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Thread: Beware the T3 tailwheel shock

  1. #41
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motosix View Post
    The sad truth is that the guys who have the most to contribute to threads like this one have been taught to not bother. Why would anyone want to constantly defend their decision to run one part over another on their experimental airplane?

    Don't like it? Don't run it.

    Every thread that gets derailed because someone with 10 million hours in Alaska doesn't like a product limits the usefulness of the forum and the contributions from people who have pertinent information to share.
    I don't call different opinions as derailing a thread. I call it learning something useful.

    Glenn
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  2. #42

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    Hey Jake,

    Even though no one was injured (thankfully), the wing repair isn’t going to be cheap. A polite letter to the manufacturer inquiring about who you should contact regarding their Products Liability Insurance Policy might quickly net you your out-of-pocket losses.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by motosix View Post
    The sad truth is that the guys who have the most to contribute to threads like this one have been taught to not bother. Why would anyone want to constantly defend their decision to run one part over another on their experimental airplane?

    Don't like it? Don't run it.

    Every thread that gets derailed because someone with 10 million hours in Alaska doesn't like a product limits the usefulness of the forum and the contributions from people who have pertinent information to share.
    Not sure that disagreeing with an install is enough to turn people away from use. Isn't the design and use of new items all about being better (and proving that there is a better way)? If I don't like your tail wheel set up, then prove me wrong. Show me that your idea is better. Tell me the concept behind the design. If I don't like it, I'll tell you why and show my evidence to back up my case.

    Example from my experience; ELT antennas. I've pissed off more than a few people with my advice on ELT antenna installation. I have very specific ways to orient the antenna, fabricating the ground plane for it, and the specific location on the aircraft. Every time it comes up, a bunch of people will tell me I'm full of excreted digestive material. They argue one way and I argue another. I always hope that I can persuade as many as I can of what I consider the 'right way'. In the end the guys are going to install it as they see fit. If a guy comes on the forum and states that all ELT antennas need to be painted blue, I like to think that I will ask 'why'. I may not like the answer but what if he has a point? I expect the 'newer' guys to do the same with me; ask 'why'. I've been surprised many times, in the past, by asking only to learn that an idea had already been tried and abandoned because of X, Y, or Z.

    I'm glad the T3 works for you. Sounds like the upgrade was an improvement.

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  4. #44
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    Ok everybody take a deep breath and relax....

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
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  5. #45
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    I checked my log book; I installed the LSA version of the T-3 in March of 2020, on the 780 lb. S-7S, and now have right at 190 hrs. on it now, with just 9 pavement landings, the rest off airport, plus the ski ops. I checked it last night after reading this post, it's tight as a drum, no slop whatsoever, though I did take up about a quarter to half a turn on the AN5 nuts, to achieve what felt like "just right" torque.

    9 hrs. after the install, I was trolling a 8400' ridge I have landed a half dozen times in the last few years, though each time the rocks seem to be re-arranged from my last visit just a bit. The end result being on one of my passes as I was finding a clear/clearer path for touchdown, and while flying upslope, I got into a situation where I smacked a rock with the mains off the ground but the tail low, while ALMOST having enough climb to clear it. It wasn't a vertical force, but a big sideways (straight back) hit. It bent the main AN7 bolt, blew the tire, broke the wheel, and trashed the 8" Matco tailwheel enough to make it cheaper to just buy a new one, which I immediately did as I have gotten good service out of them in the past, this was a out of the ordinary event. I thought at the time that I may have done airframe damage, it was a BIG hit, and I did tweak the bushing the AN 7 bolt goes through, and the bent bolt is still in there as to get it out will probably require a skinny wheel grinder. I did effect a "temporary" fix, that upon further reflection was deemed good enough to serve as a safe repair until I run out of other projects.

    Point being, the T-3 survived this event unscathed, in addition to the other 181 hrs. afterwards. I'm not saying it's bulletproof, but after carefully reading all the posts on the subject here, I have no plans to change it. In my previous S-7 time, I broke 2 of the original RANS single leaf springs, and then went to a 3 leaf J-3 spring, breaking one leaf of it twice, before deciding to pre-emptively replace them at 1000 hrs., as the breakage seemed to occur at a bit less than that time. I can see how it MAY have a bit less tolerance in a sideload situation, but am willing to pay that price for the super cush action it provides. My big takeaway from this thread is the stated lube issue, I guess I will take that into consideration, certainly can't hurt, also the checking of the torque on the side plate nuts.
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  6. #46
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    Weight on the tail would seem important too, I assume Your rans has a lighter tail than most experimental cubs, but I might be wrong about that assumption.

