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View Full Version : Trailer length required to trailer a J3?



IainR
11-02-2020, 04:15 AM
I am hoping to collect my project this week and need to hire a flat bed trailer, does anyone know what a reasonable length trailer would be to trailer a J3?

Steve Pierce
11-02-2020, 07:12 AM
An 18 foot trailer or longer is optimum so nothing hangs off that you have to figure out how to support.

IainR
11-02-2020, 07:51 AM
Thanks Steve will see what I can do!

Oliver
11-02-2020, 09:25 AM
Watch your weight and balance on trailer if hauling with prop towards rear.
A guy was hauling a 180 on so cal freeway, not enough tongue weight, fishtailed and lost the load.
someone reported a plane wreck on the 405 freeway, full response.

Steve Pierce
11-02-2020, 09:39 AM
I had an employee haul a Pacer backwards, don't know how it pulled, probably scary but the rudder lock came out and went through the fuselage fabric which was in perfect shape. Hauled quite a few this way.
52011

IainR
11-02-2020, 09:44 AM
Thanks very much all, great picture Steve!

Cub Special Ed
11-02-2020, 01:49 PM
52018

My trailer is a 20'. 18' deck + 2' dove tail.

irishfield
11-02-2020, 01:49 PM
I haul my recoveries (and returns) backwards all the time.. 34 foot deck.. but the airplanes are usually all aluminum. 1 x 3 wood strapping and deck screws to hold the tail surfaces.. :)

Cub Special Ed
11-02-2020, 01:51 PM
52020

Steve Pierce
11-02-2020, 01:55 PM
Mine pulls better if they are going forward, more weight on the tongue.

mike mcs repair
11-02-2020, 08:23 PM
Grease the wheel bearings and then just put tail up over tailgate and rope it down and forward/sideways. Always good for interesting police scanner traffic on the main highway. But works just fine.


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mam90
11-02-2020, 08:39 PM
Local shop owner did that with a Stearman, got pulled over by State Police for an unlicensed trailer. Spent quite awhile convincing the officer that the aircraft registration number constituted a licensed vehicle. Officer finally just gave up and sent him on his way....

Oliver
11-02-2020, 09:06 PM
Going rednek:

52027



52028

Steve Pierce
11-02-2020, 09:55 PM
Local shop owner did that with a Stearman, got pulled over by State Police for an unlicensed trailer. Spent quite awhile convincing the officer that the aircraft registration number constituted a licensed vehicle. Officer finally just gave up and sent him on his way....

Did it the 2 miles from my house to the airport, nobody caught me. ;)

mike mcs repair
11-02-2020, 10:05 PM
Did it the 2 miles from my house to the airport, nobody caught me. ;)

we do them anchorage to birchwood....

reliableflyer
11-02-2020, 10:29 PM
5203952040520415204252043II

I have hauled forward and backward with good results both ways. When using a trailer like a converted boat trailer with the axels way back the plane can be hauled backwards. I prefer dual axel but most of my hauls have been to or from Alaska. Dual axels are safer. I prefer a trailer of at least 24 feet over all especially if the engine is on the plane. Wings are the difficult part. I prefer on them flat on foam on the deck as Steve has in his photo or as I have in the yellow cub in my photo.

ive been concerned passing through Customs both US and Canada that they will want to do an inspection and since I don’t want them messing with the plane I place the wing on foam and wrap in visquene. I put visquene on the deck and then I can slide it in and out by myself so if required I can show it to customs without them messing with it. I build a light weight deck above the lower wing for the other wing and do it the same way. The wrapping the wings keeps muddy water from the road off the wing. Wet weather is hard on wings in that muddy water from the road will cause chafing of the paint. The wing on a cub is 9” thick and with three inches of foam requires at least 12”. Make sure the cross support to hold the aircraft tail is strong. I use I piece of hickory or use square steel tubing, heavy wall 2”.

I have seen and have for years intended to make a frame that will mount the two wings by the spar attach points and the lift strut attach points. I would also put a sling or foam pad of some sort under the tip for additional support.

