Baggage door in Highlander

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Baggage door in Highlander

Postby Saini flyer » Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:10 pm

I just came across this on barnstormers that describes a factory build 4 foot cargo door: http://www.barnstormers.com/classified_615270_+light+sport.html

According to the post, this is the first one ever and I am wondering why no one in the past opted for a cargo door. Is this a new option or a one time gig for $$$$$?

The cargo door looks better that the one on skyraider frontier(http://www.skyraiderllc.com/frontier.htm).

Image

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Re: Baggage door in Highlander

Postby FlyerChief » Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:18 pm

I just came across this on barnstormers that describes a factory build 4 foot cargo door: http://www.barnstormers.com/classified_615270_+light+sport.html
Saini


Even better... check out the square tubing on the door frames and the custom sheet metal addition to those frames, which I suspect is designed for a rubber gasket seal.... Nice!!! 8)
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Re: Baggage door in Highlander

Postby SheepdogRD » Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:03 pm

It looks like he's put a Z shape in there, something we want to do for ours, too, to go with doors made from square aluminum stock. But we'll use square stock at the bottom, because that straight edge on the bottom could be pretty hard on the body. I've been looking around for the Z shape, but haven't found it; we may have to form our own.
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Re: Baggage door in Highlander

Postby GDS » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:58 pm

That Highlander in the ad would be a great buy for someone who didn't want to do a lot of building, it might be below cost.

Without a baggage door you have to climb over the seats and move your baggage while you're all twisted around at the waist. I'm installing a small and simple door:

Image
I can also use it to reach in and access the area behind the baggage bulkhead.

Rest of it's here: https://picasaweb.google.com/117395836098651740243/BaggageDoor#
Big Bear Lake, CA
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Re: Baggage door in Highlander

Postby Saini flyer » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:37 pm

That is a very handy door GDS. Even with a jump seat at the back, I can access to the baggage :P

But the moose wont fit in through that door :mrgreen:


GDS wrote:That Highlander in the ad would be a great buy for someone who didn't want to do a lot of building, it might be below cost.

Without a baggage door you have to climb over the seats and move your baggage while you're all twisted around at the waist. I'm installing a small and simple door:

Rest of it's here: https://picasaweb.google.com/117395836098651740243/BaggageDoor#
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Re: Baggage door in Highlander

Postby av8rps » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:47 pm

If any of you are thinking about modifying your airplane by changing the tubing to accommodate a baggage door, I thought I should share what I learned on that subject years ago. I don't have any details other than what I'm sharing here, so take it for what it's worth;

Case #1 - At one time there was an airplane called a Montana Coyote that was essentially a copy of an Avid Flyer enlarged about 50%. It had an even bigger baggage area than we have on our planes, and it had a large baggage door on the right side that allowed really great outside access. But even though there were only a few ever sold, the Montana Coyotes became known for having issues because of that door back there. Apparently when landing hard the door area became the weak link, causing damage or collapse of the fuselage behind the cabin area. I'm guessing someone didn't do their engineering before producing the airplane (Eyeball engineering? "What's so hard? We'll just copy the original and modify it to our liking"). And I have to admit that the way they had the area around the door trussed it looked plenty strong. But obviously it wasn't. Shortly after the Coyote, the Avid Magnum came out proving to be a much improved design. Ironically the Magnum did not include an exterior baggage door except for the hinged access cover on top of the fuselage at the end of the turtledeck cover. But Dean Wilson was involved in the Magnum, so I'm sure he did his homework.

Case #2 - Kenny Schrader of Skyraider aircraft (a very good friend of Troys) once showed me a computer stress analysis he had done of his Skyraider design, stating how surprised he was to learn that the weakest part of his airplane was right behind the cabin, below the turtledeck area. Kenny modified his Skyraider to rememdy that concern, but I specifically recall looking at that with him and talking about how neither of us would have ever thought that by looking at the airplane. But it proved to both of us that building a strong airplane requires more than just eyeball engineering it. And if there was a guy I would have had faith in eyeball engineering anything successfully, it would have been Kenny. He was an incredible builder and fabricator.

So if I were going to add an exterior baggage door to my Highlander or Escapade, I'd make sure I worked with the factory on that before cutting any tubing. Or I would make a point to make a door that would have no impact on the structure, like they did with the Avid Magnum, or like they did with the Avid Mark IV. Done properly it might even be possible to increase the strength of the area. I believe the Avid Mark IV's side baggage area might actually do that.