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
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  7. #47
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Mine is also the LSA version

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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  8. #48
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    Sorry Dad

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  9. #49
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    damn, after reading all this I was pumped up to go buy one Wednesday when I get home, but they are out of stock at airframes.

  10. #50
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    Just checked mine, had some play, half a turn on the cross bolt and most of it stopped. Mine is the old style with the strap.

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

  11. #51
    courierguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJ View Post
    Weight on the tail would seem important too, I assume Your rans has a lighter tail than most experimental cubs, but I might be wrong about that assumption.

    sj
    Probably, guesstimating about.... wait a minute, I have a new digital scale, I'll run out to the hangar, you got me curious.

    If my scale can be believed, 118 pounds, more than I thought. What's a Cub's? First time I've weighed the RANS's.
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  12. #52
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    In the 3-point position & with 31Ē tires, my PA-12 tail weighs 120 lbs. Itís pretty heavy.


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  13. #53
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    I just realized, I stupidly put the digital scale on my usual pick points for when I lift the tail up in the hangar. A couple feet or so in front of the tail wheel, duh. Just checked W&B sheet, 47 lbs. In flight attitude.
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  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by courierguy View Post
    I just realized, I stupidly put the digital scale on my usual pick points for when I lift the tail up in the hangar. A couple feet or so in front of the tail wheel, duh. Just checked W&B sheet, 47 lbs. In flight attitude.
    When on the ground it's not in flight attitude?

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

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubdriver2 View Post
    When on the ground it's not in flight attitude?

    Glenn
    No, the tail has to be raised to flight attitude to get the right weight, however, for the purposes of this discussion, the weight on the ground is likely more important than the weight in level flight attitude.

    sj
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    ------------------------------------------
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  16. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by windy View Post
    In the 3-point position & with 31” tires, my PA-12 tail weighs 120 lbs. It’s pretty heavy.


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org
    120 lbs on a tailwheel in a cub of any kind is a red flag for me. I would check the weight and the CG limits and your CG paper work. in an effort to soften my statement after my stepping on toes the other day I’ll say maybe I’m mistaken. I suggest you do some checking in case I’m not.

  17. #57

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    Empty for weighing my planes’ tails weigh essentially 1/9 of the total when in 3-point. Loaded to gross within the CG envelope the tail weight is 1/5. It may be coincidental but it’s a good way to estimate weights for my loads.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by reliableflyer View Post
    120 lbs on a tailwheel in a cub of any kind is a red flag for me. I would check the weight and the CG limits and your CG paper work. in an effort to soften my statement after my stepping on toes the other day I’ll say maybe I’m mistaken. I suggest you do some checking in case I’m not.
    Windy has a PA12, almost a Super Cub but not quite. Don't 12s seem to be heavier on the the tail? Don't confuse tail weight on the ground with tail weight when weighing.
    Steve Pierce

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  19. #59
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    I've always been curious if a tapered rod tail spring could save some bent fuselages. Anybody tried that in Alaska?

    Tail shock vs Spring seems like a simple list of pros and cons/priorities depending on your mission. Great to have options.

    I don't use the tailwheel for directional control (no steering) so I'm not as worried about a scenario like Jake's causing a loss of control.



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  20. #60
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I have seen side loads from people taxiing into a hole but wouldn't the tailwheel swivel in most other cases?
    Steve Pierce

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  21. #61
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    Where I fly there are small vertical-sided water potholes in the tundra, deep narrow, eroded animal trails across the face of an otherwise smooth hill, etc that will eat a baby Bush wheel and cause a dead stop to sideways motion during a turn. Any maneuvering I do loaded heavy, I'm thinking about the tail. Having even a little sideways flex would seem like a good thing. At altitude and loaded there is not enough power to blow the tail up.

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  22. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    If I don't like your tail wheel set up, then prove me wrong. Show me that your idea is better. Tell me the concept behind the design. If I don't like it, I'll tell you why and show my evidence to back up my case.
    ...
    I'm glad the T3 works for you. Sounds like the upgrade was an improvement.
    Did you even watch the video I posted? I took the T3 off my airplane. It did not work for me, although it is a vast improvement over the J3 spring.

    I bolted something on my airplane, determined what I did like, what I didn't like, then contributed to a thread with specific information on the exact part being discussed.

    The confusion came in when those full of opinions yet no direct experience with the T3 offer life coaching advice on how high I should lift my pickup truck. Post that garbage in every other thread in this forum, but not in the Experimental section please. There are still a few people out here interested in something other than a Pawnee spring and a Scotts 3200 and are tired of the pontification.

  23. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    I have seen side loads from people taxiing into a hole but wouldn't the tailwheel swivel in most other cases?
    You’d think it would, assuming it’s well lubed and functioning correctly

  24. #64

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    It seems like a leaf spring will provide a little rotation in response to torque loads.

