Search This Blog

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Tail Dragger vs. Tricycle

I don't have my tail dragger endorsement at this time, but am about 100% confident that I am going to build a Straight RV-7 meaning it will be a tail dragger.  The -7A is the tricycle gear meaning it has a nose wheel up front.  While tricycle gear planes are easier to land and maneuver on the ground I don't think they look nearly as good.

For me I like the classic look of the tail dragger and will get my endorsement and practice in a tail dragger before I get to the point where I have to make my final decision.  You don't need to make a final decision until you order the fuselage.  I am pretty sure I will enjoy flying the tail dragger even though it will be a bit more challenging to land and maneuver.

For those who don't know, the center of gravity on a tail dragger is behind the front main wheels which means while on the ground, the body of the aircraft can get away from you either left or right and flip around towards the front.  This is called a ground loop and can be pretty dangerous.  To avoid this, the pilot has to use a lot of rudder to keep the plane straight while landing and taxiing. 

A tricycle gear airplane, the center of gravity is in front of the two main wheels so the plane naturally wants to roll nose first, so a ground loop is not common if even possible on a nose wheel airplane.

But I have spoken with lots of tail wheel pilots and they love the challenge and reward that comes with flying tail wheel planes.   Also, they are a few MPH faster since you don't have the nose wheel sticking out.  

Plus they just look very classic and way cool.

Also in particular on an RV, the wing walk is closer to the ground on a tail wheel version, so you don't need to install steps on the fuselage to allow passengers easier access to the wing walk.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Places we have been in our RV-7 ! (Blue 2013, Yellow 2014, Green 2015, Purple 2016, Red 2017)