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Feb 02, 2019, 04:47 PM
Out Standing In The Field
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Hanging Storage Hanger Hangar

I've been running out of room in my garage to store my planes. This is nothing new, I've been running out of room for my planes since 1985.
But it was (is) getting out of hand, with most flat and semi-flat areas hosting planes, some still in the way, at risk of falling or being knocked to the floor.

I had put up a wall mounted nose-in rack, using 1/2" PVC pipe screwed into a plywood sheet with sheetrock screws through end cap pieces. At first, I'd used "T" pieces with the backs cut off, but that was more expensive and required cutting with a table saw (which I don't have). This storage method works well, as I have a tall wall in my garage, however, reaching the uppermost planes can be difficult, requiring a ladder to get to them. Also, wall space in a garage is a precious commodity, so when I saw the Z-Rack-N-Stack-Hanger and then read Brett_N's post about the pull-down pulleys, I knew it was something I had to try.
Last edited by RexGalore; Feb 13, 2019 at 04:27 PM.
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Feb 02, 2019, 04:48 PM
Out Standing In The Field
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Version 1 Construction

So, I had studies the Z-Rack, and all the dimensions that the pieces come in.

First of all, that Z-Rack is about 100 times classier than any PVC pipe piece could ever hope to be. But, I think that it is somewhat limited by the available arm sizes. I "sorta kinda" used the 7" and 10" drops between the planes, and for my smaller foamies, it's too much, and results in a "longer" overall rack dimension than necessary, at least for this batch of planes. I should mention that the batch includes my "go to" planes that I often load in the truck:
GP Super Sportster RxR
Tower Hellcat
and oddly enough my 1400mm Volantex Decathlon, just to see how a bigger, heavier plane might work out.

A four-level rack will take two 10' sticks of PVC, and twenty 90 degree elbows.This will cost about $12. I wanted to have a five level, and will maybe be able to make that work, once I compact the "riser" dimensions. I still have 46" left of my second stick, so the only additional pieces needed would be four more elbows. A couple of lengths of gray pipe insulation to pad the pipe will only cost a few dollars if wanted.

I used 1/2" PVC because it's easy to cut and drill, it's cheap, and has proven to be strong enough in my nose-in wall rack and my in-truck rack. There's no reason that larger diameter pipe couldn't be used, except the pipe and fittings will cost more though. I'd tried a pair of PVC cutting pliers, and they didn't work as well or cut as straight as a hacksaw, so I returned them. I drill a small pilot hole thru one side of the elbow and the tube, then use a 1" sheetrock screw to hold each joint. I don't like using PVC glue, because I like to be able to take apart & re-configure projects, and it's untrustworthy - I've had pieces that I DID want to stay together come apart. Also, the stink is best avoided.

Dimension-wise, the top "header" piece is 15" wide, which clears the landing gear on the planes I'm using. The rack "arms" are 12" long, and the first horizontal piece is half that at 6". The "riser" pieces are 7" or 10", but I will be cutting them down to keep the overall height of the rack down, once I get some "beta testing" done, and figure out how much space I really need between the layers.
Last edited by RexGalore; Feb 07, 2019 at 10:11 PM.
Feb 02, 2019, 04:49 PM
Out Standing In The Field
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In The Air!

Today I hung up the "plane mobile", and of course, it went smoothly, with no problems.


I was inspired to use an old-style shower curtain clip as the first part of the hanger. I'd drilled a hole cross-wise through the cross-bar, and with some minor persuasion, had that portion done. Next, I found a screw hook in my hardware box to screw into the bottom of the truss. I closed the opening down in my vise to keep the retractor pulley from coming out. Drilling the pilot hole and screwing in the eye went okay, and I hung the "mobile" up, and filled it with the planes I'd tested it with.

Except, the 1400mm Decathlon's wing would impinge on the "walkway" area in the center of the garage, where I carry long items that I would, no doubt, unthinkingly hit the Decathlon's wing like it was part of a foam pinata. No problemo, I'll move the Decathlon to the top-most position on the rack. No way. The Decathlon has wing struts, which points out the shortcoming of this style rack - you either have to have a very wide header dimension, or you can only have one airplane with struts on the rack (in the bottom-most position). So, I juggled the order of the planes, and put my Tidewater Twin on the top, and moved the Sportster to the bottom.

Next, the retracting pulley decided to test me. I could not get the pulley to release from it's uppermost position, to allow me to lower the rack.
The English-As-She-Is-Spoken directions on Amazon were largely useless, but hinted that you needed a kilogram of weight to make it work. I figured that I needed to eliminate the "slop" in the 2 eyes, so I used a small tie-wrap to cinch each of the hooks to the shower hanger and at the top screw eye.

Still, it would not release.

So, having another one of the retractors, I played with it until I figured that you need to lift from the locked position to release, then quickly pull down on the rack so that the pulley will bypass the locking positions. Slowing down the movement will allow the lock to function.

And it does work! I will definitely build another one, for the EDFs, and will change the top header to a straight-across piece, rather than the short riser that I copied from the "Z-Rack". I think it might be needed for the wood construction, or for clearance on some type of plane I can't think of, but for PVC, it just takes up room. I also might put a metal "spreader across the bottom-most elbows to align the arms width-wise, if it needs it.

So far, so good!
Last edited by RexGalore; Feb 05, 2019 at 04:19 PM.

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