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Goran_M

Turning the DC-3 into a true Tail-Dragger

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I originally created this DC-3 flight model as a properly designed tail dragger. At pretty much the 11th hour, it was decided to make it fully controllable using the rudder pedals/joystick. This was done purely because it IS a very difficult aircraft to handle on taxi, take-off and landing. It requires a combination of engine thrust management and toe brakes.

But what I have decided is to write up instructions on how to do this yourself, should you wish to do so.

It is VERY easy to do and will take literally less than a minute. The tail-wheel is already animated to follow steering commands as it is now or to freely rotate if it was set in the flight model.

If interested in doing your own mods, download the document and follow the instructions.

PLEASE, follow the instructions precisely and do not change or modify anything else in the flight model.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1192596/Tail%20Dragger.pdf

Any questions, please just ask.

Happy Flying!

Goran

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Thank you Goran, I'd like to have it as real as possible.

However I noticed that is impossible to assign a joystick button or lever to the tailwheel lock. It appears as a x-plane limit. Is there anyway to contact laminar asking to fix it?

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Thank you Goran, I'd like to have it as real as possible.

However I noticed that is impossible to assign a joystick button or lever to the tailwheel lock. It appears as a x-plane limit. Is there anyway to contact laminar asking to fix it?

You can always try austin@x-plane.com but there are no gaurantees. :P

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The tail wheel lock is a ratio dataref. Meaning it's not a simple click spot that you click once and it locks or unlocks. You have to left click on the "handle" and drag it out fully to lock the tail wheel.

Do the same, only pushing forward, to release the lock.

I'm not aware of any commands for this that can be assigned to the joystick/yoke.

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If the tail lock is disengaged, the tail wheel will turn wherever it needs to turn when you control the aircraft using toe brakes and individual engine thrust. If the tail wheel lock is engaged, it locks the tail wheel.

The flight model that came with the initial installer has a fully controllable tail wheel, so unless you change the tail wheel to a free castor type, using the tail wheel lock will be irrelevant.

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Hello everyone, this is my first post about the DC3, I started flying the Three since release and have a lot of fun with it. The post about the tailwheel full castor vs tail wheel lock operations just provided an important answer, just too bad it cannot be worked from a keyboard command.

A question I had about aileron rigging send me to you : the DC3 having been designed in the thirties did suffer from early disregard for ailerons equal drag caracteristics for pilots then were used to crank in rudder and ailerons. In fact it was bad enough to suprise anyone used to modern aircrafts at first. On the other hand, it was very useful during cross wind takeoffs and landings. In a 90 degree cross wind, holding full ailerons into wind caused enough aileron drag to keep the aircraft practically rolling straight down the runway, of course as you accelerate the amount of aileron input had to be reduced up to the point of liftoff, where a normal crosswind liftoff on one main wheel would occur. This said I noticed the model aircraft does not have this tendency and looking in Plane maker I notice a ten dgrees difference between the up vs the down travel of the ailerons. Does that actually reflect the original Douglas rigging for the ailerons ? Thanks for your attention, Andre.

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The manuals I have, show the control surface deflection, including the aileron rigging and angles.

Edited by Goran_M

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Hello Goran,

I have a question about this mod:

1. Doesn't the mod do the same thing as simply releasing the tailwheel-lock with the lever? Or does it do something else?

Also, what Andre is referring to is adverse yaw. This DC-3 can perform coordinated rolls without even using the rudder pedals. A real DC-3 takes quite a bit of rudder pressure even at cruise to perform a coordinated roll. If infact you have modeled the correct aileron deflections, then i would say it's an issue with how x-plane models induced drag on the aileron.

Thanks!

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Hello Goran,

I have a question about this mod:

1. Doesn't the mod do the same thing as simply releasing the tailwheel-lock with the lever? Or does it do something else?

Also, what Andre is referring to is adverse yaw. This DC-3 can perform coordinated rolls without even using the rudder pedals. A real DC-3 takes quite a bit of rudder pressure even at cruise to perform a coordinated roll. If infact you have modeled the correct aileron deflections, then i would say it's an issue with how x-plane models induced drag on the aileron.

Thanks!

