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Tail Wheel Gear Configuration

 Tail Wheel Gear Configuration

  • There are two basic configurations of airplane landing gear: conventional gear or tail wheel gear and the tricycle gear.
  •  Tail wheel gear dominated early aviation and therefore has become known as conventional gear.
  • In addition to its two main wheels which are positioned under most of the weight of the aircraft, the conventional gear aircraft also has a smaller wheel located at the aft end of the fuselage.
  • Often this tail wheel is able to be steered by rigging cables attached to the rudder pedals.
  •  Other conventional gear have no tail wheel at all using just a steel skid plate under the aft fuselage instead.
  • The small tail wheel or skid plate allows the fuselage to incline, thus giving clearance for the long propellers that prevailed in aviation through WWII.
  • It also gives greater clearance between the propeller and loose debris when operating on an unpaved runway.
  •  But the inclined fuselage blocks the straight-ahead vision of the pilot during ground operations.
  • Until up to speed where the elevator becomes effective to lift the tail wheel off the ground, the pilot must lean his head out the side of the cockpit to see directly ahead of the aircraft.

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