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Taylor Titch

Old 27th Sep 2014, 11:09
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Taylor Titch

There are several of these for sale at the moment, and from the specs it sounds like a fun aircraft capable of basic aerobatics and fast enough to go places vfr albeit without a fantastic range.

How suitable would one be as a first taildragger for a reasonably competent pilot, and is my impression of the aircraft fair?
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Old 27th Sep 2014, 11:21
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There are several of these for sale at the moment
Ask: 'Why'?

and from the specs it sounds like a fun aircraft
John Taylor was killed when the prototype Titch crashed at Southend on the 16 May 1967.

capable of basic aerobatics
John Taylor spun in.

There have been other Threads on PPRuNe in the past.

A friend of mine owned one for a short time, but found it dangerous - used to torque roll if you opened the throttle abruptly on finals, for example.

There will always be champions for the aircraft and detractors.

Personally, I'd look at a Turbulent, Jodel D9 or similar (or something more modern).

May not find quite so many of those for sale though?!
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Old 27th Sep 2014, 11:41
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I had found the thread about John Taylor, but actually surprisingly little about the aircraft otherwise.

The idea of an aerobatic aircraft with any question-marks over its spin characteristics did bother me.

There are a Mono and a Turbulent up for sale at the moment too.
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Old 27th Sep 2014, 11:48
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Not seen the ad but take the asking price and see what else in spec can be bought for the same amount.

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Old 27th Sep 2014, 12:00
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7k - The Mono is advertised at 6 and there's a Turbulent on Ebay. The Jodels I've seen have all gone for rather more. On paper the Titch wins but obviously there are other considerations.

Last edited by abgd; 27th Sep 2014 at 12:16.
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Old 27th Sep 2014, 12:55
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Though I have no particular knowledge of the Titch, I am familiar with, and have flown a few similar aircraft. If you have been trained to fly this type of aircraft, they can be great. But bear in mind that they can be quite different (sometimes in a nice way) to the common certified GA aircraft most pilots are familiar with. Approach with informed caution.

The handling of this type of aircraft is often termed "like little fighters". That's 'cause people like Spitfires, Hurricanes and Mustangs, and these are intended to offer something similar. But, today's training has taken a different turn, it is not geared toward competence in "little fighters". "Hands and feet" skills seem now to be very secondary to glass cockpit and magenta line skills. I find now that many "newer" pilots I fly with are way behind a "twitchy" plane.

Sure, a competent pilot can gain these skills, but there is a training gap now. It takes a lot of skill to check one's self out in such an aircraft, and that skill comes with great hands and feet skills, and from flying similar aircraft - not so easy to arrange. With little or no tailwheel experience, aircraft like this would not be a good "next step". Being really sharp in a Citabria is a start. If there were a tailwheel Tomahwk, I'd suggest that. But Piper's lawyers of the day knew that such a plane would come back to bite the company. Cessna and the "land-o-matic" tricycle spoiled pilots, and Piper followed quickly.

These homebuilt aircraft were born in an era when we had "old fighter pilots" to mentor the new pilots. Those old fighter pilots are gone. Yes, there are many competent civil pilots of high performance uncertified aircraft, and you'd be best to get some mentoring from one of them.

By comparison to a certified mainstream GA aircraft, the lesser stability in all axis, more noticeable reaction to torque, higher wing loading, and perhaps less forgiving stall and spin recovery of these homebuilt aircraft may well be beyond the skill set of a standard GA pilot.

The challenge will be to find a mentor, who can take them self back to your skill level, and present what you need to know. I have trained tailwheel in Teals, which are certified, but that are still an unstable handful. No pilot I have flown with in the Teal was ready to solo it after an hour or two on the runway, let alone the water.

Do not buy an aircraft of this type to "learn on it". Buy it because you know that you can handle it safely, based upon your previous experience in a similar type.
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Old 27th Sep 2014, 16:22
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Approach with informed caution.
It takes a lot of skill to check one's self out in such an aircraft
By comparison to a certified mainstream GA aircraft, the lesser stability in all axis, more noticeable reaction to torque, higher wing loading, and perhaps less forgiving stall and spin recovery of these homebuilt aircraft may well be beyond the skill set of a standard GA pilot.
Remember your first flight will be solo.

