• The Biplane Forum is a large global active community of biplane builders, owners and pilots. From Pitts to Skybolts, to older barnstormers, all types are welcome. In addition to our active community, our content boasts exhaustive technical information which is often sought after for projects and maintenance. This information has accumulated over the 12+ years the forum has been in existence.

    The Biplane Forum is a private community. Subscriptions are only $29.95/year to gain access to this great community and unmatched source of information not found anywhere else on the web. We are also a great resource for non biplane users, since many GA aircraft are built the same way (fabric and tube construction).

Any details?

TFF1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2010
Messages
4,573
Reaction score
1,029
The plane had to have been built to the old gear specs originally. Puts lots of weight on the tail wheel. Moving them back makes them handle better. Must have been a good time to update.
 

Don Adamson

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 13, 2007
Messages
614
Reaction score
356
Location
Lonoke, AR
The gear attach points remain at the same location on the fuselage. The gear legs are modified/manufactured at a different angle to place the axle centerline 8" aft of the firewall with the fuselage in a level attitude.

We modified the gear at my shop.
Wasn't any damage just wanted better ground handling.
 

DeatZ

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2019
Messages
113
Reaction score
7
Location
Florida Panhandle
The gear attach points remain at the same location on the fuselage. The gear legs are modified/manufactured at a different angle to place the axle centerline 8" aft of the firewall with the fuselage in a level attitude.

We modified the gear at my shop.
Wasn't any damage just wanted better ground handling.
So you’ve had a look at this airplane? Well built and in good condition?
 

Timbob

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2008
Messages
1,097
Reaction score
269
Location
Socorro, NM USA
Looks like 30" long engine mount! Looks good on the page...and your at sea level. If not a rag and tube expert have someone that is look it over.
 

Don Adamson

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 13, 2007
Messages
614
Reaction score
356
Location
Lonoke, AR
Have not seen the plane just the gear.
Walter is on the forum.
Looks like a great deal on a nice plane, worth looking at in person if your serious.
 

Dave Baxter

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 15, 2007
Messages
2,594
Reaction score
1,706
There were two issues with the early Starduster Toos One was two short of engine mount with the four cylinder Lycoming that produced marginal W&Bs especially with two heavy people and min fuel. The other was the gear location directly under the firewall, IE: Contact point of the wheels based on the firewall datum.

The early gear design placed the main wheels directly under the firewall. During the early yrs of the plans and as the first few airplanes started to fly in the late 60s and early 70s it was discovered that a gear mod would be needed. During the early 70s it was first moved back 2" then 4" and by 1975 an updated drawing was published in one of the early Starduster Magazines that moved it back 7 5/8" where it remained until the late 80s, after which Bill Clouse the owner of Starduster Corp at the time was advising builders and those rebuilding existing airplanes to build the landing gear aft of the datum at a full 8".

There were and still are a number of Starduster Toos that have some version of the older landing gear, as most of these airplanes were built in the 70s but very few are still around that have the original directly under the firewall gear design, many have been changed. Just having the forward gear is not a deal breaker, a lot also has to do with the quality of the build and the gear geometry, mostly toe in or out issues, as it should be "Zero" The drawback of having the forward gear depending on the individual airplane can be mild to wild! But mostly ground handling, by moving the gear back to 8" it takes much of the weight off of the tail,and keeps the tail wheel from hitting first. Some of the early airplanes with a short mount a wood propeller and the old style gear weighed well over #200 lbs ion the tail in three point. With these kinds of weights only the Scott 3200 tail wheel would endure/ withstand the weight, it also added to the stress on not only the tail wheel, the spring flattening out causing extreme shimmy, but also the clamp and rear lower longerons resulting in stress cracks or damage.

The ideal weight, in the weighed empty weight level flight position is #60 lbs, but up to # 80 lbs is still acceptable. The easy way to tell is just try to lift the tail. if you can't it probably has some version of the early gear design. Dave
Engine Mount & Landing Gear Changes small .JPG
 
Last edited:

DeatZ

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2019
Messages
113
Reaction score
7
Location
Florida Panhandle
There were two issues with the early Starduster Toos One was two short of engine mount with the four cylinder Lycoming that produced marginal W&Bs especially with two heavy people and min fuel. The other was the gear location directly under the firewall, IE: Contact point of the wheels based on the firewall datum.

The early gear design placed the main wheels directly under the firewall. During the early yrs of the plans and as the first few airplanes started to fly in the late 60s and early 70s it was discovered that a gear mod would be needed. During the early 70s it was first moved back 2" then 4" and by 1975 an updated drawing was published in one of the early Starduster Magazines that moved it back 7 5/8" where it remained until the late 80s, after which Bill Clouse the owner of Starduster Corp at the time was advising builders and those rebuilding existing airplanes to build the landing gear aft of the datum at a full 8".

