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Electronic nose gear retractor with steering ability built in.

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  • Electronic nose gear retractor with steering ability built in.

    Is there such an item? I have three retractors which fits perfectly however, on the nose gear, I need the ability to steer the aircraft back to me after landing. I'm told that there is a device which is called a servo nose gear steering retractor. Is that so and where can I purchase this device?

  • #2
    Can you show us a picture of your retracts? For a lack of a picture, I’m going to guess that you have standard electric “servoless” retracts. If that’s the case, the only difference between a “main” gear retract and a “nose” gear retract is that on the main retract, the gear strut is locked into the trunion with set screw(s) so it can’t rotate. A nose retract utilizes a strut that is held from slipping out of the trunion with a “C” clip on top to prevent it from falling out and the steering tiller arm on the bottom to prevent it from pushing too far into the trunion. Now, the whole strut can rotate. To turn a main retract into a nose retract, you simply need to buy the strut of the proper size and length for your retract and plane and do the installation yourself. In some cases, it might just be cheaper to buy the whole nose retract with strut already installed. If I’ve guessed wrong, then please just disregard everything I’ve just said.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by stymee View Post
      Is there such an item? I have three retractors which fits perfectly however, on the nose gear, I need the ability to steer the aircraft back to me after landing. I'm told that there is a device which is called a servo nose gear steering retractor. Is that so and where can I purchase this device?
      Welcome to HobbySquawk stymee ! As XViper requested, we need more information on your aircraft and what you are trying to accomplish. Post up some pictures and surely we can get you pointed in the right direction

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      • #4
        Yes Xviper, James pretty much hit it right on the head with his understanding of my needs. Here's what happened in my search yesterday before I read your answer. I was able to locate the exact item that I needed which was the electric nose retractor having the additional attachment bar needed to place the rod and servo in line to operate the nose ability to turn. However, I now have developed a new problem:
        The 2 previous electrical retractors (under the wing) works well when attaching the "Y cable" to hook up both electrical retractors on one switch. When I added the 3rd nose gear to the two in order to have them work simultaneously, It appears to be too much current required to open all three at one time. In other words, it has no problem with the 2 being hooked up to operate together but when adding the third one, only the nose gear would work alone then at other times the 2 landing gears under the wing would only work together (Without the nose gear working with them.) It's almost like it doesn't have enough current coming through. I have it attached to a 2.2 Amp Lipo-battery to test them in order to make all three work together. I have yet to attach the servo for the steering because the retractors first have to work correctly prior me performing the last attachment which will be for steering.

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        • #5
          If I understand correctly, trying the nose retract alone works? It is possible that the nose gear is a reverse gear from the 2 mains. Try to see in which direction (ie, the gear switch) the 2 mains retract and deploy. Then see in which switch position the nose retract does its thing. If the nose retract works but in the opposite switch position, then all you need is a servo reverser for the nose gear. Generally, power coming out of a receiver is sufficient to operate 3 retracts at the same time.
          When you attached the 2.2A LiPo, hopefully it went through a BEC first to scale the output voltage down to ~5-6 volts. Without a BEC, 12 volts directly from a battery will more than likely burn up a retract.

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          • #6
            stymee - I agree with Xviper. Give it a shot with what he recommends. Another thing I found once when installing retracts on my Black Horse PC-9 is that I had a similar issue. I would flip the switch and sometimes all three would come down, or one, or two and I found that despite my believing they were a perfect fit, the retracts were sometimes just grazing the wheel well enough to not allow the retract to fully close despite appearing as if they did. So I had to shave the well well down ever so slightly and then they all worked like a charm.

            Keep us posted

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            • #7
              Let me know if you received the photo. Click image for larger version

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              • #8
                I did the best I could with the photo! Sorry!

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                • #9
                  Photos worked. That steering arm appears to be the type that comes stock with Taft planes.

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