 Goodyears are as much different from Bushwheels as all that. Mine run around 6-8psi on a 735lb J3 and stand up plenty tall with no real indication of squatting but they are pretty soft at that pressure. I haven't noticed any excessive rolling resistance and the plane is easy to push around by hand on most surfaces. Where they would be different is in how soft they are on landing; the Goodyear 26's definitely transmit more shock into the bungees where Bushwheels/Airstreaks are just much softer for a given pressure and would absorb more. The GY 26's are only about 24-25ish inches where the Bushwheels/Airstreaks are fully 26" in diameter. The Airstreaks are also much lighter at 22lbs per tire whereas the 26GY's are about 26lbs each with tire and tube included. 26" Bushwheels come in around 27lbs so they are on par with the GY's.

    As a data point there is no weight change going from 26GY's to 29" Airstreaks.

    As another data point I've bounced all over Knik and several different strips around southcentral alaska with golfball to softball sized rocks and the fuselage is still intact. I'd rather have the 29" Airstreaks that I'm saving money for but the 26 GY's certainly haven't let me down at all.
    Last edited by Crash, Jr.; 10-16-2020 at 11:32 AM.

  18. #18
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Are these the 29" Airstreak part numbers? They are from the STC.
    29136.I
    29136.II
    29136.R
    Last edited by Steve Pierce; 10-16-2020 at 11:26 AM.
    Steve Pierce

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  19. #19
    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    The old bias ply tires were denoted by .I for Bushwheels and .II for Airstreaks. The new radial tires use .R for Bushwheels and .R1 for Airstreaks. So you'd be looking at 29136.R1 for a new radial 29" Airstreak.
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  20. #20
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    So the 29" Airstreak is approved on the Super Cub?
    Steve Pierce

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  21. #21
    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Well...no they're not

    After checking with engineering it's unclear if the .II version are actually Airstreaks or some Bushwheel variation that was made way back in the early 00's when the STC was obtained. Certainly I haven't seen any around to verify that they are either an Airstreak build or a Bushwheel type. I would say they are exceedingly rare to find a .II marked tire.

    For all practical purposes the only tires still in circulation are the .R/.R1 type tires of which only the .R (Bushwheels) are approved on PA-18 models per the AML. For all practical purposes only Bushwheels are approved by STC on the PA-18.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash, Jr. View Post
    I wouldn't say the 26 Goodyears are as much different from Bushwheels as all that. Mine run around 6-8psi on a 735lb J3 and stand up plenty tall with no real indication of squatting but they are pretty soft at that pressure......
    I've heard of people having the valve stem rip out of 26" GY's at low pressure, due to the tire turning on the wheel.
    Need to put some monkey snot on the bead, or run more PSI.
    That's with C180's & similar, maybe they don't have that problem as much with a lighter airplane.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

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    I flew my pacer with 26 in Goodyears around a lot of Alaska. I did drop through the tundra once but no damage. I could run and brake hard at 12 psi. The Pacer was heavy so you did notice the difference between 20 and 12 lbs, a lot softer landing at 12. I switched to 29 inch bushwheels and became a lazy pilot because they hid all my mistakes. How about a 26 in Desser tubeless on a Grove rim?
    DENNY
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  24. #24
    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    The weight is definitely key. Plus the J3 doesn't have the strongest brakes so I'm not exactly ripping the tires off the rims. A bigger plane and you certainly wouldn't want to venture below 12-15psi on GY's.

  25. #25
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    I ran over a partially buried 55 gallon drum on a beach landing and the airstreaks definitely made an improvement on the outcome. Big soft energy absorbing tires are the ticket.


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    One thing I noticed when I went from 8:00's to the 26" Airstreaks, and then when I really saw the light and moved on up to the 29" Airstreaks on my light Rans S-7S, was there was a pretty good drag hit between the 8's and the 26's, but none that I could quantify between the 26's and the 29's. With a 1320 gross, I never considered the "regular" ABW's, too heavy. I live in fear they will come out with a 31" Airstreak, as I would have to have them.

