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Old 01-02-2011, 08:30 PM   #1
kleecker
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Default Increasing wheel size on Apprentice 15e - axle size?

To minimize prop strikes on landing / taxi, I am going to increase the size of wheels/tires on my Apprentice. I was looking to go to 3" on the front and 2.5 on the mains.
Does anyone know if the wheel wires on this plane are 2mm? Looking to go with Dubro DUB300SL and DUB250SL, which have 2mm axle shaft bores.

thanks
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Old 01-29-2011, 12:52 AM   #2
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I don't know specifically about the model numbers you gave, but I put 2.5" wheels on my mains and 2" for the nose gear -- just grabbed one of the standard bags at the LHS and the axles fit fine. Of course, I've since converted it to a tail dragger and use one of the stock wheels for the tail gear.
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Old 01-29-2011, 02:35 AM   #3
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No idea what the wire diameter is on the apprentice, but the wheel holes can be drilled out some. I have a pair drilled out to 1/8"

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Old 02-20-2011, 07:56 PM   #4
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Default Increasing wheel size

I put large wheels on my Hobby Zone Super Cub by using telescoping sizes of brass tubing to reduce the wheel hub size to match the wire landing gear. I have over 500 flights on this old bird with my "Tundra Tires" and the brass tubing is still holding up fine.
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Old 03-08-2011, 03:13 AM   #5
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Stock wheel/tire size is same nose and main! I did 2 3/4" on all three.
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:56 PM   #6
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I just put 3" dubro treadeed wheels (DUB300T) on mine last night, they were 4mm and just a little sloppy on the axel. I cut a piece off of a plastic straw from Chick-fil-a and then slit it so I could wrap it into a tighter diameter. The wheels still spin and they don't wobble. I'm not sure how long the plastic will last compared to metal but I don't spend much time driving the plane around on the ground and it was very easy to do.

I did have to change the bend in the nose gear so it wouldn't rub but that was easily accomplished with some vice grips. I also put a little of the "blue" loctite on the collars when I tightened them back down.

The whole thing took about 10 minutes. The wheels are pretty heavy, I'm curious to see how it changes the performance of the plane. I expect I won't be able to climb my way out of hitting the trees that jump in front of me anymore.
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:49 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by megajon View Post
I just put 3" dubro treadeed wheels (DUB300T) on mine last night, they were 4mm and just a little sloppy on the axel. I cut a piece off of a plastic straw from Chick-fil-a and then slit it so I could wrap it into a tighter diameter. The wheels still spin and they don't wobble. I'm not sure how long the plastic will last compared to metal but I don't spend much time driving the plane around on the ground and it was very easy to do.

I did have to change the bend in the nose gear so it wouldn't rub but that was easily accomplished with some vice grips. I also put a little of the "blue" loctite on the collars when I tightened them back down.

The whole thing took about 10 minutes. The wheels are pretty heavy, I'm curious to see how it changes the performance of the plane. I expect I won't be able to climb my way out of hitting the trees that jump in front of me anymore.
I put the same exact wheels on my apprentice and you can barely tell any extra weight at all. If anything, made it a touch nose heavy, but I had already upgraded to bigger motor (neodym-15-900kv, 5.1oz). Kinda funny looking with balloon tires, but you can take off from anywhere up to paved 2"rock driveway, they drag a little more on the taller grass, but I am only on the ground for 10ft anyways.

IMO they are real bouncy on landing, which sometimes is a good thing.

have a good one
cr
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:55 PM   #8
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Try putting a piece of heat shrink tubing over the axle wire, to take up the slop before sliding the wheels on...
Don't forget to shrink it 1st...

