Up on the gear [10.5 hours]

I agonized over how best to raise the airframe to install the gear legs. I gathered some family muscle to lift it up onto a workbench, but aborted the attempt after it became clear we couldn’t do the lift with enough control.

I borrowed a 500kg lift table, removed the handle, and made up a frame that provided support under both the main and rear spar. I wanted a backup in case there were any problems with the lift table, so I crudely extended the forks on the tractor, added a bit of padding, and held these an inch below the airframe, as shown. As it turns out, the table did fine and the tractor was not required.

I fitted the left main gear leg and wheel, then had to cut the old dolly apart (committed at this point!) to get it out of the way and fit the right main gear leg and wheel. After fitting the nose gear, I let the table down and the fuselage settled in a nose high position (because of the missing engine weight). It looks awkward like this, but it’s still quite a milestone to get it up onto the gear.

  • f43a
    f43a
    Raised by lift table, getting backup tractor forks in position
  • f43b
    f43b
    Raised by lift table, tractor forks for safety
  • f43c
    f43c
    Raised by lift table, tractor forks for safety
  • f43d
    f43d
    Cutting away the old dolly
  • f43e
    f43e
    Left main gear on, ready to do the right
  • f43f
    f43f
    Left main gear on
  • f43g
    f43g
    Both mains and nose gear on
  • f43h
    f43h
    Back down, on the gear, nose high with no engine weight
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