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Old 10-31-2017, 05:22 PM
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JonJay JonJay is online now
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Battleground
Posts: 3,911

Originally Posted by luddite42 View Post
I've never made that standard practice and don't advocate it, but I guess we can beat that issue up in the OPs next thread.
Me either. I should have said "can be"....
Always tough "talking" flying in the written word.
Smart People do Stupid things all the time. I know, I've seen me do'em.

RV6 - Builder/Flying
Bucker Jungmann
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Old 10-31-2017, 05:30 PM
Simon Hitchen Simon Hitchen is offline
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Posts: 239
Default Tailwheel technique

I was taught the following technique by some very competent instructors and have used it ever since in many different tail draggers. It varies from type to type but in an RV type with a steerable tailwheel, smoothly apply full power to the count of 5 while keeping the stick fully aft. This ensures maximum weight and traction on the tailwheel, affording you maximum directional control as the rpm increases and the torque and P-factor contributions are at their highest influence (trying to pull you off to the left). At full power the stick goes to neutral or a little forward and the tail will come up within a few seconds, quicker if you have a little flap. The VS and rudder will now be in the clear air above the fuse, again for maximum directional control. A few seconds later with just a little back pressure you're off and climbing.

As for wheel landings, just a little forward pressure on the stick as the wheels touch to reduce the AOA and dissipate the lift (pin it down). As the speed drops keep increasing the forward pressure to keep the tail up and the rudder in the clean undisturbed air above the fuse. When you can no longer hold the tail up it will settle gently then stick fully back to again increase the tailwheel pressure and traction for maximum control. Using this technique also ensures you're at the lowest possible ground speed as you transition into the three point attitude where some (not all) taildraggers can get squirrelly. Headwinds and brakes can help here too.

I feel its all about how to ensure the highest degree of directional control from your primary two resources, the tail wheel and rudder. I still dont relax until the machine is in the hangar...darn tail draggers..
Simon Hitchen
Port Perry, ON, Canada
7 Tip Up, Titan XIO-360, Sensenich FP Prop, Dynon Skyview, GTR-200, GTX-327

Last edited by Simon Hitchen : 10-31-2017 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 10-31-2017, 06:00 PM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: North Alabama
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Originally Posted by fbrewer View Post

Thanks for the input.

I like the mechanical: Smoothly apply throttle, 1, 2, 3, stick to approximately neutral, 4, 5, the plane flies off the runway with a slightly tail-low attitude.

I have my 2nd transition flight tomorrow.
I didn't consider my description as mechanical because few takeoffs are identical. I described a "typical" takeoff in that manner to illustrate that it is not necessary to force the RV-6 into a tail-high attitude for an acceptable take-off.

I've been flying taildraggers for 25 years and they are still training me....
Sam Buchanan
1999 RV-6
1918 Fokker D.VII replica

Last edited by Sam Buchanan : 10-31-2017 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 10-31-2017, 06:03 PM
Kyle Boatright Kyle Boatright is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 3,330

Originally Posted by Sam Buchanan View Post
... to illustrate that it is not necessary to force the RV-6 into a tail-high attitude for an acceptable take-off.
Exactly. Mike Segar teaches everything from a "raise the tail and trundle down the runway" takeoff to a "keep the stick relaxed and it'll fly off out of the 3 point attitude" takeoff. There are many ways to skin this cat.

Personally, I'm an advocate of letting the tail come up more or less on its own. Pushing the stick forward (and rotating the aircraft quickly) increases p-factor which means the airplane has more of a left turning tendency.
Kyle Boatright
Atlanta, GA
2001 RV-6 N46KB
2019(?) RV-10
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Old 10-31-2017, 06:13 PM
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JonJay JonJay is online now
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[quote=Kyle Boatright;1215491] There are many ways to skin this cat.

Exactly, and one should, with care, experiment with them in my humble opinion.
Smart People do Stupid things all the time. I know, I've seen me do'em.

