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Q-talk 117 - Tri-Q Tail Skid

I made this little tail saver with scrap pieces I had hanging around the garage. All you need is:

? 1/4 in. plywood cut to 1"x4"

? 5 ply bid cut to 1"x4"

? two 1/4 in. blind nuts

? two 1/4 in. nylon bolts

? 1/16 in. aluminum cut to 4"x4"

You'll also need 5 minute epoxy, glass, flox, and epoxy.

First, once you've cut the wood and 5 ply bid to shape, 5 min. epoxy them together. Next, drill 2 holes 2 inches apart & 1 in. from each end. The size of the hole will depend on the size of the blind nuts you get. Once the holes are drilled, rout out the back or wood side of the piece deep enough to submerge the blind nut's into the wood so they are flush. Flox into place with 5 min. epoxy.

On the length part of the piece on the outer edges, 5 min. some triangle stock or scrap wood and sand to match the curvature of the fuselage. Center and 5 min. epoxy into place on the back of the fuselage under the rear half of the rudder.

Flox the edges to round out for glass. Cut a piece of glass 4x4 in. square and epoxy into place. Fill and sand as desired.

Next, cut a piece of 1/16 in. aluminum to 4x4 in. Next, round the bottom edge to desired shape. Center and drill a hole for tie downs near the bottom of the rounded edge. The size is up to you. I started with % in. and will adjust accordingly. Then scribe 2 lines 1 in. apart from each other on the other end. On the first inch drill 2 holes to match the holes on the main piece. Put the aluminum in a vise and hammer into a y shape following the two lines on the square side.

Cut nylon bolts to 1/4 in. long and bolt into place. The benefits of this system (as I see them) if you hit the ground while flaring on landing:

1)Aluminium acts as a spring to absorb the shock.

2) if shock is too great, the nylon bolts will shear.

3) Wood is only held on with 1 layer of glass allowing it break off with an even greater shock. Since it's not screwed into the fuselage the repair should be minimal.

Happy landings....Ron

You can order a printed copy of Q-talk #117 by using the Q-talk Back Issue Order Page.