Remember the old adage: 'Happier is the pilot on the ground wishing s/he was up there, than the pilot up there wishing s/he was on the ground'.

Personally I wouldn't recommend a Titch - and certainly agree with:
Do not buy an aircraft of this type to "learn on it". Buy it because you know that you can handle it safely, based upon your previous experience in a similar type.
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Old 27th Sep 2014, 19:19
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That sounds very reasonable. I think what concerned me most wasn't that there were several for sale, but that they seemed to have fairly low hours. I'm sure if I'd completed a plane I would want to put hundreds of hours on it before passing it on.

I did train on Tomahawks but never considered them particularly sporty except in the stall. And of course tailwheels are more or less a mystery to me. My plan had been to do a tailwheel conversion course, then perhaps an hour or two on a twitchy aircraft like a Pitts. But it's sounding as if going for something more sedate - a Turbulent or perhaps a Mono(?) - would make more sense. And we'll see where that takes me.

Thanks to all for the advice.
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Old 27th Sep 2014, 20:37
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StepTurn

Wise words/good advice.


abgd

See if you can get your hands on a DH Chipmunk. Tailwheel experiemce and aeros.

A Tomahawk for restricted aerobatics but, now, getting rare.
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Old 27th Sep 2014, 21:51
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One (G-BABE) suffered a nasty takeoff accident at EGNF last December. I believe it was the first flight after a rebuild.

https://assets.publishing.service.go...BABE_05-14.pdf

Last edited by ShyTorque; 4th Jan 2019 at 10:57.
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Old 27th Sep 2014, 22:39
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Just to post an alternative view, I bought a Taylor Mono late last year and, after completing a tailwheel course at Clacton on a Super Cub, first flew it in April this year. I've relatively low hours having trained on Piper Cherokees followed by flying a Bulldog. Since April I've accumulated about 20 hours on the mono.


It is certainly true that you need to develop the stick and rudder skills which may be lacking at the moment, but with the right approach and willingness to wait for the right conditions the rewards of a small single seat taildragger as great! I'm still building up my skills and confidence (but then don't we always!) but would actually say it's a great way to learn. Just approach it with care and seek advice from those experienced tailwheel pilots who are still around.
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Old 27th Sep 2014, 23:30
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abgd- PM for you
I have flown T-Titches from GBabe/aby and others,also F1 Cassutts,etc..
Handling wise,the Titch is better than the Beta or Cassutt......However,it does require the pilot to think `well ahead`,so that he is ahead of the torque swing` if he opens the throttle rapidly,as you may do in a C-150,where nothing much happens...in a Titch you will be looking at the sides of the runway....unless...you open up smooooothly,and wear your ballerina shoes,not your usual DocMartens....Same with pitch control...think about it beforehand..gyroscopic precession,etc....
It also does aerobatics well,and spins and recovers well.....it is all about doing it correctly,and thinking well ahead.....
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Old 29th Sep 2014, 08:48
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The Titch, the Cassutt, Midget Mustang and indeed most of the midget F1 racers all seem to be tarred with this 'flying coffin' image which I certainly don't agree with.

As stated already these are truly stick and rudder aircraft, are unstable in all axis, very slippery and need to be constantly flown, they also have a few 'gotchas' to watch for but if you have a decent set of hands and feet and approach them with a cautious and sensible attitude while you build up experience on type I don't see an issue. If you jump into one with little in the way of research and preparation and expect it to fly like a normal GA type you stand a good chance of killing yourself.

A good friend of mine owns a Titch and recently flew it to Spain, raced it for a week and flew it all the way back to the UK in a single day afterwards. He's very much still alive after that adventure and he loves his Titch to bits!

Not so sure its a great idea as a first taildragger but if you did some dual Pitts time first and took it all very sensibly and slowly you'd probably be fine.

Regards

UA
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 08:30
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Originally Posted by SpannerInTheWerks View Post
Ask: 'Why'?



John Taylor was killed when the prototype Titch crashed at Southend on the 16 May 1967.



John Taylor spun in.

There have been other Threads on PPRuNe in the past.

A friend of mine owned one for a short time, but found it dangerous - used to torque roll if you opened the throttle abruptly on finals, for example.

There will always be champions for the aircraft and detractors.

Personally, I'd look at a Turbulent, Jodel D9 or similar (or something more modern).

