WESTERN737800
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De Havilland Beaver Towing

Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:41 am

Hey gang. I am wondering how and where to hookup to tow a Beaver (its a tailwheel). We have a regular aircraft tug with a wide variety of towbars. I noticed in front of the main gears are what look like tiedown rings, are these tow attach points? The local cropduster has a large "V" shaped towbar that attaches at the mains of their Airtractors, I am wondering if that will work or if there is a better way of doing it. Is it better to tow it by the tailwheel somehow? Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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CrimsonNL
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RE: De Havilland Beaver Towing

Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:41 pm

I know its a habit for some taildraggers to get towed from the tail! I know it's dont like that on the DC-3...

Martijn
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Fly2HMO
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RE: De Havilland Beaver Towing

Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:18 am

Here's some inspiration:


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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Hans Domjan

 
WESTERN737800
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RE: De Havilland Beaver Towing

Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:59 am

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 1):
I know its a habit for some taildraggers to get towed from the tail! I know it's dont like that on the DC-3...
Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 2):
Here's some inspiration:

I ended up towing it by the tail. Towbar isnt the greatest fit, but sung enough. I like that picture, I'd rather tow it from the front. Looks like we have 2 ways to move it. Thanks for the help guys.
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etherealsky
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RE: De Havilland Beaver Towing

Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:38 am

Quoting WESTERN737800 (Reply 3):
I ended up towing it by the tail. Towbar isnt the greatest fit, but sung enough.

So something like this then?

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WESTERN737800
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RE: De Havilland Beaver Towing

Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:56 pm

Quoting etherealsky (Reply 4):
So something like this then?


Yeah, basically. Our tugs are a little smaller. I used a universal towbar with the "scissor" style hookup. There's a bolt inside the axle on the tailwheel. I was able to get about 1/4" of the towbar on the inside of the wheel so not a bad fit, although I'm glad I don't have to move them everyday.
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canoecarrier
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RE: De Havilland Beaver Towing

Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:07 pm

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 2):
Here's some inspiration:

I've towed several WW2 warbirds just like this. We used to provide ground service to a Texan and P51 both had a similar tow from the main gear setup. Always seemed like a much safer way to move them around.
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aviopic
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RE: De Havilland Beaver Towing

Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:46 pm

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 1):

I know its a habit for some taildraggers to get towed from the tail! I know it's dont like that on the DC-3...

Towing from the tail is the recommended method for DC2/3.
Or better due to the asymmetrical forces applied by towing from the main gear this is strongly not recommended.
Basically this applies to all tail draggers for as far as I know.
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canoecarrier
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RE: De Havilland Beaver Towing

Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:13 pm

Quoting Aviopic (Reply 7):
Or better due to the asymmetrical forces applied by towing from the main gear this is strongly not recommended.

When towing them from the front, you have to be very careful when you start to get the tailwheel to orient slowly in the direction you want the plane to go. A jerky start and you could do significant damage.
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aviopic
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RE: De Havilland Beaver Towing

Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:47 pm

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 8):
When towing them from the front, you have to be very careful when you start to get the tailwheel to orient slowly in the direction you want the plane to go.

You don't have to explain to me.  
Towing from the front in a straight line with the tail wheel aligned is fine, the fixed triangle will apply an equal force to both main gears.
The bad thing is cornering.
Which is why the steering wheel is the towing wheel even on modern a/c and on all a/c I am familiar with(includes many tail draggers).
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KELPkid
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RE: De Havilland Beaver Towing

Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:36 pm

Quoting WESTERN737800 (Thread starter):
I noticed in front of the main gears are what look like tiedown rings, are these tow attach points?

I wouldn't be suprised if the answer to that is "float attachment points"  After all ,this is the Beaver we're talking about...it is actually somewhat rare to see them on wheels  
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canoecarrier
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RE: De Havilland Beaver Towing

Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:16 pm

Quoting Aviopic (Reply 9):
You don't have to explain to me.

No disrespect meant  
Quoting Aviopic (Reply 9):
The bad thing is cornering.
Which is why the steering wheel is the towing wheel even on modern a/c and on all a/c I am familiar with(includes many tail draggers).

I always thought it much easier to tow with the mains when putting a taildragger in a hanger. The plane would taxi up and turn to face away from the hanger doors. Then you just back it in to a corner of the hanger. Typically, I'd come forward a couple feet before I disconnected from the tug so that the tailwheel would return to a normal position. But you're right, the hand tow handle of just about every small taildragger I can remember was pretty easy to use and always attached to the tailwheel.

That said, I've never tried towing any taildragger larger than a P51. I'm surprised the tailwheel assembly is strong enough to tow the whole plane with on one as large as a DC3. But, then again there are a lot of non-taildraggers I'm surprised the nosewheel is strong enough to tow a plane the plane around with like the long ez.
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aviopic
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RE: De Havilland Beaver Towing

Wed Apr 27, 2011 6:43 pm

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 11):
I always thought it much easier to tow with the mains when putting a taildragger in a hanger.

