Possible to Adjust Tailwheel Ground Handling?

Hi there,
Was curious if it was possible to adjust the configuration files of tail wheel aircraft to make their ground handling more realistic. Currently, when taxing, the aircraft turn a lot like nose wheel aircraft, where when you turn, to complete the turn you only have to neutralize the rudder pedals.

In real life, even with tail wheels w/ steering springs on them, you often need to give copious amounts of opposite rudder to finalize the turn, and prevent the aircraft from oversteering. My hope is that this would also make the landing experience more realistic, where rudder input is imperative to prevent the aircraft from ground looping.

Have been poking around in the flight_model.cfg file, but before diving into experimentation, I figured I’d ask here to see if it’s already been solved.


1 Like

There is a command to Lock the Tail wheel, combined with your Yoke back (down force) should give you control on landing, on take off get the tail off the ground ASAP, and use rudder to keep plane in center of runway. There are several aids in the Web about flying taildraggers.

Appreciate your response, but I think you misunderstood-- I actually own and fly a tail wheel aircraft in real life, quite aware of how to fly them! Was hoping to be able to tweak the aircraft to have less stable ground handling like their real life counterparts.

After having done more reading, it sounds like it might just be a shortcoming in the current simulation. :disappointed:

  1. Yes, there are serious shortcomings in ground handling for tail wheel aircraft and also cross wind behaviour in all aircraft. I believe among other things it has to do with a lack of lateral friction? It is a recognised shortcoming in the sim dynamics, that apparently is being worked on.

  2. The other issue, that is generic to all flight sims, is gamers tend to over estimate there own skill and knowledge and often deem actual realistic behaviour as bugged. This makes it hard for developers to make things totally realistic as they will lose sales.

The classic example is the myth that the Battle of Britain era RAF fighters were “easy to fly” even by inexperienced pilots. Whilst they probably were easier compared to things that killed you the instant your attention wandered like Gloucester Gladiators and Hawker Furys the truth is they were not “easy”, especially compared to something like a modern Cessna …


… I consider that my operational training at Usworth, on those Hurricanes was the most dangerous flying that I did in the whole of the time that I flew! I think we were under as much risk from the conditions as we were from the German fighters.

Losses were appalling. Out of the two courses that were there at the same time, we lost something like 17 out of 35 people. Our casualties were much higher than any operational squadron at that time in England. It was - well it was murder really. We flew into each other. We flew into the ground. We flew into fogs. It was terrible.

I did misunderstand. Sorry

Glad to hear that it’s an acknowledged issue! I’ll be patient. It’s odd, they have references to castering wheels in the flight model, but they clearly don’t operate that way, and I don’t see a way to set a wheel to castering. It’s almost like they started to implement the functionality, then stopped short.

For number 2, no idea if they read these forums, but it’d be great if they could leverage their “realism” settings for satisfying the diverse sim community. DCS, for example has some “auto-rudder” effects for their WWII aircraft that make them a little more tame while getting use to them.

Anyway, thanks for the info!

You can lock and unlock the tailwheels on some aircraft.

There is an auto rudder on takeoff in the assistance options.

1 Like

I toyed with those settings, I wasn’t able to get the wheel to actually behave differently though. It wouldn’t go beyond the steerable 90 degrees that was configured for that wheel no matter what, and it certainly didn’t decouple the rudder from the wheel. If the wheel were truly castering, I don’t think these ground handling issues would be as obvious.

Perfect, problem solved then! :grin: Thanks, hadn’t looked closely at the realism settings since I set it full realistic the second I got it.

1 Like