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Old 06-04-2018, 06:54 PM
jliltd jliltd is offline
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Rancho San Lorenzo
Posts: 411
Default Added Screaming Eagle Tailwheel to Original Small RV-3 Spring

Thanks to Blake and Vince at Flyboy Accessories. I talked them into making the option to have a tailwheel socket with a smaller inside diameter so the original RV-3/4 small diameter taper springs could be modified to a full swivel Screaming Eagle tailwheel. That was about 18 months ago and I just now got around to adding the modification to my RV-3B.

The smaller ID of the socket is 33/64" yielding a thicker wall thickness of the socket as it is the same OD as the standard one. This requires machining a 2" area off of the spring to a constant 33/64" diameter to fit the socket. Flyboy also has a similar modification for the RV-4 that utilizes the standard socket as the RV-4 spring has a larger OD.

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the new small socket optioned Screaming Eagle socket on the left (my RV-3B) and the standard ID socket on the right (for an RV-8 conversion we did concurrently using taper pins):

The aluminum block in the background is a jig we made for the RV-8 to match-drill an existing hole in the spring and not pertinent to the RV-3B modifcation.

Here is a picture of my spring in it's original configuration with the tailhook bend in it. The black line shows how the tailhook portion is to be cut off:

I removed the spring from the tail (one AN4 bolt and nut) and then cut off the bent portion:

When chucking the spring into the lathe for machining we were having trouble due to the taper on the spring using a straight chuck. So we jammed some cardboard in the chuck to provide a conforming clamp up. Due to some runout variation It took a little time loosing and tightening the chuck and tapping the spring with a small ball peen hammer until we had minimal runout. Then we could find the center of the cut end for using a tailstock to machine the new constant thickness area (33/64" diameter). Here is what the cardboard-stuffed chuck looked like. This photo was after machining was done:

Here's an action shot of polishing after cutting:

The replacement Screaming Eagle socket was piloted per instructions and fit to the spring while it was temporarily re-installed on the aircraft so the assembly was parallel to the lateral axis of the aircraft (across the canopy rails).

Following Flyboy's instructions the socket was drilled up and fitted. I re-painted the tailwheel spring with black Imron while it was out of the aircraft.

Here is the final result (prior to chains and springs):

The aircraft handles better and it was surreal to be able to push it backwards while on the ground. The tailwheel doesn't catch on hangar rails or cables like the original "tailhook" type did. Very nice modification.


Last edited by jliltd : 06-07-2018 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 06-07-2018, 02:05 PM
vfrazier's Avatar
vfrazier vfrazier is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Mount Vernon, IN
Posts: 1,129

That's what I'm talking about.... nice work! Nice photos and great description too.

Thanks for posting!
Vince Frazier
F1 Rocket and F4 Raider components
RV and Rocket Accessories, Tailwheels, Tools, & More
1-888-8FLYBOY (1-888-835-9269)

F4 Raider - under construction
F1-H Rocket "Crazy Horse" - sold
RV-4 "Chief Pontiac" - sold
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Old 06-12-2018, 02:00 PM
smokyray's Avatar
smokyray smokyray is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: TX32
Posts: 1,777
Default Good Call...

Originally Posted by jliltd View Post
Thanks to Blake and Vince at Flyboy Accessories.

The aircraft handles better and it was surreal to be able to push it backwards while on the ground. The tailwheel doesn't catch on hangar rails or cables like the original "tailhook" type did. Very nice modification.

Good Call.
I have tried literally every Tailwheel option on my 2 RV's and HR2 over 25 years of abuse.
After being a die hard API TW fan, I bought a lightweight TW and SE Fork for my HR2 from Flyboy accessories.

Awesome setup.
My current RVX has your same setup except with a Van's Tailwheel. My Taxiway is gravel and soft rubber is much preferred (and smoother/quieter) than DJM's solid rubber.
When my Van's TW wears out I'm buying another TW tire from Vince, very sporty...


My favorite rough country, stylin, Tailwheel Tire from Flyboy's catalog.

Last edited by smokyray : 06-12-2018 at 02:12 PM.
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