Move to the Airport

August 4, 2007

Almost 4 years to the date (2 weeks shy), from when I made the first formblock or the wing ribs, I am moving the almost completed fuselage to the airport.  The wings are done but still need to be painted.  The horizontal stabilizers and the elevators still need to be covered and painted.  

Here is the set-up that we used for moving the fuselage the 40 miles or so from Mickey's shop to the Ocean Springs, MS airport (5R2):

I borrowed the 20' trailer from the friend of a friend.  

Here I am ready for the trip down Interstate 10 to the airport.  I decided to move the fuselage at this point because I really need the room in Mickey's shop (seen in the background of the above picture) for painting the wings:

Here is N57EN in it's new home in the community hangar at Ocean Springs airport.  Posing with the fuselage is one of my helpers, my grandson Cole who is 9 years old:

As you can see, I have the back corner of the hangar, which in my opinion is just right for a project plane.

October 27, 2007

The wings are now painted and ready to move to the airport to join the fuselage.  Since the move involved about 40 miles or so of interstate, I wanted to move them very carefully.  Mickey came up with an idea for moving both wings at the same time.  It made me nervous but I listened to him all the same.  His idea actually made sense so we went with it.

The idea is to stack the wings on top of each other on the trailer.  Sounds scary right?  But, we will separate the wings for the trip and they wont be touching each other.  

The plan starts with Mickey's trailer and just the side-boards installed.  We then laid a couple of 2 x 6's crosswise on the bottom slats of the sideboards and secured them so they couldn't move side-to-side.  We covered the 2 x 6's with some furniture moving pads doubled over 4 times, and sat the first wing in place.  More furniture pads on top of the wing and then it was strapped down securely:

Note that we also tied the wings down at the rear and front to prevent sliding forward or back.

Next two more 2 x 6's were laid crosswise on the next set of slats on the sideboards:

Again, furniture pads were placed on the 2 x 6's and the second wing was placed on top:

It too was thoroughly strapped down.

Here are the 3 of us ready to head down the interstate toward the airport:

From left to right is Lonnie Gibbons (my father-in-law and building partner), Eric Newton (me) and Jason Thompson (future son-in-law?)

About 1 hour later we arrive at the hangar with the wings still intact and undamaged.  Another nerve wracking move completed:

For now the wings will just be stored next to the fuselage.  If all goes well, I will be mounting them to fuselage for the final time next weekend (11/03/07).

Click here to see Mounting the Wings

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