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  #11  
Old 01-12-2020, 01:56 PM
DHeal DHeal is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Windsor, California
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As you know, the free-swiveling nose gear creates steerage issues when moving an RV-12 backward. Seems to me that I would rather have my hands on the towbar actively guiding the aircraft backward. I personally would not feel comfortable using the aft tiedown ring with a tail winch -- we did that on our Bonanza for many years but I wouldn't do it on an RV-12 up an inclined slope. Perhaps rig up a pair of hooks and rope to attach to the main gear legs? If you use a winch be sure that you have a second way of quickly disabling the winch in the event that the primary control switch fails in the ON position. Winches can be 120-volt (if available in the hangar) or 12-volt using a car battery.
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EAA #23982 (circa 1965) - EAA Technical Counselor and Flight Advisor; CFI - A&I
RV-12 E-LSA #120496 (SV w/ AP and ADS-B 2020) - N124DH flying since March 2014 - 1,150+ hours (as of Apr 2022)!
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  #12  
Old 01-12-2020, 04:07 PM
lon@carolon.net lon@carolon.net is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Santa Monica, California
Posts: 159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Paule View Post
Can you build a Vee of steel tube or pipe that attaches to the nose gear at the apex, and hinges to your car at the ends? Then you could use the car to push it inside.

Another alternative, a bit of a pain, but easy to make in an afternoon, is to make a block and tackle that ties to the plane and anchors at the back of the hangar. I did that to get my C180 into a hangar some years ago, and it worked well enough. It cost about $90 using Dyneema cord. With a cheaper cord it would be much less. Recommend using marine blocks (pulleys) for their proven load capability and low friction and reliability. West Marine, down on Lincoln near Fuji, should have some.

You can make 2:1, 3:1 and 4:1 block and tackles. You'll have to figure out the blocks and the amount of line before heading to the store. I used nylon strap to make a handle to pull with, and some 1/4" polyester line to attach to my plane.

Dave
The car won't work, because my hangar door is too close to a main taxiway. But I'm intrigued by your block and tackle suggestion, and may give that a try. Pulling by hand means the device won't get away from me, the way a powered winch could. The question is whether I could get enough pull power using just one hand, so I could use the other to steer the plane with a tow bar. The hangar door opening is narrow, so "close enough" really won't be.
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  #13  
Old 01-12-2020, 04:10 PM
lon@carolon.net lon@carolon.net is offline
 
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Location: Santa Monica, California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riseric View Post
I had the same issue with a slight incline and a small "step".
I say had because now I just taxi straight in.

Almost idle power is sufficient to bring the nose and main gear in.



Before, I pushed, huffed and puffed to enter (a C72R) tail first.
Never mind in winter when the asphalt is frozen and lightly covered in ice or snow.

I even installed an electric winch powered by batteries to pull it in by the tail attach loop. Too long and complicated.


I understand pushing an airplane backwards when a mule is used.
But our light airplanes?


When it's time to exit, then I push backwards, easy...
I've thought about trying this, but have hesitated because my hangar door opening is narrow, and the hangar floor has a raised section on which the plane sits. The rear of the raised section slopes down, but if the nose of the plane got beyond the raised section, it would be really tough to get the plane back out again.
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  #14  
Old 01-12-2020, 04:12 PM
lon@carolon.net lon@carolon.net is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Santa Monica, California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrtens View Post
Are you using a good towbar? That can make a difference.

https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catal.../bogibars2.php
This looks like the towbar I'm using.
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  #15  
Old 01-12-2020, 04:15 PM
lon@carolon.net lon@carolon.net is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Santa Monica, California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NinerBikes View Post
You can buy a 25 to 30$ hand crank winch with plenty of leverage at Harbor Freight. Should be almost effortless, pulling a mere 750 pounds on wheels, up a gradual slope.

Another question... how do you get your airplane out of the hanger without it rolling away from you going down slope?
The slope isn't very deep or steep, so I have no trouble getting the plane out of the hangar. It's tough getting it back in, though, because the hangar door opening is narrow so I can't get a running start putting the plane back in. I need to stop pushing to look carefully at where my wing tips end the doors begin.