May not find quite so many of those for sale though?!
There are a lot of statements here made from a position of ignorance.
Any piston engined aircraft which has a high power to weight ratio will display torque effects particularly at slow speeds and if the throttle isn't applied smoothly and slowly enough for the pilot to keep up with the necessary control inputs.

Mr Taylor's fatal accident had much more to do with Mr Taylor than the aircraft. On the day he was carrying out stalling tests as part of the certification process, unfortunately he chose to do this at what many would consider too low an altitude, estimated at about 1500' above ground level, the aircraft spun off one of the stalls and there was insufficient height to recover.

The next Titch completed was extensively tested at Farnborough and was found to have normal stall and spin characteristics, although it stalled in a very nose high attitude, it recovered with normal recovery techniques and required no modifications to the original design, more than can be said for many american designs over the years.

It isn't entirely surprising that single seaters other than gliders or competition aerobatic machines often have low hours, they are usually not in group ownership, not ideal for touring due to limited / no luggage space and kept as toys for a few nice days in summer.
Finally there have been several fatal accidents in the Turbulent which you suggest is a better option
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 19:25
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It's probably not a great idea to get a single seat tail wheel type until you have a reasonable amount of experience in something with similar characteristics and two seats with dual controls. A bit more than a type conversion. Say a years regular flying? That would give you time in different weather conditions and on different airfields, assuming you didn't just bimble around your home base in really nice weather.
Also have a wee think about how you fix it if you have a minor groundloop or ding the prop. Because either you will pay a lot of money for insurance or carry your own damage risks.
I don't think any of the aircraft suggested are bad in themselves, just outside mainstream training. There will always be plenty of aircraft for sale, no need to rush.

Edit. I've just realised this thread is practically necromancy. I wonder if the OP bought the aircraft?

Last edited by Piper.Classique; 4th Jan 2019 at 19:27. Reason: Looked at the dates
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Old 5th Jan 2019, 03:47
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I ended up buying a Turbulent. I've found that ownership of an aircraft of that vintage has a steep learning curve in terms of maintenance. I think your advice to get a year's experience on a similar type with dual controls is overly conservative, but I agree with you that they are outside mainstream training and swinging a prop is still not something I am entirely comfortable with - which is probably as it should be.

Insurance is very cheap for these aircraft. Overall it's been a good experience, though I'd have probably got more flying done had I simply rented.
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Old 8th Jan 2019, 22:09
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I am not sure that any of the Taylor Titches have been cleared for aerobatics in the UK, the country of design. Those cleared for F1 races may have been able to demonstrate rolling manoeuvres, but only if included as a condition of the applicable racing Permit to Fly.
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Old 12th Jan 2019, 23:22
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Fingertips and toes works well with me on these types
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 12:24
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Amphetamines

John Taylor had a significant amount of amphetamines in his bloodstream iirc. You could get them over the counter in those days to calm your nerves. I saw him wheeling the prototype along the cycle track on the arterial road. The southend standard carried a photo.
I nearly bought a monoplane which was at killkenny having been restored by JJ. Immaculate except the new owner had sabotaged it to stop anyone flying it. A brit who introduced himself as a Methodist, ex hunters and finished on 747s. Couldn't handle it and panicked on his first and only go at flying it.
What put me off is someone had changed the angle of attack on the tail plane which left the elevator controls with a catching feeling and a "helpful" microlight instructor who hammered the plugs with a screwdriver in between the electrodes; a sure recipe for a piece of insulation to stick in the exhaust valve.
Have flown lots of sensitive aircraft but the most difficult are flapped gliders with an aft c of g..if you cant get your hands on a good microlight then do a bit of gliding which will teach you coordination.
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Old 23rd Jan 2019, 22:12
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Have flown lots of sensitive aircraft but the most difficult are flapped gliders with an aft c of g..if you cant get your hands on a good microlight then do a bit of gliding which will teach you coordination.
Definitely dont just do some gliding and expect to be coordinated enough to fly a midget racer, you will kill yourself, the rudder sensitivity is light years apart. And a microlight as a lead in is equally bonkers for something like a cassutt that doesn't like being flown in the circuit at less than 120mph. The lack of inertia and control sensitivity will at least offer something towards the experience however at half the speed....

Last edited by Unusual Attitude; 23rd Jan 2019 at 22:30.
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