Synopses & Reviews
Many vintage airplanes, aerobatic planes, cropdusters, and ultralights are taildraggers, which means there are a large number of pilots who need to learn these particular skills and techniques. Written in plain language with many clear illustrations to explain the dynamics and techniques, Conventional Gear provides a thorough foundation of knowledge for the pilot seeking a tailwheel endorsement. It presents the combined experience of thousands of flight hours by civilian and military pilots who grew up flying airplanes with conventional gear.
The original configuration of an airplane's landing gear was tail wheel. Only during World War II did the nose wheel become common, when longer runways were required for takeoff with heavy loads. After the war, the tricycle landing gear layout became standard, but the traditional arrangement has always been known as "conventional" gear.
The tail wheel configuration is lighter, simpler and offers less drag. It is also better for rough-field operations. Therefore many crop dusters, aerobatic airplanes and ultralights are taildraggers. However, conventional gear does introduce more demands on the pilot, especially during takeoff and landing, and in strong winds. A taildragger is more difficult to operate on the ground because the center of gravity is behind the main wheels; it therefore tends to deviate from a straight path during taxi, takeoff and landing. Because taildraggers demand more piloting skill, flying one well is a sign of a good pilot.
If you want to fly a warbird, antique or a modern airplane with conventional gear, this book tells you how in a simple, clearly illustrated manner. It begins with the theory and dynamics of a tail wheel airplane, then describes the piloting techniques needed to safely fly a taildragger. The book concludes with a fascinating collection of stories about what it is like to fly some of the common and not so common airplanes with conventional gear...stories by old hands that otherwise could only be found in a good session of hangar flying.
Conventional gear” refers to the traditional configuration of an airplanes 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.
About the Author
David Robson is the author of Skydancing: Aerobatic Flight Techniques, Sunrise to Sunset: Night Flight Techniques, and Transition to Twins: Your First Multi-Engine Rating.