Trailer Loading Geometry

Uncle Willie

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Remember, he is going to need to raise the tail wheel up another 10 inches to get clearance he needs.
He will need 13 inches under the tail boom if the wheel was completely removed. Does that clearance even exist?

Here is another method...

Tilt the Trailer.
Attach 2 flat ramps to the rear of the trailer bed.
The Rear Tip of the Ramps will need to be at or beyond the Tail Wheel.
Roll the Gyro forward with the Main Gear on the Two Ramps until the Nose Gear is just on the rear of the Deck of the trailer.
Level the Trailer Deck. This may be a problem needing a solution.
As the front of the ramps go UP, the Gyro will remain aligned with the Ramp.
Winch the gyro onto the trailer.

GyroTrailerRamp2.JPG
 
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dunc

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A novel idea! The "Level the trailer deck" is indeed a problem with all the weight on the end - perhaps using another winch? The ramps would need to be 10 ft long. Do you have ability to accurately graph or calculate my earlier solution with the two ten foot ramps, and one five foot nose wheel ramp, while leaving the trailer level?
 
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AirCommandPilot

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dunc;n1138695 said:
I like this, Bobby. I think I have some scrap around to give this a try. Is this image done to scale, e.g. AutoCAD?

I had tried something similar with some shorter aluminum ramps I had around. The tailwheel still hit forcibly. It also proved that the ramp ends need to be secured to the trailer bed, and "hang on" as the gyro went past the trailer tipping point. The full bed tilts on my trailer. You have the fulcrum placed pretty close.
As close to scale with the info I had. With the full bed tilting you may have to put the ramps further up the trailer to around 31" from the rear.
As far as the rapid tilt in concerned, you could add a shock or two placed in a way they will let the bed tilt, but slow it down.

RAF-02.PNG
 
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dunc

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Thanks Bobby. I am still leaning towards this design, and used simple drawing tool for this scaled rendering. With two 10 ft ramps (red), and one 5 ft ramp (blue), I think it will be easy to secure the ramps on the trailer edge, and simply keep the trailer level all the time. The rendering shows all wheel at start, midway, and top of the ramps.

Light weight aluminum 10 ft ramps are readily available online, but I am concerned about how they are rated weight-wise. Example - is a 600 lb "distributed load" ramp usable? My gyro weighs about 350 lb per main wheel. Most loads have four wheels, thus the per wheel load on the ramp is halved again. Further investigation is needed.

Heck, with a ten foot ramp, might be able to get it loaded without a winch!
 

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Uncle Willie

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By golly, it looks like that just might work!
I tried it at 5 different positions and they all cleared the tail.

GyroTrailerRamp3.jpg

A 10' ramp would be a 120/16 = 7.5:1 Slope.
700lbs/7.5 = 93lbs to roll it up the ramp.
It still sounds like a Two-Man job.
A winch would still be much safer.

An 8 inch 2x4 "Chock" in the middle of the ramp would Quadruple the load capacity.

Addendum...
I just ran a spreadsheet analysis at every inch position up the ramp.
The tail wheel starts at 3" off the ground and rises to 3.8" just as the Nose Wheel reaches the Trailer Deck.
The nose wheel essentially only moves horizontally staying 3-4" off the ground.

I didn't believe it until I thought it through, but now it makes sense.
The ratio of the ramps (60/120) is almost identical to the Ratio of Nose-Main / Nose-Tail Lengths. (60/117)
If the 5' Ramp was shortened to 57" the tail wheel would stay exactly at 3" until the Nose wheel reached the Deck.

It will work like a champ!
 
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dunc

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Thanks for the verification Willie. I understand the the "chock" is simply a vertical "brace". That would certainly dispel any bending moment fears. I have a couple 10 ft aluminum ramps on order fro Amazon Prime. If it doesn't work, and they are not bent, I can return them. Nobody makes a 5 ft ramp, but I know how to use my band saw. A winch (remote controlled no less, at < $100) is also on order, and I am thinking about it permanent mounting and that of a small battery.

The most amazing - yet sad - thing to me is that nobody else chimed in. You would think this issue had been solved 15 years ago by some smarter RAF owner than I!

After final testing this solution, I then have a low oil pressure at idle issue to content with before my next instruction occurs. I read something about loose screws in Subaru oil pumps. Scary!
 

