VAF Forums

VAF Forums (
-   Reviews (
-   -   Condor 2 from Blake at Flyboy Accessories (

SeanB 11-11-2019 07:07 AM

Condor 2 from Blake at Flyboy Accessories
I've purchased several items for my RV7 from Flyboy Accessories. I had a Bell fork and light weight tailwheel installed on the plane. Since I am still building, it's only been used to roll around the hangar. I was on the Flyboy's site recently and noticed the Condor2 Fork and pneumatic tire. It appears to be a larger version of the Bell fork that allows the 8" tire enough room. Several conversations with Blake had me placing an order.

I just received the Condor 2 fork, hub, and tire. My first impression is of a quality part. The split hub is machined beautifully! Standard process to get everything put together. One thing I noticed, the valve stem is really tucked inward and out of the way to avoid the fork. This could be a real challenge to get access to inflate. No worries though. Blake has included a stem extension that takes care of that challenge just fine. Other benefits are reports of decreased "road noise" when taxiing. The solid wheels can really transfer the noise of any surface imperfections of asphalt and other materials into the aluminum tailcone. The pneumatic tire should mute some of this. This tire is 2" lager in diameter compared to my prior setup. So...there is an inch of height increase. What happens if I get a flat? I can still use my lightweight wheel as a backup if/when, as it is interchangeable with this fork. This ais a really nice kit that I'm glad to own.

As always, Blake took excellent care of me. Top notch customer service and response to any question or request throughout.


Jpm757 11-11-2019 07:53 AM

I installed the Condor 2 last spring on my -7 and I absolutely love it. Really smooths out the ground ride on pavement and soft fields, combined with the Rocket Link steering arm it is a great setup. I carry an extra tube with me just in case, the tailwheel seems to like around 50 psi. My hanger partner took it once around the patch and promptly ordered one for his -8.

vfrazier 11-12-2019 12:16 PM

Blake is awesome, but I'm a bit biased. :D

Mark33 11-12-2019 07:02 PM

I just installed this setup on my -8 along with the roller bearing tailwheel yoke from J.D. Air. The airplane steers like it has power steering (almost too good) and the pneumatic tire really quiets everything down and smooths out taxiing. I?m also installed this exact combination on my -7 build. Blake is great to work with and I?ll continue to be a loyal customer.

SMRacer 11-24-2019 10:07 AM


Originally Posted by SeanB (Post 1385492)
I've purchased several items for my RV7 from Flyboy Accessories. I had a Bell fork and light weight tailwheel installed on the plane. Since I am still building, it's only been used to roll around the hangar.


Are you interested in selling the old Bell fork and/or the lightweight tail wheel?

Mark Dickens 11-24-2019 03:27 PM


Originally Posted by RV8JD (Post 1388580)
I installed the Condor2 fork, hub, and pneumatic tire onto my existing JDAir bearing tailwheel yoke several days ago on my RV-8. I am using chains. Today, on the fourth-ever landing with it, it shimmied for several seconds during the rollout. The landing was smooth and the tailwheel gently touched the runway. And it was lightly loaded during the rollout (i.e., neutral stick). On many gear setups, that is a pro-shimmy combination if the setup is prone to shimmy. On the next landing of the day, with more load on the TW, it did not. After I got to the hangar I checked the tire pressure and it was down to 45 psi, from the recommended 50 psi. I raised it back to 50 psi.

I plan to do some experimentation with TW load on the rollout. If it shimmies again, I'll play with tire pressure, and I may put the steering arm back on (adds a little damping). The JDAir bearing yoke, with its zero yawing friction, may also play a part. I really do not want to give up the JDAir bearing yoke, with its smooth and easy steering. The Condor pneumatic tire also has a small contact patch which doesn't help to prevent shimmy.

Or ... the event may have been a fluke. I'm thinking about calling Blake on Monday and see if he has any thoughts.

I like the pneumatic tire so far, it's much smoother, quieter, and rolls over larger cracks in the pavement more gracefully than the smaller, solid tire. But if it is prone to shimmy, it's history.

I'm throwing this out there to see if anyone else has encountered shimmy with the Condor2 assembly. And hopefully, as more units get installed and if there are shimmy events, they'll get reported.

In the 2500+ hours I've flown RV-8s I don't recall ever having a TW shimmy event. And that included many hours on the Van's TW assembly, a modified Van's TW assembly, the Bell TW fork, and the full-up JDAir bearing TW assembly. These were with the standard Van's TW tire and the lightweight TW tire. And they included a steering arm on some of them and chains on most of them. And I don't recall hearing of anyone else having one either.

I have a fair amount of TW time in various airplanes and have experienced TW shimmy on several occasions with other airplanes, and I'm familiar with the parameters that affect shimmy and how severe it can be.

No shimmy here. I guess all of these planes are unique but in my case, it made my landings downright boring. For some reason, it reduced the tendency I had with the solid wheel to want to head this way then that (typical tail dragger). Now I touchdown and I don't have to dance on the rudder pedals as much as I did in the idea why. I'm very happy with the condor tail wheel. I do watch the air pressure carefully!

74-07 11-24-2019 04:10 PM

Same here. No shimmy at all. Love the new Condor tailwheel/rocket link combo.

74-07 11-24-2019 05:29 PM

I purchased the complete conversion, condor 2 yoke, tire, wheel and added a Rocket link.

Northernliving 11-24-2019 06:27 PM

Has anyone tried the 6in pneumatic tire from Matco mfg? I'm quite sure it will fit the standard Doug Bell fork. I've had an email conversation with George at Matco and he seemed to think that it would be worth a try provided the tire pressure is maintained around 50psi. He said the results on RV's were more mixed at lower PSIs. The issue is the low aspect ratio of the tire OD to bead seat diameter caused problems. Interested in any PIREPs.

Here is the same assembles complete.

Jpm757 11-24-2019 06:31 PM

No shimmy problems with the Condor2/Rocket Link setup. Never any shimmy problems on any RV I have flown. I have had problems on other taildraggers, and almost always due to loose chains/springs. Adjusting chain tension so there is NO slack and positive spring tension should resolve the shimmy issue as well as provide more precise steering.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:01 AM.