View Full Version : The Cessna 150/152 Texas Taildragger


Contacttower
24th Nov 2007, 17:11
I was wondering (tailwheels are on my mind at the moment :E) would anyone on here who has flown one care to comment on the C152 Texas Taildragger?

I've flown it a few times now and to be honest I can't really make up my mind whether or not the conversion was a successful one or not. Does it make it a better aircraft than the standard 150/152?

What do people think?...



Chuck Ellsworth
24th Nov 2007, 17:20
The Texas Taildragger with the extended gear is a real nice airplane and the conversion is worth while if you want a relatively cheap toy.

By the way I converted a Cessna A150M and it is a real neat toy as you can legally do limited aerobatics in it.

Here is a picture of it.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e353/ChuckEllsworth/P1010783.jpg

hobbit1983
24th Nov 2007, 18:16
Much better :ok: Better STOL performance & a faster cruise I believe. And it looks better too!

Managed to get one (obv you know which one CT!) into Chilbolton & out again (411m grass) with 2 up. Mind you, cos we both forgot the flaps it was a bit interesting at the far end!

Chuck - that C152TT looks fantastic ;)

Contacttower
24th Nov 2007, 18:26
Here's the one hobbit and I are talking about:

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd195/edbellamy/IMG_14162.jpg

Chuck Ellsworth
24th Nov 2007, 18:44
That airplane was converted by moving the main gear forward, the gear is not long enough to raise the attitude to the stalled attitude on the ground....

..therefore it is not possible to three point it in the full stalled attitude....so wheel landings will give you better results.

The people who did that STC changed to the higher gear just prior to their not offering the STC...as far as I know the STC is no longer available for new conversions.

Go back and look at the nose attitude on the one I converted versus that one and it is self explanatory why there is a difference when attempting to three point them.

Contacttower
24th Nov 2007, 19:00
That airplane was converted by moving the main gear forward, the gear is not long enough to raise the attitude to the stalled attitude on the ground....

..therefore it is not possible to three point it in the full stalled attitude....so wheel landings will give you better results.



That's one of the reasons I asked the question. Having said that I was still taught to land it with the stick fully back and most of the time that produces good landings. As well as the attitude issue when you sit in it the 'driving position' feels rather strange so low to the ground.

I have to say I think your one looks a lot neater Chuck.

Chuck Ellsworth
24th Nov 2007, 19:16
I have to say I think your one looks a lot neater Chuck.

Looks are great when choosing what you are going to hump Contact tower, however if the airplane is not in the fully stalled attitude on touch down it can still fly...especially with full aft elevator.

Is it possible to just get the longer main gear for that airplane and solve the problem?

Contacttower
24th Nov 2007, 19:29
however if the airplane is not in the fully stalled attitude on touch down it can still fly...especially with full aft elevator.



I haven't come across a tendency for it to try and fly again- but I see the potential for a problem.


Is it possible to just get the longer main gear for that airplane and solve the problem?


I'd have to ask the club. But having said that while I'm in two minds about whether the conversion was a good one or not the attitude problem doesn't seem to be causing a problem. Next time it's in the circuit I'll watch it land a few times and see what others are doing.

Tony Hirst
24th Nov 2007, 19:44
CT,

I've about 9 or 10 hours in G-DRAG, one of my favourites and the wide gear track helps on the stability side. It'll cruise in the 95-100 kts region. Lovely :ok:

I think Chuck has a point about the attitude, but in reality is it lands fine in a three point attitude. I don't recall any specific landing issues at except that it can be a bit bouncy, especially if you don't bring the tail up far enough on the takeoff run, the land-o-matic legs don't seem to be best suited to the tricycle gear variant though. Something that becomes quite apparent with a flapless touch and go...one bounce on R06 and you're up again!

Quite happy to demonstrate.