    I apparently was one of the last purchasers of the ultralight Airstreaks, even lighter then my first set of standard 'streaks. I jumped at the chance to save 12 pounds, (! a huge amount of savings on a 760 lb. plane of course) and now have about 300 hours on them. The reason they were discontinued I have heard, is that they couldn't hold up to stateside use, and the European market for them wasn't worth the trouble, something like that, and I could have it wrong. Luckily I did not know all that before putting them to work. I think this was the second landing on the new tires, so far so good. The LZ wasn't quite as bad as the parking area, but still pretty rocky. Light weight, low speed, and low pressure is key.
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  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by DENNY View Post
    I flew my pacer with 26 in Goodyears around a lot of Alaska. I did drop through the tundra once but no damage. I could run and brake hard at 12 psi. The Pacer was heavy so you did notice the difference between 20 and 12 lbs, a lot softer landing at 12. I switched to 29 inch bushwheels and became a lazy pilot because they hid all my mistakes. How about a 26 in Desser tubeless on a Grove rim?
    DENNY
    I just recently submitted an inquiry to Desser about them producing either a 26", or their 27.5" Aero Classic 4 ply for a 6" rim... The answer I got was that they don't have a mold for either of those sizes, and they have no plans for making one....
    Maybe if they get enough interest, they'd change their mind...? Their customer service is very quick to respond to emails, so anybody that would like to see these tires produced better contact them!
    I think the 27.5 x 10 x 8.00 that they currently offer would be a huge seller in a 6" rim version.

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1934A View Post
    I just recently submitted an inquiry to Desser about them producing either a 26", or their 27.5" Aero Classic 4 ply for a 6" rim... The answer I got was that they don't have a mold for either of those sizes, and they have no plans for making one....
    Maybe if they get enough interest, they'd change their mind...? Their customer service is very quick to respond to emails, so anybody that would like to see these tires produced better contact them!
    I think the 27.5 x 10 x 8.00 that they currently offer would be a huge seller in a 6" rim version.
    g the tire on the rim and shearing off the valve stem, where a 10 inch rim has a lot more area for holding the tire. dont think there looking for trouble. theres a reason bushwheels have there valve stem in the side of the tire.
    ryan, i think why they dont make or will ever offer one in a 6 inch is that there really worried about using a regular tube in a big tire and spinnin
    Last edited by tempdoug; 10-17-2020 at 11:31 AM.
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  30. #30

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    Doug, that's kinda what I figured, but they do offer the 27.5", and even the 8.50 x 6 Aero Classic in a tubeless version. It looks to me that the only thing keeping them from offering a bigger Aero Classic in a 6" rim size, is they don't have the tooling set up...
    Maybe the bigger tire, even though it's tubeless,
    would still slip on a 6" rim?

  31. #31
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1934A View Post
    I just recently submitted an inquiry to Desser about them producing either a 26", or their 27.5" Aero Classic 4 ply for a 6" rim... The answer I got was that they don't have a mold for either of those sizes, and they have no plans for making one....
    Maybe if they get enough interest, they'd change their mind...? Their customer service is very quick to respond to emails, so anybody that would like to see these tires produced better contact them!
    I think the 27.5 x 10 x 8.00 that they currently offer would be a huge seller in a 6" rim version.
    Does Desser actually make tires? I thought they were only a distributor.
    N1PA

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scouter View Post
    a bit of thread creep here, but has anyone vacuum deflated a set of bushwheels to get them smaller to stuff in the baggage of the cub? I want to take the cub to fl on the amphibs, but also take the bushwheels. I need to call Airframes to get their opinon.
    thx
    jim
    Not sure how small how they will go, but that’s how I mount them. Works real slick. Wheel halves easily mate and bolt up. No fighting with them. They are pretty thick. I don’t think they will get a whole lot smaller.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    Does Desser actually make tires? I thought they were only a distributor.
    Desser Tire and Rubber company manufactures the Aero Classic line.
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  34. #34
    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Re: deflating/vacuum sucking Bushwheels...I agree the won't get any smaller. They may get some narrower but they're not exactly just a big empty bag you can suck down like a raisin. I've messed around with squeezing all the air out and all kinds of stuff but the structure of the tire is such that they just don't pack down much smaller. If they were able to be packed smaller a ton of money would have been saved on shipping costs by now.

    On the other hand I have packed a set of 35's both tires and wheels into a Super Cub. You can do it but you better have a folding front seat and removable cross bar.
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  35. #35
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1934A View Post
    ...Maybe the bigger tire, even though it's tubeless, would still slip on a 6" rim?
    If it's being run tubeless, why would a little slippage matter?
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  36. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    If it's being run tubeless, why would a little slippage matter?
    It wouldn't matter, unless a little slippage caused a leakage, I guess.

  37. #37
    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    If it's being run tubeless, why would a little slippage matter?
    True tubeless would be a massive problem if the tire slipped. If an actual tubeless slips on the rim it will break the rim to tire seal and the tire will deflate. Hence why big rock crawler trucks with low pressure tubeless tires have to use a rim lock to keep the bead seated.

    On the other hand a Bushwheel which is really just basically a tire that is one big inner tube with extra rubber added with a valve stem on the side can slip on the rim and be fine. Because it doesn't rely on sealing against the rim to hold air. They're not truly tubeless, that's very much a misnomer.
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