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-   -   C150 taildragger conversions (https://www.pprune.org/pacific-general-aviation-questions/612044-c150-taildragger-conversions.html)

Arnold E 10th Aug 2018 12:27

C150 taildragger conversions
Ok guys, I am after the collective wisdom contained in this forum, 20 odd years ago I had a Cessna 150 VH-DFB that I converted to a taildragger using a Bush conversions kit. It was my first foray into conversion/building, I then built an RV7 (VH-UER) and sold it. I am now thinking of buying another C150 that I have seen in the "Trader". Now the thing is I would like to convert it to a taidragger (conventional undercarriage) and would like to get a kit to do the job. Ok this is where you guys come in, I cant find anybody on the net that supplies kits anymore, either Bush conversions (what I used on DFB) or Texas Traildragger conversions. Can anybody supply me with a contact to get a C150 conversion kit? I would be grateful for a contact.

Fred Gassit 10th Aug 2018 13:28

Gday Arnold,
Don’t know if you’ve looked here but the link lists STCs for aircraft. Maybe a look through those will uncover someone.

NutLoose 10th Aug 2018 16:39

Lowe Aviation - C150 Taildragger Conversion

NutLoose 10th Aug 2018 16:57

Air Atlantique in the UK had a converted 152 G-Hart, I have looked up the Airworthiness approval note as it has details in case they help, see


LeadSled 11th Aug 2018 00:32

Arnold E,
Just a question: Why bother??
Tootle pip!!

Arnold E 11th Aug 2018 00:42

"Why bother"? I guess because I can.:ok:

Aussie Bob 11th Aug 2018 04:34

Just a question: Why bother??
Come on Leadie, you getting jaded? This is the best improvement possible to do to a 150. Even better when 150hp is added.

roundsounds 11th Aug 2018 22:12

Originally Posted by Arnold E (Post 10220428)
"Why bother"? I guess because I can.:ok:

I agree, if you want a taildragger buy one. Although there are probably some very cheap Cessna airframes available given the SIDS program, the old straight tail versions do look good with a tailwheel.

LeadSled 12th Aug 2018 07:03

Originally Posted by Aussie Bob (Post 10220476)
Come on Leadie, you getting jaded? This is the best improvement possible to do to a 150. Even better when 150hp is added.

Aussie Bob,
Not really, but why mess up the handling of a nice little aeroplane that is, as built, quite pleasant to fly.

Cast your minds back, folks ---- all the very early aeroplanes sat with the fuselage more or less parallel with the ground, and when accelerated to flying speed, rotated to the flying attitude, not through the flying attitude and back again to actually fly.

Then the various hostilities leading up the WWI produced major advances in motor engines, including for aeroplane engines, all of a sudden engines became available with HP in three figures, and bigger props were needed to convert this mighty 100+ HP into thrust, which meant bigger diameters. Now, these bigger diameters had to be kept out of the dirt, but long spindly and draggy undercarriages were not an attractive proposition.

Low and behold, some bright spark invented the tailwheel (or skid) undercarriage, and much more room for a prop, as long as you didn't raise the tail too high on takeoff. And, of course, introduced a whole raft physical/aerodynamic effects, none of which improved the "air safety outcomes".

Somehow, despite the history, this "tail down" arrangement became a "conventional undercart" and so matters proceeded. Indeed, the greater part of ab nitio flying training was devoted to learning to master the adverse flying characteristics NOT present in the original aeroplanes. Come to think of it, many of those very early aircraft even had contra-rotating props, ergo no swing.

By the time you got to the late 1930s, there was some re-thinking going on ---- Consolidated produced the B-24, (and the amphib Catalina) but Boeing persisted with tail wheels. There were far more B-24s produced than B-17s, I have often wondered if part of the reason the B-17 is so much better know is the much more film footage of B-17s getting it spectacularly badly wrong on takeoff and landing exists for Hollywood exploitation.