Contacttower
24th Nov 2007, 19:55
I don't recall any specific landing issues at except that it can be a bit bouncy


Certainly on take off above 40kts it does start to bounce at bit I find. I find what Chuck was saying interesting though- I suppose I've always wondered whether its low nose attitude was a flaw or not. Like you say though in practice it doesn't seem too bad. Funnily enough the first time I flew it (after several hours in the Cub) my landings where awful, I think I was flaring too high or something, went back to the Cub for a while and then tried G-DRAG again and the landings were a lot better.

Regarding wheeler vs. three point despite the attitude issue I'd stick to three pointing it; reason being is that on rough grass those springy 152 legs bounce a lot and in that plane the bouncing seems to get worse with only two wheels on the ground.

Tony Hirst
24th Nov 2007, 20:14
CT,

It has been a few years since I have flown the PA18, but I seem to recall that it is like the PA17, where you just bring the stick back for a three pointer, but G-DRAG is definitely good for good habits in that you have to positively set the landing attitude visually, it is easy land tailwheel first.

I haven't done a wheeler in G-DRAG, they weren't recommended by DS for one.

Perhaps it is the photo angle, but Chuck's piccie seems to show different legs?

Contacttower
24th Nov 2007, 20:51
Perhaps it is the photo angle, but Chuck's piccie seems to show different legs?

That was Chuck's point, his C150 TT is a later (I think) conversion which uses new legs rather than the original ones repositioned like on G-DRAG. The reason for having new longer legs added is that it makes the aircraft naturally sit in the stalled attitude which will make its three point landings better...because a true three pointer landing should involve the aircraft stalling as it touches the ground. Like you said it is easy to land tailwheel first in it because of its flat attitude- whereas Chuck's C150 would behave more like a Cub which sits with a much higher nose attitude.

Tony Hirst
24th Nov 2007, 21:38
I see, missed that line of Chuck's. Well, whatever the theory, it doesn't seem to be born out in practice.

On another tangent, I'm amazed at how under utilised G-DRAG is, maybe because it is just a C152 and not as 'glamourous' as the Cub. Oh well, their loss :) Nice piccie of G-DRAG, transferred to desktop.

Contacttower
24th Nov 2007, 21:57
Oh well, their loss :)


Indeed. :ok:

Mike Cross
24th Nov 2007, 22:21
Main things I found with DRAG:-

Undamped u/c (standard Cessna) means it can bounce you into the air before it's ready to fly.

If you rotate too early the tailwheel hits the ground. This is at a lower AoA than you can achieve with the standard 152 due to 1) main gear being further forward and 2) tailwheel dangling below the tail. If this happens you will just slow down unless you raise the tail again and wait for more speed before trying a second time.

a/c is more slippery with no noseleg so you need to start slowing it down earlier in the circuit.

Nice aeroplane and I enjoyed flying it.

CaptAirProx
24th Nov 2007, 22:51
From my experience of DRAG, wheeler landings are a doddle. That springy undercarriage takes all the energy out of a slightly mis-judged RoD, resulting in less pitch up tendancies. Nice aircraft though.

Chuck Ellsworth
24th Nov 2007, 23:42
I see, missed that line of Chuck's. Well, whatever the theory, it doesn't seem to be born out in practice.

What I was pointing out is if you are trying to full stall that airplane and touch down on all three wheels at once and the touch down occurs before the wing stalls there is still lift being produced because the angle of attack with all three wheels on the ground is not sufficient to stall the wing....

..but I could be wrong and won't lose any sleep over it..by the way..no I have not flown the C150 with the early conversion using the main gear that came with the airplane.

EchoMike
25th Nov 2007, 01:26
Flat-gear (older) 150 models converted to taildragger tend to be somewhat less "bouncy" than tube gear (later) 150 taildraggers.

I've also seen the spring steel gear (flat-gear) legs re-arced to get the ground clearance up a bit for the prop. The oldest conversions sometimes used 140 gear legs, because all the early 150s were essentially based on the 140.

Makes a very pretty little airplane, top speed increases slightly, rate of climb does too, but remember the terms "top speed" and "rate of climb" are very relative when we are talking about the mighty Cessna 150 and 152.

