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Piper J3 Cub - Anyone else have a hard time taxiing?

Pro Member First Officer
Steve (SpiderWings) First Officer

I love this airplane once I get it in the air. But boy handling it on the ground is really tough for me.

If I taxi at more than 5 or 6 knots its really hard to keep it going straight ahead and its really easy to get it rolling wing over wing if I let the speed creap up. Makes for some pretty impressive (if not realistic) crashes.

I have similar problems taking off and landing because of the higher speeds. Fortunately, it does get into the air pretty quickly if you can keep it on the runway long enough. And I'm never too sure what to expect on landing. If I'm lucky I can get it slowed down with just a couple of spin-arounds on the runway without tipping it over.

I believe the trick is to know when you need to steer by twisting the stick and when to keep from doing that and start "flying" it.

Anyone else have troubles with this plane? I like a challenge but wonder if this is a problem with my processor speed or my joy stick being too sensitive.

7 Responses

Pro Member Chief Captain
CRJCapt Chief Captain

It's a very challenging in FS and in real life. I use the CH Rudder pedals so the corrections during taxi and takeoff are faster and more natural. Rudder pedals are a great asset on this aircraft because of the constant use of the rudder. The skill required is one of the things I love about this aircraft. It's a real stick and rudder, pilots aircraft that requires the pilot to use basic flying skill to operate the aircraft. I think that the Piper Cub is one of the best aircraft ever made. It's not perfect for all types of flying but on a clear day, light winds and with beautifully scenery, you can't beat it for pure flying enjoyment. 🙂

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piper_Cub

Pro Member First Officer
PIC1stOfficer First Officer

You really should not go much faster than you are going when you taxi.
Another thing that may help is using the wheel brakes for each wheel, just a touch every now and then (F-11 @ F-12).
Also is your tail wheel locked? (Shift + G)

Guest Ed Guest

Yes, I have managed to stand the Cub on a wingtip a few times, too. But I think the absolute worst of the default FS09 planes to taxi is the deHavilland Comet. A few times, I've gotten that one spinning around, before it rolled over on me. 😳

That's another one that I prefer to start and end the flight on the active runway. 😂

Ed

Pro Member First Officer
Steve (SpiderWings) First Officer

Thanks guys! Its nice to know its not just me. Actually, I'm getting much better at it. I've come to accept that I can't taxi as quickly with it as I can other aircraft. I've also come to realize that a bit of back pressure on the stick (putting more weight on the tail wheel I guess) helps a lot - especially on takeoff.

CRJCapt wrote:

... The skill required is one of the things I love about this aircraft. ... It's not perfect for all types of flying but on a clear day, light winds and with beautifully scenery, you can't beat it for pure flying enjoyment. 🙂

I agree with you CRJCapt about it being very fun to fly. As for the challenge, I'm now finding that to be an added part of the fun. Best fun is when you are learning something new. Great picture by the way.... looks just like the one in the sim. Plus I noticed that the pics on wikipedia were also the same. Is your photo of one you fly?

PIC1stOfficer wrote:

...
Also is your tail wheel locked? (Shift + G)

I knew I'd read something in the Learning Center about locking the tail wheel and I even looked in my key assignments to see if there was one for that. But I missed seeing it. I'm sure that will help. The first tail dragger I flew on the sim was the Spirit of St. Louis and I spent a lot of time reading up on them for that. Now I recall bits and pieces but don't seem to have the patience to dig out the rest of the details.

Guest Ed wrote:

... I think the absolute worst of the default FS09 planes to taxi is the deHavilland Comet. A few times, I've gotten that one spinning around, before it rolled over on me.

I've had a bit of trouble with the Comet also but for some reason its not as hard for me as the Cub. But perhaps its because I don't fly it as often. Its another one that is hard to fly straight and level for me.

Pro Member Chief Captain
CRJCapt Chief Captain

The picture of the Cub is just one I found on the Internet, I like to make my posts look pleasing and interesting. 😀

The Cub doesn't have a tail wheel lock.

Pro Member First Officer
Alec Stelloh (Thunderbirdman2) First Officer

yea well try taxing in back seat of a citabria with a big guy in front thats hard taxiing but fun in the air

Pro Member First Officer
Steve (SpiderWings) First Officer

I'm happy to report that I've really gotten pretty good at taxiing the J3 Cub now. 16 flights with it to recreate the first airplane crossing of the USA gave me a lot of practice. The replies in this forum made me realize it wasn't just my system being slow so that gave me the incentive to just try harder and I got a whole lot better! I now feel pretty comfortable with it and am getting up to 11 or 12 knots on the taxiways and haven't rolled one wing tip to wingtip for a while now. I've even gotten the tricky takeoffs and landings down also. Takeoffs in the J3 are amazing because it can get up in a very short distance. The use of a fine touch on the stick and the differential brakes on landing makes all the difference. Just don't want very much cross wind.

Anyway - thanks to everyone for your comments and insights for getting me past an aircraft phobia that I've had for over two years.

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