Online Community of Zenith Builders and Flyers
I have searched through the forums but haven't found much on this.....If there is already a topic with this subject I would be very happy if someone can point me to it.
I am having real problems getting affordable hangar space, Sydney, like many cities with expensive land prices is forcing recreational aviation out..... so for me in the foreseeable future, my 701 will be parked outside.
My aircraft is yet to be painted or polished so I need to choose which option with weather protection in mind.
Any tips or ideas which will help my aircraft cope with the hot summers (sometimes dry, sometimes humid) and fairly mild winters are very welcome!
Thanks in advance.
I've had to park my 650 outside for the last year while waiting for hangar space to open up in Salt Lake City. Some of the problems I've had are:
Birds were by far the worst part of being parked outside. They would rebuild any nest I tore out within a day and were constantly pooping on it. The hawks in the area have caught lunch and torn it apart on the cowl/canopy. Not a fun cleanup
I'd recommend a good canopy and cowl cover. The fuel cap ended up being a bit of paint that made its way into the sealing area of the cap, which was an easy fix. The aircraft is painted with a single stage polyurethane based paint that's held up fine for the last year.
I have found that stainless steel spiral lawn anchors used for dogs, found at a pet store, worked well on my CH 701, as long as I used two or three per wing (for tie down off-airport). It helped to use rubber bungees in addition to ropes, to take up slack and help to keep from pulling up anchors during windy/gusty conditions.
Adding the folding wing option to the 701 allows the plane access to the spot in a garage normally filled by a car. This option may be retrofitted to your completed plane at any time.
Thanks Wendell and Orlando,
Some good tips there!
Yes, the folding wing option may be the way to go to help me find some affordablle hangarage. I will check the forum topics on this.
I guess my decision now is polish or paint. There doesn't seem to be much info about on how well the polished aircraft stand up to the weather. I am wondering if moisture gets into the rivet heads and potentially causes corrosion.
I think that's great advice to use 2 or 3 of the dog anchors per wing. It has been my experience that the dog anchors are usually not made of the greatest quality steel and have had more than one snap off when attempting to screw it into hard ground! I made a variant of the EAA tie downs (using an aluminum plate rather than steel and steel pins with integrated loops to make them easier to pull out). The pins are easier to insert and remove from very hard ground and hold very well in most soil conditions.
As far as the folding wing option, the predominant opinion on this forum seems to be it's just as easy to simply remove the wings completely and use a trailer with appropriate supports for transportation. Since the wings have to be de-fueled and it's really a 2 person operation, the folding wing "might" be practical for once or twice a year treks between airport and home, but not much more frequent than that - you don't want to spend more time assembling/disassembling the airplane than the flight time! LOL!