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Airframe Ideas

Gar Aero tailwheel
Author Last Post
I misspoke-it's more likely a field approval rather than an STC that I'm looking for.  Sorry for the confusion, David
 
I'd be greatful if someone could send me a copy of the STC for the Gar Aero yoke using the 4:00-4 ribbed tire on a 185. 
Please send it to bigguy@owt.com.  Thanks in advance, David
 
The Aero Classics glider tire will suffer from weather checking and split rubber on the sidewalls from being splayed open by the wide wheel spacer. I got 6 months of use on my first one and about a year and a half on the second, with which I was more tolerant of the cracks as they developed. I pitched the glider tire mid-summer in favor of a Baby Bushwheel. I've never been concerned about wear but have avoided the Baby because of the 500# static load limit. I don't fly over 3000# very often  these days so that's become a non-issue. 
 
I have been running this setup with the 4.00x4 tire for a couple of years now.  Main benefit if you are on pavement is the ability to replace a $40 tire when it is worn.  
 
Some pics, and information.
The fork kit lists at $1050 with the baby bushwheel, but with the 400x4 ribbed tire it's $696.
Plus $50 for the STC.
Plus shipping from Alaska to western WA was $35.
So about $785 total.
 
Any pictures? I'm interested in this setup.
 
FWIW a buddy of mine bought a bushwheel fork kit with the 400x4 ribbed tire recently from Airframes Alaska- $696 as quoted to me last spring. However, they nicked him another $50 for the STC which they never mentioned to me at the time.
 
Thanks for the feedback. Gabe at Airframes Alaska emailed me that their wide t/w fork kit  is available with a 400x4 "glider tire" (their p/n 404 which is how he referred to it), for $696. That's less than the Gar Aero kit, and it comes with an STC. So if I go for it, I'll likely be going that way.
FWIW I have an XP Mods 10" t/w already, just looking for something with a bit more flotation. I've seen Tom's 14" (500x5) t/w, and while it looks awesome, it's more than I need.
 
I spoke with the chief pilot in FAI, and he stated that the cotter pin was still in place as was the castellated nut, but that it broke the casting and dropped off. I am assuming that he means the casting holding the tail wheel to the tail stinger. That is why Tailwheel Tom created his own castings with stronger reinforced ribs for all of his Tailwheel assemblies. I have run the XP Mods Tailwheel ever since I removed the Gar Aero fork and Tailwheel. I have the 14" Tailwheel, which may be too much for your needs, but Tom is making it in a 10" Tailwheel as well. If I were going with the Baby Bushwheel, I would certainly want to stick with their tire as well, as I feel it supports the even distribution of weight on the tail of the aircraft better than a 4.00x4", overly spread out tire, and as I said before, if allowed to get just a bit low on air pressure, the tire has a history of rolling off the rim and pinching the tube and leaving you stranded. I always carried a spare tube and a bicycle air pump, and had to use it more than once. 
Jim

Sent from my iPhone

On Apr 28, 2015, at 17:53, hotrod180 (spamcan57@gmail.com) <mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com> wrote:

I don't think I need the tubeless (built-in air bladder) feature of the BBW, and like I said the Gar Aero kit is about 2/3 the price-- hence my desire for the Gar. Don't know for sure, but I've also heard that the BBW STC requires at least 26" MLG tires. Mine only has 850's but they meet my needs so I have no plans to upgrade.  I've heard of people buying a BBW & when the tire wears out replacing it with a 400x4 ribbed tire & tube, but that would not be in accordance with the STC so IMHO you might as well just bootleg a Gar fatty on there.

 
Yes Jim, I would like a copy of your approved Gar Aero 337 whenever you get a chance to scan it. Please email it to me at spamcan57@gmail.com    Thanks.
 
I don't know the details so couldn't say for sure, but the tailwheel assembly coming off and dangling by the steering cables sounds to me like a workmanship issue and not a tailwheel fork / wheel / tire problem.
 
