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Transporting a J2 by road

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  • Transporting a J2 by road

    Hi guys
    After much research and consideration I have taken the plunge and bought the McCulloch J2 that Iíve had my eye on for many years.
    Iíll be trailering it home, and I would like some advice at to the best way to secure it on the trailer? Ratchet tie downs bracing fore and aft from the undercarriage? What about bracing the rotorhead and / or the prop? It was suggested to me that it would be best to let the oleos right down to the stops to prevent the aircraft from bouncing around and lower the CofG slightly, or is it best to leave them up so they can absorb the bumps in the road? Blades will be safely packed in a rotor box. It will be about a six hour trip.

    Any tips appreciated!


  • #2
    Put a soft Firestone airbag at each wheel (maybe remove wheel to make it easier to attach). Oleos down to stops. Loooooong ratchet straps to allow slight up/down movement on airbags but no horizontal movement.


    • #3
      If you are not going to utilize an independent Airbag suspension, I would strap it down by the tires.
      Chock the mains to the Front, Rear and Insides to keep it from rolling but let it bounce and spread if it wants.
      Deflate the tires to about 1/3 normal pressure to give them a softer bounce and leave the oleos functional.
      Big slow Bouncing is good. Banging is bad!
      You do not want to strap it down like a load of steel.
      Take the mindset that you are transporting eggs.

      The trailer is probably going to be grossly under-loaded.
      Softening the trailer tires might be a consideration.
      Don't overdo it as trailer tires do not last long if the sidewalls flex a lot.
      Check them within the first 30 minute on the road to confirm that they are not getting hot.

      If the bouncing becomes excessive, Slow Down!
      Allow 10 hours to make that six-hour trip.
      If you find yourself doing the speed limit, you're going too fast.
      Take your time, this is not the time to have Get-There-Itis!


      • #4
        I assume you will be removing the fuel tanks to get to a reasonable width for road travel. It's awfully wide otherwise.
        I would not attempt to secure/brace the prop (let your crankshaft move with the fuselage, so the engine mounts cope with any prop stresses and let engine compression naturally resist rotation).
        The rotorhead will be fine as is (but keep in mind how tall it is so you don't drive under/into something).
        You might want a gust lock on the rudders.
        Consider carrying the battery separately if you expect a rough ride.
        Be prepared for lots of questions at every stop you make.


        • #5
          Thanks very much for the suggestions. I will look into the airbag option, although Iím not familiar with their use in this sort of situation. Yes, fuel tanks are currently removed, and I was wondering how to best lock the rudders.
          I hope to pick it up in a couple of weeks.


          • #6
            When I transported my Kolb. The horizontal stabilizer and elevators hinge up along side the vertical stabilizer and rudder. I fabricated a locking system to keep them from touching each other and in a straight alignment. I used 1/2" PVC (water) pipe and pipe insulation. I would get two 90* angles and cut a 10' stick in half. On the ends of the two 5' sticks glue the 90's. Cut a 2 or 3 inch piece and insert between the two 90's. Looks like a big "U" shape now. slide a piece of insulation onto each pipe. Slip the clamp over the the vertical stab and rudder and gently pull the pipes together trailing out the rear. Tape or secure the two pipes together and smile going down the road.
            After you build and fit the first one. you will know what dimensions to build the second one for the other stab.
            David McCutchen
            Bensen B7m, 90 hp Mac
            Dominator Tandem, 100 hp Hirth
            Kolb Mark III Classic, 80 hp Verner
            Certified - Advanced Master Beef Producer
            EAA Member #0511805
            PRA Member #28866
            PRA Chapter 16 Member
            Secretary & Treasure - PRA Chapter 16
            President / Sylvia - Yellow Creek Volunteer Fire Dept.
            Chairmen - Dickson County Veteran's Day Committee
            Volunteer - Dickson County Airport Aviation Day Committee
            2 busy 2 No!


            • #7
              I bought a Super J-2 back in 1988 and tranported it hundreds of miles on a trailer. We took off the rotor blades and put them in a box that was screwed down to the trailer. I don't recall how we secured the rudders, but your biggest exposure to damage is people looking at it when you stop for gas or at a motel. I didn't have anything stolen from it but there were a lot of people that were suspect looking that were always trying to get to it "just to look".
              Don Randle
              Gyroplane CFI

              "Flying a Gyro is the most fun you can have with your clothes on!"


              • #8
                Uncle Willie's advice about slowing down is sound!

                I do recall touching 100 mph with my Bensen in tow via a V-8 Mustang, though, on a 1972 trip to Oshkosh. A lot faster than that gyro ever went otherwise.

                I was 16 and quite stupid at the time.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Doug Riley View Post
                  Uncle Willie's advice about slowing down is sound!

                  I do recall touching 100 mph with my Bensen in tow via a V-8 Mustang, though, on a 1972 trip to Oshkosh. A lot faster than that gyro ever went otherwise.

                  I was 16 and quite stupid at the time.
                  Wow, the rumor makes since how. You have to use a wheelbarrow don't you?

                  To carry your balls.
                  Resistance is futile…… You will be compiled!
                  John Rountree

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