12 SEP 03

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SAFE WING TRANSPORTATION

 

A couple of days before I left for the SAM Champs at Claremore, OK, I realized that it would be neat to have some way to transport wings and to keep them safe.

A bit of thought about the structure of my pickup's camper shell suggested that 'something' could easily be attached inside the shell using the screws that hold in the windows. Many camper shells are built this way - metal frames, inside and out, with sheet metal screws outlining the inside frames.

About an hour and the expenditure of about $5.00 produced the rope net shown below:

What you're looking at is a 900 square inch RC-1 wing suspended upside down on a kind of net made from clothesline. To the left is a wing from an old timer Alert gas model.

This is a view of the hooks which were made from electrical 'ring terminals', sized for a #8 screw and #14-16 wire, plus some wire. The terminals are bent at a 90 deg. angle so the wire end will point away from the retaining screw. The actual hooks are lengths of thin coat hanger wire about 1 1/4" long. Being in a hurry, I just crimped the wire into the terminals and then applied a drop of CA glue. A round-nosed pliers helped make a nice hook shape.

This camper has 10 screws on the top of each side window and the package of terminals contained 18 pieces.  One terminal/hook was installed in the center of the front window and the remaining pieces were split up between each side, ending at the last screws nearest the tailgate.

Starting with a 50' length of inexpensive clothesline, a loop was tied into one end, and then the clothesline was looped back and forth to reach the back end. Another tied loop completed the project, with some line leftover.

So, how did this work out? Pretty well, I'd say. Initially, I put those 2 wings plus one for a Kerswap and a very small one for a Jimmie Allen Bluebird up there. The biggest, heaviest wing drifted toward the middle under the influence of gravity, but because it was about 2" longer than the space between front and rear windows, it had to sit at a bit of an angle. All of the wings were put in upside down. which seemed like a good idea at the time.

The wings rode very well on the trip from Arizona to Claremore, and were kept quite safe from running into tool boxes , plane bodies, props, and chairs.

Arriving at the Claremore Airport, I was directed up a narrow track dirt road toward the free flight area. The road was rough - and when I got up there, I discovered that all but the biggest wing had been shaken out of the rope network! When I put them back up, each smaller wing was put in right side up, and from then on, they stayed in place. Smaller wings that have split dowel keys installed stay up well as the keys catch on the ropes.

I hope this idea may be of some use for you!