There were and still are a number of Starduster Toos that have some version of the older landing gear, as most of these airplanes were built in the 70s but very few are still around that have the original directly under the firewall gear design, many have been changed. Just having the forward gear is not a deal breaker, a lot also has to do with the quality of the build and the gear geometry, mostly toe in or out issues, as it should be "Zero" The drawback of having the forward gear depending on the individual airplane can be mild to wild! But mostly ground handling, by moving the gear back to 8" it takes much of the weight off of the tail,and keeps the tail wheel from hitting first. Some of the early airplanes with a short mount a wood propeller and the old style gear weighed well over #200 lbs ion the tail in three point. With these kinds of weights only the Scott 3200 tail wheel would endure/ withstand the weight, it also added to the stress on not only the tail wheel, the spring flattening out causing extreme shimmy, but also the clamp and rear lower longerons resulting in stress cracks or damage.

The ideal weight, in the weighed empty weight level flight position is #60 lbs, but up to # 80 lbs is still acceptable. The easy way to tell is just try to lift the tail. if you can't it probably has some version of the early gear design. DaveView attachment 54153
Great detail, thank yo very much!
DeatZ
 

EAABipe40FF

Registered Users
Supporting Member
Joined
May 30, 2009
Messages
6,849
Reaction score
1,514
Location
Springfield, WV
I had a starduster 2 that must have been built in a cave w/o mail service, built to early plans with no updates. It had a angle valve IO360 with metal FP prop. It had short mount and early gear under the FW. I knew the issues and frankly even having owned a Pitts was scared to death of it since it had been damaged by previous owner. He fixed it but was also scared of it. He wanted me to take it apart and truck it home. It was less than an hour away at HDG and since I was based on a grass strip I figured I could fly it home and land safely. Marcia and I spent several week ends fixing and cleaning. I got a ferry permit and my friend/IA flew me out and signed the ferry permit. He was based half way, I drove to his airport. I took off and formed up on him because it was hazy and not knowing if compass worked I did NOT want to fly over Camp David only a few miles away.

Only problem was the oild cooler was worthless and after 1o min the oil temp was going up and psi going down, not to mention several old hoses w/tags dated many years ago. When I got to my friends airport(EMI) he waved goodby and landed. I decided I was more afraid of what was under the cowl than landing on hard surface in a moderate x-wind . I landed and it tracked straight and true. After inspection and cool down I made the next 18 min flight home.

Bottom line. I only flew it about 30 hours but many landings. It handled fine. But it was certainly CG challenged. I only weighed 145 back then and Marcia around 100 so we could fly down it to min. fuel but no way I could take an adult male for a ride It needed a rebuild and I couldn't afford to do it... I needed to down size so we sold it.

It is the only SD2 I ever flew but I assume one with later gear and correct mount would be better. Main thing is like Dave said, the gear must be STRAIGHT. BTW, it's tail weighed well over 200# which has to be hard on the tailwheel.

This one should do well with a straight gear and other updates.

Jack
 

rbilu

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2018
Messages
121
Reaction score
58
Location
U.S.
Ditto all above.

1987, La Place, La. , lookin' for an SD Too to buy. Gorgeous Saturday, about 90 degrees and 90 percent humidity, I look at an all black Too with a helo engine, 210 hp.?? Retired Air Force fighter pilot and his buddy tippin' a few beers in their hangar when I walked up.

Nice plane, so we go for a ride. He let me fly. He cranked the trim all the way forward when he got in. I took note. Flight went well, loop, roll, steep turns, NO STALLS. On landing, the tail went crazy, shimmied like Dave said. With the stick buried in my lap, I touched the brakes and the craziness stopped. Owner said over the intercom, "You can stand on the brakes if you want." When I got out, I walked back to the tail. It had a big Scott on it and had been welded more than once. I tried to pick it up and couldn't. Sound familiar?

I called Starduster in Ca. and probably talked to Bill Clouse; it was summer of 87. Maybe Dave. The plane needed both a mount and a gear, which would mean all new cowling too.

I made a low offer, low enough to have Starduster (probably would have been Dave) make the gear and mount, which the owner declined. He was slightly offended, I think, but conceded that my description was accurate.

The Too that I eventually bought was tail heavy in flight with passenger, but still in the range, at 27 and maybe some small change. I modified the mount pushing it out 4 5/8 inches to 19.75 as I recall. The gear is approximately 5 inches back?? and 64 lbs on the tare. Trim is neutral at half fuel with me aboard. She handles nicely air and ground.

I used a long level and took front and back measurements from the mains and decided it had 2.5 to 3 degrees toe out. I would expect that to be worse now, as there are 700 additional hours on her. Sometimes I think I feel the gear centering itself when she gets light on takeoff.

19.75 is shorter than the factory was recommending, but I believe the weight and balance is as good as it is due to the constant speed Hartzell on her nose. It weighs 52lb.
 

Latest posts

Top