  25. #65
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    For small obstacles that makes sense. On the other hand, longerons do get bent, I doubt it has much to do with tail wheels failing to swivel. A round tapered spring just seems like it would address more scenarios than a leaf spring.

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  26. #66

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    Although I have no data to support the claim, specifically with my setup, I believe side loads and lack of allowable twist when encountering side loads are what led to the demise of the swingarm bushing in my T3.

    Like DJ, I do not run steering chains. Video data didn't show any oddball loads during taxi/takeoff/landing that could exacerbate wear but it is possible.
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  27. #67

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    Given time I have no doubt we'll see bent longerons with these tail suspensions, too. That's a product of the attachment. We want simple bolt-on so we retain the weakest part of the system. In my case I received a swingarm tail suspension with my kit. I wasn't willing to have so many moving parts hidden in the tail. I bought a T3. I wasn't convinced it was a solution to anything so I returned it and bought a BBW assembly since I wasn't a big fan of the Matco tailwheel I had in hand at the time. My BBW is bolted to a Pawnee spring and except for the tendency for it to rebound when I hit tail first? I have no issues with it at all. If the 3200 tailwheel on my shelf was 2 bolt instead of 1 bolt I'd remove the BBW and use a little 8" 3200 to lower the tail and increase AOA. I've looked at the Acme Stinger and I have pics of the similar concept tail suspension TK1 is working on. I think those are an improvement over the T3 but they still bolt on the same way so ultimately they're limited to how much they can protect the tail section from torque. Bigger tailwheel tires solve some problems and create others. A longer leverage arm transferring torque is one.

    Re: tapered round springs? Cessna springs transfer stress to the airframe, too. The bigger the tailwheel the bigger the leverage and the more torque problems. I had a 14" tailwheel for years and watched it closely. I was relieved to replace it with the shorter BBW wide fork assembly.
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  28. #68
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    Beware the T3 tailwheel shock

    Quote Originally Posted by reliableflyer View Post
    120 lbs on a tailwheel in a cub of any kind is a red flag for me. I would check the weight and the CG limits and your CG paper work. in an effort to soften my statement after my stepping on toes the other day Iíll say maybe Iím mistaken. I suggest you do some checking in case Iím not.
    Thank you for your concern. The CG is well within limits. So is the weight. My PA-12 has been weighed on scales. For the official CG weight, the tail was in level flight position. I was curious, so we also weighed the tail as it sat on the ground. It has a short-mount with an O-360 and with 3Ē extended gear & 31Ē tires, it all works together make the tail a tad heavy on the ground.
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  29. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by motosix View Post
    ....Like DJ, I do not run steering chains. .....
    I guess this means there's no tailwheel steering, and the t/w is free-swivelling all the time.
    I've seen this done before, but I'm curious as to the thinking behind this?
    Seems like this would promote shimmy.
    FWIW I fly a 180 not a cub.

    If you were running a 3200, I'd guess that internal spring p/n 3222 would have to be removed,
    in order to allow the t/w fork to free-swivel with any steering chains hooked up.
    But it sounds like you're running a Matco tailwheel, did it need to be modified?
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  30. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    I guess this means there's no tailwheel steering, and the t/w is free-swivelling all the time.
    I've seen this done before, but I'm curious as to the thinking behind this?
    Seems like this would promote shimmy.
    FWIW I fly a 180 not a cub.

    If you were running a 3200, I'd guess that internal spring p/n 3222 would have to be removed,
    in order to allow the t/w fork to free-swivel with any steering chains hooked up.
    But it sounds like you're running a Matco tailwheel, did it need to be modified?
    Although my landing speeds are higher than a real SuperCub, I do not have any problems with shimmy. As shared in various ways on this site, the secret is the angle of the steering stem in relation to the offset of the axle. In motorcycles the term is called "trail" and is a calculated number that describes the sweet spot where the handling is controlled yet responsive. (google "motorcycle trail" and "tank slappers" if you want to see the equivalent to shimmy in that context).

    Like everyone else I have used the standard Maule tailwheel, then moved to different flavors of Matco's; the 8" wide dual fork and then the 11" dual fork. Modification of all to free caster are straight forward (simple removal of the arms mostly although I did machine the 11" eventually) and both Matco units have their pros/cons. I just recently started testing a free castering tailwheel assembly of my own design inspired by the Matco 11", and it is coupled to the Acme Stinger which replaced the T3.

