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Are the brakes "useless" on Tiger Moths?

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Are the brakes "useless" on Tiger Moths?

Old 21st Mar 2019, 12:40
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Are the brakes "useless" on Tiger Moths?

Tiger Moth equipped with tailwheel and wheel brakes modification and used for joy flights in southern Victoria. . The owner states the brakes are useless;.meaning one supposes, the brakes are U/S. Was that snag in the MR? Probably not; otherwise the operator could not legally fly the the machine. . Of course the brakes are useless if they don't get maintained properly..

. Which begs the question how is that Tiger Moth steered and brought to a halt if the brakes don't work properly? A tail skid on the original type was a rudimentary form of braking as it dug into grass surface and even on hard surface its friction slowed up the machine. With a tail wheel replacing the tail skid, then brakes are needed to not only steer and aid directional control in crosswinds,but more importantly for stopping..

If, as the owner operator states, the brakes are "useless," then surely by any definition the aircraft is un-airworthy and should not be flown; let alone with a fare paying passenger. Presumably Tiger Moth brakes worked as advertised when installation took place and aircraft was test flown. Or was the design considered "useless" right from first installation? .
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Old 21st Mar 2019, 13:28
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No. Canadian built aicraft had brakes. Like all brakes, they need to be adjusted properly.
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Old 21st Mar 2019, 21:43
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No, they just need to be maintained like any part of any other aeroplane. They are easy as with or with out brakes.....
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Old 22nd Mar 2019, 02:24
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Maybe have a go in it and you will get exactly what they mean. The brakes are only there to hold the thing stationary at idle.

Last edited by CAVOK92; 22nd Mar 2019 at 02:45.
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Old 22nd Mar 2019, 02:57
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Re
'They are easy as with or with out brakes..... '

Except when operating on sealed runways ……

On grass / gravel, especially into wind, brakes / no brakes - doesn't matter much, except for taxying - IMHO

Cheers.
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Old 22nd Mar 2019, 07:01
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I think you'll find it was just a turn of phrase. Tiger brakes are indeed pretty use-less (in the literal sense of not being of use) in its natural environment of grass fields and chocked run-ups. As a result, apart from in Canada, they weren't fitted. Low landing speed, friction and drag are quite sufficient for a short stop, and a burst of power together with the tail skid linked to the rudder gives sufficient steering authority on the ground. On the other hand, if using a "modern" hard runway, especially in a crosswind, you can easily go for a wander and it's best to keep the tail up as long as possible. Thankfully, such runways tend to be long so stopping is less of an issue than keeping straight!
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Old 22nd Mar 2019, 09:15
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Tiger Moth brakes

When I flew them from concrete we had a sacrificial iron block on the tailskid and that worked fine
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Old 22nd Mar 2019, 09:36
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The brakes go with a tailwheel, if I understand correctly, so getting far too complex for me!
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Old 22nd Mar 2019, 10:46
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As I recall it, the brakes on Auster J series weren't worth a pinch of pelican poop either. Heel brakes FFS. Lucky that landing speeds were low.
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Old 22nd Mar 2019, 10:54
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You don’t want the brakes to be too good on a taildragger.

As I recall, the passenger was resting his feet on the “foot rests”.
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Old 23rd Mar 2019, 05:34
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Originally Posted by CAVOK92 View Post
Maybe have a go in it and you will get exactly what they mean. The brakes are only there to hold the thing stationary at idle.
they also help with steering but overheat quickly and fade if used to slow the aircraft. Austers are similar.

kaz

kaz
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Old 23rd Mar 2019, 07:23
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Going back a few years both in the RAAF and civilian flying schools, it was considered good airmanship (Oops sorry! NTS or Non Technical Skills) to employ two wing walkers when Tiger Moths were taxying close to people or buildings. In other words someone on each wing tip to help guide the machine. With known crook brakes and a tail wheel on Australian registered Tiger Moths, it would be a good flight safety precaution I would have thought to employ someone to do the job. Offer them a free ride at the end of the day or better still pay them..
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Old 23rd Mar 2019, 08:23
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Originally Posted by Max Tow View Post
The brakes go with a tailwheel, if I understand correctly, so getting far too complex for me!
That's correct, and these aircraft also had shorter radius rods which moved the wheels forward (about a foot, I think) to reduce the risk of nose-over when using the brakes. As a rwsult they were also slightly less directionally stable on the ground (more prone to ground-loops) than the tail-skid versions.

PDR
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Old 23rd Mar 2019, 09:47
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Do either of the last two posters actually know anything about Tigers? Wing walkers are only necessary in windyconditions and the undercarriage mods were only a standard characteristic ofCanadian built Tigers
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Old 23rd Mar 2019, 09:54
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Originally Posted by Vag277 View Post
Do either of the last two posters actually know anything about Tigers? Wing walkers are only necessary in windyconditions and the undercarriage mods were only a standard characteristic ofCanadian built Tigers
Yep thatís right. Most Aussie Tigers with brakes have Honda motorcycle drum brakes fitted under an EO. You donít need much braking force, just a bit to compensate for replacing the skid with a tailwheel. Steering with the tailwheel is much easier than with the skid.
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Old 24th Mar 2019, 05:09
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Do either of the last two posters actually know anything about Tigers? Wing walkers are only necessary in windy conditions
The sarcasm was rude and unnecessary. A37575 alluded to RAAF Tiger Moth operations where wing walkers were considered an essential flight safety precaution. There could be upwards of 15 Tiger Moths parked close together along with Wirraways at airfields like Point Cook and Uranquinty NSW. Even a few Mustangs and Lincolns parked next to Central Flying School Tiger Moths at East Sale in Victoria

It doesn't take much imagination to appreciate the danger to life and limb if a brakeless Tiger Moth under the control of an ab-initio solo student gave a burst of throttle at the wrong moment while being marshalled into a parking spot even if nil wind. It was not unknown for an instructor giving dual instruction to ask his student to hop out of the aircraft and guide it by holding the wing tip when approaching the parking area if a wing walker was not readily available. Same at aero clubs. Bankstown for example where the tarmac was sometimes crowded with other aircraft. It doesn't have to be only windy conditions where flight safety has to be considered .
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Old 24th Mar 2019, 07:07
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Proper adjustment is important. If so, the brakes on Canadian Moths work quite well. They will nose you over if applied with the tail still in the air(or at least start raising the tail as I never went onto the nose). They can also save the day on an improper(not straight landing) if they are adjusted so that full rudder input gives a touch of brake. I know that too. They hold the aircraft stationary when doing the run-up.

I suspect it makes operating the type much easier than folks have it in the A model. But i'll take the C model, especially on a cold day. And that canopy really does make it look more pretty doesn't it.
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Old 24th Mar 2019, 13:25
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NO it don't...……………..

Cheeerrrsss……….
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Old 24th Mar 2019, 15:18
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mustafa
As I recall it, the brakes on Auster J series weren't worth a pinch of pelican poop either. Heel brakes FFS. Lucky that landing speeds were low.
I flew a J1N, you are spot on, heel brakes, I could never work out of they were working or not! Luckily I was on grass most of the time, I had the shock of my life when I landed on a sealed runway one day!
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