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Thread: adding weight to the tail

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    Mineral Point, WI
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    8

    Default adding weight to the tail

    looking to see how others have attached weight to the tail. My CG is such that it a 3-point landing is nearly impossible. Any one have any solutions?

  2. #2
    Senior Member jmodguy's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
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    Carmel, IN
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    720

    Default Re: adding weight to the tail

    Dive weights are easy to strap down with some large zip ties. Another option is a steel plate and adel clamps.
    Jeff
    KF 5
    340KF

  3. #3
    Senior Member jiott's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
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    Portland, OR
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    Default Re: adding weight to the tail

    Install a gap seal between horizontal and elevator. Don't use full flaps; 1/2 flaps work fine.
    Jim Ott
    Portland, OR
    Kitfox SS7 flying
    Rotax 912ULS

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2008
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    wales,ny
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    Default Re: adding weight to the tail

    Quote Originally Posted by airlina View Post
    Tommy, I built a Series 5 with a Continental IO-240 up front so my battery is in the empennage like yours. I used the standard attach method as specified by Skystar's instructions. This proved to be a near disaster for me. The instructions called for 6 adel clamps in various spots to secure the battery tray. this proved to be woefully inadequate. during preflight one day I noticed what I thought was a mud spot just below my battery area on my fabric. When I tried to rub it off , I found it to be something hard protruding thru the fabric from the inside. I immediately took off the battery access cover and was shocked to find that 5 out of my six battery attach points had failed and the battery and tray were floating just above my rudder cables. The adel clamps had torn completely, as well as the aluminum angle at the back corners of the battery tray. . i suspect this occurred during spin testing and recovery as the torque forces in the tail must be strong during recovery. as you can imagine had i not found this before flying , it could have been a disaster in flight , with the proximatey of the elevator tube and rudder cables in this area. i changed the whole attach method after this incident and put out a service bulletin to alert others that had their battery in the tail like us. I am going to attach photos of before and after to show how i fixed the problem. I have spun the airplane with this setup with no ill affects. Suffice it to say that I will never trust adel clamps to secure anything to the tubing that has any weight to it. My new homemade tube clamps are made from 4130 steel tube and are the same strength as the airframe. sorry about the longwinded answer but I felt this to be a serious safety issue with the battery in the tail. by the way , I use an Odyssey PC 680 battery that weighs 16 lbs and measures 7.15" long by 3.00" wide by 6.65" high.
    I would like to caution those adding weighty objects especially in the empennage to secure them with more than zip ties or even adel clamps . The forces during flight are more than you think as you can see from my old post above from 2012. I now make up "dutchman clamps" for attaching any weighty objects in my airplane. Bruce N199CL

  5. #5
    Senior Member PapuaPilot's Avatar
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    Nov 2013
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    Nampa, Idaho
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    963

    Default Re: adding weight to the tail

    I agree with you Bruce. I thought the same thing when I saw they wanted to install the battery tray with adel clamps. zip ties aren't a good idea, they will age and break.

    What are Dutchman clamps?
    Phil Nelson
    A&P-IA, Maintenance Instructor
    KF 5 Outback, Cont. IO-240
    Flying since 2016

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Park City, UT
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    14

    Default Re: adding weight to the tail

    I would love to see the pictures of your fix with the"dutchman clamps". I am about to start on the project of adding battery weight in the tail on my STi soon.

    Thank you,
    Jay

    Quote Originally Posted by airlina View Post
    I would like to caution those adding weighty objects especially in the empennage to secure them with more than zip ties or even adel clamps . The forces during flight are more than you think as you can see from my old post above from 2012. I now make up "dutchman clamps" for attaching any weighty objects in my airplane. Bruce N199CL

  7. #7
    Senior Member Dusty's Avatar
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    Dec 2012
    Location
    Christchurch, New Zealand
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    326

    Default Re: adding weight to the tail

    If you have a pneumatic tail wheel,fill it with antifreeze. An extra leaf for the tail Spring also helps.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2008
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    KDKB (Dekalb, Illinois)
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    Default Re: adding weight to the tail

    I have 15 pound of ballast in the tail, and it's secured by 8 mock Adel clamps that I made
    out of 4130, pretty sure if the ballast tears loose I have very serious "other" problems

    The ballast I have is a 2" square tube filled with lead and that I welded tabs onto

    For my airplane with IO-240B it was well worth the effort to install it.

    Jeff

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2008
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    KDKB (Dekalb, Illinois)
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    Default Re: adding weight to the tail

    Here's some pics I made a long time ago about forming 4130 Adel's ... I omitted a few
    pics but you get the idea. Basically I just beat a piece of 4130 around a drill bit the size
    I needed using a plastic hammer, a vice and some imagination. Pretty simple project.

    Jeff


    5.JPG

    6.JPG

    7.JPG

    8.JPG

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Park City, UT
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    14

    Default Re: adding weight to the tail

    Thank you Jeff Awesome idea!

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