Why no tailwheel lock on the Spit? - Page 2 - ED Forums
 


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Old 09-12-2018, 08:13 AM   #11
DD_Fenrir
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Because it's only one aspect of a multitude of factors.

If it were only about weight you'd have a point. But it isn't just about weight.
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:30 AM   #12
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Depends on a design school. Back then airplanes were not as pilot friendly as they are nowadays. Creature comfort and ease of use were not very high on the list of priorities.

Also in real life it was a bit easier to control the aircraft on the ground, since it had a single brake handle that applied differential brakes depending on rudder position. You can't simulate that with pedals and warthog stick.

Come to think of it, I can see a pattern:
- central brake handle (Spitfire, most Russian planes) - no tailwheel lock
- toebrakes (German, US aircraft) - there is a tailwheel lock

Of course there are some exceptions
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic Zach View Post
I understand what's being said here...but how heavy can a tailwheel locking mechanism be? Surely it wouldn't be enough to put such a dent in performance as you guys talk it up to be?
Every pound makes a difference in aviation. If something is not absolutely mandatory don't get it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DD_Fenrir View Post
3. Few previous RAF fighters had such feature; nearly all the bi-planes all had skids (Gladiator excepting). Even the training a/c would have unlikely had something quite so exotic for the time (with perhaps the Harvard being the exception - American Harvards had options: tail wheel locking only (US Navy) or rudder bound steering mechanism (USAAF), I have been unable to find out if the RAF Harvard Mk.I had either). Ergo pilots have been trained and are familiar with the directionally unstable ground handling behaviour of tailwheel aircraft and given point 2. as long as the rudder area and torque forces are in some form of equilibrium, the characteristics should provide little in the way of surprise, drama or cause for concern.
Not sure, but some clues makes me think it's like USAAF version. Anyway, don't know if it's the Canadian accent, buy I don't get a bunch of the chatter .





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Old 09-12-2018, 12:46 PM   #14
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An aspect usually overviewed in simulators is how the controls of the real thing feels. Usually aeroplane controls are really heavy, and I mean really really heavy, like nothing one expects when first tried. That makes a huge difference when flying a certain model, and a free castering wheel can be very heavy to move so no need to lock it.


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Old 09-12-2018, 09:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DD_Fenrir View Post
The 109 it could be argued was more of necessity - marginal aerodynamic directional stability, narrow track undercarriage, smaller plane, more power, narrower undercarriage, toe-out of wheels; these all combine to make the lock at least a desirable feature, if not an outright necessity. I don't know when it was introduced to the series, be interesting to find out.

You say that, but unless I'm remembering incorrectly, Yo-Yo's indepth talks with Eric Brunotte revealed he did not use the locking tail wheel in the 109 for takeoff.
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Old 09-12-2018, 10:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by some1 View Post
Depends on a design school. Back then airplanes were not as pilot friendly as they are nowadays. Creature comfort and ease of use were not very high on the list of priorities.

Also in real life it was a bit easier to control the aircraft on the ground, since it had a single brake handle that applied differential brakes depending on rudder position. You can't simulate that with pedals and warthog stick.

Come to think of it, I can see a pattern:
- central brake handle (Spitfire, most Russian planes) - no tailwheel lock
- toebrakes (German, US aircraft) - there is a tailwheel lock

Of course there are some exceptions
When I was using pedals and my CH stick it was taking me months to taxi in the Spitfire and occasionally I'd smash the nose into the floor.
First try with my T-50 using the brake lever and it took a tenth the time! Having the right(ish) control does make a huge difference.
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:01 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzles View Post
You say that, but unless I'm remembering incorrectly, Yo-Yo's indepth talks with Eric Brunotte revealed he did not use the locking tail wheel in the 109 for takeoff.

The early E models didn`t have the tailwheel lock, it came later. And it certeanly was a nice addition considering safety especially on paved runways.



In many aspects the Spitfire was quite an oldschool aircraft for its time.

The Bf109 was more modern and revolutionary when it came to cockpit ergonomy, system automatisation and pilot load.

The British often chose the good old way over the new solutions. The spitfire was manageble without tailwheel lock so it was good enough for them.
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Old 09-13-2018, 03:49 PM   #18
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when you have to dance on the pedals like you do in a tail dragger to stop it from doing a ground loop then toe brakes suck.
its much better having the brake on the stick with the left right axis controlled by the rudder.

the reason I found the p51 so hard to land at first is that you can get into the situation of one pedal pressed with the opposite brake. dancing backwards and forwards.
you cannot do that in the spit.
which automatically made me love it.
I don't have an axis on the stick but I do have a button. and I tap it in time with my feet in the pedal dance.

so much easier than trying to apply toe brakes at the right pressure while constantly dancing.
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