Campers,dbotos wrote:Nice. So is the wheel rotating directly on the base tube? I always imagined some kind of sleeve that sat in between the base tube and wheel for the wheel to rotate on. With it directly on the base tube, I guess the plastic of the wheel would wear long before any damage to the base tube.For people with wheels on their gliders, do you do some kind of periodic (e.g. yearly) wheels-off inspection to check the condition of the the base tube, wheel bores, etc.?brian scharp wrote:http://archive.sonomawings.com/gear/wheels/wheels.htm
Periodic basetube inspections (at any intervals of time) may not be enough, really. For any round basetube with wheels, wear may be an issue, if there is no solid bushing (bearing) and the wheel rotates directly on the aluminum. Still, bending stresses caused by wheels are far more important there. If the wheels bend the basetube at some point, and the tube is straightened later, the damage (inside the metal) is concealed from any future inspection. The basetube is still damaged, and the damage may be dangerous. The problem is, the basetube looks okay, after straightening.
In either case, you can greatly reduce the risks of a basetube failure by installing a Basetube Safety Cable. I would want every flexwing glider to have one, if possible. This mod is not expensive, and can even be a one-evening DIY project. From my web page: