How to Demate and Crate a NAvion for trucking across the country...
I'm going to try a new approach on this page to keep the load time reasonable. With each small picture, you'll find a blurb on what is pictured, and the how and why of the step. Clicking on any of the pictures will open a larger version through our Yahoo Photo Album. I will try and find a way to make all of the photos available at full scanned size soon.
If you'd like to read the story of the challenges, click here.
After removing the interior, wing fillets, belly panel, empennage, propellor, and the upper cowl, we used two-by-four's to construct front and rear stands to support the weight of the fuselage with engine. Take notice that the stands were built to hold the aircraft with the main gear up on 2x4's so that we could collapse the gear without raising the fuselage. Also note that another 2x4 was cut to brace the main wheels so they wouldn't collapse before we were ready!
One of the annoying things to me before we went on this trip was that I couldn't get a clear picture of where the 6 attachment bolts for the wing were located. In the upper picture, you can see me up in the main gear well accessing the front lower attachment bolts. In the lower picture, you can see the shaft of one of the two rear bolts peeking below the aux. tank fuel tube. In a later picture of the removed wing, You'll clearly see the nut plates for all four of the front attachment bolts.
After all of the control cables, fuel lines, hydraulic lines, and electrical connections were undone (and those everpresent stragglers caught) and the six bolts removed, we held the wingtips one at a time and removed the 2x4's under the main wheels to lower the wing a bit (top picture). Then, we again grabbed each tip, collapsed it's gear and lowered the wing onto a mechanic's creeper and wheeled it out from under the fuselage.
Thank you to SSG Mark Racicot (Ras-ik-o) from the 91st Division, U.S. Army (Activated) Reserve for scanning these pictures. Mark is a fellow aviator and is available for all of your geeking needs once the Army is done with us. He can be emailed here.