Easy steerableTail Wheel Build from scratch!!!!

by Battershell | May 11, 2013 | (10) Posted in Projects



Steerable spring tail wheel  in 5 minutes!

All you need is a spring like this. 


These are available anywhere from Harbor freight or even Lowes. You can get an assortment of sizes in a bag at Harbor Freight for a few bucks.This is happends to be the smallest I could find. Its about 2 1/2 inches long.

This picture shows some off the shelf parts from a piper cub. Im going to show you how to get your project to look like this.  But you can replace the yellow strut Flitetest style by using a popsicle stick. I don't recommend using scewers because they are round. Just double up some posicle sticks to reinforce them. I  do recommend using locking collars for all wheels and pivot points like in the pic above. By the way.... they do offer smaller locking collars. I just used what I had lying around.


Take the clamp apart and put the hardware in one container and set aside the plastic halves.We can use them later. What we need is the pre-made tailwheel spring we have disovered inside!

Now grab with some pliers one end where we want to bend it for our wheel and locking nuts to ride. we are going to put a 90 degree bend here to make this parallel withe the wound coil of the spring. Refer to next picture or first for orientation if needed.

Make sure to bend enough to fit the width of the wheels rim and 2 locking collars!!!


Finally, we need one last 90 degree bend at the top to slide into the Rudder. Make sure and place your locking collar then strut and then another locking collar in the middle before you make this final bend. If you dont do this now you wont possibly be able to get your collars around thge 90 bend after it is finished. You can always pre-test this possibility on the other end if needed.

The way I mount mine to the rudder is by inserting the final 90 bend up through the elevator and into the hinge area of the rudder facing to the rear. Use hotglue to secure it into the rudder hinge area. 

Now when you move your rudder your tail wheel will turn as well.

Refer again to this Picture below


What about the leftover parts I told you we would use later???? oh yeah.....

Well if you are keen at moding parts for other uses like me. You can use the clamp plastic handle half as your strut that the tail wheel is mounted to the fuse by. Just take the tiny pivot tip off and shave it with a hobby knife. and drill holes where needed for the spring wire. This makes for a perfect stand off.

And as for the phillips machine screw and nut? Keep it for a motor mounting bolt or hardware for Chads Rotor Bones kits to mount cameras and other cool stuff!!!


As you can see here the right size wheel to locking collar looks pretty good when done right. And with some locktite are very dependable for the long haul.

Hope you like some of my tricks.


jupakos79 on May 14, 2013
I'm going to have to try that one.
Log In to reply
FOhmFlyer on May 14, 2013
Good idea. I have these same clamps in my "build" toolbox. Found them at Harbor Freight, 99 cents for a pack of 6.
Log In to reply
NoUsername on May 14, 2013
Super job, looks easy enough.
Log In to reply

You need to log-in to comment on articles.

Easy steerableTail Wheel Build from scratch!!!!