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Touring Motor Gliders Association (TMGA)
  • Wing Folding Help


    Season's Greetings!

    I'm very close to buying a nice Ximango. However, I found that I cannot presently fold or unfold the wings by myself. This puts my decision to get one in doubt. Physically, I'm 5'8", 66 yo, with the muscles of a skilled typist. It's all a struggle, but I can manage to get the wings up to within about 25 degrees of vertical, at which point I get stuck. As one shuffles along the leading edge to raise the wing toward vertical, the distance of one's pushing to the fulcrum decreases, increasing the force required. I'm thinking that a scheme with a flexible joint and a pole attached to the wingtip fitting would let me push while maintaining leverage. But, I don't know.

    Does anyone have sneaky schemes to make this easier? TIA


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    When I first got my Ximango, I had the same concerns.  I am about the same size and age (just sold my Ximango).  Here is how I got it to work for me:

    1. Lock the wheels with chocks.  So when I got to that 25 deg point I could push back and up.  Having the firm force back helped me to push and get leverage. Of course, once one gets past the straight up neutral point it's easy.  I could just rotate under the wing and walk the wing down with my hands over my head.
    2. During the first few times I did the fold/unfold, I asked a second person to spot me to help catch it if I dropped it. (I never dropped it and ultimately told helpers to stop helping (touching) as it seemed to hurt more than help.  I told them to just spot me.)
    3. Since I was afraid of dropping, I removed winglets and left tip cushion on.  For the first few solo times, I left a couch cushion on the wing near where the tip would land if I dropped it.  (I never dropped it.)

    I know that one person built a tripod mechanism and he thought it worked well.  It looked a bit clumsy to me.

    My backup plan if my wife wanted to fly without me:  we asked the line service tech to meet at the airplane for pulling out and helping with the wing-fold.  $10 tips for assembly and $10 tips for disassembly made everyone happy and relaxed.  The line service techs rushed out to help and just made the worries go away.  Sometimes the visits would included fueling (bring the truck).

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    So as we mature the wings do get harder to fold (old age) at 5'7" 130 lbs. and 74 years of age they can be daunting so I came up with a solution.

    I simply made two wooden frames that fit the wing nicely with some on-skid rubber attached to the wing side of the frame. I had an old carbon tube from a delta glider and fitted a dumbbell handle into the end of it with some epoxy so that I could attach barbell weights to it. (I found 2-3 25 lb. weights to be the right amount). I put a quick pin in the far end so the tube wouldn't slide out when the wing was vertical.  At that point it became easy to attach and remove as well as add weight one piece at a time. I will attach some pictures of when I first made it.

    It takes 10 minutes longer but this old man can still do it.


    balance 1.jpg


    balance 3.jpg




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