Taildragger Airplane

Why is that airplane called a Taildragger?


When we talk about tailwheel aircraft, we mean that the aircraft has an actual round rolling tire on the end with the rudder and elevator. Saturday morning coffee time at the hangar will find many of the itinerant, free-coffee guzzling experts referring to our conventional geared aircraft as “taildraggers”. While they mean well and believe that they are referring to the aircraft with wheels on the back end, they are, in fact, incorrect.

Before little wheels were invented, the tails of aircraft rested on wood or metal skids to keep the aircraft from becoming damaged while on the ground. These tailskids dragged along the ground during taxi, takeoff, and landing. As such, these aircraft could be correctly called “taildraggers”.

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