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#114301 - 02/11/13 12:14 AM Using a Nose Dragger 172 as a Bush Plane?? Yes/No ?
Denali Offline
New Member

Registered: 11/01/12
Posts: 2
Loc: Northern VA
First of all...to all you Helio, Maule, and Super Cub drivers out there...yes..hats off..I know your plane is better for bush and STOL.

1) I am wondering if given big nasty tires, how well an older 180 HP conversion 172 ( say an M or N model) might perform as a Bush plane. For hard landings on the front struts of some planes like a Bonanza..no big deal. Not sure about the 172/182 series. I read that 206s have very solid front gear reinforcements and are better able to take a pounding. What about the 172s ?

2) Elsewhere in a tail dragger discussion, a gentleman with an older 1956 vintage 172 noted that even with STOL kit his tail dragging 172 needed far more distance to take off than in nose dragger configuration due to the plane's rotation and pivot geometry considerations. So that is the reason I am wondering about using biggie tires on a nose dragger for Bush (or at least Bush-light) applications.

3) Are there any other concerns / pros / cons re using a 172 vs a 182 for tricycle configured Bush applications ?

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#114313 - 02/11/13 06:02 AM Re: Using a Nose Dragger 172 as a Bush Plane?? Yes/No ? [Re: Denali]
XP Driver Offline
Club Sponsor
Gold Pilot

Registered: 01/08/11
Posts: 2110
Loc: Fairfax, Virginia
Hey Denali, what is your home field? Just curious, there are a few of us on here who fly out of Manassas (KHEF).
_________________________


Once you go XP you never go back!

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#119714 - 03/19/13 08:38 PM Re: Using a Nose Dragger 172 as a Bush Plane?? Yes/No ? [Re: XP Driver]
Lukefalls Offline
New Member

Registered: 01/11/13
Posts: 6
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
I just bought a 172G with a 180hp/cs prop conversion. It is in tricycle gear configuration with a PA 32 nose fork and 8.50s all around. I want to put 29s on the mains.

Typically, tricycle gear airplane can (definitely not always) get off quicker than their tail-dragger counterpart...they can achieve more angle of attack without a tail wheel to limit angle. There are obviously factors that can change this.

Tail-dragger aircraft tend to be more durable. Tail wheels will roll over obstructions with less airframe stress than a nose wheel. Again, there are factors that can change this.

My plane is a lighter G model with a Sportsman STOL kit. It'll get off the asphalt in about 200', give or take. That's with 15 degrees flaps (no flap stops on mine) and very little fuel.

I really protect the nose wheel. Grass will not hurt it. Big or medium rocks, logs, holes, and critters will necessitate more nose wheel caution.

Will it be a good bush plane? Hard to say, but what are your Take Off/Landing parameters?
_________________________
It only takes two things to fly: airspeed and money

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#119715 - 03/19/13 08:46 PM Re: Using a Nose Dragger 172 as a Bush Plane?? Yes/No ? [Re: Lukefalls]
Lukefalls Offline
New Member

Registered: 01/11/13
Posts: 6
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
As far as prop clearance goes, with the PA 32 nose fork, there is plenty of room.

_________________________
It only takes two things to fly: airspeed and money

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#121028 - 03/31/13 08:45 AM Re: Using a Nose Dragger 172 as a Bush Plane?? Yes/No ? [Re: Lukefalls]
nomocom Offline
New Member

Registered: 06/28/12
Posts: 8
Loc: SW Idaho
There are other considerations than a big tires and heavy fork. It is often forgotten, but managing CG is not for flight only. The CG has a huge effect on what you are asking from the nose wheel. Move the weight back to unload the nose wheel.

Hear of the Selkirk extended baggage STC? I don't have an oversize nose wheel but I do have Selkirk exended baggage carrying survival gear, tools, and it is compartment that I load first- always (50 lb).

A good selling point for the extended baggage. Pull out your CG chart, stick two good size folks in the front seats and calculate your CG. Some 172's will be out of CG or at least very forward on the CG, especially those with engine conversion and the heavy Hartzel.

Sure, big tires are nice for rough fields, but getting the CG right and strategic braking go a long ways toward letting the main gear do what it was meant to do- take the hammering.

Other consideration. Don't dilly dally in your taxi. On rough fields I'm taxing much faster than most. The engine power allows the elevator to help unweight the front. Steering authority can be lost, but that is what you've got brakes for, no? :-)

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#121072 - 03/31/13 01:33 PM Re: Using a Nose Dragger 172 as a Bush Plane?? Yes/No ? [Re: nomocom]
Rusty Rudder Offline
Platinum Pilot

Registered: 02/26/10
Posts: 4996
Loc: NorthEast
Originally Posted By: nomocom
There are other considerations than a big tires and heavy fork. It is often forgotten, but managing CG is not for flight only. The CG has a huge effect on what you are asking from the nose wheel. Move the weight back to unload the nose wheel.

