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Thread: Powered Towbar/Tug

  1. #41
    Orbiting Earth Left the Solar System trumpet nelson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Great country of Texas
    And the "thrifty" version 2.0 in a 2 1/2 minute video. Slow and boring .... but it works....


  2. #42
    I will keep you folks updated on the MOTOW - the owner/builder/designer is flying the unit to me on Sunday to try in my own hangar . He wouldn't hear of me going to him to try it. He thought the only fair test was to see if it would work for me at KMQS. On sale for $499 and DELIVERED!! Can't beat the service. I'll let you know if it works...

  3. #43
    Are these available?
    Quote Originally Posted by trumpet nelson View Post
    Our "thrifty" towbar - - cost now reduced to $230 .... I no longer am using that shovel handle

    So we'll call this version 2.0. I took off the shovel handle and inserted the original pipe stem back into the drive unit. This removed a lot of play as well as gave me a sturdy mount for hanging the large battery. I also moved and mounted the top portion of the original wired controller to the center area. The toggle switch direction matches the direction the plane moves.

    Forward extension of the unit is now a couple of pieces of scrap 2x2 and also a short piece of 2x4 (you just KNEW that a piece of 2x4 would eventually appear!) to create the "T" handle at the end. Next upgrade will be downsizing the battery to something more manageable. The driving weight is great, but moving it around off the plane is a clumsy. We'll see just how small I can shrink it (my lawn tractor may be our next battery donor ...)

    The photos below show the 2.0 version, as well as my airstair" being employed to double as my battery stand for mounting / un-mounting. By the way, that black plastic $12 step stool is just right for going up and down into the cockpit, stows easily in the baggage area, and weighs very little. Most importantly, it gives your foot a large and stable target when stepping down from the wing - - - a very big help. Available at Home Depot.

    And a video having fun in the bumpy grass area in front of the hangar .....

    - - will post link in next reply - -

    And a second uphill "gravel travel" video. I gave it the real test. Filled the fuel tanks to the brim and then used it to move the Sundowner across the grass, up the gravel, and into the hangar. Success is sweet!

    - - ditto - -

    Be safe, keep smiling,

  4. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by rgschmi View Post
    That was Dan Kirby. I think it's still in his hangar. Joe would know for sure.

    Finally found the post from 2014, its still going strong although the new hangar is so level I rarely use it.

    We use a 12v winch from an ATV and mounted it on the back of the hanger at ground level. It is powered by a 12v battery that we periodically hook up to a trickle charger. It has never died on us.

    The cable is hooked to the back of the nose gear. It is tempting to use the tail hook but the POH is very clear not to do this. You can look on YouTube and search "djksierra beechcraft tow cable" and you should find a video of this. It is a one foot of steel cable with a loop on each end. It attaches to the lugs on the nose gear and is held in place by the tow handle. Actually, the ends of the tow handle have been opened up to allow the cable to be inserted in the tow handle itself. Look at the video and it will make sense.

    To control the winch, we extended the remote switch by wiring it to a 50ft extension cord. I can stand in front of the plane with the remote and guide the plane back by steering the nose gear with my foot by moving the tow handle. We painted a mark on center of the back wall of the hanger and I line up the prop and tail with that line. It can be a little slow but it would be hard to hit the hanger at that speed.

    The video is here:

    Last edited by JoeKirby; 09-02-2014 at 04:59 PM.

    Joe Kirby
    Sierra N9299S

  5. #45
    I use a gas powered golf cart, (sometimes) works great!
    Plus it gives me transportation around the airport too!

  6. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by trumpet nelson View Post
    And the "thrifty" version 2.0 in a 2 1/2 minute video. Slow and boring .... but it works....

    Hi Nelson,

    Your battery powered tug inspired me to give the trailer mover a try. I didn't have any luck driving the nose wheel directly like yours so I changed it a little. My hangar has a decent up hill slope. I either have to get a running start or have another to help push.

    I used the trailer mover along with 2 pieces of 3/8" x 2 1/2" aluminum bar. I bent them in a press I have access to. I made the fork smaller than the nose gear so the spring back of the bar keeps it in place. It requires some weight, my knee, on the drive wheel when going up hill. It will move the plane on level ground without any additional weight.

    I can share more photos if someone else is interested. Total investment is just under $300 including the 12ah 12v SLA battery. It had enough power to move it in four time when I was testing. I think I will make a new T handle for it for down force instead of having to use my knee.


  7. #47
    I am thinking of selling our tug and switching over to a lawnmower set up with a tow bar attachment for the Commander. We have the nosedragger tug that I used on our Sundowner now moving our Commander.


    I'm headed over to the local lawnmower shop, the owner set a unit aside, with no mower deck, for me to look at. He does some welding on site, if not able to fab what I need, he can hook me up with a local shop to fabricate a tow bar.

    Still in the research phase.... maybe I should just add a caster wheel closer to the T handle to save my back and that will work.
    Gary Mascelli
    N6708R 1980 Sundowner [SOLD]
    N453TC - 1976 Commander 112A

    Flight Journal
    My YouTube

  8. #48
    Orbiting Earth Touring the Galaxy
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Jacksons Gap, Alabama
    Quote Originally Posted by trumpet nelson View Post
    ok - - getting a little miffed, but what else is new ?

    I wanted to post the 12v motorized trailer jack for our membership and took a long time to find it (at Sportsman's Guide).

    At least I found this for you - - -

    Might be "sold out", but probably worth a call if you decide to go this route.

    Operational Sundowner test and video to follow.....

    Nelson, that motorized jack is on ebay now...

    Rap McBurney

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