Confucius say: "Man who go to bed wif itchy butt, may wake up wif smerry finga."
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Old 03-31-2011, 05:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by SHADY View Post
Try putting a piece of heat shrink tubing over the axle wire, to take up the slop before sliding the wheels on...
Don't forget to shrink it 1st...
Thats a good idea. I used old fuel line cuz I have a bunch of it. I put one piece on each side so the locking collar doesnt rub on rim.

have a good one
cr
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Old 04-01-2011, 02:42 PM   #10
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Crimzon,

Glad to know its working for you. I weighed the wheels and the original were .5 oz for the three, the new ones are 2 oz each(!) Eflite claims 40-45 oz for the plane in flight trim which meant, to my math, that they added 10-12 % to the overall weight. The weather has been so bad - rain and gusts -that I haven't been able to try it.
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:15 PM   #11
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Yeah I figured 10%-15% weight gain on the app, too. My AUW was 56oz. with a small nikon camera, plus tape, plus epoxy, wooden firewall and aluminum motor mount. The neodym-15 and a ternergy 3800 11.1 gave me almost 470watts at WOT. As you already know the app's wing have a huge amount of lift. IMO I guess with stock motor you definitely feel the weight increase.

have a good one
cr
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:37 PM   #12
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I added my bigger wheels, all three, before I flew it the 1st time. Soooo I have no idea if it changed anything. Seems fine and flies nice.
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Old 04-02-2011, 06:35 PM   #13
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I know we are only talking wheels here but can anyone tell me what would be the safest maximum wind speed to fly this plane in. My winds here have died down to 5-10mph with gust around 8mph and I’m wondering if that is going to cause me to loose control at all.

I know the Apprentice is suppose to be an easy flyer, but this would technically be my maiden flight since my 1st maiden was a crash due to Ailerons being reversed! (opps)

What wind speed would you say it “starts” to become unstable in flight?
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Old 04-02-2011, 06:48 PM   #14
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Wait for a calm wind day. 10 MPH makes you work and you are brandy new.
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Old 04-03-2011, 03:13 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by dkrhardy View Post
Wait for a calm wind day. 10 MPH makes you work and you are brandy new.
Never mind ... I just came back from the field and another experienced flyer out there gave me the confidence it would handle it and even hand tossed it for me! It flew like a dream... it really is easy to fly this one, just gotta get past the fear of maiden flights. I even got the chance to maiden my F4U Corsair... and it flew great in the 8-10mph winds.... great day with no crashes... whoohoo!

Will defiantly get the bigger wheels to handle the grass... it's just a lawnmower with the stock setup...lol
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Old 04-03-2011, 05:02 AM   #16
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Good to hear about the good maiden flight on the ol apprentice.

Like you found out, anything over 15mph wind is a bit much for the apprentice, not that it cant handle it, it can hover with the greatest of ease forever(almost) in approx. 15-20mph wind.

Kinda cool just hovering at 1/4 throttle, big confidence boost for me, after doing that for 20min and just landing pretty much straight down and stopping on a 10ft rollout. I did try to fly in a little more wind once, the wings had so much lift, the new neutral on the right stick was 1/4 forward from center.

have a good one
cr
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Old 04-03-2011, 03:21 PM   #17
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Steady wind is okay. Gusts, especially crosswise, bad. Very unfortunate flight Friday night. At least the electronics all still work.
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Old 04-03-2011, 05:49 PM   #18
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"Will defiantly get the bigger wheels to handle the grass... it's just a lawnmower with the stock setup...lol"

Good grief, how high is the grass? You may not be able to roll through it no matter how big your wheels are.
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Old 04-03-2011, 07:23 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by dkrhardy View Post
Good grief, how high is the grass? You may not be able to roll through it no matter how big your wheels are.
Well on solid flat ground, the stock prop tip is excactly 1.5" from the ground, the stock wheels are only 2" wheels. So when the plane is sitting in the grass, the prop is at least 1" closer to the grass leaving me .5" clearance.

Like i said, it's a Lawnmower!
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Old 04-04-2011, 03:24 PM   #20
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To increase the axle size I use a piece of brass tubing that slides over the standard wire axle. I cut slits at each end in the tubing and slide wheel collars onto the brass tubing on each side of the wheel tightening the set screws through the tubing onto the wire axle. I have even used tubing longer than the wire axle using a wheel collar tightened on the inside of the wheel only while tightening the collar on the outside onto the brass tubing. Works great and I've done this on several planes with great results.

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