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Beagle Terrier toe brake conversion

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Beagle Terrier toe brake conversion

Old 23rd Sep 2019, 20:00
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Beagle Terrier toe brake conversion

Evening all.
Hopefully some of you may be able to help me out here with some tech info.
The question is..
How easy is it to convert a Beagle Terrier which has heel brakes on the left seat only to Cessna type toe brakes on both seats ?
Does anyone have a parts list, diagrams, fitting kit or any other ideas or experience ?
Cheers.
Skel.
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Old 24th Sep 2019, 11:19
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Join Date: Feb 1999
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The normal conversion is to genuine Auster heel brakes for the RHS.An engineer friend of mine is doing such a conversion at the moment.New parts are still obtainable with some difficulty if you can get hold of the guy who still holds the spares.Not an easy job apparently.As for Cessna style toe brakes I have never come across any in my fairly extensive experience of Austers.Good luck they are not a particularly nice tailwheel trainer if that is what you were thinking of.Regards Stampe.
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Old 24th Sep 2019, 13:35
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I have never seen an Auster with toe brakes fitted and I have seen rather a lot of them in my time. My Terrifier has the standard heel brakes fitted both sides. They are not an aircraft I would want to fit toe brakes to to be honest. A disaster waiting to happen......
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Old 24th Sep 2019, 13:41
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Though I am not specifically familiar with the Beagle Terrier, I can say that as a person who approves such changes on other types, this would more work and cost than it would be worth. I fly one plane with heel brakes, and dislike them enough, that I do not use them other than for slow taxi maneuvering, or precise stopping while parking. When I train tailwheel to other pilots, I do not include brakes as a method of directional control on the runway. The rudder, or at slow speeds, the steerable tailwheel, will be adequate to maintain the direction of the airplane in suitable conditions. If rudder will not control the direction, you're probably in too strong a crosswind for the type - brakes really are not a good solution.
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Old 24th Sep 2019, 17:03
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It sounds like a difficult change. The Auster type heel brakes are not powerful and fade quickly. Putting cable brakes on the top of the pedals is going to involve some interesting cable runs. However the marginal braking force on the cable brakes is enough to break the port side brake back plate some of the time - hence the routine inspections. Toebrakes would likely give more mechanical advantage and necessitate changing the back plates. End result is that instead of getting two good applications you may only get one!

You could change to hydraulic brakes - which I partly why I think this could get really complicated. I am aware of at least one Terrier aircraft which was fitted with them - back in the day when engineering calculations were not necessary. Given the Terrier's rather heavy back end it could work - from memory larger diameter sleeves were fitted to the axles and a set of American brakes and wheels fitted (possibly robbed from a C150). But to do it now would require some substantive design justification for the LAA to approve it.

Frankly a good set of drums and shoes gives 'adequate' braking for a Terrier, if only because it already has so much aerodynamic braking! Once the brakes on mine were sorted they only got used for manoeuvring.
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Old 24th Sep 2019, 18:11
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I have had a Terrier for 10 years and never had an issue with the heel brakes. Yes I re-shoe'd them about 5 years ago and that's it. Tbh I don't have the need to rely on them too much, a quick stab here and there if a crosswind is overcoming rudder authority whilst taxying, holding whilst doing a power check, and tight turns. The tail end of the Terrier is so heavy you'd have to be pretty heavy heeled to nose one over under braking. Anyway have you tried Dave Baker (Auster spares) 01522 778617, for the dual brake conversion parts.
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Old 24th Sep 2019, 18:41
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I've flown a couple of aircraft with heel-brakes, one of them an Auster, and after some "interesting experiences", I decided to give heel-brakes a miss in future!
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Old 30th Sep 2019, 21:57
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Hi, thanks for the replies.
Its appreciated.
The aircraft has Cleveland hydraulic disk brakes fitted to it which I think is a good thing.
And yes the idea behind this is for training.
I will give the Auster spares guy a bell tomorrow and see what his synopsis is.
My initial impressions, after looking at stuff is..
Toe brake conversion is doable with lots of hassle and work providing there is enough room between the pedals and the bulkhead on full rudder.
Extra heel brakes would be a lot simpler but would still be,, heel brakes.
I'll post my findings here.
Once again thanks for the replies.
Skelly.
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Old 1st Oct 2019, 13:59
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I seem to recall that the Beagle Husky has hydraulic toe-brakes. The basis of the Husky fuselage is the Model J/Mk. 5 fuselage frame, suitably reinforced. The Terrier is based on the Mk. 6 fuselage frame. I cannot remember the difference, but probably not much.

I think the toe brake arrangement was borrowed from the Beagle Airedale design, the Husky and Airedale being contemporary on the Beagle production line.

Perhaps investigate this with reference to the Auster drawing set, which is available via the Auster club.

I am not aware of the details in all this.

Last edited by KZ8; 1st Oct 2019 at 14:17.
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Old 2nd Oct 2019, 12:13
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Originally Posted by jonskelly View Post
Hi, thanks for the replies.
Its appreciated.
The aircraft has Cleveland hydraulic disk brakes fitted to it which I think is a good thing.
And yes the idea behind this is for training.
I will give the Auster spares guy a bell tomorrow and see what his synopsis is.
My initial impressions, after looking at stuff is..
Toe brake conversion is doable with lots of hassle and work providing there is enough room between the pedals and the bulkhead on full rudder.
Extra heel brakes would be a lot simpler but would still be,, heel brakes.
I'll post my findings here.
Once again thanks for the replies.
Skelly.
As an Instructor with thousands of hours on the Terrier I would suggest its a VERY poor choice as a trainer. I love flying it but it is a pain in the ass doing initial tailwheel conversions on it and even the heavy tail will not stop you sticking it on its nose if you stick strong brakes on it. The heel brakes are just difficult enough to slow things down enough to allow the Instructor to get control.....
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Old 3rd Oct 2019, 12:19
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A little more information which changes things a bit. Toe pedals with hydraulic brakes? Even a Terrier can be put on its nose with the braking force these can generate.
As a training aircraft the Terrier has plenty of potential surprises without the additional one of setting it on its nose, so I very much agree with S-works. If you can get someone to fly a Terrier reasonably well it is unlikely they would not be able to cope with heel brakes. Yes, in today's world they are different and somewhat archaic, but you do not see many of these sort of aircraft on their noses!
My Terrier with mechanical heel brakes could lift the tail and spin around on the stopped wheel. The elevator is powerful enough to lift the tail very high under power. Best of luck!
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Old 7th Oct 2019, 17:10
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I did my PPL on an Auster with heel brakes. No particular problems.

The only issues I had were the long crosswind taxiways at Staverton... lead to some interesting strategies for coping with brake fade on one side :-)
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