Now that the main gear pants are on and test flown, we’re getting ready to install the nose pant. Unfortunately the nose pant is the cause of much concern in the Velocity community. It apparently is one of the leading causes, maybe the primary or only cause, of nose wheel shimmy. There are a variety of opinions as to how to combat this.

  1. Andy’s nose wheel nylon washer – It allows a lower break-out friction, with consistent turning friction so you can load up the nose wheel nut against shimmy yet still have good steering with high anti-shimmy dampening.
  2. Ken’s nose wheel locking system – Allows the nose wheel to be locked into place so that it cannot shimmy, minor (runway) steering is still possible, but this would make rolling take-offs difficult. Also prevents the nose pant from sticking sideways on take-off, which has been reported and can cause the plane to want to to an uncomfortable extent.
  3. Sid’s shimmy dampener – ala Cessna style dampener with it’s good and bad, it won’t fit into a pant, and keeps the nose wheel from being able to turn 360 degrees.
  4. John’s smaller (Spruce) nose wheel pant – I bought one of these, and it’s nearly 1/2 as heavy (990g versus 1,512g) as the factory pant, lowering the energy available to create shimmy.

Scott Swing really encourages us to use the nose wheel lock, and since we have one already, it’s likely we will. However, to use this properly you need to get onto the runway, align the aircraft, and then lock the wheel straight. This limits you from doing a rolling take-off unfortunately, so I’m tempted to try with the nylon nut and lighter nose wheel. It does prevent the nose wheel pant from sticking sideways, though, so that’s an added benefit.

Posted By: Brett Ferrell
Monday August 16th, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Categories: Fairings Finishing Finishing Paint and Scheme
Tags: Building Fairings Fuselage Painting Pants

Please Login to Comment.