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Old 04-24-2012, 10:29 PM   #1
Anvil Jr.
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Default Tailwheel steering

I just bought an S-1E with steerable Scott tailwheel. Taxiing at idle, it turns left no problem. Right turns take a lot more; to do a normal s-turn requires full right rudder and a touch of brake. It has been suggested that even at idle, the prop produces enough torque to result in this condition. I'm not sure if that sounds reasonable or not, and was looking for thoughts from Pitts pilots more experienced than myself (that's pretty much everyone). Also, if steering needs adjustment, how do I do it? Thanks.



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Old 04-24-2012, 10:34 PM   #2
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I don't know Pitts, but a Scott tailwheel is pretty much the same on all airplanes.
Check your springs, they should be equal length, and slightly loose to maybe a very slight tension, but not tight or stretched out under tension.
Sounds like one spring might be too loose.
Posting a pic or two would also help.



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Old 04-24-2012, 10:36 PM   #3
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Recently I had the Eagle tailwheel apart a few times, it's a Lang. However, I did find that it operated best when grease was applied liberally.

You may want to check the lubrication of your tailwheel, it made a big difference with the Lang.

Secondly, check the spring tensions. Seemingly minor differences there have a big effect on operation. There are some good YouTube videos in regards to the Scott, found them looking for Lang videos, of which there aren't any.

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Old 04-24-2012, 10:39 PM   #4
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Its not uncommon to have steering better one way in a tailwheel aircraft

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Old 04-24-2012, 11:48 PM   #5
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Also check that the unit is level side to side.

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Old 04-24-2012, 11:53 PM   #6
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And to add to Daryls comment...no side to side motion either. Worn bushings, brackets bolts etc.

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Old 04-25-2012, 01:29 AM   #7
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In addition to the other suggestions, look at the the hold down bracket that captures the leaf spring. If it is welded to the fuselage, check to see that it is level and the weld isn't cracked. My Skybolt exhibited similar characteristics shortly before it broke last year.

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Old 04-25-2012, 04:01 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the info. I'll give it a good look, and maybe post a pic if I can't find the problem.

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Old 04-28-2012, 08:37 AM   #9
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Default springs not equal?

Some tailwheel assemblies require that the springs be of unequal strength (to reduce chatter on landing). Your mechanic should be able to research spring requirements for your specific model tailwheel assembly. If none of the other suggestions fix your problem, try switching the springs right/left and see if the problem swaps sides.

If you see the swap, then install equal strength springs (if research shows this is acceptable), and then check for chatter. If chatter appears, be prepared to lose a spring, though. I had that happen on a Scout towplane. Your first landing, post spring replacement, should be on sod or dirt in case chatter happens with the symmetrical spring setup.

Toein/toeout asymmetry can affect tracking. Tire wear might show this.



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