Craig Gifford Acroblog


Containerizing N804Q

Gear pulled, lowering to the wing stands.  That hydraulic hoist later goes in the container - we need it in Hungary!


Wing bolts pulled, fuselage lifted up off the wing, wing resting on the stands.  Those foam blocks on the furniture dollies are great - they don't compress much, just enough to take the wing curvature.  We lifted the wing off the stands, set it on the foam blocks and rolled it out.  The foam is going with us to Hungary!


Never trust a jack!  I got the gear back on post-haste.


Silly me, I thought we were doing this at the airport because the container would be, well, at the airport.  Nope, container is at the MX build facility 20 minutes away on the other side of town.  So, we transported the wing and fuselage over by trailer - yes, we got a few odd looks on the road.  Those foam blocks were really handy for this part.


the second load.  Note it is missing horizontal stabilizer now.


No matter how fast Randall went it wouldn't fly 


The wing mounted on the center wing stand (through the spar attach bolt bushings), with the foam blocks under it for support.  The wing stand gets bolted and strapped to the container (and the foam block goes under the wing tips in the container to buffer shocks at the tips.


We're way more tired than we look after a 12 hour day disassembling and fabricating on Saturday.  From the left, JD, Marty, Randall, Russ, Tom, Craig, Jody.


Rolling the wing from one end of the facility to the loading dock.  We'll have to make dollies in Hungary because we can't take raw wood in the container.


Marty and JD attach the wing table to the container.  Note the fuselage is already in, with tail raised on tail support.  This was for the fuselage jig (pic below) to be vertical, but also gave us lots of room underneath to put a bicycle.


The fuselage mounting jig goes through the fuselage tubing where the wing spar goes.  It's three pieces, a horizontal with vertical stub legs trimmed just short enough that we could pass it through, lift it to the top of the truss, put the tall verticals underneath and then lower it to the spar mounting bolt holes.  The cross tubes were trimmed by hand grinder and file to be exactly the spar bushing width so there is no compression load on the spar attach tubes.  The jig is then bolted to the floor and three-way strapped to the container on each side.  


The hydraulic hoist and the horizontal stabilizers (bundled in styrofoam) strapped to the rear of the container.


The tail stand


The wing table bolted and strapped to the container.


It was a tight fit, but there's a bit more room to get through than it looks - you walk up the right side to the center spar box, cross over to the left and go down the left side of the fuselage.


MX allowed us to use one of the shipping boxes used by the Red Bull teams.  It's loaded with tools, plane parts, etc, and filled with foam to keep it secure.  Hopefully our biggest challenge in Hungary will be moving it - we used a pallet jack at MX but will have to "roll" it end to end to get it out of the way to get the plane out.


Jody and Marty say "job well done, let's close this sucker"


Safe travels 804Q


Thanks to MX Aircraft for hosting us this weekend


After a very tiring weekend of work, I arrived back in Minneapolis at midnight to this lovely weather.  Fortunately the line, that stretched from Kansas to Canada, opened up a gap right at Minneapolis.  I was VFR the whole way, though that red cell at my 8 o'clock was throwing cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning that lit EVERYTHING up every couple seconds.



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