Originally Posted by Peter Grylls
Hi guys, happy new year.
My question is what is a relatively normal weight on the rear wheel. I am aware that it will vary quite a bit from plane to plane, but is there a ballpark figure?
Thanks for any help you can offer.
My Sterba Wood Prop equipped RV4 weighed 925lbs empty the day of it's test flight. For it and many others I have inspected over the years I use 50lbs in level flight attitude
on the tail-wheel as a good ballpark number for CG ballpark calculations.
There are many ways to help shift the CG on a wood propped Four and reduce weight. Use these suggestions to search for and evaluate your own 4.
1. Odyssey Battery (vice certified aircraft battery) mounted as far forward as possible. I mounted mine on the "shelf" forward of the firewall. R&R of your 26lb aircraft battery to an Odyssey or Lithium will save up to 15 lbs. If it's mounted in the baggage compartment, that will weigh heavily on the TW.
2. Radios, panel, unnecessary items. If you have old radios, power supplies, instruments, round dials, they all add up. Make a list of the heavier ones and look at digital (MGL) or even removal of the unneeded ones.
3. Insulation. Cockpit soundproofing, insulation, thick foam seat cushions add weight. My Four had minimum frills inside and NASA foam seats with light upholstery.
4. Heavy weight Starter/Alt and Mags. A full size Prestolite Starter and certified aircraft alternator weigh nearly twice that of a lightweight version. Bendix Mags weigh twice that of a P-Mag or most Electronic ignitions. There are many vendors out there and you might be able to sell your old ones online.
5. Prop extension. If you remove the heavier starter you can offset the less nose weight by going with a steel prop extension from Saber Mfg.
These are just a few "tricks" you can apply, email me anytime offline and we can start working the issues.