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Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Lawson Laslo, Apr 17, 2019 at 1:49 PM.
Do you think a 6.5hp single wheel drive go kart would work as a tug for a 1000 pound airplane?
How much weight will be on the go cart? Is it geared really high?
I would think it would work. I don't think our power tow has any more HP and it doesn't weigh anymore however if I need traction I just push down on the handle. It has slightly larger (diameter) tires than a average go card and is geared very low.
How is the go-cart geared? A 1000 pounds is a lot more than a go cart is usually designed to carry. You want something that is geared low. That's why lawn mowers are popular for this.
Does the go-cart have a reverse gear? A tug without a reverse gear isn't very useful.
6.5 hp is more than enough to move it. What you may not get is the traction (or gear ratio - but that can be fixed easy) needed to move it because the go kart may be too light.
Why not? 6.5hp/1000lbs is plenty, although it’s going to depend on the torque output to weight ratio, which is likely going to be nil.
Any light single can be moved by hand quite easily, so a ‘tug’ is far from being necessary.
Why don't you move it? I push my 1680lb-2850lb plane around myself just fine, and I'm no big person.
mainly just a thought
work smarter not harder
I mean if you're tugging it along for an entire mile I guess. But just into/out of hangar it's going to be smarter and easier to just push/pull. But yeah a gokart will work just fine.
Wait till you get patches of just enough ice to make you slip and wack your head on the spinner (or in your case rudder)
Yes, it will work.
It would depend on the kart's gear ratio. The kart and the tug may have the same hp, but the tug will have a much higher gear ratio so the speed will be much less and the torque (pulling force) will be much more.
How far are you towing it?
I have towed a 1810 pound airplane with an unmodified Pride Revo mobility scooter (24 volt), a lot farther than I thought it would probably, 500 feet once. Been doing well for about 4 years.
Dad then bought a 182 which weighs 2202 pounds on paper full of gas), yes I could get it into and out of the hangar with the scooter but I caved and geared it down and put larger tires on it.
I'm towing less than 300 feet at a time, mostly around 50 feet. Would be neat to see how far it will go with the 2200 pound airplane now.
The ramp in front of my hangar is pretty flat, I'd guess the mismatch between the ramp and the hangar floor is 1/4 inch at the door. I used to get the 182 suck there unless I had a good run at it. Now the re-geared chair pushes it right over that.
On or off a treadmill?
More importantly, can you stop?
As for pushing the plane by hand, I'm a big guy and pushing the 182 with full fuel up any kind of incline is not fun and over the uneven threshold is a zero sum game. My wife doesn't stand a chance even on flat pavement.
In fairness mine has an adorable little wheel on the back, so I usually pull it everywhere.
But you aren't really pulling or pushing 1000lbs...isn't it more like trying to push about 15% of the weight. if it was a 1000lbs laterally no one would be able to move them by hand.
The true flaw with all motorized 3 or 4 wheel "tugs" such as lawn tractors is being able to push the plane, not pull it. You basically end up with the haywagon problem. My A&P's son can do it all day long. I suck at it. We even mounted a second ball on the front of a old All Wheel Steer garden tractor. In like 2 minutes you will be unhooking the tow bar and re-positioning.
With an average guys's weight on a gocart I think it can work...except for gearing...might be too high. And its easy to test. Hook on your hand held tow bar, drive up and grab it by hand and try the drive the go cart...you will have your answer if the wheels spin.
My wife moves a topped off 182 with an old power tow with easy. Once in while she might have to push down on the handle if the wheels slip and maybe she is putting on half her weight so 60lbs applied with lever distance of about 3ft.
I miss pulling my wife's Chief. It weighed far less and no messing with a tow bar under the prop!
there's a you-tube video out there about a guy who made a tug out of a motorized wheel chair... or at least the drive portion of it...
With a small plane and as easy as they are to manually just do it, one time of the go cart not firing up and needing repair or whatnot and any of the work smarter part will be out the door..... now if it’s just for the fun of it give it a whirl...
Depends on the gearing. 6.5 hp is plenty for 1000 lbs with the right gear ratio. If it is a chain drive, you may be able to go to a bigger sprocket(s) for some more pulling power if it struggles. (I think that's right. It's really late)
I've used electric and gas golf carts, and lawn mowers of all kinds to pull planes around. None have failed.
A flight school near me uses an old 15 hp mower to pull twins well over 3 times what you're talking about without even bogging it down. Another dude pulls his 20,000+ lb Citation 10 around with a 20 hp mower. I reckon 6.5 hp can pull 1000 lb easy.
My north facing hangar in SE Michigan usually has a sheet of ice in front during most of February. I strap some spikes on to my boots and that takes care of it:
I have something similiar that I bought for playing in softball tournaments played on the ice. Yep. You heard that right.
You do realize that "work smarter not harder" is business speak for "get somebody else to do the low value work so you can focus on the stuff that you think is important".
It goes with a lot of things
Uh no. Your use is correct, but so is his.
In fact, I’d argue that it most often applies to thinking about the problem and building or acquiring a tool to do it easier more often than your example.
My concern wouldn't be the HP (adequate), and though the gearing probably won't work well for pulling the load, what would really worry me would be the braking. Once you get that load moving, the kart brakes, tires, and weight on the tires probably won't let you stop the load well enough.
I can offer a actual data point on this.
I often let my daughter (now 11) pull the plane from the gas pump back to hangar after we land. The mower (JD 277AWS) was only $300 so I figure every time I tug it instead of hot start it for a 300yd haul its probably saving some wear on tear on the starter, avoids a hot start, etc. Anyway...
We also pull the 182 in the winter. So I put chains on the back tires of the lawn tractor. It can pull across some light packed snow and even ice as long as you don't stop on the ice and try start again. But where it gets fun is when she is pulling it with the chains on but on pavement. She is a little 'binary' in the stop and start part. So when it tell her to stop she just takes her foot off the pedal quickly. The plane continues to push the tractor (and its hydrostatic resistance) about 2ft. So it slides on the chains but not to far. But the tractor is maybe going 4mph when she does this. She does the same thing trying to get going and spins the chained tires. She's learning
If you can get it going on a go cart I would thing the biggest concern is just plain going to fast....and no way to stop in time.
If you can stop the plane by hand and can't push the kart by hand with the brakes engaged, you won't have an issue stopping.
I feel like we need a POA style (aka @SixPapaCharlie ) MythBusters episode
Yes thats the only time I use the saying, I build tools to make stuff easier a lot of times
I’d say if you don’t already have the cart a cheap old riding mower would take less work to get to be a good tug- garage sale season has begun!
Pulling is easy. My hangar is just barely downslope so it pulls find by hand.
I suck at pushing with this throwaway mower I purpose-cobbled. I just give up and push by hand, even though it’s hard.
What’s the trick? It pivots right at the front of the mower.
I pull 2330lbs of 182 around without issue. Surely you can manage a little Ercoupe
@455 Bravo Uniform ... I'm diggin the engine heater.
Thanks. Here’s the write-up. Works awesome.
Think I'm pretty much done messing with it now. I didn't get a good pic of the final machine all assembled but you'll get the idea. I can drive up to the towbar, lift the bar with my foot dive under it and drop the coupler on the ball and reach down over the handle bars and latch it or latch it with my foot, all while sitting.
The only thing I can think that would be an improvement, is getting a joystick controlled two motor chair and re-gearing that. With one of those I probably could leave it hooked up to the airplane and close the door. My current scooter setup is just too long for that.
That’s very cool