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Suckerfish

I can't lock my tail wheel

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Noob here.  Playing coop with friends the other day and I can barely take off because I cannot lock my tail wheel.  I hit LShift+G and no message on screen, no switches or levers move in the cockpit, nothing.  Spin out as I throttle up.  

 

I've mapped and remapped the control.  Never get a message. What am I doing wrong?

 

Spit, Yak, whatever.  Same issue. 

 

 

 

Not sure how I ended up in this sub.  Maybe I'm just as bad at foruming as flying.  Whoever can move please move.  Or delete.  I still need the help.  Just didn't mean for it to end up here.  

Edited by Suckerfish

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2 hours ago, Suckerfish said:

Spit, Yak, whatever.  Same issue. 

Spit has what is basically a shopping trolley installed in the back. And she taxies as like a shopping trolley. Use a bit of power and all the rudderwork you need to keep her sraight until she gets of the ground.

 

You can use some brake to help out, but you should be careful with that. It is very easy to make her nose over by doing so. Also the brakes are tiny drum brakes that fade quickly. Also the gear is narrow for a heavy plane, requiring far more brake intput to turn her than wide gear types such as the Fw190 or the Mustang do. Input that can make you nose over. In the Spitfire, you mainly use the brakes to assist pivot like turns on the apron (while going no faster then 1 or 2 km/h) to direct her in the general direction where you intend to go. You taxi very slowly with her. Always maintain some basic power from the engine to create slipstream for the tail. Never yank the throttle, as when you pull back the throttle, you will not have an effective rudder anymore, sending you into a ground loop. Find a good setting that just keeps her going a bit, then use the rudder. Once you approached a corner (truning into the taxiway or the runway), stop her (using brakes), pivot turn her with brake assistance. For take off, first give her about 30% throttle to get some efficiency on the rudder, then walk the throttle forward while you do your best to keep her pointed straight ahead. ALWAYS; ALWAYS keep your control column all the way back during taxiing. You only let it go once you leave the aircraft.

 

The Yak locks the tailwheel by pulling the stick all the way back, same as the P-51 or the Fw190. But make her go straight for a couple of meters before locking the tailwheel. If the trolley is at an offset angle, it will probably not lock and you're in for provinding a spectacle to anyone watching your "departure".

 

And again, you should ALWAYS keep your stick pulled all the way back when taxiing any kind of taildragger. Doesn't matter whether it is a Piper Cub or a Spitfire.

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ZachariasX Said everything, so nothing to add.

Just that it shows how realistic IL-2 is done by the Devs. The Spitfire is really not easy to taxi and keep straight after landing, it is like dancing with your feet on the rudder pedals to keep it straight. Don’t brake too early after landing, that will probably end up in a spin on the runway  aswell

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9 hours ago, Suckerfish said:

Spit, Yak, whatever.  Same issue. 

 

The detail is that not all planes are made equals, e.g. as mentioned above Spit don't have lockable tail wheel, and so other planes, and some has different ways for lock tail wheel, e.g. pulling back the control column, you need know the peculiarities of planes you want fly for have success.

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As others have said, not all planes have lockable tail wheels. The best way to check is to look at the technical info for your particular aircraft in the panel to the right of the map screen (the one opened with 'O' by default). The list of info at the bottom usually says if the tail wheel can be locked and how it is achieved.

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10 hours ago, ZachariasX said:

Spit has what is basically a shopping trolley installed in the back. And she taxies as like a shopping trolley. Use a bit of power and all the rudderwork you need to keep her sraight until she gets of the ground.

 

You can use some brake to help out, but you should be careful with that. It is very easy to make her nose over by doing so. Also the brakes are tiny drum brakes that fade quickly. Also the gear is narrow for a heavy plane, requiring far more brake intput to turn her than wide gear types such as the Fw190 or the Mustang do. Input that can make you nose over. In the Spitfire, you mainly use the brakes to assist pivot like turns on the apron (while going no faster then 1 or 2 km/h) to direct her in the general direction where you intend to go. You taxi very slowly with her. Always maintain some basic power from the engine to create slipstream for the tail. Never yank the throttle, as when you pull back the throttle, you will not have an effective rudder anymore, sending you into a ground loop. Find a good setting that just keeps her going a bit, then use the rudder. Once you approached a corner (truning into the taxiway or the runway), stop her (using brakes), pivot turn her with brake assistance. For take off, first give her about 30% throttle to get some efficiency on the rudder, then walk the throttle forward while you do your best to keep her pointed straight ahead. ALWAYS; ALWAYS keep your control column all the way back during taxiing. You only let it go once you leave the aircraft.

