Dual Brakes on Legal Eagle XL

Adding brakes to a flying machine as slow as a Legal Eagle  is not necessary if flying off grass strip or wide open spaces. However if like me, flying off of mostly hard surfaces, lots of varied surfaces, narrow runways with drop offs, cross winds and lost of other aircraft close by during operation having brakes is a critical piece of equipment.

If you are going to have brakes that do any good for more than stopping when not going where  you want dual brakes are in order.  The way I went about it, after lots of study and research, was to mount two Black Max master cylinders side by side, one plumbed to each brake on a side. Deciding factors were Black Max wheels, disc brakes and a master cylinder were already installed and operating.  I was running out of time in that we were going down to Monument Valley Utah and fly. The strip is at high altitude, 5192 agl, narrow asphalt, with drop off on each side and sage brush at edge of runway.  One other thing of interest is there is this giant rock about 500 feet high at south end so all takes off are to north and landings to south.  Winds can be very interesting.

The dual master cylinder works good, did not take long to get used to with only down side of trying to hold brakes for full power run up is difficult.  Operation is when landing, when tail is up directional control very seldom requires any braking, but when tail comes down you are going to turn into wind. Normal landing procedure is when tail comes down hand goes up on top of stick, palm on top of stick, (a pad installed there) and two left fingers go to left lever, two right fingers to right lever, thumb relaxes. It took a very short time to become comfortable with this set up. Note: tires and axle alignment make a difference in handing on ground when landing, as well as experience. The 8:00×6:00 times we are running at present are very forgiving on directional control where as the 4:00×6:00 tires required lots of input.

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