I used to put each wing on foam on the trailer deck tied next to the airframe and had good luck doing that. When I have used carpet slings I have not been pleased with the tow. Carpet tends to chafe the wings.

with the engine on the prop should be removed to keep be weight off the crank especially if it’s a heavy prop. On a long haul anything that can chafe will. Take the time to pad everything and secure everything.

if you have a tongue jack that will fold may be easier and safer to put the tongue on the ground with a bottle jack and load the aircraft from the front. I’ve built all my plane towing trailers this way.

one more thing I will say is that I hope I never again have occasion to to another plane

reliableflyer
11-03-2020, 08:35 AM
If your wanting a trailer designated as an aircraft hauler a boat trailer is a great choice. In many of them the axel position is adjustable and if you move it aft you can carry the plane backwards. This protects the windshield from gravel thrown up from the roadway. The long tongue balances the load. You can also easily extend the tongue since the aircraft is very light compared to a boat. If your hauling aft first with the tail on the on the tongue be sure the tail parts won’t hit the back of your vehicle in a tight turn.

I’ve been pleased with 3/4” all weather plywood for deck material. Plan your stake pocket location to match aircraft requirements. Also a number of small piece of chain around the frame with an anchor shackles makes for great tie downs. If I’m going to hold the tail above the wings I make SURE that it will not fall down on the wings.

Keep in mind there is a significant difference between hauling an airworthy plane and one heading for reconstruction. Also a big difference between a long and a short haul and rough and smooth roads.

Also put blocks under each axel so a loss of air in the airplane tire won’t allow that side to sag and loosen mt tie down rigging.

if your not familiar with rope comalongs I suggest you get one. Cable comalongs have a short pull as the cable winds on the drum. With a rope comalong the rope passes through it and you can use a long line since it is not stored on the comalong. I find I use half the cable comalong taking up slack With a rope unit it’s nor an issue Cheaper and very useful for loading as well as other things.

Cub Special Ed
11-03-2020, 10:43 AM
We hauled a pacer back from watertown once. Dad had carierrs made for wings so they sat upright on the sides and fuse went in the middle. I remember it being a windy day and we were all over the road.

The j3 i hauled in pics, it was only 30 or so miles from my place so i just hauled 3 loads. Fuse on one and each wing seperatly. Didnt want to build cribbing ang didnt want to damage wing.

As far as weight balancing goes. Leave the wings on and stay above 35 mph, weight wont be an issue.

Farmer Hank
11-03-2020, 11:06 AM
Just to reiterate what reliableflyer mentioned: cover or tape up all openings. Road grime gets everywhere. Will eventually show up under fabric on leading edges. (Don't ask how I know.)

CharlieN
11-03-2020, 11:19 AM
Way back in time I moved a number of planes on a boat trailer, Lite duty such that the axle slides back for balance, Wood structure crosswise at the rear that comes up under the gear legs. Up front I had made a wood and plywood block that sat over the tongue that the TW set into. With an assortment of 2X4s cradles for the wings were made, sometimes carried vertically, sometimes flat under the plane.
The light single axle rid did not hurt the pocket when I was going out on the islands to fetch a plane. C140, Cubs, 7ACs, Luscombs, My J4 were all hauled multi hour drives on that little trailer. An Ercoupe frustrated me though, I am sure I could have but I did not move that one. These were for the most part towed behind a car, Someday I might scan allot of my slide film and recover shots from back then.

stewartb
11-03-2020, 11:39 AM
A PA-12 will fit into a 24' vee nosed snowgo trailer. I hung the wings on the walls and rolled the airframe on gear into the middle. I don't remember but I don't think the stabilizer was installed. In my case height was the only issue that I had to deal with. Even on 800 shop tires I had to let some air out to get the airframe in. I had the Wildcat's airframe in my 22' vee nose (18' on the square) and it didn't feel crowded. But it wasn't on gear yet.

wireweinie
11-03-2020, 11:54 AM
Yup. Snow machine trailer is the cats tushy. Fuselage in the middle and a wing on each side wall.

Web

Oliver
11-03-2020, 09:46 PM
A follow up on earlier post:
this wreck occurred right at the onset of covid, poor thing sat near the wreck site fo almost two months. I Initially made an as is/where is offer to the insurance company, they declined my offer. Two months later they rolled over an accepted.
Plane was in difficult area to access, 18 mi of very poor fire road, steep and switchbacks ruled out trailer.
heli lift outfits around here have no sympathy and wonít get out of bed for less than 7k a pick.
Slept on it a bit and came up with this lumber rack system. Swapped out gear legs with brackets that bolted into back of bed. First load hauled out fuselage to awaiting trailer, swapped out gear and loaded the fuselage. Went back in for wings engine and control surfaces.
Solo operation, made for a long day, poor Tacoma not happy.
but got it done.

