Yes, I have incorporated crush plates in the design and the yellow birch is quite hard but obviously not as hard as aluminum. Hopefully I'll be able to work thru that bearing strength issue (with Billski's help) as it pertains to the flimsy axle mounting. At this point I'm less than optimistic. BTW, I do have most of the logistics worked out for the drop test rig--could be ready to start testing in two weeks.Well, Jack's gear design certainly will have much more resistance from deflecting aft under a strain(assuming the mounting bolts and fuselage mounting points are up to the task), but David's gear width at the fuse is a fairly common size for one piece aluminum gears sets. If the aluminum gear has proven to be successful in the past on the VP2, I would suspect that the same mounting system would work out OK. Depending on how it's mounted, crush plates might be a good idea for the mounting area so the wood does not crush under load.