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Looking for an ISO 20’ container Flyer

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Twodeaddogs

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A friend of mine keeps his Avid Mk IV Heavy Hauler in a 40 foot container, so it can be used as a workshop to service the aircraft. Rigging for flight takes 10 minutes , including opening the doors and setting out a small ramp. He rents it from a land owner and brings the aircraft home in winter on a trailer for annual servicing, as required.
 

erkki67

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40 footers container flyers are more easy to find for sure, but as said the containers are expensive to haul and install due to their weight and size.

20‘ container Flyer is another story, it seams to be difficult to find those, especially if the folding or assembly time has to remain within single digit minutes!

If we move one step up for 2 seaters, it’s getting almost an impossibility, like it seams.

So we have been talking only about folding wings, so what about folding fuselages and folding wings?

Remind, every thing has to fit a standard 20‘ shipping container.

Rki
 

Victor Bravo

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Backstrom "Power Plank" WPB-1 (??) was a successful simple aircraft that would likely slide sideways into the 20 foot container without removing or folding anything :)

Backstrom_WPB-1_Powered_Plank.jpg
 

lr27

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Various posters have pointed out two and more seaters that would be possible. The Dyke Delta is possible, even an old design. I am not sure, but it looks to me like the folding mechanism might be fairly quick to use. I don't see what's impossible about a Lacey with 6 inch plug-in wing tips either. You might be able to put it in on a slant and get by with the 20 foot wing as is. Various other examples were given. I suppose you could use folding fuselages, but I don't think it's necessary here. If you folded the wings AND the fuselage, you might get a ridiculously large aircraft in there, perhaps.

Just how much do the containers weigh? My guess is that it might be more useful to make an enclosed trailer, which might be light enough to haul around with an ordinary car. If you made something just big enough for your particular aircraft, maybe you could make it on something as cheap as a Harbor Freight trailer chassis, though I guess those don't do so well after a few years outdoors.
 

Twodeaddogs

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or, to carry on lr 27's theme, gut a caravan to get a trailer onto which a simple door can be fitted. One of the Affordaplane builders on FB has built a very neat trailer for his aircraft out of a disused caravan.
 

Sockmonkey

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I am with Erkki on this one, I have said before that a two-seat microlight/LSA type with quick-folding wings that could be easily stored daily in a 20' ISO shipping container would open up all kinds of possibilities, not just for using a container as a hangar, but because those limits would then facilitate other schemes to maximize space: a single plane safe in a 20' container on a farm strip or stored at home in a manageable trailer, two planes sharing a 40' container in a corner of the airport, a whole little aero club in a T-hangar.
I would add that you get even more convenience because so many other things are made to accommodate shipping-container-sized things.
 

Riggerrob

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At the light end of recreational trailers, many are now built as “toy haulers” with ramps and roll-up doors to accommodate snowmobiles, motorcycles, ATVs, etc. These are on the “stealthy” end of the visible range and can be hauled long distances by heavy-duty pickup trucks.

At the heavy end of the scale, the Dutch have built a few semi-floating houses. Their basements are reinforced concrete boxes that float during spring flooding. They are installed on tidal marshes/meadows with flexible sewage connections, etc.
 

Hot Wings

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Just how much do the containers weigh? My guess is that it might be more useful to make an enclosed trailer, which might be light enough to haul around with an ordinary car.
Kind of depends on the individual situation. For some the semi permanent shipping container at the airport may be the best option. For city dwellers where space is at a premium I can see this being the case. For others, like me, that have a free place to park the trailer then the trailer option becomes attractive. I've even considered a hybrid option: Put the shipping container on my property for storage and use an open trailer to transport. In the end that is just too much work - for me. I also looked at car haulers but they cost even more than a shipping container in my part of the world.

I think I'm likely to build my own light trailer and cover it with an EMT tube frame and boat shrink wrap. With any of the mentioned options a plane that folds into a small space is still needed.
 

TFF

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Move a shipping container 2-3 times and you will match the low end car haulers. Second, containers are bought used, why not used car hauler? Even if you are having to rent a pickup from U-haul, you are road legal the minute you are hooked up. Shipping container is suppose to be transferred by DOT correct trailers. Moved across the world, plopped down in an African desert is one thing, although it probably cost $5000 to move that $20,000 airplane, I can see using the shipping container. Anywhere not a third world country, a regular roadable trailer will be way more flexible. The original Aircram was designed for container travel, although not quick fold. All the 1962 EAA design contest planes had folding wings, part of the rules. Flybaby won, but there are some on the list that if the did not fit right out of the plans, building one to fit would not be hard. I don't know of any airports around here that would allow a shipping container parked. Get way out in the weeds of the weeds, sure. My wife is from a little farming community and there are 2 airplanes at the airport, but about 15 boats. Most the farmers keep the Cubs and like on the farm.
 