The conversion takes 40 to 50 hours of sheetmetal work - it is not a trivial job, and if you want one, you are much better off buying one that someone else has done all the work to!

The taildragger conversion STC is sporadically available from a company with the same name (and from the same state) as the current president of the US. Must be something in the water out there - all of them are essentially impossible to deal with.

Further information on the Cessna 150/152 club website, which is an invaluable resource for the type.

I'm going to get the air speed indicator in my 150 recalibrated in furlongs, I'll then have the fastest 150 in the known universe: I'll be blasting along at 900 furlongs an hour - yeeehaaaa!

Best Regards,

Echo Mike (happy 150 driver)

Chuck Ellsworth
25th Nov 2007, 02:34
The gear on the 150 Aerobat I converted was the flat steel spring type and the company that held the STC had made the gear by welding an extention to the gear making it longer...they did not make many before they ceased selling the STC.

Tinstaafl
25th Nov 2007, 03:20
I did my tailwheel endorsement in Oz in a C150 conversion. I claim *very* little t/wheel experience, but a number of times I was able to do 3 pointers & have have the tailwheel touch an instant before the mains. I wonder what gear it had? Extended? Is that even available in Oz? I know I enjoyed going for yippee flights in it!:ok:

Mike Cross
25th Nov 2007, 22:44
Not sure I have a clear understanding of Chuck's point.

With the standard main gear (as opposed to the extended version) the mains are less extended and it is more likely that the tailwheel could touch first. The mains would hten come down and the effect would be to reduce AoA and hence lift so the mains would stay down.

With the extended main gear I would expect there to be a greater possibility of the mains touching first and the tailwheel continuing to descend. This would increase AoA and hence lift and make it more likely you'd fly again.

Or am I missing something?

Mike

Tony Hirst
26th Nov 2007, 09:37
Mike,

Interestingly, after my test, the examiner suggested that going for a slightly tailwheel first touchdown on G-DRAG may reduce it's tendency to bounce.

DBisDogOne
26th Nov 2007, 13:37
Is G-DRAG still at Old Sarum? I was thinking of doing a taildragger course there but heard they were selling it. (Keeping their Cub). Is this still the case or did I get the wrong end of the stick?

Regardless, it's interesting to hear the comments made here as I'd been told that the C150 T/D was not nice to fly (probably another repeated urban myth).

BroomstickPilot
26th Nov 2007, 15:49
Old Sarum did put G-DRAG up for sale, but it would seem it did not sell.

My understanding is that they intend to re-engine this A/C and then keep it in use.

Broomstick.

Contacttower
26th Nov 2007, 16:02
My understanding is that they intend to re-engine this A/C and then keep it in use.



Are they going to just put a replacement of the same type back in, or is it going to get a bigger engine? I saw it for sale as well, but unless it's sold within the last four weeks it's still at Old Sarum.

Tony Hirst
26th Nov 2007, 16:02
Old Sarum did put G-DRAG up for sale, but it would seem it did not sell.My understanding is/was that one of the share holders wanted to sell. I think that OFSC decided to buy his share. So in a sense it was snapped up. But realistically, a month or two on the market is not very long.
Regardless, it's interesting to hear the comments made here as I'd been told that the C150 T/D was not nice to fly (probably another repeated urban myth).If that's the case, the other aircraft I use must be truly dreadful :ok:

BroomstickPilot
26th Nov 2007, 19:00
Contacttower,

I do not know what engine they intend to install: I've only heard this second hand, but from a reliable source. I should be surprised if it was anything other than just a direct replacement because even that is going to be expensive. Anything bigger would cost a lot more sheckles and it is difficult to know how this could be justified in such an old aeroplane. And yes, she is still at Old Sarum. I suspect that if a buyer came along now, they would still be interested in selling her as she is. Once the new engine goes in, however, I think they will want to hold onto her and get their money's worth.

