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Old 01-13-2020, 12:05 PM
bobnoffs bobnoffs is offline
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: n. wi
Posts: 695

i used a ''windlas'' i modified a little. those winches off 4wd are way overkill and way too slow. i bet you can be in business for less than $100, including remote control. use poly rope . steel cable is not needed.
probably a marine supply site can give you ideas .
Bob Noffs
n. wi.
dakota hawk/jab 3300 built and flying. sold 6/18.getting serious about the 12. in the hangar now as of 10/15/19
RV-12 kit as of 9/13
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Old 01-13-2020, 12:07 PM
pazmanyflyer's Avatar
pazmanyflyer pazmanyflyer is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Litchfield Park, AZ
Posts: 945

What about the DanH approach from earlier this year? Sure this is setup for a TW but there wouldn't be much to adapt it for a nosewheel.

Carlos in Arizona
EAA Chapter 538 President,
Wittman Tailwind W8 N53CH (built & sold)
Pazmany PL-1 N2029 (bought & sold)
RV7 - N537TC (reserved & building)
Emp, Wings & Fuse done - working on FWF

"The air is an extremely dangerous, jealous and exacting mistress. Once under the spell most lovers are faithful to the end, which is not always old age." - Winston Churchill
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Old 01-13-2020, 12:09 PM
NinerBikes NinerBikes is offline
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Granada Hills
Posts: 385

Originally Posted by Canadian_JOY View Post
At the risk of sounding terribly negative, this suggestion of the use of a dolly for the nosewheel is a non-starter. (Sorry for sounding so harsh). I've tried it, albeit on a larger, heavier aircraft. Even with fairly large rubber wheels (3" wheels on a professional mover's dolly) the slightest resistance encountered by either main wheel caused the aircraft to **** sideways; the dolly under the nose wheel would literally jerk sideways.

My interim solution was a combination of things. I installed a hand-crank rope winch which, I believe, saw prior duty on a boat trailer. I equipped the winch with cheap yellow polypropylene rope. This rope is far more stretchy than one would naturally assume it to be.

My method of moving our aircraft (typically about 1700lbs) up a slope and over the hump caused by frost heaving at the front lip of the hangar floor was as follows.
- push the airplane as far up the ramp as possible, then secure in place with a nosewheel chock installed both in front of and behind the nosewheel
- attach the winch to the tail tiedown hook (in this particular aircraft there is fantastic "beef" at this point in the structure because this is also the attachment point for the tailwheel spring)
- wind the winch up, placing tension on the rope (remember the chocks are preventing the airplane from rolling uphill and downhill)
- go back to the nose, remove the downhill chock and put it in my pocket, kick out the uphill chock and push the aircraft backwards picking up the chock as you walk past it and while using the towbar to steer the aircraft; the tension and stretch on the yellow poly winch rope acts as a gentle "helping hand" to move the airplane
- once the tension on the rope is relaxed, reinstall both chocks and repeat the process

This has proven to be a far safer technique than I had ever thought it would be, and it gives terrific control over trajectory of the aircraft. Cost is darned near nothing, especially if you find a used boat winch or similar.

The other solution, the one I use now, is an electric tug which fully supports the nose wheel, lifting it completely off the ground, thus removing it from the steering equation while also providing motive force to the aircraft.
Interesting... they move local News Bell helicopters, fire fighting water drop helicopters and Crane helicopters all over the airport I frequent on dollies.

I guess the trick is to build the dolly on large enough diameter wheels to overcome the rolling resistance experienced. Might take a couple of iterations of build or wheels on the dolly, to perfect it for a RV-12.
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:25 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 4,096

Originally Posted by pazmanyflyer View Post
What about the DanH approach from earlier this year? Sure this is setup for a TW but there wouldn't be much to adapt it for a nosewheel.....
Note that to work, it needs to lift the airplane's wheel off the ground so that it's weight can be added to the towbar's weight for traction.

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Old 01-14-2020, 09:22 AM
Jim T Jim T is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Independence, OR
Posts: 225

Personally .......I'd spend the $1500 on a tug and get on with life. You have a lot invested in your RV12 and I don't imagine hangers come cheap in So Cal, so how big of a percentage of your overall investment would a nice tug be?

RV-12 kit no.: 120647
Working on finish kit

2006 Rans S-6S Coyote (flying)
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Old 01-14-2020, 01:54 PM
Canadian_JOY Canadian_JOY is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,185

Originally Posted by NinerBikes View Post
Interesting... they move local News Bell helicopters, fire fighting water drop helicopters and Crane helicopters all over the airport I frequent on dollies.

I guess the trick is to build the dolly on large enough diameter wheels to overcome the rolling resistance experienced. Might take a couple of iterations of build or wheels on the dolly, to perfect it for a RV-12.
Ahh - now I see the genesis of your viewpoint.

