Saturday, 26 September 2009

The transporter works - I got my wing and trike home with ease.

In this pic, taken through an upstairs window, you can see the ramp carried alongside the wing carrier

Phil tells me he knows someone who might make me a lightweight ramp, which could fold out of the back of the van. That would make things a lot easier. The prototype works, sure, but is crudely made and means lots of hassle and added weight.

When I'd asked for some reassurance about whether my roof-rack system was going to survive, Ben said, "No, . . . in 24 years it will show signs of rust" :) 55 miles later it was holding up just fine, and by then I was happily motoring along at normal speeds with next to no worry.

The bonnet is open in this picture to demonstrate the fact that my carrier mounting allows for this, whereas the bonnet mounting which inspired it (an elegant American project) made this impossible. I was a little worried that the weight of the wing would make the structure bow slightly, thus lowering it and making bonnet-opening impossible.

This morning I also enjoyed meeting Will, a software engineer and fellow Dragonflyer who knows Steve Wilson (and who reads this blog: Hi Will !). I include this picture of his wing-load because it shows the elegant simplicity of a folding ladder for carrying a wing - very practical if storage space at home is limited and if you have an estate car or saloon.

My front support was needed because the van part is to the rear of a long sloping nose. The front of my van is a disadvantage in this respect; but the advantage, which Will highlighted, is its high back, enabling me to roll my trike in without having to dis-assemble it, as Ben, its designer, originally intended.

I am absolutely delighted with the Dragonfly transporter's performance and that I now have my aeroplane at home and the freedom to take it anywhere.

Many thanks to Ben at Flylight for sorting out my undercarriage bungees and for helping me load my wing; and to Phil for taking the photos of me loading up.



Mayfly said...


If you want to save your back when lifting the wing up and on to the roof bars, then take a look at this neat idea (from a canoeist):

You could probably adapt your rack so that the wing, whilst strapped to the ladder, could be lifted up at one end on to an extension bar like this, then the other end picked up and slid forwards and sideways on to the other bar.

I've done my back a few times lifting my wing on and off the rack on my trailer, so am planning on looking at doing something similar.



PS: Nice blog - you've published some neat ideas here.

Tinworm said...

brilliant to hear from you and thanks for the idea. I will take a look.....Even without doing so, I wonder if it is something like an idea I saw on YouTube, which canoeists use? I tried something like it this afternoon by sticking a stake through one of my ladder rungs to make an extension, which I rested my propped up wing on, then I lifted the other end up; am thinking of having a prop at the other end too.

Many thanks for the idea and kind comment; nice to know that someone reads this.

Look after your back!