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folding wings?


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After a fair few months of still trying to think of what kit to buy and build I was wondering about all you people out there who have aircraft that have folding wings ,,,Do you ever actually fold them much ? or even at all ? I'm probably not going to need that option but I keep coming back to the question of whether I might need to transport it around and so on ,,,but I guess 'what if' may never happen anyway ,,back and forth i go :))



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I guess it depends on how much hanger space is to rent in your area. I sometimes have to shift 2 to 3 aeroplanes to get to mine. I would still prefer this to having to fold wings all the time.


Makes me think that things like fuel lines, control cables, and anything else that is in the wings will wear/fail a lot quicker.


I try and fly on average two to three times a week - makes sense if you've paid for an aeroplane and hanger space to get some use out of it.


Of course living 5 minutes from the airport sure helps! :)





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Guest Rocko

Hanuman folding wings


Agreed with Peter


I bought the Xair Hanuman specifically because it had folding wings as an option. Since finishing it, I've never folded them. As Peter said, I'm a little paranoid that I might forget something when putting them back together ;)


Besides, it's still a lot of frigging around, when it's so easy just leaving them out and ready to go. It's not that it's difficult, but it still takes 2 people a good 20 mins or so, and then have to double check everything.


However, I still like the concept. At least, I have the option to do so. Should things ever be put into storage, or if I want to get the plane home on a trailer, at least I can tuck it out of the way in the back of the hangar or easily remove them for transport.


Originally, I had thought of trailering all the time, but it seems that damage is much more likely doing this, as other people told me. When a good sized custom made covered trailer is a minimum $5-$10K, and my hangarage is around $1200 per year, it's not worth it.


Mind you, I'd still like easily removable or folding wings on my next plane. If you don't have it, you don't have any options.


On this subject, does anyone know if the new factory built Jabiru's (In particular the 230 or 160/170) have folding wing options? They're all wet wings now, I see. Seemed to be a big thing for a while back, but I can't see it as an option now anywhere. I could ring or email them, but being especially lazy ;)





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I have a SupaPup Mk 4, folding wings.


I bought it initially with the intention of keeping it in a trailer as there was ZERO hanger space, hence folding wing requirement. When we got the plane to The Oaks we found that there was a spot in the hanger, useless to anyone else, that it would go in nicely, with the wings folded.


Actually folding/unfolding the wings is not really a problem, less than 5 min a wing plus about 2 minutes for the turtle deck.


There are 2 main problems with storage with folded wings.


1. With wings folded the tail is very heavy and can be difficult to manoeuvre. I have to negotiate a 90 degree turn into the hanger to get to my spot which can be difficult depending which other aircraft are in the hanger at the time. A full castering tailwheel would probably fix this problem.


2. Perhaps not a problem with other aircraft, the position of the fuel tank vents is such that you cannot fold the wings with more than about half tanks without it slopping out the vents. If you have significant fuel in the tanks you have to drop it before folding and put it back next time you get the plane out. Apart from the pain in the proverbial transferring fuel back and forth I prefer to keep tanks full to minimise condensation, which is not possible on this plane.


There was a post to these forums quite a while back, I can't find it so it may have been before Ian ported the site over, where someone was questioning the advisability of having wings that are designed to fold. I said then and I'll repeat here that I also had some reservations about an aircraft with folding wings but when you look at it, my SupaPup has 3 bolts holding the wing at the fuselage - mainspar, rear spar and the bottom of the strut, the clubs Lightwing that I also fly has the same 3 bolts holding the wing on. The only difference is that on the Pup the rear spar and strut bolts are in line so they act as a hinge when you pull out the mainspar bolt and on the Pup all the bolts are very easy to see when you do your daily, on the Lightwing they are buried in the wing.


Oh, if you're still worried about the mainspar bolt coming adrift in flight, I can see the bolt, nut, the R clip through the castellated nut and the mainspar where the bolt goes through all without moving my head more than about 50mm, I could even jam something on the bolt to stop it moving if the R clip and castellated nut came off in flight keen.gif.9802fd8e381488e125cd8e26767cabb8.gif. In the Lightwing, the first indication of an in flight problem with one of the bolts would be the wing peeling off. 049_sad.gif.af5e5c0993af131d9c5bfe880fbbc2a0.gif


Getting wings off and back on can be fiddly on a plane not designed for it, in my opinion a plane designed with folding or removable wings is well worth it even if it's only on the off chance you might need it, unless off course it necessitates major compromises in other areas.



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In my view and speaking from experience, folding wings are a convenience to be only used when absolutely necessary otherwise if used on a daily basis the wear factor will raise it's ugly head and then convenience is outstripped by the resultant cost and inconvenience of the aircraft being grounded for sometimes minor repairs and at other times major repairs, especially when something major gets bent by Murphy.







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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest The Bushman

As a owner of a Supa-Pup with folding wings ,the reason we Built that kit was no hangerage at the local airport so it lived in the Carport at home till we as a club built our own hanger so now the aircraft is for sale


as am now getting towards the end of my flight time Age


The Bushman



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