Tail Wheel Modification
By: Russ Hauser

There have been lots of posts on flychallenger.com about different ways of moving the challenger around. If you park your plane in a hangar with a concrete floor this might be just the ticket for you. It's also handy on the ramp.

I removed the stock Challenger tail wheel but left the brackets riveted to the longerons. I bent the brackets out right and left with a hand seamer and cut off some of the original length on each side. I then made a rectangular plate from 1/8 thick 6061-T6 to fit the revised tail wheel brackets. The plate was drilled to fit six 1/8 SS rivets to attach it to the brackets. Also four 1/4 inch holes were drilled to fit a swivel caster that can be purchased at any home improvement store.

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Moving the plane around in a hanger with a concrete floor is a breeze and you never need to lift the tail. You push the plane backwards or to either side by pushing on the nose and moving the plane forward is done by grabbing the windshield bow near the bottom with one hand and guiding the nose with the other hand.

I've had this type tail wheel on the plane since 1996 and only had to replace the caster twice due to dirt in the bearing and vibration.