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AN AUTOMATIC, ADJUSTABLE NOSE WHEEL BRAKE FOR SAILPLANES

Victor Saudek

Abstract


The nose skid is a vestige of the skid-only gliders of the 1920s and '30s which has persisted because it is a reliable and effective braking device. In some modern designs, it is being replaced by a nose wheel which is lighter, has less drag and, properly installed, is quite trouble free. But without brakes, it does not have the ability to reduce the landing run by ten to twenty (or more) percent that generations of soaring pilots have enjoyed by using nose skids. This paper offers a solution to the brake problem. It will be shown that a nose wheel can be braked 'automatically' in a manner that is equivalent to the use of the steel-shod nose skid that it replaces and which allows the benefits of reduced weight and drag while making it easier to position the glider for takeoff. By permitting the center of gravity of the aircraft to be somewhat forward of the main landing gear wheel, it provides inherent directional stability, especially in conditions of side winds during takeoffs and landings (as compared to gliders having their main wheel ahead of the center of gravity).

Keywords


Structures, Design

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