Tony Hirst,

G-DRAG is definitely a 152 and not a 150. She performs well by 152 standards. She is a little bit faster than a tricycle 152 and differs only in her ground handling characteristics. I have the impression that G-DRAG has always been well maintained in terms of her airframe and engine, but her interior is, shall we say, tired. The glove compartment door, for example, has a broken catch and has to be secured with a dab of blue-tac, and one of the wing root ventilators looks as though it would like to fall out. Everything else is just faded and shabby. 'Definitely not a bird puller.

Best regards,

Broomstick.

Contacttower
26th Nov 2007, 19:28
'Definitely not a bird puller.



I'm not sure I completely agree...sure she's old but (this isn't saying much) I've actually yet to see a C152 in better condition.

A bigger engine would be nice....just think, put a 200hp engine in something that light and you'd have a rocket! I mean if you're going to spend 50hrs on sheet metalwork why stop there? ;)

hobbit1983
26th Nov 2007, 22:02
I've seen worse 152s....I trained in Florida! :E

(no offence to the Americans on this thread - but it was at a certain Floridian training provider, and some of them were interesting!)

Tony Hirst
26th Nov 2007, 22:03
Broomstick,

Errr, yeh :confused: Twas a comparison :) The interior is fine but any club standard. You should see the 152 I went solo in, just a hollow slot where the xpndr should have been!

hobbit1983
26th Nov 2007, 22:15
Always thought DRAG was quite well done - although I didn't realise it had DME until Tony told me where it was hidden...!

DBisDogOne
26th Nov 2007, 22:25
I've seen worse 152s....I trained in Florida!

mmmmmm, me too Hobbit, takes me back, reckon we probably went to the same place, the name that shalt not be spoken on Pprune maybe.....:rolleyes:

IO-Lots
9th Jan 2008, 10:46
Hi Chuck

I have a 152 converted to tail dragger by ACT some years ago. I bought the plane in the US and shipped it to South Africa recently.

Do you perhaps know off hand what tail leaf spring is used as I need to replace mine? I cant seem to find the correct part. All I have is that it is a 3 leaf, approx 18 inches long and 1-1/2 inches wide.

If you perhaps have the drawings from STC SA2846SW it should tell you the part number for me to search for?

Is yours the same?

Thanks for what ever help you can give me.

Richard

tigerbatics
9th Jan 2008, 11:42
Chuck, you make a very interesting point about the 'stalled attitude' on the ground. Are you sure that your conversion produces this? If so I would think it a most unusual tailwheel design. The only ones I have heard of were a couple of obscure pre-war designs which were speedily junked. Every conventional gear machine which I can think of has less than this angle of attack on touchdown. After all most aeroplanes drop the nose at the stall....

Ace243
29th Aug 2009, 19:08
Hi all, I am looking into inexpensive tailwheel airplanes, with pretty decent STOL performance. (for a 500ft slightly uphill strip at my house) I am looking at the Cessna 152 Texas Taildraggers because they are in my pricerange -$25,000. And I know that the 152's are good airplanes. I have most of my 160 hrs in them. Any thoughts or experiences on the STOL performance of these buggers? Or any input on other airplanes that might fit my envelope? Any input is much appreciated!

~160hrs
Private Pilot License
Instrument Rating
Tailwheel Endorsement

-Cody

kevmusic
29th Aug 2009, 21:41
Very pretty little aeroplane - a great improvment. Now all it needs is a joystick! :}

ChampChump
29th Aug 2009, 22:20
Aeronca Champ

This is where we all chip in with our favourites, of course.

Actually, if you do a search, you'll probably find some well-worn arguments for all the favourite affordable classics. Based where you are, there's even a chance of finding a decent choice when you're hunting!

Enjoy........

rotorfossil
30th Aug 2009, 18:30
When I flew a taildragger 150 in New Zealand, it was explained to me that if the original legs were used, when the u/c spread on landing the wheels were no longer parallel. This accounted partially for the tendency to bounce and some minor heading control issues on hard surfaces.

