Monday, November 12, 2007


On tailwheel airplanes, two main wheels, which are attached to the airframe ahead of its center of gravity, support most of the weight of the structure, while a tailwheel at the very back of the fuselage provides a third point of support. This arrangement allows adequate ground clearance for a larger propeller and is more desirable for operations on unimproved fields.

The main drawback with the tailwheel landing gear is that the center of gravity is behind the main gear. This makes directional control more difficult while on the ground. If you allow the airplane to swerve while rolling on the ground at a speed below that at which the rudder has sufficient control, the center of gravity will attempt to get ahead of the main gear. This may cause the airplane to ground loop.

Another disadvantage for tailwheel airplanes is the lack of good forward visibility when the tailwheel is on or near the surface. Because of the associated hazards, specific training is required in tailwheel airplanes.

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