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Touring Motor Gliders Association (TMGA)
HiFlite

Wing Folding Help

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HiFlite

I'm on the verge of buying a Ximango, but discovered that I cannot fold/unfold the wings by myself. At 66 y.o., 5'8", 150 lbs and with the body build of a typist, I can get the outer wing panel to within 25-30 degrees of vertical, but no further. As one lifts and hand walks from the tip, one gets closer to the fulcrum and runs out of leverage. The amount of force required increases until I can move it no more. Anyone have tricks or gadgets to overcome this problem?

 

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Ted Hauser

I am 82 yrs old ,165 pounds and I can open and close the wings. I carefully turn the fuselage directly into the wind. I keep my feet directly under my hips and my back very straight while I walk the wing toward the hinge.

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Thermalseeker

Look through the picture gallery. There was an Ximango owner a while back who had trouble folding and unfolding the wings. So, he came up with a tripod/block and tackle system to help. I don't recall his name, but I do recall seeing the pictures here. 

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Sidlinger

It is admittedly difficult and also scary because (I have always assumed, at least) if you ever drop one then that’s the end of that airframe.

As a CFI I have taught a few people how to do it as safely as possible. Straight into the wind, of course, and always with the mains chocked. And you can’t have ambiguity at the top, you have to commit to it going over. And dry hands, of course, and I’ve considered using sticky mechanics gloves.

When training, I put huge wedge pads inboard and a spotter outboard.

As a sailor, my first thought was to “rig a preventer,” but there’s no good attachment point.

It’s a big like swinging up onto a horse. Very hard to do the first time.

You can call me if you want.

P.S.: Indoors with an expert and a spotter is the safest way to practice.

P.P.S.: A machinist could make a fitting for the wingtip attachment point and then you could use a block and tackle, maybe, if you had something overhead. A lot of complexity and stuff, but still nothing compared to folding the wings on my HK36TC-100!

If you're on FB, I posted an unfolding video.

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Steve R.

Yes, there is hope for us wimps. I am 5'7", 230 lbs. and 73 years old and yes I have problems opening and closing the wings so I built a simple lever system and it is very doable now. It consists of a 10' carbon tube (what I had from an old delta hang glider) two wing shaped plywood pieces, a couple ratchet straps and two 25 lb. bar bell weights. The system reduces the lift weight from 30 lbs at the wing tip to about half that. My concern was what if it should slip while in the vertical position? I glued a rubberized material to the surface next to the wing for protection of the wing but when the ratchet straps are tightened nothing moves. The second issue was how far out could I go and not hit the ground when in the vertical position? Further than I thought but a quick measurement on the first lift answered the question and I have sense put stops on the tube so when I mount it no further measurement are required.

Steve R.

balance 1.jpg

balance2.jpg

balance 3.jpg

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HiFlite

Quite clever, Steve! This scheme would also reduce the risk of damage from a "slam down" in the event one lost control, say, in windy conditions.

 

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Thermalseeker
On 12/30/2019 at 1:05 PM, Sidlinger said:

(I have always assumed, at least) if you ever drop one then that’s the end of that airframe.

What would make you think that on a fiberglass airplane? You might damage the hinge, or maybe punch a hole in the skin if you have winglets, or maybe tear out some of the mounting screws/bolts. All that is easily repairable. I can't imagine damage from dropping a wing being so severe that you would have to junk the airframe. We operated a composite repair shop here at my field for 17 years. We primarily worked on high end racing gliders, but we had several X's come through, mostly for gear up damage. The Ximango is one damn rugged airplane, overbuilt really. We've had gliders come in strained through a barbwire fence, with busted wings after finding a hidden fence post landing out, gear ups, boom breaks, canopies, even one that had everything forward of the rudder pedals sheared off and they all lived to fly another day. With fiberglass composite you can build it back stronger without adding weight if you have the know how. It's a neat material to work with.

 

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Thermalseeker

 It consists of a 10' carbon tube (what I had from an old delta hang glider) 

Pure genius, Steve! I flew hang gliders for 28 years. I thought that tube looked like a carbon crossbar. from a topless glider. LOL! I've got an old topless in my barn. I may have to rob one of the cross bars and make one of these. Thanks for sharing!


 

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