Jacking up a wood+fabric aircraft

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Jacking up a wood+fabric aircraft

Postby tstephenson » Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:33 pm

Just wondered how other owners had solved the problem of jacking up a wood+fabric plane ( Gardan Minicab for instance) that does not have any jacking points such as on the Pipers/Cessnas. Scissor jacks under the undercarriage leg look rather unstable as a way forward and gizmos like in the link below are a rather expensive option. Any help appreciated.

https://bogertaviation.com/collections/ ... ribal-jack
Tim Stephenson
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Re: Jacking up a wood+fabric aircraft

Postby PaulSS » Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:31 am

I don't know if something like the ones in this Kitfox thread would be any good. Basically just some cheap bottle jacks and a bit of welding:

http://www.teamkitfox.com/Forums/showth ... light=jack
Paul Simmonds-Short
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Re: Jacking up a wood+fabric aircraft

Postby dmcnicholl » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:35 pm

How heavy is the Minicab tail end when on the ground? Can you lift it?

If so you might be able to arrange a couple of trestles/saw horses of suitable height and suitably padded, one to go under each wing and probably close to the root and probably aligned with a wing rib. Lift the tail (support on a third trestle) place the first two under the wings then lower the tail to let the wing trestles bear the weight. The tail can probably then be pulled or weighted down to lift the main wheels off the ground. I do this with my aircraft (not a Minicab) and have an anchor bolt into the hangar floor under the tailwheel for drawing down the tail and securing.

Even aligning the trestles with wing ribs you probably also would want to ensure the main spar was bearing on the trestles at all times.
Donald McNicholl
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Re: Jacking up a wood+fabric aircraft

Postby Chris Martyr » Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:53 pm

Hi Tim ,
Do you have any specific maintenance tasks that you wish to carry out ?

It is this that determines where you jack the aircraft. Donald has given a very good account of where to place your trestles whilst manoeuvring , but you still need to jack the main gear.

If you have wheel-spats , then it's definitely best to remove them. Scissor jacks are probably the most adaptable as they tend to have a lower starting point than bottle jacks do.

But for anyone seeking advice that is 'type specific' , it is always best ask your Inspector .

Beats the hell out of getting a cracked [wing] rib , or damaging your undercarriage.

Sorry , about the 'double entendre'.
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Chris Martyr
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Re: Jacking up a wood+fabric aircraft

Postby MikeM » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:15 pm

For my Jodel D117, I used a couple of bottle jacks and some spare timber to to create the stands show at https://photos.app.goo.gl/89xY2xIwW65UwnmO2 , the idea being first attributed to John Brady. You might be able to adapt the design to your Minicab.

Mike Mold (007106)
Jodel D117A G-BFEH, Watchford Farm, Devon
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Location: Dunkeswell

Re: Jacking up a wood+fabric aircraft

Postby tstephenson » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:40 pm

Thanks for the ideas and photos. Info I'm now getting locally suggests the safest way is to winch the whole plane up on its engine mounts with a portable hoist and get a tressel under the forward bulkhead. Thanks for all of the ideas and photos, most useful for further reference.
Tim Stephenson
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Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:19 pm

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