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Thread: S-9 Tail wheel Upgrade?

  1. #1

    Default S-9 Tail wheel Upgrade?

    I have purchased an S-9 and am working toward being comfortable with it. It seems like a neat little plane. My only complaint so far is the tail wheel. Taxi is interesting with the factory set-up. I looked at the Matco T6 as an option. Has anyone tried that or any other set-up with improved handling results?

  2. #2
    Premium Member (Donated) scsirob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008


    I do not own an S9, a S-6S instead. Uses the same solid factory tailwheel I believe? My issues were a tendency to lose lock, and a lot of noise on concrete taxi ways.

    Last year I installed the Matco T6 Pneumatic. Should have done that years earlier! Great performance, and the taxi experience on concrete is much, much smoother. Highly recommended.
    If you do chose to get one, get in touch with Matco and tell them the size of your tail spring. They have adapters, but also offer modified base units that fit right onto the spring.

  3. #3
    Basic Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Christchurch, New Zealand


    I have an S-9 with the factory tail wheel as well and it's an interesting little beast! I too wanted to change it at first but I have gotten use to it now so don't find it so much a problem. The Matco was the unit I was looking at fitting.

  4. #4
    Basic Member
    Join Date
    May 2014


    No experience with an S-9 so I don't know if it's something inherent with the design. But a couple of general things to check:

    Acceptable tailwheel operation is dependent on the angle of the wheel spring/mount to the ground. Springs can lose their spring and change that angle over time, hard landings etc. So the spring angle may not be optimum - I'd check with Rans and Matco on what that angle should be - hopefully they both have the same answer.

    Some tailwheels have greaseable bearing - I'd check that.

    The tailwheel nut may not be torqued to the correct spec.

    The tailwheel shaft/bolt may be worn.

    The steering chains may need to be adjusted.

    In any case those tiny tailwheels are useless in my mind unless you always fly off of super smooth hard surfaces. I'd be looking to upgrade. But that might not solve everything if your spring angle is off.

    FWIW, Scotty

  5. #5


    Thanks to everyone for the information. I have made a number of tweaks and adjustments to the assembly. It is better than it was. Now, it actually needs something to disrupt it before sending the airplane veering off line...a pebble, a crack, a centerline seam. It dosen't take much. Maybe it is mostly the 4", hard rubber tire. I think I will try that Matco T6 Pneumatic. I will let you know how that works.

    Thanks again, Ronnie

  6. #6


    I have a 92s-10,it was all over the place found that pull pull springs didn't have enough spring, and changed tail wheel to a matco pneumatic wheel that did the trick.
    Also put stronger bungee on peddles with a pully on the fire wall ,it holds peddles upright but don't change rudder pressure

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