The DC-4 and the Lockheed Constellation are both late 1930s aeroplanes, but the poms persisted long after WWII with tailwheels , think Vickers Viking, Avro Ashton and that flying abortion, the Handley-Page Hastings. The later Hermes did have a nose wheel, but that is about all it had going for it.

Cessna sales really only took off after WWII with the C-172. Likewise Piper sales with the Colt and Tri-Pacer. Not all developments of nose-wheel versions of earlier designs worked out, think the Beagle Ordeal --- sorry, Airdale.

Some of the taildrager twins I have flown have had handling characteristic that were semi-lethal (think DH Dragon Rapide or any DH bi-plane with tapered wings) and the history of the DH 86A & B are too well known to need repeating. The Beech 18 is a lovely old aeroplane, but the Volpar nosewheel version is far more relaxing at low speed. Like a DC-3/C-47, an original Beech 18 can really bite. About the only little taildrager twin I have flown, that didn't give the impression it was waiting to bite was the Miles Gemini. All the above from personal experience, not just theory.

So, despite all the reasons to the contrary, a tailwheel/skid aeroplane is regarded as a higher form of aeronautical life, why??

I ask again, why bother??

Tootle pip!!

Aussie Bob 12th Aug 2018 07:29

I ask again, why bother??
I will bite, great history lesson and all that, well written as usual but ...

For my money I would get a Cub, Scout, Decathlon, Maule etc. That said, for the 150 though
You get a higher cruise speed, about 5 knots
You get a shorter ground roll albeit the distance to 50 feet remains the same
You get a stronger aeroplane more suited to bush airstrips
You shave around 3 kg off the BEW
You get an ideal aeroplane to offer tailwheel endorsements in and one in my opinion that will bite the careless more so than some others
As someone else said, if you get an old straight tail you will end up with a remarkably good looking aeroplane that looks like a mini 185 but even the slant atil models get vastly improved looks. (I know this is not a great reason)

In my neighborhood there is one of these conversions with a 150 hp O320 up front. The owner regularly flies it into airstrips that would be all but impossible in its original guise.

LeadSled 13th Aug 2018 01:07

Aussie Bob,
Yep!! My choice in this bracket would be a Cub 180, or a Carbon Cub, both with very impressive short field performance.
Tootle pip!!

aroa 13th Aug 2018 01:17

Or an 880 hp Turbine Wilga...STOL plus. But FFS keep any CAsA people way from the ELEVATOR.

Squawk7700 13th Aug 2018 02:45

Originally Posted by aroa (Post 10222102)
Or an 880 hp Turbine Wilga...STOL plus. But FFS keep any CAsA people way from the ELEVATOR.

lol, someone has a good memory!

flyinkiwi 13th Aug 2018 03:02

How about this for a taildragger twin LeadSled? :}

LeadSled 13th Aug 2018 09:07

Originally Posted by flyinkiwi (Post 10222129)
How about this for a taildragger twin LeadSled? :}


That looks like a serious fun machine, and just a tad different to any multi- taildragers I have flown:ok:
Tootle pip!!

Ramjet555 14th Aug 2018 21:48

I trained a student to his PPL in a "Texas Tail Dragger.
At around 2,000 ft density altitude on a summer day, this took a very long time to get airborne
and, took around 5 miles to get to circuit height.

It had to be leaned out for take off and go arounds.

While it was a fun aeroplane to fly, it was definitely not suited to high density altitude or hot days.

There are not very many of these around.
I would much prefer a Citabria or Super Decathlon.

aroa 15th Aug 2018 04:04

sqwark...yeah, the victim.
And like the Fat Lady, this old codger ain't finished singing yet either.
Google ...Vicarious Liability

Connedrod 20th Aug 2018 10:39

Originally Posted by aroa (Post 10224024)
sqwark...yeah, the victim.
And like the Fat Lady, this old codger ain't finished singing yet either.
Google ...Vicarious Liability

pmsl 😂

texan tail kits are still about you just need to find one, as i recal its better on a areobat and it much better for areos as apposed to having a nose gear.
but im gussing what would i know

tootie toot tootie pie

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