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LAdamson

Tail Dragger Takeoff / Landing Techniques

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Hello all taildragger flyers out there. I could use some technique help. I have been trying to master takeoff's and landing's with both the P51 and Staggerwing (ROTW). In both cases, I tend to have massive problems on the runway as soon as the tail wheel lifts from the ground during takeoff. I seem to flop all over the place, and require constant differential braking to stop the plane from totally leaving the runway on one side or the other.The only way I seem to get a good takeoff is to pull the yoke back all the way while my speed increases, effectively forcing the plane to keep its tail wheel on the ground until air-speed enables the plane to lift off. Maybe this is the correct way to do it, but it seems sort-of unsafe b/c one leaves the ground at barely minimum speed.On landing, I seem to be doing a better job at wheels-first landing, and with a bit of holding the stick, I can ease the tail wheel down and make a nice stop, but even then, I sometimes end up flopping around left to right -- especially if there is any cross-wind.I seem to have no problem in the Stearman, but I can only figure that maybe the flight dynamics in that plane aren't too realistic. Some technique help - particularly for takeoff - would be appreciated.Thanks.-DK----David KohlFly! II v2.5.240Dell 8200 P4/1.8G, 1024MB RAM, Nvidia GF4 Ti4600 v44.03, WinXP Home Edition SP1.CH Pro Pedals and Yoke USB.

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David,During takeoffs, you normally try and get the tailwheel up asap and then track straight with the rudder - not the brakes!When I learned landings, I had several different instructors. One, the owner, was an ex-cropduster and insisted on a full-stall, i.e. a 3 point landing every time, regardless of the runway/crosswind etc.Another was an ex-military pilot who absolutely insisted on wheel landings, the reverse of takeoffs. Get the mains down and then keep pushing forwards on the stick as speed bleeds off until the tail just won't fly any more.Crosswinds are more tricky in a taildragger, as is ground handling.Ground handling is done slowly!CheersColin

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>> During takeoffs, you normally try and get the tailwheel up asap and then track straight with the rudder - not the brakes!I've tried this and I find that I cannot control the airplane on takeoff. The rudder doesn't seem to have enough of an effect and I just seem to slide all over the place. I even have done some unexpected (and fast) U-turns!Can you give me a perspective on not just "what" to do, but "how" to do it in Fly!2? Once I master it here, maybe some day I can try it in a real taildragger.-DK----David KohlFly! II v2.5.240Dell 8200 P4/1.8G, 1024MB RAM, Nvidia GF4 Ti4600 v44.03, WinXP Home Edition SP1.CH Pro Pedals and Yoke USB.

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Yes I have the same problem on take off and to a lesser extent on landing with the Staggerwing.Will be reading the responses with interest.

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Hi guys,The answer is simple ,"IT`S DIFFICULT"But it`s NOT PROBLEMATIC.It took a lot of practice for me but I can manage nowGive as much as throttle as possible while standing on brakes.Let it roll till you reach 70 mph (P51)that will take about seven seconds then lift the tail and GENTLY make corrections when the plane tend to go to the wrong side.Give it a little time to respond to your commands otherwise you`ll being zig-zagging all the way and loose control in the end.With the Stag it`s easier ,tail lift-off at 40 mph in less than four seconds.In the landings , a blast of power will help to push the tail whereyou want it.Start training in the Pa19 , than the Stag and finally P51.In fact the Pa19 reacts the same , but is easier to control.They use it for ( the first) flying lessons you know.RegardsLeen

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Leen:Thanks for the takeoff tip. In the Stag, I had three successful take-offs using your technique. Haven't tried the P51. By the way - I never seemed to have trouble in the Pa19, so I guess its just an easier taildragger to fly.Now that I got that taken care of, landing is now the problem point. I read in this month's AOPA Pilot magazine and article on proper landing techniques for taildraggers. The article states that for a wheels-only landing, the proper procedure is to let the front wheels touch, and then with power at zero, hold the stick forward so that the tail wheels stay off the ground. As the plane slows, the tail will eventually sink.I tried this in the Stag and shortly after touching down, went into a total ground spin - U-turn at 40 mph! I'm sure it wouldn't have been pleasent in real life.Three tries later, the only successful landing I had was what I term a "modified three-point" landing. That is, I drop power, touch the front wheels, and then after a second or two, pull back the stick forcing the tail wheel to the ground. This gives me three wheels on the pavement and all the control I need to stay straight. I'm sure this technique isn't what one should be doing in real life, since it would likely lead to jumping up off the runway in certain conditions.So.... now after your terrific lesson in take-offs, how about another in landings.Thanks.-DK----David KohlFly! II v2.5.240Dell 8200 P4/1.8G, 1024MB RAM, Nvidia GF4 Ti4600 v44.03, WinXP Home Edition SP1.CH Pro Pedals and Yoke USB.

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David,You're an old hand here, so I'm just checking something - did you remember to set the Exponential to 100% for each of these aircraft when you installed them?

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Thanks for checking, but yes - 100% on Exp on 1% on whatever the other control is (in the left pane of the options window). -DK----David KohlFly! II v2.5.240Dell 8200 P4/1.8G, 1024MB RAM, Nvidia GF4 Ti4600 v44.03, WinXP Home Edition SP1.CH Pro Pedals and Yoke USB.

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G`day David,This evening I`ll do some landing routines with the Stag and the Must.As far as I can remember , I have no problems with the landings too.Ailleron and rudder function must not be coupled naturally.I assume you stear the rudder seperate from the aillerons.Landind the Pa19 goes smooth.Two wheels on the groud.Stick in the middle.Throttle closed.Hands off , and you can un-fasten your belts.This bird knows how to land by itself.The Stag and Must are birds with balls.They need e firm hand.GreetzLeen

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Hi David it`s me again.As I promised , I did a lot of landings this evening.Approach the tarmac at approx90 knots almost full flaps.At the step of the tarmac,close throttle> full flaps and stick nutral.Now DO NOTHING.The plane will gently touch down , now we`re rolling on two wheels.When we do nothing the plane will roll on two wheels tilla speed of approx. 35 knots.Now the tailwheel touches the tarmac and the plane tends to break outto the left, give a blast of power and use the pressure on the rudderto get things straight.Now pull the stick backwards and go in the brakes.(gently)On Schiphols longest runway I did a two-wheel roll-by almost one minute.Half-way the strip and having the plane well trimmed I even left the controls ( look mamma no hands!)and had a look fom outside.When I can do it , you can do it too!!!!Do you know a way to get the video from FLY.I could make a video of a landing and send it to you.I know we can replay, but can we record and place the file inanother FLY-computer??RegardsLeenhttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/39412.jpg

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I'll give the technique a shot. -DK----David KohlFly! II v2.5.240Dell 8200 P4/1.8G, 1024MB RAM, Nvidia GF4 Ti4600 v44.03, WinXP Home Edition SP1.CH Pro Pedals and Yoke USB.

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I'll give the technique a shot. I'll let you know after a few touch-and-go's.-DK----David KohlFly! II v2.5.240Dell 8200 P4/1.8G, 1024MB RAM, Nvidia GF4 Ti4600 v44.03, WinXP Home Edition SP1.CH Pro Pedals and Yoke USB.

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I spent an hour last night on touch-and-go's with the P51. I pretty much have take-offs down pat, but I cannot get the landings. While I've got speed, rollout is easy. But as my speed drops, I definately begin to spin, but I have not yet been successful in eliminating this spin.I'll keep trying, but let me know if you have P51 success.-DK----David KohlFly! II v2.5.240Dell 8200 P4/1.8G, 1024MB RAM, Nvidia GF4 Ti4600 v44.03, WinXP Home Edition SP1.CH Pro Pedals and Yoke USB.

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Hi David,I`ll do some landings with P51 later this evening.Let you know the results.ByeLeen

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Hi again David,Appoach the tarmac at 95 knots at 50 feet.Full flaps and trimmed neutral.Close throttle at the biginning of the strip.Now it goes down smoothly , just hold it in position.Touch down on main gear and roll( on two wheels) until speed becomesunder 50 mph.Now it`s going to be tricky.When things seem get out of hand use a blast of power and give rudder to correct.When the landing was sharp and straight the plane needs only a little correction.THE SECRET !!!!Use rudder sparsely and apply differeitial braking.I prefer dif-brake only.As I said before it`s not a problem it`s just damned difficult.RegardsLeenhttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/40414.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/40418.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/40416.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/40417.jpg

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I've never used differential braking in FLYII because I seem to never remember the proper keys. But I've found the P-51 to be quite controllable with just rudder thoughout the landing roll------ at least with my thrustmaster rudder pedals.This plane also worked well for both wheel & three point landings. I just control pitch attitude while bleeding off speed in the flare for either type of landing.L.Adamson

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