Intro: Wing Rigger W. Power Axis
Built this wing rigger over the previous Winter and used it throughout the last soaring season with good success. Had to make some reinforcements to the wing saddle but the overall concept has proven itself.
I had a box full of carbon fiber material woven into a tube about 24" across. Did the layup directly on the LS8 wing, protected by plastic film. The square tubing is from McMaster Carr, as is most of the hardware. 10" Wheels are from the aviation department at Harbor Freight.
The linear actuator (12V, 200 lbs) was found on Ebay, together with a remote control system that is actually prepared for a second axis drive. The LiPo battery comes from my RC parts box, max draw is only 3-4 Amps. I also bought a cheap wire welder from Harbor Freight for the steel welding work.
I spent around $500 for the parts and tools to build this rigger and believe it was money well spent.
This shows the cross axis and the stabilizing bar with castering wheels. The steel 1 3/4" square tubing with 1 1/2" square tubing inside slides easily with little play This picture also shows the remote controller and the battery.
Here we have the pivot point of the wing saddle and the linear actuator. Inside the vertical telescoping mechanism there is a gas spring (80 lbs) that aids in the vertical lifting. It can be removed without tools.
Here I'm showing the rigger with the wing saddle pivoted. Note the wing holding device. It is made from aluminum tubing (McMaster) and can be adjusted to clamp the wing and keep it from sliding out. It also had to be reinforced after initial testing.
The wing saddle from the other side with the wing clamp in the position it would be while holding the wing.
The last picture shows the wing rigger broken down into it's parts (no tools needed!). Transportation is easy, it fits into the box in the front of the trailer.