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17 Jan 1914. Saturday.


There were no drawings produced on the Friday, but Frank’s back in the office on Saturday, detailing the tailskid. The use of a tailskid was pretty standard by then, and this had the added sophistication of some suspension – the front end was attached to the fuselage by bungees. However there’s no steering and no question of a tailwheel at this stage. The result is that landings are something of a lottery, and ground loops (an uncontrollable turn during the rollout) are an occupational hazard. The tailskid is designed to act as a brake which slows you down as quickly as possible and helps the aircraft to run straight during the rollout, but only works on grass – on tarmac they’d provide minimal drag.

561 Tail Skid 17-1-14 562 Stiffening of Fuselage for Tailskid 17-1-14

After the first flights, the tailskid was shortened a bit, and for the C Scout they mounted it on the base of the tailpost, which is an altogether better idea – it meant you could get rid of the very heavy ply reinforcement of the rear fuselage in 562.

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