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Ernie Aubert wrote:
All the taildragger models I've had and seen had tailwheel steering. This AT6 obviously doesn't; is that the norm for full-scale taildraggers?
The Six has a locking tailwheel, not steerable per se. Actually it allows you to pivot in some pretty tight conditions that a steerable tailwheel won't. The pilot "steers" with differential braking. Pulling the stick back pat neutral locks the tailwheel in a straight configuration. When you want to unlock it, you add a little power and roll slightly to take the tension off the tailwheel, as you do that, you pop the stick forward of neutral and it unlocks, castoring free 360 degrees. Done properly you can spin that big bird on a dime and stop it just where you want it. You had better understand the system though, because you can also send yourself into the weeds in a hurry. 51's have the same system by and large, with a lot more mass swinging out in front and a lot more power. Handling all this becomes instinctive after a few hours, you don't even think about it. On take off the tailwheel is locked straight until you pop the stick forward to raise the tail. In landing you have a 360 castoring tailwheel until you bring the stick into your lap. Three points that happens right away, wheel landings, not til you've slowed enough that the tail is coming down and you firmly plant that little wheel on the ground. Until you lock it, it's all controlled by power and brakes, and stuff can happen faster than one can imagine.
Edited on Jul 05, 2013 at 04:34 AM · View previous versions