Frequently Asked Questions

Titanium Tailspring

Will the titanium tail spring work on the RV-14?

No. Our titanium tailspring would fit into the RV-14’s mount, but the deflection of the spring under load would be too much. The standard RV-14 tailspring has an arc bent into it, so that it does not crash into the bottom of the rudder at full load. Titanium would deflect more, and it is not practical to put an arc in it.

What does the titanium tailspring feel like during ground handling? Is it stiffer than the steel?

The titanium tailspring is much softer than the steel tailspring. The titanium spring does the same amount of work as the steel spring, by deflecting a greater distance but at a lower load.

My new titanium tailspring is surprisingly flexible and springy… Is this normal? Do you have any concerns with it flexing and damaging the rudder fairing?

Yes, this is normal. The titanium tailspring deflects a greater distance for any given load, therefore it will handle much softer in comparison to the standard steel spring.

No, it will not flex and damage the rudder fairing. However, if you refer to Page 12-04 of the RV-14 assembly manual, it calls for a modification to the rudder bottom fairing to provide additional clearance from the tailspring. Since all of the RV’s use the same .875-inch diameter steel spring, the RV-14 calls for modifying the rudder bottom to provide additional clearance because of the arc that is bent into it. You may want to modify your rudder bottom for our titanium tailspring in similar fashion to what is shown on RV-14 plans. The part does not have a scribe line and the plans are not all that definite regarding how much trimming is required, so there can be a lot of variability in how each builder trims their rudder bottom.

Does the titanium alloy need to be kept separated from the steel bushing tube that it is set in? Are there any recommendations for other types of metal that might come into contact with it, such as cadmium plated steel or stainless steel hardware?  I am concerned about galvanic corrosion between dissimilar metals.

If you have an aluminum tailwheel socket, we suggest priming the aluminum, but no need to do anything to the titanium. One of the nice things about titanium is that it is resistant to corrosion. For a tailspring where the titanium is only in contact with the steel mount in the fuselage and the steel tailwheel pivot socket, no need to worry. You should avoid using cadmium plated hardware when installing the titanium tailspring. Either use A286 stainless bolts, or use muriatic acid (swimming pool variety) to dissolve the cad plating, or simplest of all, remove the cad plate from the shank of the bolt on a scotch-brite wheel, since that is the only part that will be in contact with the tailspring.

RV-8 Gear Legs

The outboard brackets do not rest flush on their respective wear plates. Will that correct itself when they are torqued down?

There should never be contact between the bracket and wear plate. Both inboard and outboard brackets are designed a bit short so that there will always be a slight gap between the bracket and the wear plate. This ensures that the bracket is always pulling the leg up tight against the wear plate.

6.00-6 Carbon Fiber Wheel Fairings

Do I need to separately order your jackpoints if I want them with my 6.00-6 Carbon Fiber Wheel Fairing kit?

No. The jackpoints are included in our wheel fairing kit as they also serve as a place for the inboard wheel fairing brackets to be mounted to the landing gear leg.

The installation instructions do not show any way for accessing the wheel to check pressure of add air. How do I add air to my tires with wheel fairings installed?

The two best basic possibilities for accessing the wheel to check pressure and/or add air are:

1. Remove the aft half of the wheel fairing. This requires removing a quantity of 14 stainless steel 8-32 screws. The flush head stainless screws we supply in the kit are Phillips #2 drive, but another option at no additional cost to you, would be for us to supply you with stainless Torx drive screws. This is a good option for two reasons:

First, the standard Van's fairings use #6 screws to hold the fairing halves together and these can be frustrating because the heads strip so easily. That is not much of a problem with Sky Designs' fairings, because we use #8 screws throughout.

Second, with the rear fairing half out of the way, you have total access for adding air and checking pressure, but also for visual inspection of the tire, brake pads, and wheel.

Contact us if you would like stainless Torx drive screws included in your wheel fairing kit instead of the standard Phillips #2 drive.

2. Drill an approximately 1-inch diameter hole in the fairing through which an extension can be inserted and threaded onto the valve stem. With the extension in place, checking pressure and/or adding air can be done without needing to remove screws. This is what most RV owner/pilots (myself included) choose to do. Because there are several possibilities for wheels and valve stem positions, the exact location of the valve stem access hole must be determined by the customer.