They're probably busy at the airmens show, I just sent them an email so I'll probably hear back when they get some time.
 

I don't recall any main tire size requirements but I use 29s so I wouldn't have given it much attention. I can check my logs in a day or two or you could call Airframes and ask them. They're very customer service oriented.

 
Thanks Stewart, I didn;t know the 400x4 ribbed tire was included with the BBW tailwheel STC.
Was I also misinformed re the requirement for at least 26" mains on the BBW STC?
 

I never used a BBW tire. I used a ribbed/tubed tire from day one and it's included in the STC for the fork. And the ribbed tire is cheaper than the BBW. Your choice, just know the facts so you can make a good one.

 

I don't think I need the tubeless (built-in air bladder) feature of the BBW, and like I said the Gar Aero kit is about 2/3 the price-- hence my desire for the Gar. Don't know for sure, but I've also heard that the BBW STC requires at least 26" MLG tires. Mine only has 850's but they meet my needs so I have no plans to upgrade.  I've heard of people buying a BBW & when the tire wears out replacing it with a 400x4 ribbed tire & tube, but that would not be in accordance with the STC so IMHO you might as well just bootleg a Gar fatty on there.

 
Yes Jim, I would like a copy of your approved Gar Aero 337 whenever you get a chance to scan it. Please email it to me at spamcan57@gmail.com    Thanks.
 
I don't know the details so couldn't say for sure, but the tailwheel assembly coming off and dangling by the steering cables sounds to me like a workmanship issue and not a tailwheel fork / wheel / tire problem.
 

Another option is the STC'd  ABW wide fork and the ribbed tire. That's what I'm running after lots of years with an XP 14" tailwheel. I like the trail on the wide fork better than the very upright XP fork. In my case I gained AOA. And Burl makes a Magnum tail ski that fits the ABW fork. It isn't applicable to the AK Tundra Tires fork.

 
If you can't find one but can wait 2 weeks until I get to my logs, I can scan and send you a copy. 

That said, there is a reason that I no longer run the Gar Aero tail wheel. One reason is that from my experience, you must keep the air pressure near max always, or you will end up "rolling the tire off the rim", thereby rendering the tire non-useable. The other reason is that the Iditarod Air Force had a pilot with one that came detached after takeoff and the entire tail wheel was dangling by the cables. A precautionary landing was made and the airport had to pick up the pieces before they could reopen the runway. 
Let me know

Jim
Sent from my iPhone

On Apr 28, 2015, at 09:54, hotrod180 (spamcan57@gmail.com) <mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com> wrote:

   Does anyone have a field-approved 337 to install a Gar Aero fat tailwheel kit on a 18 they can send me a copy of? These are not STC'd but according to Alaska Tundra Tires who sells them now they have been getting field-approved without any trouble for years. I think the GarAero wide fork with the 400x4 ribbed tire would be a pretty good addition to my 180.
    The 400x4 tire is about 11-1/2" OD so would put the prop a whisker closer to the ground, but would also improve viz over the cowl by that same whisker. It should also roll over stuff somewhat better than the 10" tailwheel that's on there now and provide more flotation on soft ground. I believe the Gar Aero kit is about $750 so about 2/3 the price of a baby bushwheel kit, with a much lower tire replacement cost.
 
   Does anyone have a field-approved 337 to install a Gar Aero fat tailwheel kit on a 18 they can send me a copy of? These are not STC'd but according to Alaska Tundra Tires who sells them now they have been getting field-approved without any trouble for years. I think the GarAero wide fork with the 400x4 ribbed tire would be a pretty good addition to my 180.
    The 400x4 tire is about 11-1/2" OD so would put the prop a whisker closer to the ground, but would also improve viz over the cowl by that same whisker. It should also roll over stuff somewhat better than the 10" tailwheel that's on there now and provide more flotation on soft ground. I believe the Gar Aero kit is about $750 so about 2/3 the price of a baby bushwheel kit, with a much lower tire replacement cost.
 
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