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Old 24th Nov 2007, 16:11   #1 (permalink)
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The Cessna 150/152 Texas Taildragger

I was wondering (tailwheels are on my mind at the moment ) 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?...
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Old 24th Nov 2007, 16:20   #2 (permalink)
 
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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/e3...h/P1010783.jpg
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Old 24th Nov 2007, 17:16   #3 (permalink)
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Much better 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
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Old 24th Nov 2007, 17:26   #4 (permalink)
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Here's the one hobbit and I are talking about:

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Old 24th Nov 2007, 17:44   #5 (permalink)
 
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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.
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Old 24th Nov 2007, 18:00   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
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.
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Old 24th Nov 2007, 18:16   #7 (permalink)
 
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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?
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Old 24th Nov 2007, 18:29   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.
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Old 24th Nov 2007, 18:44   #9 (permalink)
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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

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.
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Old 24th Nov 2007, 18:55   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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.
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Old 24th Nov 2007, 19:14   #11 (permalink)
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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?
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Old 24th Nov 2007, 19:51   #12 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 24th Nov 2007, 20:38   #13 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 24th Nov 2007, 20:57   #14 (permalink)
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Oh well, their loss
Indeed.
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Old 24th Nov 2007, 21:21   #15 (permalink)
 
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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.
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Old 24th Nov 2007, 21:51   #16 (permalink)
 
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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.
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Old 24th Nov 2007, 22:42   #17 (permalink)
 
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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.
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Old 25th Nov 2007, 00:26   #18 (permalink)
 
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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)
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Old 25th Nov 2007, 01:34   #19 (permalink)
 
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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.
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Old 25th Nov 2007, 02:20   #20 (permalink)
 
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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!
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