52060520615206252063

mike mcs repair
11-03-2020, 10:03 PM
A follow up on earlier post:
this wreck occurred right at the onset of covid, poor thing sat near the wreck site fo almost two months. I Initially made an as is/where is offer to the insurance company, they declined my offer. Two months later they rolled over an accepted.
Plane was in difficult area to access, 18 mi of very poor fire road, steep and switchbacks ruled out trailer.
heli lift outfits around here have no sympathy and wonít get out of bed for less than 7k a pick.
Slept on it a bit and came up with this lumber rack system. Swapped out gear legs with brackets that bolted into back of bed. First load hauled out fuselage to awaiting trailer, swapped out gear and loaded the fuselage. Went back in for wings engine and control surfaces.
Solo operation, made for a long day, poor Tacoma not happy.
but got it done.

52060520615206252063

just needed a come along or 2 and fly it out..... that thing's barley scratched!!!

Oliver
11-03-2020, 10:25 PM
Mike, if you recall, we talked about this one. Guess I should have called you to fly it back.
I woulda only been into it a one way ticket from AK! :-)

52064
52065

mike mcs repair
11-03-2020, 10:45 PM
Mike, if you recall, we talked about this one. Guess I should have called you to fly it back.
I woulda only been into it a one way ticket from AK!

52064
52065

I remember....

I just patch them up, you fly it out... (occasionally i have the required duty to ride out in them... my job is to scream if the wing might start to fall off)

that ones not even a challenge...

you took you more time to take it apart(not counting time you took to haul it out..) then it would have took to make it safe to fly 1000 miles....

couple hours.... come along from gear attach to end of spar(with loop of 1/8" used cable on spar at end), pull it down somewhat strait.... use digital level to average out wings as you adjust strut forks...

not even a challenge.... send pictures... I can talk you through it.... just make sure to check front spar attach on wing... that's the weak link always...

Oliver
11-03-2020, 11:21 PM
right side cluster was pretty tweaked from front spar compression kinking
52066

mike mcs repair
11-03-2020, 11:42 PM
right side cluster was pretty tweaked from front spar compression kinking
52066

Just stabilize it so it canít straighten out


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Oliver
11-04-2020, 03:13 PM
Mike as noble and heroic as it is to fly bent airplanes home, this one was not a candidate.
crushed cooler, crushed exhaust, bent engine mount, slack aileron cables, crushed rudder, bent vert stab, wing damage pretty apparent.
limited takeoff area and very hostile terrain in all directions for 10 mi.
Power hiccup or control flutter in flight would spell disaster.
The plane at this point was uninsured and had to come apart anyway.
Maybe the next one :-)

IainR
11-06-2020, 08:49 AM
A follow up on earlier post:
this wreck occurred right at the onset of covid, poor thing sat near the wreck site fo almost two months. I Initially made an as is/where is offer to the insurance company, they declined my offer. Two months later they rolled over an accepted.
Plane was in difficult area to access, 18 mi of very poor fire road, steep and switchbacks ruled out trailer.
heli lift outfits around here have no sympathy and won’t get out of bed for less than 7k a pick.
Slept on it a bit and came up with this lumber rack system. Swapped out gear legs with brackets that bolted into back of bed. First load hauled out fuselage to awaiting trailer, swapped out gear and loaded the fuselage. Went back in for wings engine and control surfaces.
Solo operation, made for a long day, poor Tacoma not happy.
but got it done.

52060520615206252063

This is epic!

IainR
11-06-2020, 09:04 AM
5216052161

I ended up borrowing a lovely aircraft specific trailer so had a relatively easy ride down (although a long round trip, 25hrs of driving in 36!). Unfortunately South African legislation is sticky in the extreme so flying her home was not a option. It will take a couple of months to get everything organized to have her flying again so in the interim I am giving her a good once over and a mandatory engine overhaul (again South African regs).

tempdoug
11-06-2020, 11:53 AM
:cheers