Rick Neilsen's Custom Trailer/Hangar

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The objective was to have a lightly sprung trailer that would give a good ride when carrying my Kolb MKIIIC.

I started with a single axle boat trailer. A frame was constructed from 1” galvanized steel electrical conduit. The conduit was formed into hoops spaced every two feet or so along the length of the trailer frame. The conduit hoop is bolted to the trailer frame. Where the conduit is bolted to the frame and where it is joined I drove 1’ of steel pipe into the conduit for strength.
On the back of the trailer I welded on two platforms that hold the Kolb main gear. These are approximately 6 inches lower than the trailer bed. The floor of the trailer is made from ¾” plywood.
Galvanized steel, used for covering pole barns, is pop riveted to the conduit hoops to form the front, sides, and roof.
Material used for the clam shell doors was 1” thick 4x8 foot foam sheets. Sheets were glued together to form 4- 8x8 sheets. An insulating foam called “Tough Stuff” was used as the glue. The sheets were trimmed so that two were width of the trailer top and two were the height of the trailer sides. I stood the sheets up and duct taped them together into a square shape the same size as the end of the trailer. I then glued the bottom 2 feet of the sheets together adding scrap foam gussets to the inside of the corners for strength. Then I started free form cutting, bending and gluing the top into a point. When finished I verified that the nose of the Kolb would fit inside the formed shape with the plane in the trailer. I then cut the tail cone in half. An abrasive wheel was used to gouge out a cavity on each side were the hinges attach to the clam shell doors of the trailer so that I could glue a ½” x 4”x 7’ piece plywood flush. I then fiberglassed the outside of the clamshell doors. I then cut and glued on ½” plywood blocks as hard points for clamshell for alignment and latching points. Then I fiberglassed the inside and all the plywood. The doors are attached with piano hinges.
I then built a plywood cradle that clamps on to the tail boom and hold the folded wings. The cradle carries the load of the tail and wings when in the trailer. A winch is used to pull the plane into the trailer and there are 2”x 2” on the floor of the trailer that act as guide tracks for the cradle.
The trailer is designed to be used primarily as a winter hangar while in Florida. When in place, the trailer wheels are removed and the trailer is lowered to the ground to make it easier to move the MK III in and out of the trailer. Ramps were built to let the plywood cradle to roll in and out of the trailer. Swing jacks are welded to the sides of the trailer to assist in raising and lowering it.
The trailer loaded with the MK III pulls very well behind my Toyota Sienna. The only problem is that wind and trucks push it around quite a bit. I have pulled it at up to 75MPH on calm days but when a truck passes me I like to be doing 60 MPH or less.

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