Vigilant1

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I don't know of any airports around here that would allow a shipping container parked. Get way out in the weeds of the weeds, sure.
I've wondered why this is so, any ideas? Lining up a row of containers on the grass on the edge of the ramp would cost an airport almost nothing (heck, less grass to mow!), and would be a source of income. During high winds, the containers would be far less of a hazard to other aircraft than a plane tied down on the ramp or even a standard tin hangar. And a fire inside one is much less likely to spread catastrophically compared to a similar fire in a T-hangar. I can only think the objection is based on:
1) Aesthetics (could be addressed in part by making them all at least be painted the same color, on similar footings, and kept largely rust free).
2) Most of these airports are operated by local governments, and the management/oversight is far more interested in avoiding problems and extra work than they are about making money or better serving the operators of small airplanes.

There's a shortage of hangars and they are expensive to build (especially the way the city/county typically does it). Hangar fees are a big part of the cost of aviation for those of us on the small end of this hobby.

Taking this on would be a good issue for EAA. Design some standards (footings, tie-down method, appearance, ramp to door, adding electricity, ventilation, optional additional door and window openings, etc), get some demonstrations in place and take pretty pictures, and highlight to airport managers and governing boards that sturdy, inexpensive, privately-owned containerized hangarage can improve the utilization rate of their airports and bring in funds. And then launch another design contest for aircraft that can best use them.
 
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mcrae0104

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I've wondered why this is so, any ideas?
Yes. A cynic's perspective would be that they would rather you pay for a long-term land lease on which to build a new hangar. Since they know you don't want to leave your pride & joy exposed to the elements and they have a monopoly on the land at the airport, they call the shots. (BTW, I'm not sure I believe that argument myself, but it's semi-plausible in some non-growth-oriented cases.)

Taking this on would be a good issue for EAA. Design some standards (footings, tie-down method, appearance, ramp to door, adding electricity, ventilation, optional additional door and window openings, etc), get some demonstrations in place and take pretty pictures, and highlight to airport managers and governing boards that sturdy, inexpensive, privately-owned containerized hangarage can improve the utilization rate of their airports and bring in funds. And then launch another design contest for aircraft that can best use them.
Totally agreed. Time for a design competition. Pick three or five winners, give them a stipend to build their designs, and put the finished products on display near the brown arch next year. It would be interesting, and not too expensive for EAA to sponsor this and get people thinking, 'hey, I can afford this.'
 

erkki67

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Nine foot wide box trailers can be ordered or bought used. They require an overwide permit, which is a small fee depending on your state.
Bob Jones has a 9 footer and he brings his Kitfox in it to Airventure for his forum talks about trailer hangars.
His discussion is here: http://www.teamkitfox.com/Forums/showthread.php?t=5537
In US this might work, we would require a whole Organisation with the police in front and rear of the towing of a 9’ wide vehicle.

And of course, this not for free.

The container size plane, makes absolutely sense over here.
 

Victor Bravo

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Erkki is right, a "wide load" permit here in the US is already enough of an extra headache... I can't even imagine what it would be for narrow European roads and their more restrictive regulations.

This discussion has gotten me thinking about one or two of the aircraft design ideas that have been bouncing around in my head. I have been thinking about the Debreyer Pelican, which might be able to slide spanwise into a 20 foot container without any disassembly :)
 

BBerson

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Trailers can be 8'6" in U.S. with no permit. I think containers are 8'.
A few inches can make a difference in ease of pushing a Kitfox type inside.
 

cluttonfred

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The container size may not be ideal but it is quite literally universal as standard ISO containers are found in every country on Earth. Even if you don't use an actual 20' steel container, which only makes sense for relatively permanent storage units and workshops, sticking to those size limitations makes it much easier to also find roadable trailers, etc. that will work. Yes, a few more inches can make a big difference, but that will be true no matter what sizes you choose.

20′ ISO SHIPPING CONTAINER DIMENSIONS
exterior
length 19′ 10.5″
width 8′ 0″ 2.438 m
height 8′ 6″ 2.591 m
interior
interior length 19′ 3″ 5.867 m
width 7′ 8 ​19⁄32″ 2.352 m
height 7′ 9 ​57⁄64″ 2.385 m
door aperture
width 7′ 8 ⅛″ 2.343 m
height 7′ 5 ¾″ 2.280 m
internal volume 1,169 ft³ 33.1 m³
empty weight 4,850 lb 2,200 kg

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermodal_container#Specifications

Leaving space the clear the doorway and shut the doors without stress, that gives you 2.15 x 2.15 x 5.5 m or 7' x 7' x 18' as the actual dimensions for your aircraft ready for storage. That's not a lot but it can be done, as we've said there are single-seaters like FRED and the HM.293 that can fit already and two-seaters are possible though more of a challenge.

Erkki, the challenge with gyroplanes is height and since the rotor mast is the most critical and highly stressed structural component and where two of the control runs must go, most people shy away from making the mast foldable. I have seen schemes for using collapsible landing gear to allow the gyro to squat down, but its not enough. Even something like the 1+1 seat Magni M-14 scout is over 2.5 m tall so you really need about 3 m clearance to avoid smacking the rotors on the doorway and roof. Even a high-cube container is too short, so you'd need something like this, doable but a lot more work and harder to move because of the increased height on the trailer.

a5bb95189e2037221f5e3e7fa51c6b13.jpg
 
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