HighAltitude

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Sorry to be late to the party but all of the ramp designs give up the advantage of tilting the trailer so the ramps are perfectly level with the bed. Tilt the trailer half way up so the entire trailer bed plus ramps becomes one long level ramp. I used to race open wheel cars with 3/8 inch ground clearance. I have had a lot of practice with this exercise. For me it was a combination of a drop deck trailer door blocked up off the ground 4 inches and 6 ft long ramps to form a single 14 ft long ramp. Sometimes I cranked the fromt trailer hitch jack up too.

Tilt your trailer with a block of wood (4x4 ?) under the back edge preventing it from tilting all the way and add 8 ft ramps to the back edge.
 

Uncle Willie

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The problem he has is that darn 3" tail wheel clearance
This gives him a 2.77° Departure Angle.
A 6 Ft ramp 4" tall is 3.17°. So even that would be too steep.

Tilting a 16" high deck down by 2.77° to make one straight ramp would require adding a 21 Ft. extension.
If you did it in two stages you could get by with 15Ft ramps.
Plus this is a Trike so you will need 3 ramps.

GyroTrailerRamp4.jpg

The problem is getting that 3" clearance up on a 16" Trailer.

The one 5' and two 10' ramps idea looks like the best idea so far.

Partially tilting the Trailer would make the job slightly easier but adds another level of complexity.
That will be Dunc's Call.

When he gets it together, he owes us a Video!
 

dunc

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Thank you Uncle Willie for clearly pointing out those problems with HighAltitude's suggestion. I will indeed video the results (can the Forum accept video attachments? What format?) I informed my airpark neighbor last night that I may no longer need his services for loading or unloading my gyro. He was thrilled.

HighAltitude - how does that handle apply? Must be a story there. Thank you anyway for your suggestion.

JasonS - I went through that thread several times without finding a solution for my RAF loading geometry problem. There are some great ideas. However since there were no solutions for RAF loading, I thought it best to open a new thread here.

I am also looking for better RAF cabin door exterior latching ideas, for when being towed. Duct tape and bungee cords look ugly.
 

Kevin_Richey

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Dunc: Maybe secure one of the doors inside the cabin w/ a short piece of light weight rope. Or, build a latch. Then, for the opposite side, attach a short length of bungee cord from inside the cabin, and after standing outside, pull it to an attaching point on the door, as you have the door almost shut. All internal, and no messy duct tape, bungee cords, straps, or ropes outside at all.
 

Brian Jackson

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I was imagining something like this, but don't know if the bed allows cutting a tapered section out. In this concept the cut-out is wider at the back to allow clearance for the pod enclosure as it escalates. Envisioning simple hook-over connections where the ramp planks are separate pieces rather than hinged. But this may not work in practice.
 

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Uncle Willie

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dunc;n1138781 said:
... I will indeed video the results (can the Forum accept video attachments? What format?) ... I am also looking for better RAF cabin door exterior latching ideas, for when being towed. Duct tape and bungee cords look ugly.
Post the Video on YOUTube. It is way easier than you might expect.

How do you latch the doors in flight?
If there are no exterior latches, how would Rescue Workers get you out?

Otherwise, I think Kevin's idea of bungeeing the door from the inside sounds good.
 

dunc

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The doors are all latched from inside via winged latch, and any rescue workers would need to break the plexiglass doors to gain interior access. Even exterior door hinge pin (bolt) removal will not gain access due to the placement of the three latches. As a RAF gyro newbie, I am not sure if this is "typical" RAF construction. Latching one door, then using interior bungee cord through the interior door handles was also suggested by others. I am not happy with bungee technique lack of security when parking gyro on trailer overnight. There are some scary parking lots enroute to Mentone! As often pointed out, RAF has not ever worked to improve it product.

Brian - I think the trailer bed would be weakened unless I would add further support, plus the cut would go through the trailer pivot point. My 10 ft ramps will arrive shortly from Amazon. Let's try KISS first. I also received a reply from JocGyro (in his native French) where he successfully uses two long and one short ramp into a fully enclosed long trailer where he keeps his RAF rotors attached.
 
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Uncle Willie

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I am thinking a Sheet of Lycra (Spandex) Fabric would be like a sheet of rubber that might contour itself to the cabin.
At least your sewing skills would not need to be perfect to make it look good. Plus it is pretty soft stuff.
If you can't lock it, at least keeping out prying eyes might help.

I have taken a portable driveway alarm with me when staying at questionable motels.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/142903674082

You park within eyesight of the room.
Place the motion detector transmitter in the Car/Cockpit.
Place the receiver on the window sill of the room.
If any motion is detected in the car/gyro, you press the panic button on your car remote sounding the horn to cause a disturbance until you can get out there.
Or you can just light them through the window with a Tactical LED Flashlight to let them know they have been detected. Or Both!
 
