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Need advice on landing from you tail dragger pilots.

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I have an ugly habit of banging my tail hard on the runway or bouncing hard when landing some of the tail dragger planes. Do you fly tail draggers with realism turned up all the way? I know it takes some practice, but can you give me some tips on how to consistantly get a good "grease the wheels" landing with them?Thanks!

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The biggest thing here is the right approach speed and pitch. If you're too slow, or flare too late, you'll hit the tail on the ground first, which is not ideal. If you land on the main gear with too much vertical speed, the tail will come down quickly behind you and this is one of the things that can give you a major bounce on landing. I try to come in a little above the speed at which you'd make a perfect '3 point' landing (ie. the front and tail wheels at about the same time). I touch down main wheel first (low vertical speed)and then bleed off some speed and gently pull back on the stick until the tail touches down. Another technique is to hold the nose up at the right attitude for a '3 point' landing and let it stall a few inches off the runway. Not easy, but technically a more 'elegant' way to land a tail dragger (assuming we're talking about a Spitfire and not a DC-3!).Have fun - mastering tail draggers is one of the fun challenges in the FS world. Happy flying,Philip.

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Hi,Usually a landing would be made on the main wheels, very rarely is a three wheel landing made. Never make a three point landing in a DC3. The wing effectively blanks out the airflow over the rudder in the three point attitude and the fuselage is weakest at the door. A botched three point landing is a good way to damage the tailwheel structure and fuselage around the cabin door. Landings would be made at just above stall speed at about 70 knotsHowever... on the matter of three pointing the DC-3. It can be done reasonably safely if one is practiced at it AND it will put more stress on the airframe if not done correctly. Also, there just is not the directional control with the tail down as w/ the tail up. it is not done because of the foregoing and, with the length of runways used, there is simply no need. The runway for instance at AJO is 3,200' and I feel comfortable at a whole lot less before I would feel that I needed to '3 point' it. One other 'thing' about the procedures in regard to using power. We NEVER reduce the MP below the RPM until the final reduction as the landing is assured. To reduce the power earlier invites the propeller to drive the engine and starve the main bearings of oil - this regardless of the speed of the aircraft - but especially if the speed is higher. If there is any question about this, the next time you fly, put the props full forward on downwind or at the outer marker, hold 100 kts and pull the power off to get down - you can actually hear the lugging of the engines. Proper use of the flaps w/ a MP setting no lower than the RPM will allow for a very nice descent rate. The above is not critical, but good advice nonetheless. 80 to 85 kts. over the fence. Landings would be made at just above stall speed at about 70 knots.Hope this helps!! Regards.. TrevVisit "The DC-3 Hangar"http://www.douglasdc3.comhttp://www.douglasdc3.com/1/dc3.jpg

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I recommend reading the following book, often available at the local flight school:" The Compleat Taildragger Pilot " (no, not a spelling error)by Harvey S. Plourde (looks like the author is his own publisher)The book presents an excellent review of taildragger techniques and also the only attempt (that I know of) at a mathematical and physical description of the P-factor, in the appendix.Well worth reading before taking that first lesson for your taildragger endorsement!The take-off and landing behavior of a taildragger is linked to the fact that the center of gravity (CG) is AFT of the wheel contact point with the ground in contrast to tricycle gear airplanes. An analogy the book gives is that of balancing a broom on its tip rather than letting it hang from its tip.Hope this helps,CharlesPS: regarding the comment made below about not allowing the props drive the cylinders, it very much applies to the Cessna 421 Golden Eagle which have a 3 to 2 reduction gear between the engine and the props.

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I'm familiar with constant speed prop aircraft operation, however can you clarify what you mean by a MP setting no lower than the RPM. Do you mean leaving the prop RPM at about 2000 say until you are almost over the fence before increasing it? I'd be interested to know when others increase the rpm prior to landing. I personally like to do it at around 300 ft agl so that if I need to do a quick go-around there is one less thing to think about :-)Bevan NZKK

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