Hear of the Selkirk extended baggage STC? I don't have an oversize nose wheel but I do have Selkirk exended baggage carrying survival gear, tools, and it is compartment that I load first- always (50 lb).

A good selling point for the extended baggage. Pull out your CG chart, stick two good size folks in the front seats and calculate your CG. Some 172's will be out of CG or at least very forward on the CG, especially those with engine conversion and the heavy Hartzel.

Sure, big tires are nice for rough fields, but getting the CG right and strategic braking go a long ways toward letting the main gear do what it was meant to do- take the hammering.

Other consideration. Don't dilly dally in your taxi. On rough fields I'm taxing much faster than most. The engine power allows the elevator to help unweight the front. Steering authority can be lost, but that is what you've got brakes for, no? :-)
Good point
_________________________
Take-off's are optional, landings are manditory



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#171628 - 02/06/14 10:10 PM Re: Using a Nose Dragger 172 as a Bush Plane?? Yes/No ? [Re: Rusty Rudder]
CaptainKev Offline
New Member

Registered: 02/03/14
Posts: 4
Loc: Wichita, KS
After flying in Alaska for 8 years and 9 winters, I have seen mostly 172's with 6x850 mains and 6x800 nose gear. It gives better floation on soft ground and cheaper bush flying, which means more of it.

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#175665 - 02/28/14 09:12 PM Re: Using a Nose Dragger 172 as a Bush Plane?? Yes/No ? [Re: Denali]
flybikedave Offline
New Member

Registered: 08/05/11
Posts: 13
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Late response, but having flown my tailwheel converted 172N for 20 yrs. now, all from turf, I feel well qualified to answer. First, I've loved the plane's performance. With 180h.p., fixed pitch, and Powerflow exhaust, I start my climb @ 1,000 fpm. I usually cruise at 1000', 2400 RPM @ 142 MPH, which is pretty good for a 172. Has wheel pants & flap gaps. Top speed indicated is 158 (135kts).

Now the bad: I've owned 16 planes, including 3 Tcarts, a C170,3 C180's, and a C185. My 172 Texas Taildragger is the most challenging (difficult) of them all on the ground, but that's really what I like about it. (keeps the skills up) I've never looped it, or any other, but with a C180 landing gear, it sits tall with limited forward visibility. Has a heavy tail and with no stabilator, you can't get much help from the trim tab to get the tail up. Rudder authority runs out with high crosswinds and brake control is needed.

So my answer is: Go tricycle with big gear. The converted 172 is difficult to sell (that's why I still have it) insurance cost more and is challenging on the ground. But I still think it looks cool and only the XP can possibly pass me up. I did fly a converted straight tail 172 yrs. ago, with 172 gear which was much more gentle.

And by the way, I kept my tricycle gear and will likely put the training wheels back on one day to sell it.

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#175835 - 03/02/14 07:52 AM Re: Using a Nose Dragger 172 as a Bush Plane?? Yes/No ? [Re: flybikedave]
Don Tedrow Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1991
Loc: Bastrop, TX
I have heard that the swept tail Cessnas don't make good taildraggers when converted. Rudder just doesn't have enough authority in that configuration. Your post confirms that.
_________________________
1972 C172L



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#181701 - 04/09/14 10:36 AM Re: Using a Nose Dragger 172 as a Bush Plane?? Yes/No ? [Re: Don Tedrow]
Float Pilot Offline
Second in Command

Registered: 09/28/13
Posts: 154
Loc: Kachemak Bay, Alaska
Yes that is correct. The swept back tails, which were just a marketing scheme, do not stick enough tail surface up into the winds while the nose is up in the air. That is also why the old square tails behave better on floats. ( not to mention that they recover from spins better)

I trained a guy in an injected 210 horse converted P model on floats a couple years ago. When we fire-walled that engine with the nose up in a plow taxi, the darn thing would wander all over the place until we could get the nose down and the tail up into some wind. In my humble opinion the old square tails were also stronger in the aft sections.




I just did that accident report survey someplace on this site where I reviewed all of the C-172 accidents from 2013 in the USA. At least those listed by the NTSB. There were a LOT of accidents involving firewall / nose gear damage on the newer models. Almost none with the old spring steel gear models which seem to sit up higher.

Here in Homer, Alaska there are maybe 6 or 7 nose-dragger C-172s. All but two of them have big Landis Nose Forks and at least 850 tires all the way around. The other two are float planes that are sitting on tiny tires waiting for the lake to thaw.

But even a big fork & big tires will not make the firewall attach points any stronger.


Edited by Float Pilot (04/09/14 10:44 AM)
_________________________
Alex Clark Bush/Seaplane CFI Dragonfly Aero
Seaplane Instruction and photo guiding
Homer, Alaska
http://site.dragonflyaero.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dragonfly-Aero-Seaplane-Instruction/259466404063393

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