Author Topic: Questions about Shipping a H-295-1200  (Read 522 times)

LowMtnRanger

Questions about Shipping a H-295-1200
« on: March 09, 2022, 08:18:23 AM »
I have purchased c/n 1288 (G-BAGT) located in England and need to bring the 295 back into the USA inside an 8' x 8' x 40' shipping container.  Obviously the wings and tail feathers will need to be removed, padded and well secured into the container.  However, my immediate questions are;  Could the main gear with its current 9' stance be ratchet strapped tight together to clear the container's 8' interior width without damage to the Helio?  Additionally, could the gear struts be somehow compressed to reduce the resultant increased cabin height?  Also, could the wings, complete with the attached flaps and ailerons, survive being strapped to the walls with the slats bearing the weight on the padded floor?  I would sincerely appreciate any advice on how to best bring her safely home.   Jeffrey L James (304) 373-6950 

JamesCaird

Re: Questions about Shipping a H-295-1200
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2022, 11:31:42 AM »
Louis or Jim Metzler should chime in on this.  They have done this many times between them.

Louis

Re: Questions about Shipping a H-295-1200
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2022, 09:01:51 PM »
 Could the main gear with its current 9' stance be ratchet strapped tight together to clear the container's 8' interior width without damage to the Helio? 
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My advice is based on what Neil has done to ship our Helio from Canada to Australia, then New Zealand, then back to Canada. 

He did remove the external wheel shaft and kept the inside one to fix it to a dolly with small wheels.   

Additionally, could the gear struts be somehow compressed to reduce the resultant increased cabin height?

I don,t think that the height is a factor of the shock absorber extension.  They only keep a certain angle of the gear legs.  If you strap the gear legs together for a certain widht , the shock have no effect on the total height. 

Also, could the wings, complete with the attached flaps and ailerons, survive being strapped to the walls with the slats bearing the weight on the padded floor?

No problem there.  On a big thick foam supported all along the slats

Neil have some photos that he is sharing with us.  I might have others.  For the moment, here Neil's photos

Louis

Louis

Re: Questions about Shipping a H-295-1200
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2022, 09:06:02 PM »
It is very important to attach the prop so it won't turn with the vibration of the boat.  Neil made some socks out of fabric so we could attach the prop so it did not turn

Louis

Louis

Re: Questions about Shipping a H-295-1200
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2022, 09:09:03 PM »
We had the luxury to have the container well before so Neil was able to prepare it inside with shelf for the wings, and attach point for the straps

Louis

Louis

Re: Questions about Shipping a H-295-1200
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2022, 09:12:24 PM »
A hand winch was bolted at the back so it was easy to pull the Helio inside with two floor ramp that you can see on the photo

Louis

Louis

Re: Questions about Shipping a H-295-1200
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2022, 09:17:23 PM »
A big rack was made, with a small hydraulic piston, so it was easy to remode the wings without any stress on the bolts.  I will search for photos.  The rack was able to fit in the container with the helio

Louis

Louis

Re: Questions about Shipping a H-295-1200
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2022, 09:27:46 PM »
Neil made the rack so it was used to remove the wing, and then use that same rack to bring the wings inside the container to their shelving
« Last Edit: March 09, 2022, 09:35:13 PM by Louis »

Louis

Re: Questions about Shipping a H-295-1200
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2022, 09:32:58 PM »
Stab and rudder have to be removed
« Last Edit: March 09, 2022, 09:36:10 PM by Louis »

Louis

Re: Questions about Shipping a H-295-1200
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2022, 09:49:42 PM »
Why not fly it ?  If you have a good engine, and 120 gallons tank, it is a beautifull trip.  If you don't have the 120 gallons, a ferry tank is easy to connect to the fuel tubing tube inside the cabin. 

You will be welcome to stop at our hangar in Montreal

But you have to trust your engine ;-)

And carry a fuel pump of some sort because sometimes 100LL are only available in drums in the north.  England-Scotland-Iceland-Kulussuk Greenland- Kangerlussuaq - Iqaluit- Kuujak - montreal.   All VFR routes.  You do need to go up to 11000 feet with that route.  At 10000 feet, sometimes you see your shadow on the ice cap of Greenland quite big and too close.

Louis

LowMtnRanger

Re: Questions about Shipping a H-295-1200
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2022, 10:27:53 AM »
Louis, I first must thank you for the in depth solution to my shipping container dilemma, as well as the fly it over recommendation.  I hope to return the favor someday.  I am very fortunate, and feel very privileged to finally own a Helio.  This has been a bucket list dream of mine that originated early on in my career with the US Special Forces where we employed these remarkable aircraft.  It is clear that my PA18 will soon become somewhat neglected and lonely, although it is due a rest anyway. 

