Conventional Gear: Flying a Taildragger
“Conventional gear” refers to the traditional configuration of an airplane’s landing gear with a wheel mounted on the very tail of the craft. Focusing on teaching pilots to overcome some of the difficulties of taildragger aircraft, this guide teaches critical skills for controlling the plane on takeoff, landing without bouncing the aircraft, and handling the craft on the ground. In addition to the theory and dynamics and the piloting techniques for tailwheel planes, information is also supplied on the specific handling characteristics of many popular tailwheel aircraft such as the Cessna 185 Skywagon, the Piper Pawnee, and the De Havilland D.H.82 Tiger Moth.
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Ground and Flight Dynamics
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accelerate aerobatic aileron aircraft airflow airplane airspeed allow angle of attack applied Approach and Landing approach path Austers Avro Lincoln bounce climb close the throttle cockpit configuration control column crosswind landing downwind drag drift Drover elevator engine failure feet Figure final approach flap flare Flight Operations flight path flown flying speed forward fuel fuselage ground effect ground speed gusts head wind increase landing gear lever lift liftoff Lincoln magneto magneto switches main wheels maintain maneuver momentum normal Pawnee pedals pilot pitch Pitts position pressure propeller raise the tail rate of descent reduced rotation rudder runway Sea Fury seat sideslip skid slipstream slow stall starter steering stick Storch surface swing tail wheel tail wind tail-down taildragger taxiing technique three-point landing threshold speed Tiger Moth touchdown turbulence turn upwind weight wheeler wind correction angle wind gradient wind shear wing tip wing-down Winjeel