In July of 2011, before selling our tailwheels to the public, we put them through a full battery of testing, both in the shop and in the field on flying aircraft. The following pictures show the shop testing we did on the tailwheels. Both mounting types (Leaf Spring as well as the Tapered Rod Spring) were subjected to this rigorous test procedure. The goal was to determine whether or not these tailwheels could stand up to worse-case scenarios over rough terrain (or extremely rough landings).The tailwheels we tested were fitted with the longer 10" tailwheel forks and tire to give the tested tailwheels the maximum leverage on the forks. This allowed us to to see if they would stand up to the pressure. A fixture was created to mount the tailwheel to actual tailsprings and to apply pressure, just like they might experience when mounted on an airplane.
Hydraulic pressure was applied to simulate a worst-case landing scenario. The amount of deflection was a minimum of 4" to 5" which is the equivilant to the tailsping bending enough to hit the bottom of the rudder. What happened? In our tests, there was no bending, no breaking and no fracturing of any of our tailwheel assemblies. The Bearhawk Tailwheels passed with flying colors!
Round Spring deflected 4" - It would be hitting the rudder at this point and the spring was permanently bent.
No damage to the tailwheel at all.
Here's the leaf spring version mounted
for testing. The ruler reads 17" with no pressure applied.
In the picture above you can see the ruler now reads 12" for a total deflection of 5". Again, there was no bending, breaking or deformation of the tailwheel assembly or any of it's components.
Here is a close-up of the tire and how compressed it was. The tire was inflated to 50 psi for these tests. Imagine how much pressure has to be excerted to get the tire to flatten out like that.