Porterfield Airplane Club

Keep the Skinny Birds Flying Safely

I now have brakes on the Skinny Bird.

Basically I followed the instructions found on the net set out by Rob Lees “Care and Feeding: Shinn Brakes”. Attached.

Removing the rivets, old lining’s and cleaning up the drums proved relatively straight forward. Finding the lining material proved less simple, however a local automotive brake workshop managed to find some strip lining 4mm thick. At first they thought they could bond the material to the drum, but when they realised the drum is alloy (possibly with a high content of magnesium) they felt the high temperature needed for the bonding process might leave us with a different shaped drum than what we started with.

Instead they heat cured the lining to the shape required to fit into the drum. I then bonded the lining to the drum using “Araldite Super Strength Epoxy Adhesive”, using the method shown by Rob Lees.

Once the epoxy had set, I mounted the wheel / drum assembly in a brake lathe and machined the lining to a thickness of 3.25mm. I did this in 2 stages with a trial fitment in between in order to leave the maximum amount of material possible. The added advantage of machining the linings this way ensured they are true to the axle, allowing for smooth operation. 

2 of the 4 brake shoe return springs had broken, so with the help of a good friend we manufactured 4 new springs using .062” “Music Wire” (Spring Steel).

Reassembled the brakes and wheels, adjusted and put into operation. Now I can do a mag check without having the plane creep away. It also makes manoeuvring easier.

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Thank you for all this Shinn info, Steve!  I've had many owners express a desire to change over to Cleveland or Grove wheels and brakes. I always admonish them that those brakes are hard on props, engines, wing struts and vertical tails: all the things that get damaged when you get excited, brake too hard, go up on her nose, and over on her back. With the Shinns, that's never a concern, unless you're wheel landing on pavement.

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