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By raquo
One of the ATOS manuals I've seen says:
The carbon fiber D-cells are sensitive to puncture loads. For vehicle transport, be sure to support the glider in at least three points with a well padded surface. This can be achieved by support as shown or by a ladder with padded rungs. With only three bearing points the D-cells should be supported by areas 4-8 inches by the 20" width of the glider.
"at least 4-8 inches" is wider than most OEM roofracks (mine are less than 3 in for example), so how are you padding your racks to be safe for ATOS gliders?

User avatar
By DMarley
I'd cut me some treated 2x10 or 2x8 pieces and screw / bolt them to my rack, or merely make your very own 16' long red-neck ladder-rack out of treated timber with perhaps six 2x8 cross members . Pad well with some closed-cell foam. That's what I have for my gliders. Works perfectly and inexpensive to boot... and blends in well with the local traffic. :P

Of course, it only weighs about 100 lbs, absolutely zero flex, and the ol' chevy 3/4 ton 4x4 pickem-up truck never complains about the extra, high-altitude moment.
User avatar
By raquo
Thanks, sounds like a bomb proof solution. For myself I'm looking for something smaller or at least detachable.

My Subaru Outback is very quiet, and even standard HG paddings that I made are annoyingly the loudest part of ambient sound when driving without a glider. I think I should have shaped them more smoothly.
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By DMarley
A ladder-style rack constructed of painted 1x material (pine or poplar) and gusseted and glued with some ply would be much less mass and provide near-perfect support for your gliders. Strap it to your existing rack. Or weld up some aluminum rectangular tubing stock for about the same weight but would be much more costly, maybe easier to look at. You could take it off the car when not using it for flying.

A typical aluminum ladder may work if you add plywood between a few rungs to help distribute the weight of the glider. Would likely be really noisy without the glider, though.
By seb
You want a really well padded rack for an ATOS. Normal roof rack with a front hood mounted rack will work fine. Just use good pads like those from Mike Barber. They are a high density foam. I have a hood rack that has suction cups for sale now since I put my atos inside my van if your interested. There are carbon flaps and such that are on a atos that a normal flex wing does not have . Protect them!
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By remmoore
I've owned five rigids (I still own two) and have never dinked around with minimalist rack systems. Suction cups, scrap aluminum, ladders - all of these will eventually cause glider or vehicle damage when hauling most gliders - and especially rigids. Here's what I've done for the three vehicles I've used over the years for hauling rigids:

First, one needs to look at the structural support the vehicle is providing. I've always used square steel tubing. It's easy to use in fabricating the rack, and provides the best horizontal supports for adding the padding system. If you're using an existing structural system like a lumber rack, you may have to work with round-stock metal, but at least you've got the structural strength in place.

When hauling rigids, it's especially important to not rely too much on the vehicle's roof for support. I only use one intermediate support point to be mounted on the roof. Don't use a lightweight aluminum Yakima or similar - they just don't offer the support desired for a rigid. If you don't have the capacity to come up with a steel roof rack, a wood stiffener mounted to the top of the rack might work - assuming the clamping system is sturdy enough. I've always used front and rear racks to supply the majority of the support, which can be reliably mounted to the frame in some manner.

Which leads me to the padding system. I've used this design for the past 15 years and never had the slightest problem with rigid wear or damage. All the other pilots who load on my vehicle (rigid or flex) claim it's the best they've ever seen.

I start with a redwood 2x4 - redwood is a relatively soft wood, and known for its resistance to rot. I drill two 1/4" holes through the board to install the mounting bolts before I add any padding. I use 1/4" galvanized bolts and pound them into the holes so the heads are recessed into the wood, so they won't easily turn when threading on the nuts when installing.

I next cut my first layer of padding. It's a dense foam, just over 1/2" thick that can be found at craft stores and (I think) Home Depot. After cutting it to the shape of my 2x4, I use a spray adhesive to mount it. I next use a less-dense foam, about 1" in thickness I got from a fabric store, and attach it with spray adhesive as well. While at the fabric store, I buy a good-quality vinyl to use in covering the assembly.

