RV Undercarriages





Tailwheel Steering


The wheels are tyres that Van’s sells are all well and good, but in most cases you can do better!




The 5” wheels and tyres are fine on paved surfaces, but as most airfields in the UK are grass (or the ones that I land at seem to be), larger tyres really do help. The standard size tyres are 500x5, using 380x150-5 tyres increases the width by 1” and the diameter by 1.5” resulting in a very useful increase in footprint area. The best news is that the LAA do not regard this as a ‘mod’ so no approval is required. As the tyres are larger the wheel spats will have to be mounted slightly higher with larger holes in the bottom (although some builders have reported success with installing the larger tyres and not moving their spats – tyre to spat clearance is reduced to about ½”). The table summarises the changes



Van’s Issue

Larger Tyres

Tyre size


(or 15x6.00-5 in imperial)

Tyre Diameter



Tyre Width



Wheel Diameter


5” (uses the same wheels as supplied in the kit)

Inner Tube


5.00-5” – I recommend using the Michelin Airstop tubes to prevent the tyres losing pressure. I need to pump mine up only once every 6 months.


About 4lb11oz per tyre

About 5lb 6oz per tyre – around a 1½lb increase for both wheels.


As Per Plans

Mount higher with a larger hole in the bottom

LAA Approval

None needed - standard

None Required!!

Available from

In the Kit,

Although I would recommend using Goodyear Flight Custom tyres if regularly flying from hard runways – although they are more expensive they last much longer than cheaper tyres.

The best tyre supplier in the UK is Watts Aviation, 01594 847290, info@wattsaviation.co.uk, www.wattsaviation.co.uk. We cannot beat their prices, and they offer free shipping. For those who are short of time, we can source tyres for you, but will have to add a handling fee.





There has been much discussion about nose wheels on RVs. See this page, a cut down version was published in the July 2009 issue of Light Aviation.

Nosewheel spacers are available from us for £16.00 – part no 4646.





The Van’s tailwheel fork is a bit like a plough shear – get one anywhere near a rough, bumpy or soft surface and the wheel isn’t going to be on the ground much. Several builders have tried to build a better version – there is a complete replacement assembly available from Aviation Products, or a replacement yoke is available from us for £175. Before & after below. LAA Mod number 12276.


Tail_for_comparison (Large)



Tailwheel Steering


The “Bog Chains” are really a horrible solution to the problem of steering the tailwheel. A much better solution is Tail Lynx. Picture below shows the Lynx on our One Design. Now available from us, £125 per pair with all installation hardware required and extensive fitting instructions.


Tail Lynx