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  #1  
Old 09-04-2018, 12:09 PM
N729LS's Avatar
N729LS N729LS is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 109
Default Flyboy Access. pneumatic tailwheel pilot report

I recently installed the new Condor2 8" pneumatic tailwheel and fork produced by Flyboy Accessories, described here.
I have flown it a few times now and find it to be "most excellent"!

The fork looks very much like the Doug Bell fork. It is the same width (same axle bolts will work), but is a bit longer to account for the 1" of additional tire radius. No change to the steering link were required. The shiny aluminum split rim is very pretty and uses replaceable sealed bearings. The tire is the 200x50 (8.00-2) AeroClassic 6-ply with a 45-stem tube, inflated to 50 psi.

Note: This size of tire and tube are used on many scooters, so non-aero, less robust versions are available very cheap. Maybe as a travel spare or if you operate exclusively on grass? You can even get foam-filled versions, but such might take a set with the kind of parked weight that is on the -8 tailwheel.

On the plane, the visual difference between the 8" pneumatic tailwheel and the 6" solid tailwheel is minimal. Over the 14' distance between the main gear and the tailwheel, the pitch change due the <1.5" net change in vertical at the tailwheel computes to about 1/2. This is not really noticeable while taxiing or TO or landing. This will raise the step about 0.4", which is also not noticeable.

What is noticeable is the complete loss of the "banging aluminum drum" noise during all ground ops! Small surface cracks are completely absorbed by the tire, and larger cracks produce a "thump" instead "bang". I have had passengers ask "Is that OK?!" during normal ground ops just because of the tailwheel-induced noise. It's pretty loud in the back seat, I think. That won't happen any more for sure. And when I smoothly and carefully (sic) lower the tailwheel after a wheel landing, now it smoothly and quietly kisses the ground.

Net result: I think this is a great improvement to the ground operations of the plane, especially on less-than-smooth surfaces and with a back-seater, at a cost of ~$400. FWIW,
Andy
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  #2  
Old 09-04-2018, 01:06 PM
n144sh n144sh is offline
 
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Location: Sisters, OR
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Default

Thanks Andy, good review.

Is there a weight difference?
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  #3  
Old 09-04-2018, 01:31 PM
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Bob Martin Bob Martin is offline
 
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Location: Richmond, Virginia
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Default Thanks

Andy,
Thanks for the review.
Saw this pre-oshkosk and was wondering about it.
Would be great to stop the tailcone noise.
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  #4  
Old 09-04-2018, 02:11 PM
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Mark Dickens Mark Dickens is offline
 
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Good to hear this, as we have some good sized expansion joints on our taxiways. I've been wondering about whether this would help.
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  #5  
Old 09-04-2018, 02:46 PM
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N941WR N941WR is online now
 
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Do you have any pictures of it?

My only concern with pneumatic tailwheels is that I have had a number of them pop on me.
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  #6  
Old 09-04-2018, 05:25 PM
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Clive J Clive J is offline
 
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Location: Norfolk UK
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Default Condor Fork and tyre picture

http://www.flyboyaccessories.com/product-p/1152.htm

I've been flying with a pneumatic tailwheel for a while but it's strange size and I can't find a tyre for it. Only place I could find one was Germany where it's used on a wheel chair!!

It does all Andy says though and the lack of 'banging' is sweet on the ears.

Think I might have to have one on my next visit to the US!

Regards, Clive
UK RV9
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  #7  
Old 09-04-2018, 11:50 PM
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N729LS N729LS is offline
 
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Location: Mesa, AZ
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Sorry, I did not weigh the fork/wheel/tire combination. Subjectively, the wheel/tire combo seems lighter than the solid one I had, but total all-up delta can't be more than 1/4 lb.

I have never had a it happen in ~1500 hours of tailwheel flying, but worry about a blown tailwheel tire is not unreasonable, which is why I brought up the options for a cheap travel spare, including the foam filled tire version. Almost any FBO will have a 5.00-5 to sell you; not so the 200x50. These are available at any Walmart, however!

The 6-ply rated Aero Classic tire ought to be sturdy. Guess we'll see!
Andy
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  #8  
Old 09-05-2018, 10:24 AM
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Gash Gash is offline
 
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Just keep it properly inflated at all times. That's the key. I've never blown a tail wheel in years of backcountry flying. (great, I just jinxed myself...)

Another good thing to bring along is a tire plug kit in case you puncture the tire. It's super easy to plug a hole, then use a bike pump (or similar) to pump up your tire. It'll work just fine until you can get home for a proper tire change. I've had to do it several times on jeeps and 4-wheelers out here in the middle of the desert, just not (yet) on a tailwheel.
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Last edited by Gash : 09-05-2018 at 10:33 AM.
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  #9  
Old 09-05-2018, 08:51 PM
VA Maule VA Maule is offline
 
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Just received mine last week that I ordered at the show (Oshkosh) and like Andy said it's a nice looking high quality item. It will be a little wile before I can give y'all a flight report as I'am still putting the puzzle together. I don't believe that a plug type repair will work with this as it's a tube and unsealed split wheel/ rim old fashion bicycle tube patch kit would be the way to go.
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  #10  
Old 09-06-2018, 12:04 AM
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Gash Gash is offline
 
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Ok, thanks that's good to know!
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