Moving helicopters on a dolly is a totally, and I DO mean totally, different experience. Those dollies lift the entire helicopter off the ground, thus they are more a trailer than a dolly. I've moved my share of rotary-wing aircraft using ground handling wheels and dollies. Thanks, I'll take the helicopter dolly any day because it provides such positive control.

In the case of the RV12 in question, the critical difference is the suggestion of putting only the nosewheel on a dolly, leaving the mains on the ground. While this consideration may seem insignificant, it's anything but. You see, with the mains on the ground they represent two completely independent thrust vectors. Block one main wheel and the airplane will pivot around it, whether the nose wheel is on a dolly or not.

Now if the entire aircraft were on a dolly the game would be entirely different. I suspect for most of us building such a dolly and getting the airplane up onto the dolly would be a fairly significant undertaking, thus rendering the concept impractical.

Having a tug which lifts the nosewheel removes from the equation the awkwardness of the castoring nosewheel. If purchasing a tug for an RV or similar aircraft with a castoring nosewheel, a tug that lifts and bears the weight of the nosewheel truly is the best way to go. I speak from experience, having purchased just such a tug for our aircraft.
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Old 01-14-2020, 11:33 PM
John-G John-G is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 619
Default reverse the tow bar


Was reading this thread earlier today and it got me thinking of how I would try to accomplish backing my RV-12 into a hangar while fighting a slight uphill grade without spending a ton of money for a tug.

A crazy thought came to me on how you may be able to accomplish the task inexpensively. As a couple of posters have already suggested, you could use a block and tackle or a winch ... but the problem is how to prevent the castering nose wheel from turning sideways without holding onto the tow bar when the hands are busy pulling on a rope or holding a winch controller?

I'll just throw this out there ... it just may work. Instead of attaching the tow bar as it would normally be attached, try attaching it so the handle faces aft. Attach the block & tackle's rope or the winch cable around the tow bar's handle. If things work the way I think they should, the long arm of the tow bar should keep the nose wheel centered as tension is placed on the tow bar to pull the airplane backwards. This should free up your hands allowing you to pull a block & tackle rope or hold a winch controller.

If the proof of concept works, you can place small wheels (or skids) on the end of the tow bar's handles to prevent the tow bar from getting all scraped up on the hangar floor and to also make it easier for the handle to transition over the concrete lip most hangars have. Clearing the long aft portion of wheel pants (if you have them) may be problematic ... but if the concept works, you can have a welder fabricate a tow bar with a longer fork to clear the aft portion of the wheel pants.

Hope this idea works ... if you try it, let us know what the results are.
RV-12 Wings, Empennage, Fuselage, Finishing, Avionics and Powerplant kits all completed
Now Flying!!

Dues paid until September 2020

Last edited by John-G : 01-15-2020 at 12:19 AM.
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:47 AM
printbr printbr is offline
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Richland, WA
Posts: 2
Default Lift Nose Wheel

What if you use the block and tackle or a winch to pull the plane in by the tail. And add maybe 15 or 20 pounds to the tail ring to slightly lift the nose wheel off the ground. Then it cannot turn sideways. I used to back up a 172 by pushing down on the tail and maneuvering it backwards. It was the easiest and fastest way to back a nose wheel plane.
Bruce Rawlins
Richland, WA
RV-12 Flying

Last edited by printbr : 01-15-2020 at 12:50 AM.
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Old 01-15-2020, 06:44 AM
Piper J3's Avatar
Piper J3 Piper J3 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Hinckley, Ohio
Posts: 1,658

You want to be able to control and steer the plane as it retracts into the hanger. Airplane should follow centerline of the door opening, and if close on the sides, perhaps put a marked line on the floor. Use the towbar to steer so plane tracks centerline. If using a winch to pull the plane, mount the winch on back wall of hanger at about 5' above floor level so that pulling force does not lift nose wheel. Extend pendant switch so it reaches about 25' in front of hanger. Very simple - pendant switch in one hand and guide towbar with other hand. Why make this so complicated...
Jim Stricker
Hinckley, Ohio (1OA2)
EAA #499867
PPL/ASEL 1970 - Sport Pilot since 2007
80 hrs Flying Aeronca Chief 11AC N86203
1130 hrs Flying 46 Piper J-3 Cub N6841H
RV-12 E-LSA #120058 AWC July 2012 N633CM
RV-12 Bought Flying Oct 2015 with 48TT - Hobbs now 522

LSRM-A Certificate 2016
Special Thanks... EJ Trucks - USN Crew Chief A-4 Skyhawk
MJ Stricker (Father & CFI) - USAAF 1st Lt. Captain B-17H
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Old 01-15-2020, 08:10 AM
jcl777 jcl777 is offline
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Kingwood, TX
Posts: 14
Default One Main at a Time

What I do is angle the plane just enough to get one main over the threshold, then the other. Makes a big difference for me.
John Leon
Kingwood, TX
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