Beefy nosegear

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DarylP

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Hi everyone! :)

Just to be clear, this post is for those that may want to have a stronger nose-wheel setup, especially if they are doing off-field landings. It is not a question of trike versus tail-dragger. Also...there are those that feel the nose gear on their plane is tough enough for off-field landings, so this does not apply to them either.

If you were going to beef up a nose-gear on a trike, there is the usual consideration, where you simply put on a bigger tire. That would in most cases involve making a new fork to accommodate the wider tire. The second is the trailing-arm suspension which becomes a little more complicated, based on design. The picture below, although in a much larger application, is another idea. That being doing a dual tire nose-wheel.


This Helio H700 is heavily modified, and many would say is overkill, but I love the nose-gear, which happens to be from a Voodoo F-101. NO...I am NOT going to suggest putting that on your plane. :gig: However, after thinking about it I have come to think that it may not be a bad idea to consider a dual nose-wheel setup as an alternative idea.
The standard fork nose wheel requires two side plates, and the top crossbar...well you know what I mean. If you want to put on a wider tire, that means that it has to be bigger to accommodate it. It starts to add considerable weight and bulk.
If on other hand, you made a longer vertical bar and made a dual spindle on the bottom end (of course), where you could mount two tires side-by-side, that may take less material. The taller dual tires may also give you as much area on the ground as one fat tire.

DarylP

That Helio is a like a monster truck with wings. Other specs on it include: Garrett TPE-331-6 (840 SHP) (MU-2) with water injection, super swamper tires 38" on the mains, F-101 Voodoo nose wheel assembly. Extended wing span to include 175 gallons of Jet-A....Empty weight 3400 pounds. And a 106" prop....!!!!

 
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DarylP

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Gary,
I would like to know the builder of Bigfoot, to see why he chose that nosegear. Yeah it sure looks like overkill, and I wonder how he was able to get that approved.

Trailing link is great but very tough to design, as there are so many dynamics in play.
 

steveair2

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I saw that Helio fly at Oshkosh. He made a low pass blowing all those air horns. It was great.
 

DarylP

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I saw that Helio fly at Oshkosh. He made a low pass blowing all those air horns. It was great.
Why does he have the horns...did anyone say?

From what I understand he blew over a display tent when he started the plane...109inches throws a lot of air.
 

DarylP

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Re: Beefy nosegear (And Steering)

On the subject of nosegear, do any of you know of a steering system that is activated independent of the pedals and rudder?
I think about this now (and once when I had my nosegear turned upon landing) and that it can be a dicey affair snapping the rudder pedals at the last second to get the nose wheel straight. Yes...practice makes perfect, but I often wondered if there was any combination mechanical/electric/hydraulic systems already in place on some small aircraft. I thought about a geared system that would be activated by wire, using servos. The control stick could have a control that would allow you to steer independent of the rudder.

Maybe in part, that's why the owner of the Bigfoot Helio used the Voodoo gear...to get steer-ability?
 

addaon

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Well, there's ways to do it (the big guys do)... but why not just have a free-castering nose wheel and use differential braking? Sure, it's a compromise, but you can't get simpler and lighter than leaving off parts.
 

DarylP

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Curious...has anyone ever used a motorcycle fork for a nose gear suspension? I know it sounds crazy, but dirt bikes have fork tubes that take a serious beating. Probably too heavy.

On the free-castering nose wheels....how do you keep the nose-wheel straight when landing? There must be a return-to-center spring device?
 

addaon

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The geometry is such that they self-center under loads (or rather, line up with the load). So the spin-up load of touching the wheel down pulls it nicely into trail. Springs aren't unusual, or some sort of centering bias built into the suspension.
 

Lucrum

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Re: Beefy nosegear (And Steering)

On the subject of nosegear, do any of you know of a steering system that is activated independent of the pedals and rudder?...The control stick could have a control that would allow you to steer independent of the rudder.
As addaon mentioned most jets do just that, with a separate tiller usually on the left side of the cockpit. The Pilot has his right hand on the throttles and left hand on the tiller typically to 80 KTS, with the FO holding the yoke until then. For a single pilot cockpit though you're correct that you'd want a steering control you could keep your hands on simultaneously with the stick.

I got checked out in an SR22 recently. It steers with differential breaks. When I got back into the BE40 I normally fly I caught myself trying to steer with braking instead of the nose wheel steering.

I plan on using a free nose wheel and brakes for my steering.
I like the idea of nose wheel steering, but I figure simplicity, low cost and parts counts will get me in the air faster than gadgets.
 

DarylP

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So using the free castering...doesn't that eat up brakes? I assume that you only use it when landing. It seems that it would take some finesse to learn and use?
 

addaon

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Nah, it's not so bad. Two of the big three right now (Cirrus and Diamond, but not Cessna) in the 4-seat market use it. Yeah, you don't want to be holding brakes on a takeoff roll; but it's more of a single quick jab (if any; none if you bring in the power slowly) before the rudder takes effectiveness, and then you're set.
 

Lucrum

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So using the free castering...doesn't that eat up brakes? I assume that you only use it when landing. It seems that it would take some finesse to learn and use?
That should depend partly on how straight the craft tracks on it own and pilot technique, which is not difficult to learn.
And again if money and time were of no consequence I'd prefer nose wheel steering. But I'm not made of money and I'm already 49 YO.:tired:


I may be wrong but I think the P-38 used differential braking for ground steering.
 
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