This 295 is a relatively low time Helio at 1777 TTSN, however she has a higher time 480 at 1061 SMOH, but with good "recorded" compression.  Although the aircraft does have long range tanks, and has been consistently annual-ed every year, the engine hasn't logged 2 hours total time during the last 5 years. I really don't know if I could trust it for that crossing.  To further question the decision to fly it home, I was not able to travel to the UK in order to personally conduct a pre-purchase inspection.  However, I was satisfied with the 295's current condition as seen throughout a lengthy one-hour long Facetime video inspection.
  
Additional considerations include low Helio hours to my name, and an aviation insurance company that won't underwrite the crossing.  Furthermore, when I must take an unplanned bath I have evidently become soft in my old age, preferring warm tropical water over the arctic cold.  Unpredictable Covid restrictions still seem to appear here and there, and I could further experience major delays due to mechanical issues and the subsequent logistical nightmares to correct them.  Anyway, I'd love to make the overseas journey in the 295 but, after weighing all of these considerations, in addition to a handful of others not mentioned, for me at this particular time, shipping her home seems to be the wisest solution.  So thanks again for sharing your knowledge and experience. 

Louis

Re: Questions about Shipping a H-295-1200
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2022, 12:02:10 PM »
The key is allowing a lot of time and planification before the trip.  Some thougts:  If you plan to use wood in the container, you have to get it stamped as approved for between countries.  I don,t know for USA, but here in Canada they will freak out if they see a piece of wood in a container.  Because of insect contamination.  So Neil used only metal racking.  But, we were at our hangar to prepare the container.  A differnet story than yours since you will arrive in England and receive the container there.  I would try to have it at least two weeks before so you could work on it.  I will post more photos, but you will need a place to work on your container and some tools.  Lashing point must be bolted everywhere.   We used a piece of metal bolted to the wall.  You can see them on the photo.   Thick close cell foam purchased.  ( amazon ) One side with stick on glue does help to keep them in place.  Neil installed those shelves for the wing and stab so we couls lash them.  I am not sure you can put them on the floor since it will be difficult to lash them.  But may be if you put the straps before putting the wing.  His clever rack did help to dissaemble the wing easlity and safely and bring them inside the container at the exact height of the shelves.  I am not sure you will be able to install a shelf there.  So may be lashing pont at each 6 inches will do the job.  With close cell foam between the wall and the wing.  I don't know how Jim was equipped in the jungle to remove a wing, but you should take a lot of preparation not to stress anything when removing them.  You do need some kind of a rack.  May be a couple of stepladder joined somehow to make a good rack.  And shim them with cardboard or thin plywood piece to remove the stress when unbolting the wing attachement.  Neoprene fabric ( scuba diver stuff ) sock to fit on the prop end .  Plus attachement on them to prevent them from turning and touching the container wall 

I was talking about your project with Neil this morning, and he told me that his yellow dolly were hold in place by the inside shaft we have for skis installation.  We have a shaft that point outside for the wheels, but also one that point inside for the ski.  And he did removed the one for the wheels.  So you might think of finding a ski shaft to do the samething.  You have to find a way to attache the dolly to the legs.  Removing the stab and the rudder is quite easy.  Then you have to strap them on the walls.  I think we did put the rudder inside the plane on mattress.  I don't remember.  But i do have a big cargo door. 

Lots and lots of close cell foam.  Lots and lots of lashing point.  Lots and lots of straps.  The wing attachement were strap vertically, horizontally, front and rear.  I don't remember for the tail wheel section.  I will ask Neil what we did. 

Louis

jmetzler

Re: Questions about Shipping a H-295-1200
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2022, 12:27:20 PM »
Good afternoon. I've been involved in shipping many Helios across the world. I've always taken the gear off and usually mounted the fuselage in a wheeled carrier. I'll attach pictures. It gives you a lot of working room and isn't a big deal to build. I would NOT recommend leaving the slats on the wings. The skins are .016 and they are not strong. You might get by with leaving them on, but you might also be buying a set of slats especially if the trip is a bit rough thanks to crane operators.

I like to take the flaps, ailerons and wing tips off too and set the wings in a cradle using wide strapping material under several bulkheads. Keep in mind the end rib with the tip removed will leave a fragile end rib exposed so you can't easily just set the wing on cushions. Having the flaps off allows you to use the flap tracks for securing the wing to the side of the container.

For the long parts, stabilizer, flaps and even slats I usually built a shelf across the container and secured them to the shelf

Make sure you use wood that is approved for import into the US or you will have lots of trouble upon entry. Must be stamped or plywood.

If the airworthiness is current in England, that will help getting US Certification.

There are many good ways to ship planes; this has been successful many, many times.

Jim Metzler

LowMtnRanger

Re: Questions about Shipping a H-295-1200
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2022, 07:36:45 AM »
Jim, thanks for sharing your extensive and obviously successful experience with shipping Helios.  I just can't thank you, as well as the others who have chimed in, and even called, enough.  I'm further thankful that after many, many decades I have finally matured enough to be able to say "I don't know".  By doing so, and asking for guidance from those of you that do know, I should then be capable of shipping the 295 home without screwing it up.  So thanks again to all and I hope to be in a position someday to return the favor, in addition to helping others whenever possible, Jeff