Enjoyed Alaska!

I thoroughly enjoyed the story in the April 2014 issue about Robert E. Barber and his trek from south Texas to Alaska and back. I imagine many people think about doing something as daring, but actually doing it is a different matter. I admire his courage and initiative in following his dream, biting the bullet, persevering, and winning over whatever difficulty was thrown his way. I felt that I was with him in his travels since I have driven some of that distance in the United States and Canada while herding a semi. I have to believe his view was much better though. Thanks for the wonderful article. Keep up the good work.

–Robert Utley

Wheel Alignment

I am building a SeaRey and have a couple of questions [Straight and Narrow: Wheel Alignment 101, May 2014]. When aligning the wheels on a tailwheel aircraft, is it done with the tailwheel on the ground or up, as in a wheel landing that is commonly done with a SeaRey? Also, is it at empty weight, gross weight, the weight you normally fly with, or does it even make any difference?

–Thomas Steinbrenner

Dave Forster responds: In a perfect world, you want the tracking of the wheels to be the best when you are in the most critical phase of flight/takeoff/landing. For most people, this would be when traveling at higher speeds, which often means when the tail is in the air.

Unfortunately, the tracking of the wheels can change with load and/or the number of wheels on the ground. It can also change with a few hard landings. The tracking can even change while the tail remains in the air on a landing rollout, as more and more weight is transferred to the maingear as the airplane slows, but is not yet slow enough to drop the tail. These factors make tracking less of a science and more of a ballpark average for changing conditions.

For myself, I just roll it into the hangar on three wheels, set the tracking, and then when I’m done, raise the tail to see how far the tracking shifts in this “static” position. If the change in tracking isn’t extreme with the tail up, I go fly and test it out.

Gyro Crazy!

The article on the Sport Copter Vortex M912 gyroplane rocked [May 2014]. Who knew that the old Bensens have come so far. Please include more articles on this segment of Experimental avaition that so many of us know little about.

–Harold Powers

We enjoy the smaller segments of homebuilding, too. While we don’t get a lot of rotorcraft articles submitted, we like to run them when we do.—Ed.

Where is “Completions?”

I’ve been reading Kitplanes® for years. I’ve been wondering why so few completions? Are they that scarce or what?

–Ron Guthrie

We like to hear of builders’ accomplishments just as much as you do, Ron, and we get a lot submitted on our web site. Alas, we frequently have space problems because of the many articles we try to bring our readers, and “Completions” frequently has to be cut to make room. We continue to run them when we can.—Ed.

Write to [email protected].


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