Fuselage that is..
|One of the most satisfying aspects of building your own
plane is the overcoming of
challenges that will seemingly arise at every turn. I had developed a neat little turning
jig but couldn't turn the fuselage in the garage because of the height of the tail and width
of the horizontal stabilizer. The main spars would also hit the ground during the turning
process. Add to that the overall length was a problem with my garage and a new challenge
was at hand. I decided I needed to be able to move the fuselage out of the garage to
accomplish the turn. I also wanted to reverse the direction to allow more working room.
Below are photos showing my crude but very workable solutions.
|The solution was two carts with ends constructed
to hold my turning jigs. Each cart is a 2' by 4'
wooden form with a 3/4 inch top and large
castering lockable wheels. This allows the carts
to be locked in place or moved in any direction.
When placed as shown they only take a couple
of inches of space beyond the length of the
|I knew the fuselage would need to be raised
quite a bit to clear the main spar as well as the
vertical and horizontal stabilizer. The jigs were
designed to be jacked up, locked in place and
lowered when needed. The photo above shows
how much the tail needed to be raised. I used
a wide board and a cushion from some lawn
chairs to pad the contact with the fuselage and
spread the load.
PS: I placed a few sand bags on the carts when
|When not rotating the Fuselage, the two 2x4's seen in the
photos above and below are used
to tie the two carts together so they move as one unit. When the wheels are not locked, the unit
can easily be moved around by one person. In fact, the entire turning operation was performed by
myself with my wife watching for clearance problems. The great part is that once the plane in on
the gear the carts and jigs will work equally well for handling the wings. They were also both
cheap and quite easy to construct. I can also see many long term uses for them.