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  #1  
Old 01-20-2021, 04:52 PM
agent4573 agent4573 is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Mountain view
Posts: 684
Default Tail Lynx Info

I don't think the mods saw our request to make this its own thread, so I wanted to document the info that was in the classified ad before it gets deleted. Here's everything of substance I could find.

The stock that Van's had has been sold, and Tail Lynx is no longer in production. Here is the manufacturers response when contacted about getting a set made up.

"Thanks for your query about Tail Lynx

The idea for this product was developed after the first year and a half of flying my RV-4. I took an unusual approach to engine cooling in the quest for flight efficiency and decided to fly before getting my plane painted (in case I needed to change something that would affect the paint job). When I began working on paint prep, I was disappointed to see that my stock tail springs were already rusting. I was determined not to just put these back on a freshly painted plane, so I conjured up the design and made the first Tail Lynx prototypes, which are still on my plane to this day (now over two decades later). My friends started bugging me about making some for them and I eventually relented. I have been named as an inventor or co-inventor on a number of designs over my 40+ year career in Design Engineering, but they were always as an employee for some corporation. The reward was always a $1 dollar bill and a pat on the back. I thought I should at least get 1 patent for myself and the Tail Lynx patent was it. It was a very nice feather in my hat.... a very expensive feather I might add... and I never wear that hat anymore... and the patent has expired.

Tail Lynx became quite popular over the roughly 17 years of production and far more were produced than I had first imagined. In recent years, however, orders declined and have reached the point where continued production is not justified. Therefore the decision was made to retire the product. Van's Aircraft made a last time buy late in 2019, which justified the final production run and it appears they have recently stocked out.

For those of you who are existing customers, rest assured that you will be supported for a number of years to come. I will continue to supply replacement tongue fittings to those who don't end up with the amount of slack that they wish. Other parts are rarely ordered, so will not be supported.

Materials and AN hardware that existing customers might need are readily available from Aircraft Spruce

Precision Spacer material- If you ever drop one on the hangar floor, your chances of ever finding it are nil until it no longer matters. As soon as you get a replacement, however, you will spot the lost part immediately
- ACS # 03-16030 SST Aly 304 Seamless tubing .250 O.D. x .035 wall
- This would have to be cut to length and possibly reamed to fit the AN3 size bolt

Aluminum tool material for assembly- In case you forget where you put it
- ACS # 03-36010 Al Aly 6061-T6 .625 O.D. x .049 wall

Custom Cable Assemblies- Rarely needed, unless you somehow damage a cable assembly
- https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catal...ickkey=3156830
- MIL-W-1511A CABLE, 3/32 DIA, 7X19, SST
- MS20664C-3 BALL & SHANK
- MS20668-3 EYE END, SST

Installation instructions- In case you lost yours a copy is attached

For those of you who are Tail Lynx customers, my heartfelt gratitude for your business and the many kind words of appreciation expressed for my product."

I've attached to this post pictures and installation instructions. The patent that covered this product is 7,234,664 and can be found by searching www.uspto.gov website. You can search by number, or the title of the patent is "Draw spring linkage, particularly for light aircraft". Once you open the patent, scroll down and click on "images", then on the left hand side click "full pages" and you'll get a copy of the full patent paperwork.

The entire assembly is made up of simple parts with the most complex being a wire rope threaded through a hollow, machined tube and spring prior to swaging on the second fitting. The remaining parts are off the shelf hardware except for the 2 stainless steel pieces that are referred to in the patent as the "tongue" and "key". These parts could easily be made by water or laser cutting the proper thickness stainless sheet.

I believe I have a machine shop contact that could easily make the tongue, key, and machined tube for me. I'm unsure if he has a roller swager that could complete the sub-assembly, but it not, I can source a wire rope manufacturer to complete the sub assembly. If someone is willing to send me an individual tail link, I could take measurements and draw it up in Solidworks in order to get some more sets made up. I'm willing to cover shipping both ways if you're willing to live without one for a week or two.
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  #2  
Old 04-10-2021, 12:37 PM
agent4573 agent4573 is offline
 
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Location: Mountain view
Posts: 684
Default

I've had some time to draw up the parts and get quotes for manufacturing. A batch of 50 (25 sets) will cost me $150 per set not including nuts, washers, bolts, or shipping. Once I include hardware and shipping to final locations, it'll likely be $175 per set. I've bought enough things this month for the RV7 build I can't front the 4k right now, but will plan on it in a month or two if there's enough interest. I'll get a hold of Doug in a few months and see about setting up a group buy.
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  #3  
Old 05-19-2021, 11:01 AM
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gnuse gnuse is offline
 
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Location: Georgia / 0GE5 / KSSI
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Have you been able to find any parts for these? Particularly the "Key Fitting".
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  #4  
Old 05-19-2021, 09:44 PM
agent4573 agent4573 is offline
 
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Location: Mountain view
Posts: 684
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I can send you the solidworks part file for the key and you can submit it to a number of online machine shops to get a few made up if you would like. They seem to be the same price for 2 vs 20 as the individual piece price falls rapidly as you up the quantity.
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  #5  
Old 11-23-2021, 02:00 PM
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Thermos Thermos is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: KASH
Posts: 667
Default No Tail Lynx support for non-Vans tailwheels

Adding to this thread -

If like me you're not using a completely stock Van's full-swivel tailwheel setup, Brent won't sell you replacement tongue fittings. From Brent -

"I only support Van's full swivel tailwheel. This is clearly spelled out in the installation instructions.
Other types of tailwheels may be prone to tailwheel shimmy, which can be highly destructive

Thanks for your query
Brent
"

I've experienced no shimmy with my Condor 2 tailwheel and pneumatic tire, and know of no one else who has. I'm guessing there's a legal issue or Brent just isn't interested in selling parts.

Hope someone else has better luck.

Dave
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  #6  
Old 11-27-2021, 03:00 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 5,566
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agent4573 View Post
....Precision Spacer material- If you ever drop one on the hangar floor, your chances of ever finding it are nil until it no longer matters. As soon as you get a replacement, however, you will spot the lost part immediately
- ACS # 03-16030 SST Aly 304 Seamless tubing .250 O.D. x .035 wall
- This would have to be cut to length and possibly reamed to fit the AN3 size bolt....
A possibly better source is www.mcmaster.com. p/n 8457K53 is 304 stainless tube, 1/4 OD x .028 wall for $5.27 for a one-foot length, plus shipping. It should not need reaming.

If you wanted the .035 and to ream it yourself, you could get p/n 89495K785 for $5.47 (these are November 27, 2021 prices).

And yeah, I managed to disappear one of mine. Now that replacement tube is on order, I expect it to appear any moment.

Dave
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