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  #11  
Old 01-08-2018, 08:49 PM
mikerkba mikerkba is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Ely, Nevada
Posts: 177
Default Nose gear tug

We have my old lawn tractor (not quite as cleaned up) in our group hangar with a simple hook on the front bumper for backing up to pull aircraft over the hangar door tracks when needed (no second hands nearby or a little ice outside the door sometimes). But its a weak steering arrangement for the nose gear aircraft. Do you have more pictures of the linkage/attachment you use?

(I want to design a simple nose gear lifting arrangement like the bigger commercial tugs have. Something that RVers could build. But other jobs keep that project on the back burner.)
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BUILDER: N92MB RV7A (A/W 3/2009) - Sold
ADOPTED/reworking: N4032Q RV8A (8/2017)
KELY/Ely, NV
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  #12  
Old 01-08-2018, 09:48 PM
Canadian_JOY Canadian_JOY is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikerkba View Post
We have my old lawn tractor (not quite as cleaned up) in our group hangar with a simple hook on the front bumper for backing up to pull aircraft over the hangar door tracks when needed (no second hands nearby or a little ice outside the door sometimes). But its a weak steering arrangement for the nose gear aircraft. Do you have more pictures of the linkage/attachment you use?

(I want to design a simple nose gear lifting arrangement like the bigger commercial tugs have. Something that RVers could build. But other jobs keep that project on the back burner.)
My hangar-mate has an RV8A and has fabricated a custom towbar to use in conjunction with a lawn tractor to push the airplane back into the hangar. Much as I hate to admit it, this solution doesn't work worth a hoot. The steering traction of the tractor is far less than the sideways force applied by the airplane when a main wheel hits something other than perfectly smooth ground. It kinda looks like the tail wagging the dog. Hit something with a main wheel and it caused the aircraft to pivot, pulling the tug sideways.

As a result of our negative experience with the lawn tractor I've obtained a compact tractor for which I will fabricate a nosewheel lifting device attached directly to the tractor frame. With the nosewheel completely off the ground the airplane will be fully under the control of the tractor's steering. I think this should be the ultimate solution, particularly on ice and snow-covered ramps where the 4wd and hydrostatic transmission will move airplanes with precision and authority.
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  #13  
Old 01-09-2018, 06:20 AM
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rv8guy rv8guy is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Watkinsville, GA
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Nice Job Sam!
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RV-8 80749 slow build taildragger
7.5 year build first flight Dec 2005
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Watkinsville, Georgia
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  #14  
Old 01-09-2018, 06:52 AM
Sam Buchanan's Avatar
Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is online now
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Location: North Alabama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikerkba View Post
We have my old lawn tractor (not quite as cleaned up) in our group hangar with a simple hook on the front bumper for backing up to pull aircraft over the hangar door tracks when needed (no second hands nearby or a little ice outside the door sometimes). But its a weak steering arrangement for the nose gear aircraft. Do you have more pictures of the linkage/attachment you use?

(I want to design a simple nose gear lifting arrangement like the bigger commercial tugs have. Something that RVers could build. But other jobs keep that project on the back burner.)
Pushing a nose-dragger would be more involved than pulling a tail-dragger. I suspect you would have better results with backing the tug verses having it nose-to-nose with the aircraft. This would put more weight on the end of the tug where the tow-bar is attached.

Even when backing up the tug while pulling a tail-dragger some technique has to be learned (I'm still in the learning curve). Turn the steering wheel left and the tail of the plane initially moves right. It is a matter of anticipating the maneuvering required.

I use the same Cessna-type tow-bar that I have used for the soft-tissue tug for 18 years. There is a carabiner on the handle that clips onto an eyebolt on the tug drawbar.
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Last edited by Sam Buchanan : 01-09-2018 at 06:54 AM.
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  #15  
Old 01-09-2018, 07:08 AM
BillL BillL is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Central IL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Buchanan View Post
Pushing a nose-dragger would be more involved than pulling a tail-dragger. I suspect you would have better results with backing the tug verses having it nose-to-nose with the aircraft. This would put more weight on the end of the tug where the tow-bar is attached.

Even when backing up the tug while pulling a tail-dragger some technique has to be learned (I'm still in the learning curve). Turn the steering wheel left and the tail of the plane initially moves right. It is a matter of anticipating the maneuvering required.

I use the same Cessna-type tow-bar that I have used for the soft-tissue tug for 18 years. There is a carabiner on the handle that clips onto an eyebolt on the tug drawbar.
Nice tug, even the engine shroud glistens!!

So, Sam, what are you using for picking up the tail to flight attitude? Any needs/solution for that? I have been looking at the boat winch jack types. Wood, and metal (tail-mate) styles.
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  #16  
Old 01-09-2018, 07:43 AM
RKellogg RKellogg is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Newark, IL
Posts: 287
Arrow 4x4 tug

Been using this for three years with good success. Only problem is that when your wife sees how well it works, she is gonna need one, too.

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  #17  
Old 01-09-2018, 08:16 AM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillL View Post
Nice tug, even the engine shroud glistens!!

So, Sam, what are you using for picking up the tail to flight attitude? Any needs/solution for that? I have been looking at the boat winch jack types. Wood, and metal (tail-mate) styles.
The tail isn't picked up, it rolls and swivels the same way it does when using the towbar manually. [edit: Sorry Bill, I misunderstood your question.]



I initially used a cable to connect the tug to the tailwheel, but steering was real inconsistent as the tailwheel unlocked and swung side-to-side. The towbar works perfectly and keeps the tailwheel tracking as it should. A carabiner was fixed to the towbar handle which clips onto an eyebolt on the tug drawbar. Very simple.

I can carefully push the plane with the same towbar using the tug but a pin-and-eye attachment for the towbar at the tug would be better for pushing.
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1999 RV-6
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Last edited by Sam Buchanan : 01-09-2018 at 03:29 PM.
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  #18  
Old 01-09-2018, 08:56 AM
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Mike S Mike S is offline
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Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Buchanan View Post
I can carefully push the plane with the same towbar using the tug but a pin-and-eye attachment for the towbar at the tug would be better for pushing.
Bogart makes these. Looks like it is designed to fit over a standard hitch ball.


https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/08...g?v=1429557715

https://bogertaviation.com/collectio...ts/towbar-ring
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Flying as of 12/4/2010

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  #19  
Old 01-09-2018, 03:25 PM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is online now
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Got to the hangar today and refined the towbar so it will be more suitable for pushing the RV-6. I removed the carabiner and fabricated a pin hitch:



It is just two steel straps bolted to the Cessna-type towbar handle. This type of hitch should work while pushing or pulling and is what I would use if I had a nose-dragger. The drawbar is fabricated from steel angle and bolts to the brackets that used to attach the front of the mower deck. I don't ever need to push my plane but if I did I would prefer a clamping (Bogart, etc) towbar over the spring-loaded one I use.
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Last edited by Sam Buchanan : 01-09-2018 at 05:20 PM.
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