    There is a certain beloved SQ2 very local to me that uses a free castering 3200 (and is probably reading this thread). He could probably confirm which spring would have to be removed for that unit to function correctly in that method of operation.
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  31. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    I guess this means there's no tailwheel steering, and the t/w is free-swivelling all the time.
    I've seen this done before, but I'm curious as to the thinking behind this?
    Sorry -- I did not answer the most important question for you:

    It is just my preference really. I prefer how it feels, both in the air and on the ground. I can keep cross wind rudder control long after touchdown and in the air my feet only feel the pressure of the wind on the rudder and not the stiff tailwheel springs turning the tailwheel in the air. I also like the maneuvering on the ground, but as you might guess, I don't spend much time taxing on long paved controlled airports.

  32. #72

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    This old thread came to mind when I read about the failure in the original post.

    https://www.supercub.org/forum/showt...lwheel-101-WTF
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  33. #73
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    I had tail shimmy when on my J3 spring, but only when the tail ski was on. Now that I think of it, this winter the shimmy went away, I chalked it up to a different ski mount, but probably was the different T3 geometry. Lucked out.
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  34. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Windy has a PA12, almost a Super Cub but not quite. Don't 12s seem to be heavier on the the tail? Don't confuse tail weight on the ground with tail weight when weighing.
    (My experience only, not fact just opinion) canít speak to all 12ís only the one I had. I had an 18 tail, an O-320 on a short mount, 18 wings with an 18 angle of incidence and an 18 door. early on 25x11x4ís later gar aero 29ís. I found the original plane with a long mount too nose heavy and moved the battery aft and used the short mount. I found that it flew more like an 18 and it flew better with the weight moved aft. Still nose heavy especially when light on fuel. Always kept some survival gear in the extended baggage.
    Last edited by reliableflyer; 05-19-2021 at 05:44 PM.

  35. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by motosix View Post
    Sorry -- I did not answer the most important question for you:

    It is just my preference really. I prefer how it feels, both in the air and on the ground. I can keep cross wind rudder control long after touchdown and in the air my feet only feel the pressure of the wind on the rudder and not the stiff tailwheel springs turning the tailwheel in the air. I also like the maneuvering on the ground, but as you might guess, I don't spend much time taxing on long paved controlled airports.
    Mine too. Especially with the t3 which extends and puts tension on the chains. The rudder feels much better without. My 3200 seems to swivel fine without chains. I did not gut it in case I want to put the steering back on someday.

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  36. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ View Post
    Mine too. Especially with the t3 which extends and puts tension on the chains. The rudder feels much better without. My 3200 seems to swivel fine without chains. I did not gut it in case I want to put the steering back on someday.
    Agree 100%. I hooked the steering chains up with the T3 for a bit but didn't like it at all. When the T3 would rise/squat due to terrain it would pull extra hard on the springs and the ground handling was just stiff.

    For those that do run the chains, it is important to take into account the extension that happens when the tailwheel is unloaded. The spring+chain length that works best on the ground while the spring is loaded becomes very taught just as soon as you become airborne. It will be slightly different for everyone because everyone will have slightly more or less squat based on weight, spring, preload, and gross.
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  37. #77
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    Yeah it took me a while to catch on to that, as I re-attached my chains after installing the 3 while the tail was still elevated. An easy fix, and as a past "no chain" (tried it while still on the J-3 spring, for about 20 hours) guy, I still prefer them.
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  38. #78

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    Ditto on the difference in spring/chain geometry in the air and on the ground. I got to know several spring companies really well in searching for a spring that would solve the issue to my satisfaction. I needed a spring that would have sufficient tension when off the ground that it still had tension when on the ground after the geometry changed. In my case, not a quick fix but I finally did find a spring I was satisfied with. If you try to accomplish a fix with chain length alone, when using standard (extension or compression) springs commonly found at aviation suppliers, you might have a fun time. Complicating the matter, light sport such as mine usually do not have rudder control horns that are built like tanks and they cannot withstand the stress of pretension with such a strong spring. My case took a lot of experimentation. I am happy with the outcome but it didn't come easily or quickly.
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  39. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by WYflyer View Post
    Ditto on the difference in spring/chain geometry in the air and on the ground. I got to know several spring companies really well in searching for a spring that would solve the issue to my satisfaction. I needed a spring that would have sufficient tension when off the ground that it still had tension when on the ground after the geometry changed. In my case, not a quick fix but I finally did find a spring I was satisfied with. If you try to accomplish a fix with chain length alone, when using standard (extension or compression) springs commonly found at aviation suppliers, you might have a fun time. Complicating the matter, light sport such as mine usually do not have rudder control horns that are built like tanks and they cannot withstand the stress of pretension with such a strong spring. My case took a lot of experimentation. I am happy with the outcome but it didn't come easily or quickly.
    S7?

    If so, I am jealous of you and Tom...

  40. #80

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    Savage Cub; basically a ripoff of an early short tail S-7.
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