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  #1  
Old 09-12-2018, 10:18 PM
DougCronkhite DougCronkhite is offline
 
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Default Chains or RV Rocket Steering Link?

My 8 currently has chains on it.. but the previous owner purchased the RV Rocket steering link and tie-down control arm but never installed it? Any recommendation on either?
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  #2  
Old 09-12-2018, 10:34 PM
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akarmy akarmy is offline
 
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Depends on what you like. The link will be a bit more sensitive in general. Think of it like power steering vs a bit looser manual. It seems to be more personal preference than a case of one being better than the other. Some find the links twitchy, but I really like them. It feels like you have more direct control when you press it goes like right now!
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  #3  
Old 09-12-2018, 10:40 PM
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chrispratt chrispratt is offline
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I switched from chains to the "Silver Bullet", very similar to other steering links like the rocket, when it first became available about 10-11 years ago. I've never gone back to the chains.

There's nothing wrong with chains, but the more direct steering links give much more responsive and more precise steering control. I recommend switching. (Note: the silver bullet is no longer produced but other steering links available follow essentially the same design).

My original silver bullet finally broke about a year ago, but I keep a spare and it was replaced in about five minutes.

Chris
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  #4  
Old 09-12-2018, 11:36 PM
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ColoRv ColoRv is offline
 
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Flown both quite a bit. I strongly prefer the link. The dance you do with chains goes away. The tail is wherever your feet put it. No dancing on the chain slack. Does take some getting used to.
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Old 09-13-2018, 06:04 AM
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N941WR N941WR is offline
 
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I am on the other side of this discussion and prefer the chains. Not only that, I like having my chains a bit loose. This allows the rudder to work before engaging the tailwheel.

Also, some time back there was a thread about a link that got crossed on landing and caused a ground loop. That can't happen with the chains.
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  #6  
Old 09-13-2018, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N941WR View Post
I am on the other side of this discussion and prefer the chains. Not only that, I like having my chains a bit loose. This allows the rudder to work before engaging the tailwheel.
A loose chain, link, or cable generally allows the tailwheel to swivel past the release point before the rudder reaches its stop. Bad juju. It should need to stretch a spring to reach the release point, with the rudder on the stop. Easy to check. If necessary, move the forward attach points inboard on the rudder horn to change the ratio. Moving them inboard also makes the tailwheel steer a little less quickly, bringing aero and wheel steering into closer accord.

Chains are fragile. A S-curved link is weak. Cable is bulletproof.



All tailwheel mounting springs twist in torsion as well as bending under load. Steering feel is improved considerably by selecting a tailwheel fork and wheel with a smaller torsion arm.

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  #7  
Old 09-13-2018, 07:42 AM
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Veetail88 Veetail88 is offline
 
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Dan, the bending force on the rudder horn induced by the arm created with the eyebolt has always bugged me, albeit Iíve never heard of that part bending or cracking. What are your thoughts on this?
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:09 AM
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N941WR N941WR is offline
 
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Dan, I respectfully disagree. I have had the locking pin jam in the retracted position due to a burr and didn't notice a difference. I noticed it during a preflight and flew it that way for a month. I didn't miss the steerable tailwheel at all.

As for the geometry of the springs, I put i-bolts sticking up on the wheel's steering arm and sticking down on the rudder horn. Thus improves the geometry and keeps the steel clips from enlarging the hole in the rudder horn.

I need to get a better picture but this might help:


(click to enlarge)
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Last edited by N941WR : 09-13-2018 at 07:50 PM.
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  #9  
Old 09-13-2018, 10:13 AM
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RV6_flyer RV6_flyer is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanH View Post
A loose chain, link, or cable generally allows the tailwheel to swivel past the release point before the rudder reaches its stop. Bad juju. It should need to stretch a spring to reach the release point, with the rudder on the stop. Easy to check. If necessary, move the forward attach points inboard on the rudder horn to change the ratio. Moving them inboard also makes the tailwheel steer a little less quickly, bringing aero and wheel steering into closer accord.

Chains are fragile. A S-curved link is weak. Cable is bulletproof.



All tailwheel mounting springs twist in torsion as well as bending under load. Steering feel is improved considerably by selecting a tailwheel fork and wheel with a smaller torsion arm.

I switched to CABLE after stretching the the 2nd set of chains. Did not want to keep replacing stretched chains every 300-hours. The cables have been flawless for over 2,700-hours.

IF it were not for the heat sleeving and different tail wheel fork, that could be my airplane in the photo.
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  #10  
Old 09-13-2018, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veetail88 View Post
Dan, the bending force on the rudder horn induced by the arm created with the eyebolt has always bugged me, albeit I’ve never heard of that part bending or cracking. What are your thoughts on this?
I think it is always reasonable to note such loads.
I have not calculated anything, but the assembly is at 800 hours and counting.

Not much difference when compared to the s-link attachment.
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Last edited by DanH : 09-13-2018 at 12:07 PM.
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