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Thread: Strut Attach/Wing Tie Down Fittings

  1. #1
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Strut Attach/Wing Tie Down Fittings

    While hanging out at Oshkosh my Dad and I were asked to look at a Tri-Pacer that had some questionable front strut attach fittings. It was interesting because the airplane belongs to the president of the Short Wing Piper Club.
    IMG_20180728_174929.jpg

    He later came by and asked us to look at it as well.
    IMG_20180726_181945_1.jpg

    IMG_20180726_182004.jpg

    I knew he had left the airplane for several weeks after getting stranded by weather and figured it was tied down in a wind storm when looking at the damaged strut attach fittings. He asked me if I thought it was safe to fly and I let him know that I did not. Anyway, we got Univair to FedEx in some new strut attach fittings and new hardware and a buddy dropped off a nice collection of tools including a cordless Bosch sheet metal shear along with a 1/2" swivel socket and long extensions. My Dad and I were able to swap out the fittings at the owners parking spot in the Vintage area. Only real challenge was on the left side at the bend. Was hard to bend the fitting enough to get a socket on it.

    IMG_20180728_124023.jpg

    IMG_20180728_171341.jpg

    IMG_20180728_171411.jpg

    After the fact I believe the fittings have been this way for a long time. Curious to hear if it flew any different.

  2. #2
    mmoyle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strut Attach/Wing Tie Down Fittings

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    While hanging out at Oshkosh my Dad and I were asked to look at a Tri-Pacer that had some questionable front strut attach fittings. It was interesting because the airplane belongs to the president of the Short Wing Piper Club.
    IMG_20180728_174929.jpg

    He later came by and asked us to look at it as well.
    IMG_20180726_181945_1.jpg

    IMG_20180726_182004.jpg

    I knew he had left the airplane for several weeks after getting stranded by weather and figured it was tied down in a wind storm when looking at the damaged strut attach fittings. He asked me if I thought it was safe to fly and I let him know that I did not. Anyway, we got Univair to FedEx in some new strut attach fittings and new hardware and a buddy dropped off a nice collection of tools including a cordless Bosch sheet metal shear along with a 1/2" swivel socket and long extensions. My Dad and I were able to swap out the fittings at the owners parking spot in the Vintage area. Only real challenge was on the left side at the bend. Was hard to bend the fitting enough to get a socket on it.

    IMG_20180728_124023.jpg

    IMG_20180728_171341.jpg

    IMG_20180728_171411.jpg

    After the fact I believe the fittings have been this way for a long time. Curious to hear if it flew any different.
    Saw your Post on Facebook.. glad you did! Calling Attlee Dodge tomorrow to buy a couple of their tie down brackets that wrap around the front spar. Was.....was....trying to figure out how to cope the fiberglass wing strut fairings to accept the stock tie down fittings... no moe


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

  3. #3
    rocket's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strut Attach/Wing Tie Down Fittings

    I had a set fail but it was blowing 148mph. Ive posted photos here before.
    the tiedowns add leverage in a way that bends the brackets. I just tie around the strut. Recovered a set of pacer wings and taped to the spar was a set of factory just like FADodge ones only not SS.
    Last edited by rocket; 08-05-2018 at 10:01 PM.

  4. #4
    Stephen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strut Attach/Wing Tie Down Fittings

    Did the owner fly this plane into Oshkosh in this condition?
    "You can only tie the record for flying low."

  5. #5
    Pacerfgoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strut Attach/Wing Tie Down Fittings

    That's pretty amazing.....
    Forrest Miller

  6. #6
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strut Attach/Wing Tie Down Fittings

    Quote Originally Posted by rocket View Post
    I had a set fail but it was blowing 148mph. Ive posted photos here before.
    the tiedowns add leverage in a way that bends the brackets. I just tie around the strut. Recovered a set of pacer wings and taped to the spar was a set of factory just like FADodge ones only not SS.
    Looks like to me tieing to the struts puts the same loads on the fittings as using the factory tie down fittings.

  7. #7
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strut Attach/Wing Tie Down Fittings

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
    Did the owner fly this plane into Oshkosh in this condition?
    Yes, there were not heavu enough winds in my opinion at Oshkosh to do this plus his tie downs were 1/4" nylon rope and dog tie downs so I know they would have failed before the fittings bent.

  8. #8
    Gilbert Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strut Attach/Wing Tie Down Fittings

    Bear in mind folks that with strut cuffs it was not real noticeable that the attach fittings were bent. Once the cuffs were off it was noticeable the brackets were not quite lined up with the struts. The extent of the damage was not evident until the brackets were out. I was surprised at the condition of the brackets when Steve pulled them out. Looking thru the inspection hole behind the strut only exposed the kink in the outer edge that kept us from removing the nut. See picture.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Gilbert Pierce; 08-06-2018 at 08:28 AM.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Strut Attach/Wing Tie Down Fittings

    Sometime in its life it was tied down by chains in a storm and the damn chains jerked it until it bent those straps.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Strut Attach/Wing Tie Down Fittings

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Mayes View Post
    Sometime in its life it was tied down by chains in a storm and the damn chains jerked it until it bent those straps.
    Most likly. During the wind event that put my Tripacer on its back there was a 172 on chains and it bent the wing struts about 15 deg. at the eye bolt that went through the lowest fastener hole of the upper fitting.

    mine was on lines but the wind switched during the peek wind from right on the nose to about 40deg, it snapped the smallish tail rope and the twisting action of aircraft caused the tension that did in my fittings. One side broke off completely and the other looked like the ones Steve showed up thread. My bird then went on its back and stayed put while the two cubs next to me were completely destroyed. I've posted a photo on the wreckord thread.

    Rocket

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