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Old 10-31-2017, 06:47 PM
dtw_rv6 dtw_rv6 is offline
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Location: Martinsville, IN
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Iíve never had any problem with going full forward on the stick then applying full power. Once the tail comes up, I pull back to arrest the tail at the attitude I want for takeoff depending on surface conditions, wind, and load.

I used to always do three point takeoffs, but Iím convinced that lifting the tail gets me airborne in less runway distance.

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Old 11-01-2017, 07:58 AM
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Snowflake Snowflake is offline
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Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
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You may want to try different scenarios and see what you're happier with. As others have said, you can just hold the stick neutral, add power smoothly, keep it straight with rudder, and the plane will fly itself off with no fore-aft stick input. This will give you a steep initial climb angle in my experience.

Personally, I like raising the tail for visibility over the nose, and shallower initial climb angle. I honestly don't know if I hit the forward stop while doing that... I just do what's necessary to get the tail up after I start rolling. The shallower climb means a quicker acceleration to get cooling air flowing faster and keep CHT's down on climbout.
Rob Prior
1996 RV-6 "Tweety" C-FRBP (formerly N196RV)
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Old 11-01-2017, 08:17 AM
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RV8iator RV8iator is offline
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Default Just do what feels right

And quit counting while you should be FLYING the plane.
No two takeoffs are ever the same.
Jerry "Widget" Morris
RV 8, N8JL, 2700+ hours

VAF #818
Saint Simons Island, GA. KSSI
PIF 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011,2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018.

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Old 11-01-2017, 09:45 AM
Jrskygod Jrskygod is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Edinburg, TX
Posts: 533

Jeez folks this is not rocket science. The answer is just use enough stick and rudder to achieve the desired result. If you don't have enough of either or both you probably made a bad decision on taking flight that day. Flight is a dynamic situation and depends on many factors. There is no one solution to a given situation.

When I was learning to fly I too wanted to quantify how much rudder or stick to use for taking off and landing. Coming from an engineering background I expected to put in X and get result Y. How ignorant I was. I put in X and Y was always a surprise. Then when I added Z everything changed again and off toward the fence we went. My wise instructor quickly pointed out that the necessary control inputs will always be variable and the amount you use will always vary as well. It took me a while to get my head around that concept.

So get a good instructor and learn the basic techniques, tail up and three point takeoffs, full stall landings and wheel landings and just practice. As your confidence builds and you learn how to handle the various wind conditions you will reflect back and think about your question and just smile. I always do.
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Old 11-01-2017, 09:47 AM
JimRice JimRice is offline
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Collierville, TN
Posts: 92
Default Forward Stick...

I've never understood the desire to get the tail up as quickly as possible. Maybe that is because I learned from the backseat of a Cub where forward visibility was still nil even with tail raised due to instructor (my dad, a USAAF trained and USAF IP). I see lots of folks do it. While you can likely get away with it in an RV and a Cub, understand, there are planes where doing so will get you in trouble.

I've always began a normal take off with full UP elevator to keep the tailwheel firmly planted on the runway so it will assist in directional control, especially at slow speeds where the rudder isn't yet effective. As speed builds, relax the back pressure to allow the tail to rise slightly, but maintaining a slightly tail low attitude. As the mains lift off, put in a small bit of forward stick to allow the plane to accelerate while beginning a very shallow climb. It has worked for me in most taildraggers.

Forcing the tail up as soon as possible will lead to an excursion off the left side of the runway in a Swift. Torque, p-factor and especially a bit of left crosswind overpower the rudder. Lots of high time folks have run them off the left side of the runway doing this. To a lesser degree, a Pitts will do the same thing if you aren't ready for it. Fortunately, it has a very effective rudder and a boot full of right rudder will typicallly arrest the swerve.

For most takeoffs, there simply isn't any reason to go full forward on the elevator and many reasons not to.

That's my two cents.
Jim Rice
Collierville, TN

1994 RV-4 N4WJ (Purchased/Flying)
1946 J-3 Cub N7155H (Restored/Flying)
1946 Globe Swift N3368K (Purchased Restored/Flying SOLD)
1987 Starduster Too SA-300 (Purchased/Flying/SOLD)
1994 V6STOL (Built w/dad/SOLD)

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