I like the hand crank idea.
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  #16  
Old 01-12-2020, 04:19 PM
lon@carolon.net lon@carolon.net is offline
 
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Location: Santa Monica, California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsr3 View Post
Can you paint a centreline on the floor and taxi it in nose first?
I am going to paint or tape a line on the ramp and floor, because it'll help even backing the plane into the hangar. I'm nervous about taxiing it in nose first, though, for a reason I posted above.
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  #17  
Old 01-12-2020, 04:24 PM
lon@carolon.net lon@carolon.net is offline
 
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Location: Santa Monica, California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piper J3 View Post
Harbor Freight Electric Hoist used as a winch...
I installed this 15 years ago for use with my J3-Cub and now RV-12. Tail hook on RV-12 is very substantial. I extended the pendent switch so it can reach 30' in front of the hanger. So, one hand guides tow bar to steer while other hand controls winch motor. I installed the winch about 5' above ground level so pulling force doesn't raise nose wheel off the ground. Works a charm...
This is the sort of device I had in mind. Harbor Freight has an even less expensive winch, designed to be mounted flat rather than hung from the ceiling. Using the tail tie-down ring as the attachment point was what concerned me. Glad to read that you've found that the tail hook is substantial.
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  #18  
Old 01-12-2020, 04:51 PM
lon@carolon.net lon@carolon.net is offline
 
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Location: Santa Monica, California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHeal View Post
As you know, the free-swiveling nose gear creates steerage issues when moving an RV-12 backward. Seems to me that I would rather have my hands on the towbar actively guiding the aircraft backward. I personally would not feel comfortable using the aft tiedown ring with a tail winch -- we did that on our Bonanza for many years but I wouldn't do it on an RV-12 up an inclined slope. Perhaps rig up a pair of hooks and rope to attach to the main gear legs? If you use a winch be sure that you have a second way of quickly disabling the winch in the event that the primary control switch fails in the ON position. Winches can be 120-volt (if available in the hangar) or 12-volt using a car battery.
Yes, I agree about needing to have my hands on the towbar to guide the plane backwards. I'm wondering whether using the tail tiedown ring would be OK if I'm also pushing the towbar. I've been pushing the plane into place using just the towbar. But doing that is too tough. I'm thinking that a little help from a winch, or even a hand pulled block-and-tackle rig, would significantly reduce the amount of effort required to push the plane into place.
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  #19  
Old 01-12-2020, 05:18 PM
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Piper J3 Piper J3 is offline
 
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Location: Hinckley, Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lon@carolon.net View Post
This is the sort of device I had in mind. Harbor Freight has an even less expensive winch, designed to be mounted flat rather than hung from the ceiling. Using the tail tie-down ring as the attachment point was what concerned me. Glad to read that you've found that the tail hook is substantial.
The HF hoist has an emergency shutoff. The wire rope is guided through a switch arm that activates when the rope is fully wound up on the spool. I have tested it and it works fine. The RV-12 only weighs 750# empty so the hoist can pull it up an incline by the tail hook no problem. The tail hook is mounted into a hard-point on the tail cone so loads are distributed very well. In fact, when I fly early in the spring the hoist/winch is needed to pull the plane back into the hanger thru wet/soft turf. Almost impossible to push by hand even with two people.

The key to guiding the plane in reverse is the have the winch mounted higher than the tail hook to keep the nose wheel in contact with the ground so it can be easily steered with the towbar.

I have added 15' of nylon rope to extend the winch's reach further in front of the hanger. With this added reach I don't need to pull the plane so close to the hanger. A secondary benefit is the winch shuts off with the above mentioned emergency switch and the plane safely stays 15' from the back wall of the hanger. With the airplane 2/3 of the way into the hanger it is very easy the use the towbar for the final positioning.
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  #20  
Old 01-12-2020, 05:23 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
 
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Location: Boulder, CO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lon@carolon.net View Post
....The question is whether I could get enough pull power using just one hand, so I could use the other to steer the plane with a tow bar. The hangar door opening is narrow, so "close enough" really won't be.
Depending on the block and tackle ratio, you can get plenty of force. I used a 3:1, I think, and the C180, with fuel, weighs about 2,000 pounds. In another hangar I tried a 4:1 and the problem there was that it tangled too easily.

The main issue is that if you're moving the plane say 30 feet, and you have a 3:1 system, you'll have 90 feet of line coming out near the end. To control with the towbar, you'd need a way to grip the line itself. I just had a strap loop at the end. Remember that the plane will try to follow the block and tackle into the hangar; it won't wander. I assume that the nose wheel can be turned around 180 degrees. I have only a smidgeon of nosedragger experience and don't know those sort of things.

Dave
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