Thursday, November 15, 2012

This leg of the journey commenced one New England day late in October. We had an appointment with a 40' shipping container which had been trucked up from New York the day before.

Ian arranged access to a suitably sized facility to handle the task of loading the two standard class gliders. After some initial prep the glider trailer can be lifted, the axle removed, then shepherded toward the container.

The overhead traveling cranes made this part of the operation quite easy.

In we go. The in-container lifter and stand are ready in the foreground.

We didn't find a use for the Cat D8 (large bulldozer in the background), though it looks like Bob wouldn't have minded having a go :). Once in, the first trailer gets elevated up onto the custom-made stand (described in an earlier post).

Then after similar preparation the second trailer can be inserted.

Cranes are fun

The end result looked something like this:

Doors closed -- thanks for the help lads!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The club and world class pilots have all elected to avail themselves of local glider rental options, however the standard class team needs to bring all its own equipment. Shipment options include roll-on roll-off and standardized containers. Roll-on roll-off service is available to Argentina, but for our strange vehicles offers little cost advantage over a 40' container. Since two 15m glider trailers can be made to fit in one container this is the more cost effective solution, so that's what we decided to do.

Ian did some measurement and modelling and determined that the following configuration in a 40' high cube container might work.
The wheels were going to have to come off, and we needed some way of elevating one of the trailers in the container, and of holding it securely in position. Any tools built would have to be reusable for the return journey, and safe to use in the hands of, well, the pilots.

This was not too much of a challenge for Ian who designed and built all the necessary tackle over the course of ten days or so.

The problem

Sparks fly

Test lift

By the end of August we had some equipment ready, but would it work? It was time for an experiment. The weather and a presidential TFR conspired to suppress activity at Sterling airport one day, so we gave it a tryout.
Wheels up?
Ian elevates the front end
The system is comprised of a crane at the front, a central configurable stand that attaches to the axle mounts, and a rear stand. The pieces work in concert to allow incremental elevation until everything is in the desired location. 
Intermediate stage

All the way up
 We were confident it would work...

but did the first run without the glider in the trailer :).

All back together again

And finally, we were able to reassemble a roadworthy vehicle.

Next time: loading the shipping container.