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dunc

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Great pictures, Jason. Thought provoking. Do you have source or contact info for any of these owners?

Set # 1

1. I will be towing with an RV, not a car, so rotor overhang to the front (whether attached or stowed in one piece) is an issue. I don't know what the English laws are for cargo overhang to the back. Nice to have a Citation jet chase plane for the crew <smile>

2. I see steps to assist securing the forward rotor, but how is the rear rotor secured?

3,4. The doors are obviously securely closed, and an exterior handle is seen in the '"usual" position. Any chance of a detailed shot?

4,5. The ramp system used - that is my initial question.

5,6. This is a cleverly designed trailer! Note how the wheel suspension springs are attached outside the ramp, and the front "wind protection shield" is used to counter balance trailer weight. I assume the hand crank is used to raise or lower the chassis. Perhaps a simple ladder is used when unreachable from ground? I am not sure the tailwheel is always cleared from ground contact. I also like the motorcycle saddle bag accessories!

Set #2:

1. I already know a straight flat ramp does not solve the tailwheel clearance issue. I have also read where a large "tailgate" ramp, even open grate, is really bad for vehicle mileage.

2-4. How were these loaded on? Does show a very light weight design.

5,6. How loaded? They did wisely incorporate a rudder control lock. It looks like a simple cargo strap is used to hold the doors closed and combined with a pair if gloves to protect the windscreen. Really? Is the front wheel is blocked up just so the tailwheel can be secured.
 

dunc

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Uncle Willie - "Living in Lycra" - I like it! May tailor a matching flight suit that will expand with my waistline. :smile: Perhaps a pistol's red laser pointer sight would also be a good "leave now" deterrent.
 

dunc

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Applied High School Geometry and Chinese Aluminum

I built up a winch holder for the front of the trailer from some scrap hangar steel. I found an X-Bull 3000# bidirectional winch with remote control on Amazon for $85. Still need to build/find a suitable battery box. Researching 10 ft ramps found a pair of Titan Folding Aluminum Arch ramps for $215. Winch and ramps were free shipping. These ramps are rated to 1200#, so no problem with a ~700# EW gyro - right? Wrong!

As soon as I stood on one ramp it began flexing. I was worried. So I called the Titan factory and they assured me that it would hold 1200# "but they do flex a bit". If they failed, Titan would not warrant any damage to the gyro, just the ramps. This flex issue was also noted in some customer reviews and YouTube videos. Slowly moving forward, I found that ramps would deflect about 6 inches midway as the gyro was being winched up. This sag caused the tailwheel to again hit the ground, but not too badly.

1. Image shows the additional 1/4 aluminum plate added to get above the 1" ramp threshold.
2. Image showing initial wheel alignments at start of all three ramps. Center ramp is 5 ft steel w/ very little flex noted.
3. As soon as winching begins, all FOUR wheels rise off the ground and stay that way, just as the geometry said.
4. Scrap steel beams were used as "insurance" to limit the ramp flexing. When removed, the tailwheel was on the ground when gyro about midway up the ramps.

Since the only alternative would be replace with heavy 10 ft, steel, 4000# rated auto ramps at $3,000, I am likely building a couple simple trapezoid braces from 2x4 wood to place midway under the ramps. I designed a retractable brace, much like seen under folding table, but decided to KISS. I may yet do a "ramp up" video when all completed.

Any other ideas or suggestions are welcomed!
 

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bugflyer

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Do a single leg close to the middle of each ramp that folds up.

smiles,
Charles
 

Uncle Willie

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If you are looking for power to the Winch, consider a U1 Lawn and Garden Tractor Battery.
Available at most auto parts stores and Lowes/Depot for about $50.
They make plastic battery boxes that fit them.

The battery will easily power the winch for at least half an hour.
If the trailer has a 7 pin connector, the 12v Pin can be used to recharge the battery while on the road.
Keep the truck running while winching, and it will run forever.

It looks like the Bolts that form the ramps hinges could be used to perform double duty in attaching a squared off "U" shaped leg to support the middle.
It could fold up and stay attached to the ramps.
 

dunc

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I have considered legs but was unsure how to easily keep the leg from any undesirable folding. I am really open to ideas. Meanwhile I can easily build a couple removable wooden supports for the upcoming Utah trip, and move on to other items that need attention.
 
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