Move Velocity

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Here are some tips from builder's on how to move your fuselage after the spar has been installed. These are by builder's who mostly built jigs to move their airplanes themselves, but I do want to put in a plug for Roger Cummins of Three Feathers (937-533-6111), he moved my airplane from the house to the airport, and picked us up again when we had our little incident in Otisco.

N44VF Brett Ferrell

Here's a shot of Roger picking us up to go to the airport.
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And here's a shot of Roger picking us up in Otisco, that guy's like a bad penny.  ;-)
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Before installing the spar, the kit is pretty easy to move. Velocity packed ours in a Ryder truck, and Elizabeth brought 44 Victor Foxx home Cincinnati herself (she's a trooper).
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Jeffrey Clough

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I don't recall who's move this is, if you contact me I'll attribute this properly, and I'd like to include some details here as well! {OK, I found a note, and I believe this to be Jeffrey Clough's move of a 173 RG - I moved the plane 3500 miles up the Al-Can highway from CO to Alaska....much of it was dirt roads...it survived without a scratch, I would not do it with the engine attached...}

N98EF Erik Franks

Here are some google sketch-ups from Erik Frank's blog, he's trying to buy Bob Santom's Velocity and move it to Austin.
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Won't fit?
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N755V Al Gietzen

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N713MR Ronnie Brown

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Here's one way of moving a Velocity. This is an XLRG. This move was complicated by the fact the aircraft and gear were damaged.

We built cradles to fit just behind the main gear and one under the canard bulkhead. The crane was used to pick up the fuselage, set it in the cradles, then the truck crane was used to haul it for about 150 miles. The fuselage was tilted approximately 30 degrees to keep the width under 12'. We had to get wide load permits but since the load was under 12' wide so no escorts required.

The cradles were built up using 1/2" plywood on 2x4 frames. Foam blocks shaped to fit the fuselage were inserted between the plywood and extended out from the plywood about 1" to support the fuselage evenly.

My plane is a 173 and by turning the fuselage sideways, I was able to keep it under 12'. This was from the airport that I built the plane at to another airport that had a nice long 6000' runway.

Ronnie Brown

Mark Means

I did something like this when I prematurely moved it to the airport a couple years ago, built a 2x12 “right triangle” bolted to the firewall and wing attach points to hold it up near 60 degrees to keep the width down. That was before the engine was mounted and the weight went up. Thanks for the pics, I get the idea. You mention the goal was to get the width under 12’. I have a 173 and I believe it is just about 12’ wide as it sits horizontal. Two questions, is your plane wider than this and is 12’ legal? Thanks.

Mark


Dave Dent

Brett I had my XL shipped all the way from Australia and it was put onto an open plate they call it. It is a forty foot transportainer with the sides kicked out. The ends fold down and the top is open. It loads onto a flat bed. The plate weighs in at more then the plane, believe me. The canard it 12.6 feet so you will have to tilt it with some wood to get it under the 12 foot US road laws. Just put a couple of 2X6's under one wheel. Also have it tarped. This is a must and make sure that it can't flop around. It will beat up the windows. I had the engine on and it was all rapped in bubble rap but you won't need to do that if it is tarped well. With it just tilted up to make the 12 feet it can go down any US highway. I had a bar bolted to the canard attach points that just were long enough to mount the wings to. The wings went over the top of the strakes with large pads under them and the winglets along side of the engine. I'll send you a picture of it, if you need it. The canard then slipped under the fuselage and strapped down.

Dave

N114MV Andy Millin

Fuselage was rolled onto a flatbed trailer and strapped down. This was a "wide load" transport. The wings and canard were transported in the wing rack.
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Reiff Lorenz - kit without spar installed

I bought a kit from another builder who had done very little work done on it. I wanted to take it from Ohio to Florida for the Head Start program. For anyone who is transporting a Velocity that does not yet have the spar installed, here are my recommendations:

  1. Rent a 20- or 24-foot box truck Budget, Penske, or Ryder. (The fuselage is ~17+ feet before the engine cowl is cut, so the 18-foot trucks won’t give you much extra room.) You can get a 1-way rental for a week for under $2,000. Rent one dozen cargo blankets with the truck. (3-dozen if the wings and canard are built.) Truck quality from the cheaper places is hit-and-miss. Be prepared to have no A/C or radio (even if they say it’s included). Join AAA if you’re not already a member. AAA covers the member, no matter what they’re driving—cheap insurance to have in case there’s a problem with the truck.
  2. Get these items: 2.5″ drywall screws and washers that fit these screws. A cordless drill/screwdriver. A padlock for the truck’s cargo door. If the wings and canard are built, you’ll want some cargo straps and 4 inexpensive saw-horses.
  3. Put the fuselage in the truck on a few layers of blankets. Drill 4 small holes in the fuselage bottom right through the blankets into the wood floor of the truck. (Location doesn’t matter much.) Use the drywall screws and washers to secure the fuselage to the floor of the truck. (If you don’t have a drill, you can just force the screws to self-tap through all the layers.)
  4. The top half of the fuselage will be safe sitting on the bottom half. Secure the halves together using the drywall screws through their flanges. The screws don’t have to be tight in the holes . . . they’re just there to keep the top half from sliding around.
  5. Pack the rest of the kit in and around the fuselage. If none of the fast-build work has been done, all the rest of the parts are easily loaded by 1 person.
  6. If the wings and canard are built, you (with a helper) can hang them on the walls of the truck using the cargo straps. Use the blankets to wrap the wings. Make sure that there is padding between the wings and the cargo straps—a fiberglass corner can quickly cut through the webbing. Place the sawhorses under the wings so that they don’t crash to the floor if the webbing breaks. For extra security, you can run drywall screws through the blankets into the truck’s side rails. If everything else fails, the blanket will rip, slowly lowering the wing to the truck floor. (Strips of old carpet work well, too. Many wings have been transported wrapped just in carpet that was screwed to the side of the truck.)
  7. Drive it. Unload it. Drop off the truck. Start building.

The above plan costs about the same as hiring a professional to transport it for you. It has some additional benefits, though: You maintain control over your aircraft kit, you don’t have to pay extra to transport yourself (since you’ll be driving), and you are not dependent on the availability of a professional transporter.

If your main spar is installed, the Velocity will not fit inside a standard rental truck. Some people have rigged a way put a Velocity in a rental truck nose-first with the spar on the outside of the truck. It has to be rotated about 45 degrees on the longitudinal axis so the spar doesn’t jut out into other lanes of traffic. Also, this doesn’t work if the strakes have been installed.

Most people hire a professional transporter if the spar has been installed. Call the Velocity factory for recommendations.

One note on insurance: Most aircraft builder policies don’t cover transportation more than 50 miles and don’t provide replacement value coverage (important for those who bought a used kit for much less than a new one costs!) You may be able to get a rider on your homeowners policy covering “named personal property” that would provide replacement-value coverage while transporting it.