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Airframe Ideas

8 inch tires

N180V

I am debating about switching from 6' to 8' tires on my 180J.  I would have to change my Cleveland 199-60 to a 199-62 system which is not inexpensive. My flying profile is mostly paved but I am also going into gravel/dirt strip for fun here in New Mexico. I have had bad problems with rock damage on my horizontal stab which were in need of repair. I don't know if slightly bigger tires will make a difference? Do the rocks get projected by the tires or the prop wash? I have a three blade Hartzell prop. Is it an overkill to to go from 6 to 8 inch considering the expense? What impact would this have on airspeed. I appreciate any comment on this.