Landing Gear

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mattflyer

Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2013
Messages
12
Location
Redding, CA
I have a sonerai IIL with a 1/2in gear. Finished the project a while back. Came in at 550 pound empty weight, but that 1/2in gear still seemed really flimsy. I added the radius blocks from grove to prevent from tweaking the lower longerons. It didn't take much and in my opinion is totally worth it.
 

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ChuckerF14

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2013
Messages
647
Location
Prescott Valley, AZ
My understanding (until now) was that the strap-on gear spring mount had enough flex to avoid damaging the fuselage longerons and attachment bushings....that it is only the bolt-on gear spring mount that had problems. Now I am beginning to wonder....and scheme....as to what to do with my strap-on mount.

Does anyone have a good history on this issue?
 

Soneraifred

N99FK and me at OSH
Staff member
Joined
Jan 12, 2006
Messages
896
Location
Franksville, WI
I’ve been flying with the strap-on gear for almost 32 years and almost 1600 hours (I haven’t counted the number of landings). I started out with the 1/2” gear and changed over to the 5/8” gear a long time ago. There have been NO problems. Don’t over think this. The 5/8” gear is twice as stiff as the 1/2” gear, so it is much less likely to effect the lower longerons, particularly when strapped on.
 

mattflyer

Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2013
Messages
12
Location
Redding, CA
My plane is proof that they can defiantly get tweaked. Whoever had my plane last must of hit the ground kind of hard at one point because the cross tubes were a bit bent when I got the project.

Matt
 

ChuckerF14

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2013
Messages
647
Location
Prescott Valley, AZ
Speaking of 1/2" gear...how did it work on the single-seat Sonerai? Is it just a matter of maximum landing weight? My project came with the 1/2" gear and I believe that the 5/8" gear weighs over 8 pounds more than its little brother. I plan to operate at a maximum takeoff and landing weight of 750 pounds. Is it worth giving the 1/2" gear a try? Or, should I just bite the bullet and strap on another 8+ pounds?
 

Pttim

I thought this would only take a year!
Joined
Mar 2, 2008
Messages
1,637
Location
Pennsylvania
My typical takeoff weight solo is around 880lbs. My empty Sonerai is 625 lbs. I initially had the 1/2 inch gear, probably with a slight bit of tow out. This caused the gear to splay out during taxi and landing. I like the smoothness of the 1/2 gear but I like the stiffness of 5/8 gear much better. True the 5/8 gear weighs 8lbs more initially but by the time I had my axles holes drilled and removed metal for clearance of the Cleveland calipers, the final gear weighed only 5lbs more.
 

Pttim

I thought this would only take a year!
Joined
Mar 2, 2008
Messages
1,637
Location
Pennsylvania
Relax when landing a Sonerai... that's kind of an oxy moron. Good one Matt! :D
 

kennyw

2nd and current "Caretaker" N994SP
Joined
Aug 27, 2017
Messages
126
Location
Mount Vernon, WA
mhflyit said:
I thought you'd appreciate that Tim!!
Another way of putting it - why add extra stress!! ;)
I can appreciate it! I have to consciously rest my knees on the against the fuselage in order to keep my lower legs from tensing up on the rudder pedals. Its amazing how much quicker you can get your ducks in a row and make the first turn off when your left foot isn't fighting your right one on the rollout.

And, if I can relax on the stick, I can do a better job of nailing the flare so I don't bounce.
 

acrojohn

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2010
Messages
101
Location
Chesapeake, VA
Matt,
Was there an issue with the length of the radius bars from Grove where they could not be used to serve both as a radius bar and strap?

I have installed this same set up on my Acro II per the Aviat/Christen Eagle service advisory and it even holds up to my landings. The Grove landing spring and bars are made of 7075T6. Most other springs are much less expensive, but they are made of 2024. The Grove gear is TOUGH - I believe their new Sonerai 1 springs are also 5/8ths thick. If the radius bar length could accommodate the bolt attachment the heavy strap could be removed.

I’d like to also forgo the need to use the heavy centering plates (.035 4130) shown in the Sonerai 1 plans. My Acro II uses a single hour glass shaped .040 (6061T6) butterfly panel with several large lightening holes that is held in place with a single AN3 bolt to the center of the gear spring and the outer radius bar bolts. Again, even my landings with the landing weight of 1540 lbs. does not stress this setup. The doubled longerons would likely fail well before the centering panels and that .375 steel strap shown in the Sonerai I plans.

I’m trying to put my fuselage on a diet since I went heavy on the wing spars. Any thoughts?
John
 

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