Looking for recommendations for a third party taildragger

I’m looking for a bush flying taildragger with a good flight model. Looked at Simworks Zenith (which looks really nice at first glance) and Cessna L-19 from Blackbox (which I gave up on due to negative reviews on the forum here). Really looking for something where you have to work with the rudder to fly the plane so would like something with an accurate flight model. Any recommendations welcome!

What negative reviews on the L-19? Did you only read the first couple of reviews when it was first released? All issues (except for the water handling, which is an Asobo thing, technically) have long been fixed with it last I knew (not that I had any issues with it). Or did some new issues pop up with SU7 that still need to be fixed? I’m very happy with that plane.

Working with the rudder and an accurate flight model are not linked. All planes have different flight characteristics. Do you have actual experience with taildraggers? If you do, what planes and please explain what plane you’d really like to have, as well as what “rudder work” means to you that you’re asking about?

To be clear, I’m not knocking your request, just trying to understand better what you mean.

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Yeah I didn’t read far beyond the first few reviews on L19. May be worth a try then if it’s been fixed!

Don’t have real world experience with taildraggers (but have flown with the tricycles). In sim I flew a bit with inbuilt C-172, but I feel there’s not much of an impact on the yaw due to the changes in power settings. I have read that taildraggers generally have a need for more rudder input to keep in coordinated flight so would like to try one out. I flew a bit with the savage cub in MSFS, but don’t remember having to put much pressure on the rudder. Plus taildraggers generally seem cool to try out. Not looking for a specific plane, just for something that is well modelled and is a small bush plane. Basically I’d just like to get a plane where I can practice coordinated flight a bit more, and if it’s a taildragger that’s a plus as it seems cool to fly.

The Carbon and Savage Cubs are a bunch of fun to do slips/skids in on final where the rudder is needed more than straight and level. Lots of dancing on the rudders in gusty crosswind landings. Like some rl light taildraggers, taxi and takeoff need fair quick rudder input response: compared to tricycle gear light ac.


Have a look at some of the freeware options as well, e.g. GotGravel’s Savage Carbon and Grravel, or the new C170 Backcountry. I am by no means a pilot myself, but I do enjoy flying those planes.


I can recommend the Milviz Porter if you’re ok with a turboprop. It requires full right rudder trim on takeoff and still needs an attentive pilot. Tons of fun to land on a short strip in Papua New Guinea and slam full reverse throttle to stop - the brakes are mostly useless. The flight model has a lot of character, especially if you load it full of cargo crates.

For a completely different experience I can also recommend the Waco YMF-5 from Carenado. The 3D model is gorgeous and the engine sounds incredible. Not exactly a bush plane, but great for taking on a sunset cruise over Monument Valley. It looks like a classic with steam gauge cockpit, but has modern AP.

Along the same line I also enjoy the Ryan AT-1 Special. Really vintage and has some fine lines. Perhaps not the most refined engine model as it lacks the turbo, but full of charm. Difficult to stop on a short strip.

Speaking of vintage planes, if you want a real handful check out the Caudron Rafele. It’s a 1930s race plane novelty so it’s completely overpowered and it pulls so much the left on takeoff that you think it wants to kill you. Also you can change the propeller pitch only once, so no way to power up for a go around. The model is made by Bluemesh and he has recently updated the 3D model and textures to bring it to the highest standard. It’s fresh experience but probably not something you want to fly every day.

Also the Ju 52 is a steal at 15$ if you like a vintage airliner. Not the most refined systems or FM (quite docile), but oozes aviation history. Some Ju 52 flew from jungle strips on New Guinea and in the Amazonas. Fun challenge to put down - and stop - on the small strips.


If you want a rudder workout… get a Spitfire. :slight_smile:

The Zenith probably fits your needs well – it does not fly like a 172 in the least. Quality product, too. The Freedom Fox might also interest you. It’s a bit faster than the Zenith, but significantly more docile in its handling (while still having excellent STOL characteristics).


The Parallel 42 Freedom Fox is fun.


I’d go for the Free C170B on Flightsim.to . Apart from looking and sounding great this developer has pretty much nailed the flight dynamics - wing drop stall, ground effect modelling are highlights for me. I’m hooked on this plane :slightly_smiling_face:

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#FreedomFox for me every day of the week!


I’ve tried the GotGravel’s Carbon Savage and just want to say the climb performance is absolutely insane! Nice airplane. May also try C170B and L19.

Ended up trying Bleriot XI from Wing42. Anybody looking for a rudder workout will definitely get it with this plane! The “ailerons”, if you can call them that, are not super usable so you pretty much mainly use the rudder to maneuver. It’s a really great experience to try this piece of history in a sim!


C170B - Im hooked :slight_smile: Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Another Free Plane - Cessna 170B Bushwheels - Beautiful Little Gem - YouTube I made this little video.

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I’ll give it a go tonight if I have time, @AngryTrain50728 !

I tried FreedomFox/Fox2 yesterday, and it’s awesome! Amazing climb performance and super nice visibility on all sides. It’s really a pleasure to fly.


if you want old school taildragger that is alsso amphib try the grumman widgean may not be super pretty but is fun to fly

They are all more or less horrible. You can land them at an angle of 30 degrees and no ground loop at all. Not the developers fault but probably some issue with the game.

Once taildraggers are flying, there’s no difference in flying them between them and any other plane. It’s the ground handling and transition (takeoff and landing) regions where the differences occur.

I assume you mean 30 degrees angle about the vertical axis?

Yes, totally crooked and the wheels are magically back in line.

I have flown many tail draggers in my time as a pilot. ( Citabria, Great Lakes, C170 , Stearman, T-6, and DC3 ) and so far the most realistic tail wheel I have flown in MSFS2020 is the C170B by Carenado. The Freedom Fox and DC3 are pretty good too. Just my FYI.


That’s my pick, too.