Monocock
31st Aug 2009, 08:46
Not sure I have a clear understanding of Chuck's point.

With the standard main gear (as opposed to the extended version) the mains are less extended and it is more likely that the tailwheel could touch first. The mains would hten come down and the effect would be to reduce AoA and hence lift so the mains would stay down.

With the extended main gear I would expect there to be a greater possibility of the mains touching first and the tailwheel continuing to descend. This would increase AoA and hence lift and make it more likely you'd fly again.

Or am I missing something?


I see your point Mike. However, the other way of looking at it is that with the shorter legs, a three point attitude can be achieved on landing at a higher airspeed, therefore increasuing the chances of a small increase in headwind sending the a/c skyward again.

With longer main legs, by the time the pilot has flared long enough to be getting near to the three point attitude his AOA is such that he is well below potential flying speed and remains well clear of a any small gusts lifting him airborne again.

Either way, the 150/152 TT has always been on my "if I could have 5 aircraft in a hangar" list and will stay there too.

Big Pistons Forever
31st Aug 2009, 18:11
If you want a small Cessna taildragger why not get a Cessna 120/140? With the O200 engine mod (i.e. the same engine as the C 150) it will out perform the taildragger C 150 in every way, handles better in the air and since it was designed at the outset as a taildragger, does not have any of the landing gear issues of the C 150 taildragger.

Chuck Ellsworth
1st Sep 2009, 04:43
Choices of airplanes will vary from pilot to pilot.

I learned to fly in Cessna 140's and Fleet Canucks in 1953.

Personally I prefer the Fleet Canuck over the Cessnas. Especially for training with despite the lack of brakes on the right side which is a non issue once you get used to instructing on them.

I also prefer the Cessna Aerobat with the long gear over the Cessna 140.

Here is a picture of the one I converted.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e353/ChuckEllsworth/P1010783.jpg

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e353/ChuckEllsworth/P1010788.jpg

Chuck Ellsworth
1st Sep 2009, 05:00
With regard to the questions about the long gear legs that Texas Taildragger supplied with their later conversions here is why they are easier to three point.

With all three wheels on the ground they are sitting at a higher angle of attack than the conversions with the original gear moved forward.

Therefore when you three point them you will be at a lower airspeed because you can increase the angle of attack more than with the short legs.....lower speed equals less chance of the f.cker going flying again once on the ground...

It is really quite simple. :ok:

gaxan
1st Sep 2009, 08:49
I flew this beast some years ago and found its bouncy undercarriage a real pain ! Landing was ok but take off was horrible . Glad to see its back to its proper configuration now.

WHL4606
2nd Jun 2010, 19:46
My company owns a Cessna 150 with the Texas Taildragger modification under STC SA2846 SW. The leaf spring, according to my paperwork is part number CC150-001. That suggests that the part was specially fabricated from plans produced by the type certificate holder rather than being an off the shelf part. I could not find a drawing of the part with the paperwork. The one on our aircraft is shorter than one on another aircraft based here. I suspect this is the source of the problem with the tailwheel steering.

AdamFrisch
25th Sep 2012, 00:28
I just wanted to add for posterity that Lowe make a tailwheel conversion that sits much higher than the Texas version. They use 120/140 gears instead if Texas who uses the 150's and just move it forward.

Lowe Aviation - C150 Taildragger Conversion (http://www.taildraggeraviation.com/lowe.html)

Chuck Ellsworth
25th Sep 2012, 01:19
The Texas Taildragger conversion uses a main gear that they manufactured, it is considerably longer than the 150 main gear than is on the nose wheel 150.

I ended up giving my main gear away as I had no use for it.

lotusexige
28th Sep 2012, 14:29
There was a story that there were in fact two main gear types made by Cessna for the 150. The earlier one was a leaf and the later one tubular. The leaf version was said to be much better than the tubular one for a tailwheel conversion.