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Banded on undercarriage

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Charles Suthrland01/04/2019 20:57:38
7 forum posts
1 photos

I have a horrible old Thunder Tiger T2000 trainer and am fed up with the recurrent nosewheel damage from less than perfect landings not to mention the persistent tracking problems on our grass strip. I have flown a few taildraggers and found the ground handling much easier so I have already removed the wire legs for a hopefully quick and dirty taildragger conversion before it is finally binned. I have a serviceable aluminium underarriage assembly which would do the job and have heard that banded on undercarriage has been done in the past with bands and dowels and figure this could be an easy if inelegant solution. Has anyone any experience of this and could details be provided? All advice warmly welcomed.

J D 801/04/2019 22:54:51
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1385 forum posts
79 photos

As you say not the nicest looking method but easy to put back on if the UC is removed in an arrival. Though the UC departing the aircraft may damage the tail. You need enough bands to keep it firm or suffer odd steering on takeoff.

Dave Cunnington01/04/2019 23:05:25
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145 forum posts
38 photos

Hi Charles.

Whilst learning to fly these machines I am currently working my way through T Tiger Trainers, and on my third one

Flying off grass the nosewheel isn't the best . I've found it easier to fit an aluminium main u/c with 5mm nylon bolts through a strengthened ply floor, the u/c to be in line with the wing leading edge. Looks much better than dowels/bands, and the nylon bolts save the fuselage from damage

A steerable tailwheel, attached to the rudder, is also good

Rgds DC

Dave Cunnington01/04/2019 23:10:08
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145 forum posts
38 photos

Like this (except that this one started with a tail skid, which was quickly replaced with a wheel) :

img_5729.jpg

Edited By Dave Cunnington on 01/04/2019 23:21:33

Dave Cunnington01/04/2019 23:15:52
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145 forum posts
38 photos

I couldn't get a straight run from the rudder for the tailwheel steering as the elevator controls are in the way, so using lateral thinking and the "Heath Robinson" ethic I have produced this - and it works !

img_5768.jpg

Brian Cooper02/04/2019 00:31:22
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494 forum posts
20 photos

Securing the U/C with rubber bands is something we used to do in the 1960s. . It worked up to a point, and that point was when a hard landing occurred. The U/C then had a tendency to violently flip round 180 degrees. This isn't a problem UNLESS the U/C is long enough to make contact with the wing. . . and then it punches holes in the wing.

If it can, it will.

B.C.

Brian Cooper02/04/2019 00:31:22
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494 forum posts
20 photos

It is better to bolt the U/C to the floor.  . . Reinforce the floor first. teeth 2

B.C.

Edited By Brian Cooper on 02/04/2019 00:35:37

David Davis02/04/2019 05:36:59
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3575 forum posts
650 photos

I agree with Brian. I once had a banded on undercarriage on a Super 60. The bands failed one "arrival" and the undercarriage took out the rear longerons.

JohnP2502/04/2019 08:19:29
89 forum posts
3 photos

Change the nose wheel single spring to a double spring, checking the balance.

Then practice your landings laugh

Peter Miller02/04/2019 08:35:54
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10733 forum posts
1259 photos
10 articles

The banded on U/C works but you are better off with a wide U/C .

5 mm nylon bolts are good but take spares with you.

Tail skids are fine or fixed tail wheels. Very few of us bother with steerable tail wheels

We have one foamie with a nose wheel in the club, the owner always wants the grass to be so much shorter than it usually is for the rest of us. (He is NOT one of the grass cutting team (Two of us!))

Piers Bowlan02/04/2019 08:53:54
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2042 forum posts
53 photos

My first SC RC model was a Snipe by H Purser, a free Aeromodeller plan, that incorporated a banded on wire UC. The wire fitted into a slot in a 1/4in piece of ply, suitably profiled and glued to the fuselage underside. As you see from the plan, the bands were attached to the front wing dowel and looped round the wire and back to the dowel. It was a great shock absorber and could take any amount of abuse without becoming detached and damaging the model. I have often pondered fitting something similar to a larger model but locating the bands within the fuselage which might be more attractive.

Braddock, VC02/04/2019 10:22:03
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1645 forum posts
82 photos

Fit torsion bar u/c, I did on the thread "Undercarriage Upgrade" on this site on a BH Blade and have never looked back, at least a couple of dozen landings including two into very long grass and the u/c is still there.

If you prepare your work and have all the parts to hand it shouldn't take much longer than fitting dowels or alloy plate u/c and will be much more fit for purpose.

Andy C02/04/2019 11:01:53
163 forum posts

I wouldn't recommend a banded undercarriage. I fitted one on a build last year, thinking it would be great but all that happened was every landing it spun 180 deg meaning the plane belly landed and prop caught ground. Changed it soon after for a rigid aluminium frame screwed to ply reinforcement.

Mike T02/04/2019 12:34:02
445 forum posts
35 photos

If fixing the u/c to a ply plate, make sure said plate has gussets or similar to transfer loads to the adjacent fuselage formers and sides.

Fix the u/c to the plate with blind nuts and 'nylon' bolts. These need to be the harder type. Softer bendy bolts (e.g. the sort you get from SLEC) wont break in a heavy landing and may pull the plate out. The harder type's heads will snap like a carrot...

alex nicol02/04/2019 13:25:17
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343 forum posts
15 photos

I agree with Mike, only use 2 bolts as thin as you think you'll get away with. the thinking is, should you have a heavy landing the bolts will snap, use heavier bolts and you'll rip the mounting plate out. It's a bit of a catch 22, but easier to replace nylon bolts than rebuild the bottom of the fuselage. Good luck with whatever you decide

Bruce Collinson02/04/2019 13:31:30
469 forum posts

and as Jon Harper advised recently, a second loose ply plate between the u/c and the fixed plate leaves bolt stubs sticking out which can be removed easily.

BTC

Charles Suthrland03/04/2019 00:31:10
7 forum posts
1 photos

Thanks to all. Exactly the useful advice I was hoping for particularly the drawbacks of banded on u/c. I will go with an aluminium u/c with the nylon bolts. In our club the recommendation for beginners is the e-flite Apprentice and they all seem to do quite well despite their nosewheels although they don't exactly need a long run to get into the air. It's taildraggers for me all the way now.

Brian Cooper03/04/2019 04:07:04
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494 forum posts
20 photos

Be aware of the position of the U/C. . There is a temptation to mount it a long way forwards to prevent nose-overs but, if it is too far forward, the model will bounce around like a kangaroo every time it lands.

Have fun.

B.C.

Nigel R03/04/2019 06:44:55
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3484 forum posts
532 photos

" I have flown a few taildraggers and found the ground handling much easier'

What is wrong with the ground handling with the existing UC?

Trikes are as good or better in my experience.

Peter Miller03/04/2019 08:12:29
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10733 forum posts
1259 photos
10 articles
Posted by Bruce Collinson on 02/04/2019 13:31:30:

and as Jon Harper advised recently, a second loose ply plate between the u/c and the fixed plate leaves bolt stubs sticking out which can be removed easily.

BTC

It is always very easy to remove the nylon bolts. Just heat a small screw driver and push itinot the end of the broken bolt, allow to cool for a few moments and unscrew it.

Of courcse in these non smoking days the heat scource would need to be kept in the tool kit.

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