It sure is with only one rotation axis.  
Picking it up by the tail is more difficult and requires a lot more practice.


Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 11):
That said, I've never tried towing any taildragger larger than a P51. I'm surprised the tailwheel assembly is strong enough to tow the whole plane with on one as large as a DC3.

The DC2/3 tail wheel assembly is designed to do so.
I've little experience with P51 though, does it have room enough to attach a towbar on the tail wheel ?

To avoid stress in the main and tail wheel you could used a so called bridle.
This doesn't have a rigged triangle but than again it does have other obvious disadvantages.

http://www.honders.net/tmp/F100Tow.pdf
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Viscount724
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RE: De Havilland Beaver Towing

Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:07 pm

Quoting Aviopic (Reply 12):
Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 11):
That said, I've never tried towing any taildragger larger than a P51. I'm surprised the tailwheel assembly is strong enough to tow the whole plane with on one as large as a DC3.

The DC2/3 tail wheel assembly is designed to do so.
I've little experience with P51 though, does it have room enough to attach a towbar on the tail wheel ?

Go to about the 8:15 mark of the following footage of the very early days of LHR (about 1946) when it was known as London Airport, showing a BOAC Avro York (Lancaster bomber wing/engines with a larger fuselage) being towed by the tail wheel. Also note the person standing on the wing. I wouldn't want to be him in the event of a sudden stop.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qnuutCjoAk

The airport had only just opened and none of the terminals in the central area had been completed. As seen elsewhere in the footage, they used temporary huts and even tents then, along the northern edge of the airport property near Bath Road, just north of runway 09L/27R (10L/28R then).
 
canoecarrier
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RE: De Havilland Beaver Towing

Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:26 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 13):
Go to about the 8:15 mark of the following footage of the very early days of LHR (about 1946) when it was known as London Airport, showing a BOAC Avro York (Lancaster bomber wing/engines with a larger fuselage) being towed by the tail wheel. Also note the person standing on the wing. I wouldn't want to be him in the event of a sudden stop.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qnuu...CjoAk

Cool footage. I was thinking about this more today since I saw some early Boeing factory photos that were published here in the local Seattle paper. These included several of newly built B17s being towed both ways. It looks like many planes were designed to be towed from both the mains and the tailwheel.



And, then there's this version of tailwheel towing.

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aviopic
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RE: De Havilland Beaver Towing

Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:31 am

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 14):
It looks like many planes were designed to be towed from both the mains and the tailwheel.

I am sure they were but there is one difference though.
In those days an airframe life expectation was probably 1 month and today owners are very careful with their precious metal.  
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ThirtyEcho
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RE: De Havilland Beaver Towing

Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:07 am

As a teen lineboy, I towed many, many tailwheel airplanes and all of them were by the mains. That castering tailwheel can send the tail off in dangerous directions, especially if the plane was backed into a hangar and you are now trying to move it forward. The tail will suddenly rise up and "jump" in one direction or another.

Don't try this by yourself the first time; you need to call an expert, like me. I can also stack a hangar tighter than anybody in the world.
 
aviopic
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RE: De Havilland Beaver Towing

Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:43 am

Quoting ThirtyEcho (Reply 16):
That castering tailwheel can send the tail off in dangerous directions

Yes that is correct but induced by your method of towing.
The tail wheel wants to swing around but can't due to the rigged triangle which makes the energy go somewhere else as it can't just disappear.

Quoting ThirtyEcho (Reply 16):
Don't try this by yourself the first time; you need to call an expert, like me. I can also stack a hangar tighter than anybody in the world.

Priceless  
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AmericanAirFan
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RE: De Havilland Beaver Towing

Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:51 pm

Where I work at I have to tow our American Champion Citabrias around by hand. The Towbar we use is used on the tailwheel. It's really nice to drag it around by the tail because you can turn the plane on a dime and fit it right where you want it in the hangar.
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WESTERN737800
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RE: De Havilland Beaver Towing

Sun May 01, 2011 8:06 pm

Quoting ThirtyEcho (Reply 16):
I can also stack a hangar tighter than anybody in the world.

I'll give ya a run for your money. No airport was ever built with enough hangar space haha.

Quoting AmericanAirFan (Reply 18):
Where I work at I have to tow our American Champion Citabrias around by hand. The Towbar we use is used on the tailwheel. It's really nice to drag it around by the tail because you can turn the plane on a dime and fit it right where you want it in the hangar.

That's the way I like to do it. I got a towbar for scott tailwheels that'll hook up to our tugs, it works pretty good.
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atct
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RE: De Havilland Beaver Towing

Mon May 09, 2011 2:20 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 10):
I wouldn't be suprised if the answer to that is "float attachment points" After all ,this is the Beaver we're talking about...it is actually somewhat rare to see them on wheels

I think he means on the inside of the hubs there are tow-bar rings. We have them on the Stearman and the Cessna 195.

http://www.cessna195.org/Hangar/photos/17349_2_ORIGINAL.jpg

If a Beaver is on floats the main gear is off the aircraft.

Clint

[Edited 2011-05-08 19:21:18]
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