Fuselage Jack

I typically use a bottle jack on cinder blocks with 2×4’s on the bottom of the fuselage to lift one wheel at a time when working on the landing gear.  This time, I needed to remove my axles to repair elongated bolt holes that seem to be causing some shimmy on landing.  For this I wanted a more stable platform.

The simplest solution seems to be cutting a sawhorse a little taller than the bottom of the fuselage and lifting the tail while someone slides it into position.  The sawhorse is either positioned at the spar tunnel or as far forward as possible on the fuselage.  I typically work on the airplane alone and briefly considered and abandoned a trick method using ropes to position the sawhorse.  I have a mental image of somehow getting stuck holding the tail up while the sawhorse is awkwardly pusitioned to dent my wing.

A popular method on the vansairforce forum involves these hydraulic jacks from harbor freight. Unfortunately, they are 24″ tall and the bottom of the Sonex fuselage is 19″.


Scissor jacks seemed like a good solution, but I kept finding small ones intended for cars.  Securely mounting two of them to 2x4s seemed like it might be a challenge and would be dependent on the exact design of the jack.  I stumbled across these 24″ tall “leveling scissor jacks” on amazon.  They come with all the hardware needed to attach them to 2x4s and mine came with a hand crank rather than the drill attachment they advertised.  I much rather have the hand crank.  81rH7ZD2pOL._SL1500_I was easily able to lift the airplane and the airplane felt very stable.  I originally intended to attach 2×4 boards running fore and aft to the bottom of the jacks to increase their footprint, but the feet on these jacks are already pretty big so I left them off.20160227_151127

Leave a Comment

NOTE - You can use these HTML tags and attributes:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>