| Not a big one, but still a problem. But in this case,
| the problem is already solved. John Hauck solved it
| years ago and has done an extreme amount of testing to
| prove it.
]| So, I know what steel to order and to get it heat
| treated to RC48, but how do I attached the axles and
| get them at the right angle?
| John Jung
Hi John J/Gang:
I haven't solved the landing gear problem. All I did, with the help
of Brother Jim Hauck, was design, fabricate, and experiment with 4130
gear legs to satisfy my requirements for my style of flying, which is
probably a bit more agressive than the average Kolb flyer. I enjoy
landing out, in many places, most isolated, and need the comfort of
knowing if I screw up a landing I can still get back home. I screwed
up a landing in Muncho Lake, BC, 1 July 2000, that stranded me a long
way from Alabama. Since that time, Brother Jim and I agreed on a fix
that has gotten me back to Alaska twice, surviving some awfully
screwed up landings that would have failed lesser landing gear. Might
add, it was a big learning curve trying to learn how to land at 9,927
feet above sea level. I beat the poor old MKIII to death landing and
taking off at Leadville, CO.
I don't do anything to my airplane to try and change Kolb or others,
but throughout my experience flying, breaking, and experimenting with
Kolbs, some of it has worn off on production Kolbs. Many of those
changes were incorporated when Bro Jim went up to old Kolb for a three
month period to help Homer, who had lost all his welders due to
accident and illness. During that time period I spent a month helping
Homer in the day time and at night Jim and I built the fuselage for
the MKIII. What we did the night before, Homer would look at the next
morning when he came in. Homer has blessed everything Jim and I have
done to his aircraft. I could not have done any of this without Bro
Jim. I come up with the requirement and Jim comes up with the
solution, then produces it for me. I am a lucky man to have a brother
The failure at Muncho Lake, BC, was not a gear leg problem, but a gear
leg socket failure. In February 1991, when Jim was fabricating the
MKIII gear at Kolb, he wanted to weld the axle socket to the gear leg,
rather than use the system Kolb used, which was the gear leg/axle
socket. Kolb's system worked easiest to align the main gear, and the
reason I wanted to go that route. Jim knew which system was most
durable, but gave into my wishes. Hind sight says I wish I had gone
with Jim's idea instead of mine. The fix after Muncho Lake was welded
axle socket to gear leg, align, drill, then heat treat. Those gear
legs have been thoroughly tested, used and abused in the roughest
environment available between here and Point Barrow. I pulled them
off the MKIII prior to my last flight to Alaska to press the bend out
of them. They are still working well.
We got the correct angle to weld up the gear leg/axle sockets by
blocking up the fuselage, measuring the angle from floor to gear leg,
then adding a few degrees for positive camber to allow for the gear
legs to take a set after they get broken in good. Don't know how many
time I can bend the kinks out of them. Will have to see how well I
can learn to "land like a butterfly"!!!
PS: John J, if you need more help with the steel gear, let me know.
I'll do what I can to help you.