Highlander T3 Tailwheel Suspension

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Re: Highlander T3 Tailwheel Suspension

Postby FredHoffman » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:20 pm

I didn't think there was enough meat on the tail spring channel to drill the holes for the rear block either so I made a bar that went the full length of the channel and slightly past to mount a block to clamp the rear of the channel. We'll see how it does soon. I didn't change anything on the plane so I could go back to the tailspring if needed. Best case would be to think about this before covering the airplane and I would have welded on fittings the sideplates on the T3 could directly bolt to.
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Re: Highlander T3 Tailwheel Suspension

Postby z987k » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:54 am

Winston wrote:Doubling up the leaf spring was not an option for me since my Highlander tail spring channel is barely deep enough for the main 3/8" thick spring itself. Any additional spring might allow the main spring to rotate out of the channel on the one 3/8" bolt. Welding on the channel was not an option since I don't want to mess up the fabric. The T3 has 25+ hours on it and is working great.

Winston

That channel will eventually crack from side loading if you're abusing the plane a little bit anyways. I'm either going to put a T3 on or figure out a way to get a u-bolt on there like all the heavier airplanes have.
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Re: Highlander T3 Tailwheel Suspension

Postby FredHoffman » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:38 am

It would seem that the loads with the tail spring would be worse as there is only one attach point. A plus for the T3 is it should soften the loads as the shocks would be more gradual, negative is I have about 1.5" more leverage on the channel plus the locking tail wheel. I wonder if all the highlanders eventually crack in this spot? I could also machine a larger block that drops down, is longer and grabs and supports the channel.

I did notice on the wild west highlander this area wasn't covered and large access panel was added, I wonder if that was to make future repairs simple !
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Re: Highlander T3 Tailwheel Suspension

Postby Winston » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:18 pm

I got my T3 assembly direct from the designer, Dan Dufault <[email protected]>. He included an adapter block for the Highlander tailspring channel. I did not use the two small bolts shown in the photo but insead drilled a 5/16 hole up through the block, channel and where all the fuselage tubes come together forward of the aft vertical stabilizer tube. This gave me two bolts to secure the mounting block with. Getting at that bolt on the inside isn't easy though unless you haven't covered the fuselage yet. You can see the head of the 5/16" bolt in the first photo. The system works great so far.
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Re: Highlander T3 Tailwheel Suspension

Postby FredHoffman » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:44 pm

Thanks for the extra pics. Looks like my block I made will pretty much do the same thing as what was sent to you. Mine T3 was much different and would have worked well if the channel was deeper. Looking at build pictures there is a wide variation in tail spring channels. Here is a picture of my T3 original mount, I am sure mine is an older version.
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Re: Highlander T3 Tailwheel Suspension

Postby Copro » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:01 am

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I installed one on my plane today.

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Re: Highlander T3 Tailwheel Suspension

Postby alan » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:29 pm

I ordered one of these Friday from Dan. He says it should ship Wednesday. When I broke the first tailwheel spring, I made some gussets and incorporated a couple of "tabs" and a cross-bar under the spring all the way aft. I had seen a picture of those "tabs" here on the forum and stole the idea. The new spring, now 2-1/2 years old, has begun to flex enough at the aft end of the channel to cause the paint to detach, so something must be done. Here are a couple of pictures. I sent the pictures and measurements to Dan so my custom T3 is being constructed as we speak. As you can see, I also had to modify the rudder.

Alan
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Re: Highlander T3 Tailwheel Suspension

Postby alan » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:01 am

My custom made T3 arrived last Saturday and I finished the install Wednesday. I had to make a couple spacer blocks from 3/8" aluminium. One to sit in the fuselage channel and the other to space the tailwheel enough to clear a through bolt. Since the Houston area has received enough rain to cause crawdads to climb trees lately it'll be awhile before the grass strip on which we are based is dry enough to do the taxi and flight tests.
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Re: Highlander T3 Tailwheel Suspension

Postby alan » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:09 am

P.S. This mod raised the empanage height by about 4".

Alan
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Re: Highlander T3 Tailwheel Suspension

Postby alan » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:36 am

The weather down by the Gulf of Mexico has finally let up enough for our local grass field to dry up sufficiently for taxi and flight testing. The T3 performed perfectly, to the point where it was unnoticeable. I did several 360s, left and right, and risked chiggers to examine it closely. Perfect. Then flew over to an asphalt strip for 3 stop and goes and examined it closely. Then went and examined some BBQ. Dan Dufault did an excellent job designing and building the T3. Now, along with the TK1 Shock Monster system on the mains, our Highlander handles on the ground as well as it does in the air!

Alan
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Re: Highlander T3 Tailwheel Suspension

Postby DeanBrister » Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:41 pm

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I installed the same suspension system ( shock Monster, T3 and the Tudra light with locking tail wheel) it is absolutely amazing!
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Re: Highlander T3 Tailwheel Suspension

Postby BucF16 » Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:59 pm

I know this will cause some debate :shock: BUT I love locking tailwheels. I've owned 2 Pitts' and a Christen Eagle II, and all had Haigh tailwheels (locking). The Eagle was a hybrid. It was locking and steerable. But did not caster, so had to be towed into the hangar with a dolly. My Highlander will have a TK tailwheel Ni shock,Tudra light locking tailwheel, and Monster Main gear shocks.

I trained over 20 pilots to land Pitts tailwheel landings in the locking method. NOT one ever ground looped. (during training, or after).

Will I lock the tailwheel on my landings, probably not. But you better be assured my son will!

Cheers,
Bruce
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Re: Highlander T3 Tailwheel Suspension

Postby danerazz » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:00 pm

alan wrote:...Then went and examined some BBQ.
Alan



But how was the barbecue?
Dane

Paralysis by analysis
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Re: Highlander T3 Tailwheel Suspension

Postby alan » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:40 am

BBQ was excellent!
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