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Old 10-26-2012, 01:53 PM
dhmoose dhmoose is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 340
Default Tail tie down weight

How much weight does it take to hold the tail down when jacking the airplane up? Obviously, more is better (or an eyelet built into the floor is even better), but what should I shoot to exceed? 100lbs? 200lbs?
David Halmos
Flying - 570+ hours
Portland, OR
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Old 10-26-2012, 02:00 PM
RV10Rob's Avatar
RV10Rob RV10Rob is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Woodinville, WA
Posts: 534

I use sand bags on a 2x4. 100lbs isn't enough, but 150 is.

Rob Kochman
RV-10, Flying as of March 2011 (blog)
Paine Field (KPAE)
EAA Chapter 1440
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Old 10-26-2012, 02:22 PM
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Vern Vern is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Peachtree City, Ga
Posts: 1,066
Default Tail Weight

Use a large washtub full of water, or a series of 5 gallon buckets of water ganged together
Vern Darley
Awarded FAA "The Wright Brothers 'Master Pilot' Award"- for 50 years safe flying

RV-6A N680V / RV-10QB N353RV
Luscombe 8E N2423K 50+years
Hatz Biplane N2423Z soon to be birthed
Falcon RV Squadron Founder
KFFC Hanger D-30
Peachtree City, Ga
770 310-7169
EAA Technical Counselor #5142
EAA Flight Advisor #486336
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Old 10-26-2012, 02:27 PM
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flyboy1963 flyboy1963 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Lake Country, B.C. Canada
Posts: 2,431
Default my son, 2 years ago -!

seemed a tie-down strap under his butt, attachec to the tail ring......and a little wiggling, presto the nosewheel levitated just enough to remove the yoke & get a block under it.
... so he was aboot 137.5 lbs then, plus pizza, minus the fuel in the mains. ...cowl was off...toolboxes on the wing pretty much at c.g. eh?
Perry Y.
RV-9a - SOLD!....
Lake Country, BC
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:19 PM
N15JB N15JB is offline
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Denver
Posts: 566

If I want to unweight the nose wheel on my completed -10, I need 200lbs hanging from the tail tie down bolt.

Jim Berry
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:38 PM
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rleffler rleffler is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Delaware, OH (KDLZ)
Posts: 4,249

I used eight concrete blocks on a four wheel dolly. Photos are on my build site at the following URL:
Bob Leffler
N410BL - RV10 Flying
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:32 PM
dhmoose dhmoose is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 340
Default Good stuff

I appreciate the help from everyone I asked the question while approaching the Home Depot aviation aisle in the hopes of buying the right amount of concrete for the job. I ended up buying 6, 60 lb bags of Quikrete for $15 (just add water type concrete), an 18 gallon bucket ($9), 3 castering wheels ($20), a ratcheting tie down strap ($10), and an eyelet ($5). Upon entering the shop, I sat my 180lb butt on the tail and I was only able to get the nose wheel up if I bounced a bit (and the prop wasn't on yet). So, I installed the wheels, used 4 bags of the concrete which filled the 18 gallon bucket, and buried the anchors of my eyelet in the setting concrete. I think it'll come in at near 300lbs which should be plenty to pull the tail down.

Who knew you'd be mixing concrete on your aircraft project! Never a dull moment!

David Halmos
Flying - 570+ hours
Portland, OR
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Old 10-27-2012, 12:24 PM
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flion flion is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Flagstaff, AZ
Posts: 2,697

A friend of mine who built a Lancair propjet had to make a tie-down so he could jack the wings up and do retract tests. I stole his idea, modified slightly, so I could make a tie-down to keep the nosewheel on the ground until I am ready to mount an engine. I bought a trash can with wheel dolly at Home Aviation Depot, along with a couple of large eyebolts with large washers and nuts. I already had the concrete bags (from back when I was building the RV-6A!). I mixed up 3 bags in the bottom of the trash can (wheel dolly attached; this one has a nice molded one that locks on). Then I drilled for the bolts just above the level of the cement and inserted them with washers and nuts. The washers are to sandwich the hole you drilled; if you can't get eyebolts threaded up to the eye, it's Ok, the washers alone will be suffcient; they just keep concrete from leaking out. I used bolts 180 degrees apart but nothing says you can't add more. Once the bolts are in, I mixed the remaining 3 bags and poured it in. Once the concrete set, I cut off the top of the trash can using a cutoff wheel.

If you were keeping count, I used 6 bags which is only 360 pounds, somewhat less than the weight of an IO540. But it works as a compromise because 1) the gear mounts are aft of CG and 2) more concrete would have made the unit too tall to go under the gear leg. I can always add additional weight (as I have done in the picture) as needed (and I keep a stand under the tail just in case). The unit can also double as a tail tie-down, is on rollers so it can be easily moved or blocked in place if I don't want it to move, and can be lifted and the rollers removed if I REALLY don't want it to move. It was quick to make (even the setup time was only about a day) and not prohibitively expensive - though I admit I didn't pick the cheapest trash can available.
Patrick Kelley - Flagstaff, AZ
RV-6A N156PK - Flying too much to paint
RV-10 14MX(reserved) - Fuselage on gear
EAA Technical Counselor #5357
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:22 PM
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MauleDriver MauleDriver is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Lake Ridge Aero Park - Durham NC
Posts: 202

Another data point.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:25 PM
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Phil Phil is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Waco, Texas
Posts: 1,658

With my prop on, it takes about my body weight 225# to get it up in the air. But even at that it doesn't take much tugging to pull the nose back down on the front end.

I used a concrete anchor in the garage floor and it's worked great. I left the nose picked up for 3 months while working on various tasks.
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