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Date:  8-24-2013
Number of Hours:  2.00
Manual Reference:  
Brief Description:  AK Bushwheel Tailwheel

After 405 hours, with most flights 30 minutes or less, the Iron Designs "Bob" tailwheel is in need of a rebuild. It has a fair amount of play in the kingpin bushings and needs rebuilding. Avoidance of shimmy is no longer possible at any speed above 20 knots. Since the Bearhawk is based at an austere (rough) strip which can get quite muddy, I really wanted a larger tire. I'd previously had their "Tundra" tailwheel, but never could get the shimmy out of it. Bearhawk Tailwheels has talked about making a larger version for a few years, but it hasn't happened yet. Accordingly, I decided to get an AK Bushwheel ABI-3200. It has the advantage of adding 4.0 lbs out as far aft as possible to help with forward CG issues brought about by the 3-blade prop, which should help with landing taildown. Pricey though ($1815), and likely to get more so in the future, as AC Spruce has already raised their price higher than the AK Bushwheel website. To fit the BH 1.5 inch tailspring and AN-7 bolt, a 1.5 inch adapter and cylindrical spacer are also needed (~$50). An AN7-22 or -23 bolt is also required. The view out front through the windscreen is improved by the tailwheel raising the tail slightly, and it's easier to get a tailwheel first touchdown, which tend to be less bouncy. No operational issues; seems to work fine (no shimmy). There is a rebuild kit available (again pricey, about $260), but Bill Duncan, the owner, assures me that with annual cleaning and greasing, the tailwheel should last for years and years.
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Less nose high stance

Less nose high stance

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Right side front view

Right side front view

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Left view

Left view

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