The mod I posted tells x plane to allow the wheel to freely rotate around its axis without being directly influenced by the rudder. Its direction is only affected by where the aircraft is pointing while it is moving.

The tail wheel lock is a separate dataref (piece of code) in x plane that tells the tail wheel to stay locked in the forward position when it's engaged. When it's unlocked (in the release version without the free castoring tail wheel) the tail wheel is under full control from the rudder pedals.

As for the co-ordinated roll point you make, I have never piloted a real DC-3. I don't imagine many people have. I was in talks with someone down here who used to work for a company that ran DC-3 joyflights out of Bankstown airport and he gave me some valuable feedback and he was "very happy" with the final package.

If it is an x plane issue, then there isn't much that can be done, but I'm not ready to go finger pointing just yet.

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As for the co-ordinated roll point you make, I have never piloted a real DC-3. I don't imagine many people have. I was in talks with someone down here who used to work for a company that ran DC-3 joyflights out of Bankstown airport and he gave me some valuable feedback and he was "very happy" with the final package.

By the way, i am very happy with the final package as well! I'm just trying to provide feedback in case it's wanted for bug fixes down the road (not that there are many bugs at all. this has been an amazingly bug free first release compared to some other payware out there).

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I tested this mod in xp9 and it works great.

I tried to implement the same mod in xp10, but some of the parameters are different. I did my best anyway...and i couldn't get the tailwheel to castor no matter what position the tailwheel lock was in.

Here are the settings i changed:

nw-steering.gif

castor.gif

Edited by carthorse

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By the way, i am very happy with the final package as well! I'm just trying to provide feedback in case it's wanted for bug fixes down the road (not that there are many bugs at all. this has been an amazingly bug free first release compared to some other payware out there).

No problem at all. Apologies if I came across as confronting, but I hadn't had my caffeine fix yet and I was losing a bit of patience over the project I am working on.

I'll definitely look into it because I think I know where this can actually be adjusted.

I tested this mod in xp9 and it works great.

I tried to implement the same mod in xp10, but some of the parameters are different. I did my best anyway...and i couldn't get the tailwheel to castor no matter what position the tailwheel lock was in.

Here are the settings i changed:

I don't have access to X Plane right now (I'm on the laptop about 15miles from home so I cannot check this for myself) but try changing the angles for steering in XP10 from (as you highlighted in your first screenshot):

Low Speed 40 to 0

and

High Speed 25 to 0

and leave the check mark in "gear castors"

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Goran, Sorry, i didn't explain myself very well. I did actually change Low Speed from 40 to 0 and High from 25 to 0 as you did in your tutorial.

I had somehow unchecked "castor" on the tailwheel.

I can confirm (with foot in mouth) changing the low and high speed to zero has the same effect in x-plane 10 as it does in x-plane 9.

Edited by carthorse

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Hello, I recently purchased this aircraft and it is phenomenal, I would like to make the changes listed here but unfortunately i get file not found when trying to get this document. Is there an alternative source for it? 

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I've implemented the "true taildragger fix" and works fine. Take-offs from a runway position work without any special procedures since the rudder starts taking effect at 40 - 60 knots. Thus, rudder pedals or a twist stick will keep it running straight during the take-off roll.The real world way of turning a DC-3 on the ground is by means of differential braking and differential engine thrust. Since I have rudder pedals the differential braking is no problem. However, it takes access to both thrust levers to accomplish differential thrust. Some throttle quadrants have separate levers for each engine but mine doesn't. Further, keyboard commands for each of two engines does not seem to be an option. The only way is to access the throttle quadrant in the 3D cockpit. This works, but it's awkward since it seems impossible to set a viewpoint that gives access to the throttle quadrant and be able to look over the panel at the same time.

This is what I do to make a turn on the ground,

1) While holding the brakes I check whether I need to turn left or right.

2) I click a preset showing the throttle quadrant and throttle up the outboard engine while holding the brakes.

3) I go back to a straight ahead view and release brakes carefully.

4) If necessary I facilitate the turn by stepping on the inboard brake, intermittently or as a slight steady brake pressure (requires rudder pedals)..

 

This would all be quite straightforward if it wasn't exacerbated by the need to switch views back and forth.

 

 

 

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