I believe adding your own baggage door could be a lot more than what meets the eye...
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Re: Baggage door in Highlander

Postby SheepdogRD » Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:04 pm

GDS wrote:Without a baggage door you have to climb over the seats and move your baggage while you're all twisted around at the waist. I'm installing a small and simple door:

I can also use it to reach in and access the area behind the baggage bulkhead.

Rest of it's here: https://picasaweb.google.com/117395836098651740243/BaggageDoor#

Nice job, Gary. It covers the problem Paul (av8rps) discussed above, in that it doesn't reduce the strength of the fuselage; it simply adds access.

How do you plan to seal the door? What sort of latching/locking mechanism do you have planned?
Richard Holtz
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Re: Baggage door in Highlander

Postby GDS » Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:01 pm

I am not an engineer but my gut sure agrees with the analysis posted by av8rps. I don't want to eliminate any airframe tubing.

The little baggage door will swing on piano hinge in the front and latch at the back. Two ideas for the latch. I can add a narrow strip of aluminum to hold the receptacles for two camlocks, or I'll put another piano hinge in the back and pin it shut. I'm leaning toward the hinge closure, it's bullet-proof and has the utilitarian look I want.

Saini flyer wrote:But the moose wont fit in through that door
Should fit if I bone it out first, might have to strap the antlers on the hood...
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Re: Baggage door in Highlander

Postby SheepdogRD » Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:20 pm

Saini flyer wrote:But the moose wont fit in through that door
GDS wrote:Should fit if I bone it out first, might have to strap the antlers on the hood...

Could you post a picture of that? :mrgreen:
Richard Holtz
Highlander N7340Z -- Ms. Tonka -- in gestation

If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.
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Re: Baggage door in Highlander

Postby av8rps » Sun Jan 01, 2012 6:13 pm

SheepdogRD wrote:
GDS wrote:Without a baggage door you have to climb over the seats and move your baggage while you're all twisted around at the waist. I'm installing a small and simple door:

I can also use it to reach in and access the area behind the baggage bulkhead.

Rest of it's here: https://picasaweb.google.com/117395836098651740243/BaggageDoor#

Nice job, Gary. It covers the problem Paul (av8rps) discussed above, in that it doesn't reduce the strength of the fuselage; it simply adds access.

How do you plan to seal the door? What sort of latching/locking mechanism do you have planned?


Yes, I agree that Gary's door is a great way to do it. Nice job Gary!
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Re: Baggage door in Highlander

Postby Mountain Eagle » Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:38 pm

Just joined this forum and saw the post about baggage doors. I have a Montana Coyote Mountain Eagle which is the second version of the Coyote with some improvements. I'd like to dispel some of the information on the Coyote that is out there. The weak point of the aircraft in a hard landing is not the baggage door area, but rather the middle of the doors in line with the bungee gear attach points. Both of the Montana Coyote demonstrators were damaged beyond economical repair due to hard landings causing the center of the cabin at the gear bungee attach points being pulled out of the bottom of the aircraft with plenty of other damage resulting from the collapse and loss of control.
I have collected a large cache of photos of the Coyote over the years and have talked with both of the GM's who were in charge of the company in it's short life. They are a pretty good airplane over all with a couple of items that need to be addressed to make them how they should have been before ever being kitted. In the short life of the company, approximately 21 Coyotes kits were sold and 5 Mountain Eagle kits. I have Mountain Eagle S/N 2003 with the modifications that are needed done.
I'd be happy to share photos of the structure around the baggage door if anyone is interested. I also have photos of both of the demonstrators showing the damaged areas.
Thank you,
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Re: Baggage door in Highlander

Postby Mountain Eagle » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:39 pm

Here are a few photos of the Mountain Eagle demonstrator that was stalled during landing and the subsequent damage.
The Coyote and Eagle are the same airplane with a few improvements being done on the Eagle.

Image

In this picture, the baggage area and doors can be seen with no damage.

Image

In this picture, the real weak point can be seen. Having the bungees located in the middle of the door frame and not having the landing stresses transfer from the front wing spar to the gear, is a bad idea.

Image

I think the Highlander could easily be modified to have a baggage door and not compromise the fuselage structure.
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Re: Baggage door in Highlander

Postby Chief » Sun Sep 01, 2013 5:01 pm

Added a 4 foot aluminum cargo door to my Highlander, hinged with a piano hinge at the bottom. The door follows the contour of the plane, and will be fabric covered inside, just like the other side wall in the cargo area. This required some frame modification, with appropriate engineering sign-offs for safety considerations.
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