I bought a Dragonfly that had been hangared for 20 years and needed to get it from Canton IL to Huntsville AL. A ferry flight was out of the question. The plane has a 20 year old VW that in the 80s has history for prop hub separation, a crank shaft fracture, and aluminum flywheel. Furthermore, there have been 20 years of 'lessons learned' and aviation electronics improvement. I needed ground transportation so I went with a modified, pontoon boat trailer:
I ordered a trailer without the four alignment posts so I needed to make some simple modifications:
I laid 2" x 8" x 16' boards between the carpet covered boards but I needed 20'. I cut an 8' board in two and patched it to the 16' boards:
I turned the board over so the plates are in tension. Then I added 1" shims to hold the flats under the carpeted boards at highway speed and shimmed to avoid vibration:
So this is how the trailer and tow car looked Friday morning before driving to Canton, IL:
On the trip up, the empty trailer tow ran 30-33 MPG at 62-63 mph depending upon winds.
Sad to say, a low pressure center developed while in Canton IL and we had to load the plane in the rain. Then it rained all the way back to Huntsville:
And in the driveway using the other car:
On the trip back, the tow came in at 28.6-29.5 MPG at 53-54 mph. The plane was wrapped in plastic wrap that didn't last long at highway speed in the rain. I had some 'road rash' on the end of the wing on the outside with a couple of paint flakes taken off. The canard on the other side has two separate paint splashes suggesting a small rock or pebble hit. But the canopy and fuselage look impact free. Using pink-foam sheets, we padded the cross pieces, wing and canard. The engine was loaded in the hatchback over the folded down, rear passenger seat area. The props and about 50 lbs of builder documentation and left over parts are in the rest of the space.
I looked at a Uhaul van but rental started at $800 without considering fuel costs and as a rental, I would have to do it again when the plane goes to the airport. A smaller trailer would have significant wing and fuselage over-hang although this 24 ft. trailer was a bit of overkill. I could have gotten by with a 22 ft trailer and saved a hundred or so pounds. Regardless, after the plane is operational, the trailer goes on sale and I'll get back most of the $1,650 trailer cost. My alternate tow vehicle, a Coachman G30 RV gets ~8 MPG at 55 mph by itself. Meanwhile, I've found an affordable, trailer parking spot . . . and there is this area beyond the driveway obscured from the neighborhood. <grins>
So all in all, I'm reasonably pleased with my aircraft carrier. Fuel costs were reasonable and the open frame made loading fairly easy. Heavy, yes, but obviously the 28 MPG for 626 miles, 21.6 gallons, was affordable. I'm expecting to see 140 mph @4 gal/hr from the Dragonfly.