Hangar Furniture

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BlueYonder
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Hangar Furniture

Post by BlueYonder » Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:03 am

My waiting list number finally came up a few months ago, and I'm the proud tenant of a really nice, modern T-hangar at KPAE. Furnishing my new little she-shed has brought up a few questions.

1) The hangar is only 42' wide, so getting the plane in and out requires two people working very slowly and the application of a fair amount of goose grease. Non-Diamond owners have recommended a variety of ways to make this a simpler one-person task, including mounting an electric winch at the center back of the hangar that hitches to the tail loop and pulls the plane inside (the cheap option); or getting one of those remote-controlled robotic tugs that will pull or push it where I want it (the expensive option).

In both cases, I wonder how well a winch or a tug will work with our weird castering nose wheel. It seems like that might complicate things with either solution. Is this a rational thing to worry about? Or does anyone have experience of either of these options working well on our planes? If this isn't the right answer for one (short female) person to get a DA40 into a hangar, then what else might be?

2) I'd like to be able to plug the plane in. There are two use cases here. One is being able to sit in the cockpit, turn on the electrics, and fiddle with the G1000 for as long as I want (entering a complex flight plan, for example; or poking at the lesser-used windows) without running the battery down. The other is trickle charging, so that during the slow winter season, I can leave the plane for a longer while without coming back to a dead battery.

What kind of cord/charger am I buying? Do I need different ones for these two situations, or is there one product that will cover it all?

3) What do you consider standard equipment in your hangar? I've got a desk, chairs, shelves, a refrigerator, ladders...the equipment is starting to pile up. What amenities make it functional, make it fun, make it home for you?
The highest art form of all is a human being in control of himself and his airplane in flight, urging the spirit of a machine to match his own. -- Richard Bach
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Steve
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Re: Hangar Furniture

Post by Steve » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:08 am

Hi Sara:

Shortly after I moved into my hangar, one of my hangar neighbors donated a sofa-bed and recliner chair (he had a business furnishing motel rooms). They were well used, but are fine for a hangar. I have a small refrigerator, a couple of workbenches, a shelving unit, flammables storage cabinet, large tool box, ladders, air compressor, aircraft jacks and tail stand. Being that I am in TX, I also have a large fan. I've accumulated a lot of stuff, but it has been over 18 years. The hangar is 1800 square feet, so I also keep my Corvette in there (no room in my garage).

The hangar is lighted by fluorescent lights, but I also have a halogen light stand for working at night (which I try my best to avoid).

I do have a trickle charger/desulfator and power tow as well.

Steve
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Re: Hangar Furniture

Post by BlueYonder » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:20 am

Tell me more about the trickle charger and the power tow.

The air compressor sounds massively useful.

So far, the best part of the hangar (besides keeping my birdie out of the Northwest winter damp) has been the amount of space it's liberated in my garage. All the aviation stuff -- oil, cleaning supplies, spare headsets and equipment, and two shelves of books -- has made the move.

The second best part is having all the electrical stuff -- Stratus, backup radio -- on chargers full-time, stored with the plane. Many fewer critical things to leave behind at the house.

The third best part is not having to cover, tie down, or lock anything up. Just pull it inside, lock up the doors, and go.

Overall, the amount of friction between me and the sky just went down by about 50%.
The highest art form of all is a human being in control of himself and his airplane in flight, urging the spirit of a machine to match his own. -- Richard Bach
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Re: Hangar Furniture

Post by Steve » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:30 am

The Power Tow is this model:

https://www.powertow.com/40-EZ-Aircraft-Tug_p_14.html

I dump my fuel drain samples into its tank, and that is enough to run it. My hangar is 44 feet wide, so not as tight as yours, but I did paint guide lines for the main and nose wheels. I also made some ramps to ease it over the lip of the pad.