I wrap the vinyl around the wood/foam assembly like one would wrap a gift. I cut some of the excess vinyl to decrease bulk in the folds, and use a staple gun to hold it all together. I cut two slits for the bolts to protrude through, and I'm ready to drill the mounting holes in the steel horizontal support members. I thread on a galvanized nut with a lock-washer, and the pad is complete.

This type of system offers the best support for rigids - a sturdy structural which won't damage the vehicle, and pads which will never bottom-out. The only problem with this system is the critical look you will give your buddies' racks when loading your precious wing onto their lesser racks. :wink:
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User avatar
By Wonder Boy
1" closed cell padding.(check kayak stores)
4"wide 16ga metal riveted to the round roof rack bar.
Cordura cover.
7 years, rough roads, no damage.
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By seb
Better to keep it out of the elements. 4 inch memory foam wrapped .
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User avatar
By DMarley
Awesome Sebastian!
Is that van a 4x4? I've been looking all over the place for something like that in all wheel drive or 4x4.
What kind of van is that?
A couple of the sites I fly require a higher-clearance 4x4, or you don't fly. My full-length-bed silverado 4x4 with crew cab barely has enough clearance after erosion from a good rain.
By seb
It’s that black sprinter van you see me at lookout with. I can lay a flex wing on the floor. They do make 4x4 versions of this van.

I have a Ford e150 that’s lifted and had a locking diff that’s at Lookout. I had a rack inside it but removed it to put in here. You could effectively build the same thing inside of it. Had a hang glider rack on top that drops down so loading is super easy. It’s for sale if your interested. I’ll be at lookout tomorrow. Part of the dash was removed to allow a rack inside. It’s what I used to transport my atos before. Only a vrs will fit in the e150 van.

In the sprinter any of the atos will fit as I transported a vq from Florida in spring.
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User avatar
By remmoore
OK - that's pretty incredible. I've seen folks struggle to get gliders up on tall 4x4's but you've got that problem licked.

I can't quite make out the manufacturer's sticker for your articulating rack - can you tell us more? What's the original intention for this device? Is it powered or purely manual?

By blindrodie
All our university vans have these. They are standard, manual ladder racks. Some have cylinders for up/down assistance. I saw them years ago and thought one day I would get one.

Bet they are in the +$500.00 range. :shock:

User avatar
By DMarley
Yeah Sebastian, if your ford was 4wd, I'd nab it FAST. For the past 6 months or so I've been looking for a solid used diesel Ram 2500 (crew cab w/ 8' bed pick-ups) to replace the ol' chevy for work and play. A 3/4-ton 4x4 van could probably twist my arm in that direction.

I haven't been to LMFP in a good two years. Mainly flying in NC and VA. Would love to come back home for a week or so!
By seb
I had 4 wheel drive van before. Got rid of it as the locker in the rear of a 2wd does wonders and I get way better mileage . I would go places with my friends who had 2 wheel drive vans with a auburn diff in the rear. We went up some crazy gravel roads and crap and never once did they get stuck or need help and went everywhere the 4 wheel drives did. That was enough proof from me and I got rid of it
By seb

I think it was kargomaster rack. Then modified the ladder mounts and used some of Mike Barbers pads that I cut in half on the vertical bandsaw and epoxied them to the rack. So just roll the rack down, put the glider on and lift it up and strap it.

Yea price wise was 500 something at the time. However thats a lot cheaper than physical therapy and doctors visits for a back problem.
User avatar
By LoganR
https://www.amazon.com/Honor-Traders-No ... ol+noodles

I have a lumber rack with these, works great with 4 points of contact. After working with mine for a while and performing a D-Cell Disassembly I realized the bigger problem (for me) was wear between the sail and flaps anywhere I used a Velcro strap, be very careful with how you tie your ATOS and just assume anything that you strap against the flaps is going to get cut/worn through with a relative quickness.

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