Thursday, January 26, 2012

Loading the Aircraft

Finished the flying, and ready to move on.

The Kolb folding system for the tail works really well.

I found it easiest to remove the struts when folding the wings by myself.
That only takes a couple of minutes using a ratchet wrench.
It's necessary to support the wingtip to prevent the innermost rib binding on the airframe.
A fuel can with a foam pad zip tied to the handle works well.

This is the removable wing support that came with this aircraft.
There's a reinforced plate with a hole inside the wing.
Just swing the wing back and slide it onto the support rod.

Aileron locks slide on and secure the ailerons.
A bungy cord holds the wingtip onto that support.

The front of the wing is secured by this removable link that I made up.
It's essential, for securing the wing in a stable position while trailering.
It's also essential for securing the wing while folding in windy conditions.
It works very well, and is well worth doing.
Folded and ready to load.
15 minutes to this point.
A pulley is clipped onto the aircraft, and gives enough mechanical advantage to make the pull easy.
This tail boom support must lie down to allow the aircraft to enter over it.
Once inside, the tail is lifted and the support is pulled up by the attached rope.
When the tailboom is secure in the yoke, the wings are moved off the support rods and settled in the padded supports on the floor and held down with rubber straps.
Then the support rod is removed so that it can't punch a hole in the fabric, if a wing should get loose....
Tie the tailboom unto the yoke.
This lever is necessary to be able to lift the tail easily to set it in the yoke, especially after the wings are folded back and the tail becomes heavier.

The shaft is 1"x1" hollow square steel with a reinforcement of 1"x1/8" flat steel welded to the underside.
The shaft needs to be notched out to fit over the tail spring.
The U-shaped strap attaches/detaches with a through bolt.

These are the wheel chocks that hold the mains from rolling.

Tied down so the wheels can't bounce out, but leave a bit of slat to allow the soft tires to absorb bumps.  

All loaded and ready to close.

There are two of these hinge pins mounted on the back of the main frame.

These hinge tangs on the tail section hook over those hinge pins.

Then just pull the aft section closed with the block and tackle.
Then six bolts secure the two sections.

Those dolly wheels are designed such that the tail end is at the point of balance when it's tipped back.
Then it rolls away easily, controlled by those handles up the back.

Then the wheels are stowed up for the road.
15 minutes more to load.
So half an hour to fold and load.
Ready to hit the road and find a new adventure!

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