I have the Battery Minder:

https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/ ... ey=6147038

as well as the interface kit to make connection easier:

https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/ ... athaik.php

The Battery Minder is not an external power supply, it is just for maintaining the charge on the battery between flights. You would need something larger if you want to "hangar-fly" your avionics...
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Re: Hangar Furniture

Post by Chris » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:35 am

1) The castering nosewheel does make using a winch a bit more complicated. You basically need to be able to lift the nose wheel off of the ground by pushing down on the rear of the plane while operating the winch. This also makes it easy to steer the plane via the tail while it is being pulled into the hangar, but if you can't easily keep the nose off of the ground, then the winch is probably not going to work well for you. It might be possible to fashion a contraption to connect the winch to the nosewheel rather than the tail to prevent it from castering, but I haven't seen an example of that, and it might make it more difficult to steer.

2) There are some older threads on keeping the battery charged and running from an external power source.
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BlueYonder
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Re: Hangar Furniture

Post by BlueYonder » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:57 am

Thanks. This answers the question. I have no problem pushing the tail down hard enough to keep the nose wheel off the ground; and this would also be a good position from which to steer the plane in or out while keeping an eye on both wingtips. So a winch + steering from the tail IS a workable solution. (And the cheap one, so yay!)

I'd already intended to put down some tape stripes on the ground to guide in the mains as part of this solution, too.

I'll go check out those battery threads. Thanks.
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Re: Hangar Furniture

Post by Boatguy » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:39 am

I have a DA40NG with a 38' 2" wingspan in a 40' hangar. I use a Best Tugs tug to move the plane in and out. Backing up is a challenge because no matter the method, it needs to be exactly aligned before the wing tips enter the hangar. There is simply no room for trying to straighten it out after the fact. It's definitely not perfect, and I use the tug to lift and position the nose wheel as needed, but the tug allows me to focus on alignment rather than trying to push and watch alignment at the same time.

I installed two parking stops on the floor of the hangar, one for each of the main gear wheels, and use those as my aiming points and to stop the plane from rolling backwards too far. If the main gear is rolling to those parking stops, the wingtips will miss the sides of the hangar.

Pulling the plane out is just a matter of connecting the tug and pulling it straight out.

I use a ground power unit to power the plane when I want to fiddle with the G1000, update databases, etc. I have this one:

https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/ ... ckkey=6344
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Re: Hangar Furniture

Post by perossichi » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:48 am

Bought a really rundown hangar last fall here at KVNY. Spent much of holiday season patching and painting floor...

Congratulations on not having to put on and off covers which I did for years!
I got cabinets and rolling workbench from Amazon and some really nice and surprisingly cheap furniture from Wayfair and Macy’s.

Results

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ek629g66pcb3t ... 9.jpg?dl=0

With furniture

https://www.dropbox.com/s/8lgbedg13oixk ... 6.jpg?dl=0

And

https://www.dropbox.com/s/89o0sfxftr4ju ... 1.jpg?dl=0
2002. Powerflo, Hartzell composite two blade, 530W/430, 345 transponder.
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perossichi
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Re: Hangar Furniture

Post by perossichi » Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:05 am

Also, the tug is an electric tug called a nosedragger from dragger.com which can be used for most light aircraft without any special adapters. It grabs around the outside of nose wheel.

The previous owner of my plane had a tight fit and used sheet metal rails and a power winch to get the plane in the hangar.
2002. Powerflo, Hartzell composite two blade, 530W/430, 345 transponder.
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Rich
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Re: Hangar Furniture

Post by Rich » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:41 am

I used to be hangared at PAE and had challenges with rainwater finding its way beneath the doors and coating the hangar floor. So it wasn’t uncommon for the entire floor to be wet. I had to be sure not to have anything right on the floor that would be damaged by the water, like cardboard boxes or wooden-leg furniture.

Moreover, in that hangar and the one I have now in Prineville there is condensation/frost that will collect inside the roof ad drip down onto stuff below. And I need to allow for that.

MY PAE hangar was also 42 ft. And the Powertow worked fine with that situation. With my current 44-ft hangar even better.
2002 DA40: MT, PF, 530W/430W, KAP140, ext. baggage, 1090 ES out, 2646 MTOW, 40gal.
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