Man, you aren't kidding. I haven't flown the Spitfire much, and it's the only plane I haven't yet taxied and taken off in. I was eager to begin the new 'Achtung Spitfire' campaign that just came available. Hopes were dashed, as after a half-dozen attempts at taxiing to the runway resulted in 4 ground loops which led to crashes, and 2 take-offs that left me careening into whatever. I gave up in disgust and called it a night.

I thought the Mig-3 and the Bf-110 were tough to taxi/take-off in....they're a breeze compared to the Spitfire. I'll revisit it again, heeding your advice. I just watched Requiem's tutorial on the Spitfire Mk V, and he suggests trimming the rudder full right for take-off. !!!

Can't believe they opted not to have a lockable tailwheel back in the day.

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1 hour ago, TRRA15 said:

Can't believe they opted not to have a lockable tailwheel back in the day.

The Spit was designed with a grass field in mind to operate from. Grass will not only give you more directional control, but limit taxiing to the minimum. Just turn her into the wind and off you go.

 

I think at some point people were just used to the idiosyncrasies of those airplanes and just lived with it, even though compared to today it is largely unintuitive at best and plain unacceptable at worst.

 

It‘s not that it is difficult per se. Your average teenager can fly a Spit (somewhat). They did. It is a sound design. The worst error is made by expecting antique design doing what modern designs do. Once you let go these assumptions, you‘ll learn what she can give you. 

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Don't forget, no more than 50% RPM setting for the Spitfire to taxi or takeoff and be smooth and not too fast with the throttle.  Should make the torque induced spin outs a bit more manageable. 

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14 hours ago, ZachariasX said:

The Yak locks the tailwheel by pulling the stick all the way back

 

Actually, it does have a lockable tailwheel.

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1 hour ago, ZachariasX said:

The Spit was designed with a grass field in mind to operate from. Grass will not only give you more directional control, but limit taxiing to the minimum.

 

Interesting you mentioned that, because I did notice that I had more directional stability while taxiing on grass than on the paved taxiway. Of course I found this out by accident when I swerved off the taxiway into the grass, and I just figured I'd take the grass as a shortcut to the runway.

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6 hours ago, TRRA15 said:

 

Interesting you mentioned that, because I did notice that I had more directional stability while taxiing on grass than on the paved taxiway. Of course I found this out by accident when I swerved off the taxiway into the grass, and I just figured I'd take the grass as a shortcut to the runway.

 

True to real life - taxiing and landing on grass runways in a taildragger is always easier. Asphalt / tarmac can REALLY grip the tires, so any sideways momentum can quickly lead to a ground loop. Grass fields are much much more forgiving to this. 

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6 hours ago, LukeFF said:

 

Actually, it does have a lockable tailwheel.

Yes, I‘m saying it has. Or are you saying that on top of pulling back the stick to lock it, ctrl+L works as well?

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4 hours ago, ZachariasX said:

Yes, I‘m saying it has. Or are you saying that on top of pulling back the stick to lock it, ctrl+L works as well?

 

Yes, the in-game keyboard command works as well - there is a small lever that moves up and down as the tail is locked / unlocked.

Edited by LukeFF
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19 hours ago, TRRA15 said:

I thought the Mig-3 and the Bf-110 were tough to taxi/take-off in....they're a breeze compared to the Spitfire. I'll revisit it again, heeding your advice. I just watched Requiem's tutorial on the Spitfire Mk V, and he suggests trimming the rudder full right for take-off. !!!

Can't believe they opted not to have a lockable tailwheel back in the day.

I gave the spit a try starting from the runway in QMB a while back and the TO felt smooth and buttery compared to my MIG-3 takeoffs (what i have the most experience in). The landing didnt go too bad, but i ended up ground looping without even touching the brakes. This was from a paved runway though.

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This post will help you takeoff in the Spitfire with full RPM. Note that the Tempest requires opposite (left) rudder because the propeller turns in the opposite direction to the Spitfire.

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13 hours ago, LukeFF said:

 

Yes, the in-game keyboard command works as well - there is a small lever that moves up and down as the tail is locked / unlocked.

 

I like how the cat in your picture is ready to bounce lol

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