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New plane transporter...

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#1
So, thanks to the 2020 stimulus checks to help jumpstart the economy, I went out and bought a new car today.

I had a 2007 Mustang GT, which, while a fun car, it wasn't very practical in getting planes out to the field. I could either fit my Sea Duck in, or a UMX plane and a couple of drones, or some Versa Wings, but I couldn't really get more than that out there. Plus, the gas mileage in the Mustang was starting to go downhill, and it was starting to have problems - I had check engine lights coming on and off over the past year, and because of that I was afraid I wasn't going to get it to pass smog.

So, I bit the bullet and went out shopping today.

I had been looking at some used Mini Countryman S cars, and figured that I'd get good gas mileage plus performance out of the car; I'd had a 2013 that I was in a wreck on the freeway with a few years ago, and both my wife and I, as well as our dog, walked away from it with only a few bruises and a scraped knuckle.

Because of that, I'd really wanted to consider another Mini - so I went down to the dealership today, talked to them, and came away with a 2016 Mini Countryman S, with some nice features - heated seats, automatic a/c, upgraded headlights, and paddle shifters. :)

What's hilarious is that I showed up with my P-38 Lightning in the trunk of my car, and I told the salesperson, "I have two requirements - 1) It must have the S package for the power, and 2) I have to be able to fit my plane in the car."

The look on his face was PRICELESS.

"Uhm...A...plane?"

"Yep! I fly RC planes, and I brought my biggest plane with me. I need to make sure it'll fit in the car, or else it's a no go."

The guy was a complete deer in the headlights, and it was perhaps the best thing I've EVER seen on a car salesperson's face when they're trying to hard sell someone on a car - he didn't know where to go with my comment. :)

I popped the trunk of the Mustang, pulled the P-38 out, and the guy was absolutely astonished at how I managed to get the plane in the Mustang itself. I slid it into the Mini Countryman (I had to lay the back seats down completely, but that's not a problem - I figured I'd have to do that anyway) and the plane slid right in, really nicely. The wingtips reached right to the back of the center console, and I was able to shut the door without damaging the wingtip and have some space.. So, if anyone's wondering, a Mini Countryman will fit a 60" wingspan from the back door to the end of the console, but just barely.
 

L Edge

Well-known member
#3
Did the same thing in reverse. Wanted to get my wind surfing board inside a new car plus all sails, etc. Brought the board to the dealer's place and he was blown away when it fitted, including the owner. He took a picture and to this day, it hangs in the showroom.

Now to my planes. Wanted to experimentally build the largest plane to fit in my car (yes, it does handle a 50cc gas bird nicely) so I ended up with this. It was 51" by 42' and it flies. Have even did a loop when flown into the wind. It is a ScionXB.


 

Hoomi

Well-known member
#5
We need photos!

I can fit several planes into the Outback, but right now, it has some weird noise and vibration whenever it gets to about 40MPH or above, so it's not going much of anywhere. Since the flying field is roughly 30 miles away, and a bit over half that on the freeway, I won't chance it.

My old Tacoma, that I've had for over 18 years, and just recently turned over 200,000 miles, still runs reliably, carries a decent number of airplanes, and gets over 27MPG. I wonder if that old truck is going to outlast me.

Here's a loadout from one of the last times I went out to the flying field (and this makes 6 weeks that I haven't been out there, curse you COVID-19!)

Loadout032220.jpg
 

Hoomi

Well-known member
#7
I found in the Outback, that I could put one or two lightweight planes on the retractable cargo cover without any issues.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#8
In some ways, I kinda wish I had a retractable cargo cover, but at the same time, I'm ok with it. I tend to take some of my planes in boxes (like my UMX Timber or my F-27), so those can go on the bottom, the battery boxes and ammo boxes that I use for tools can go into the storage area under the flat area behind the back seats...Yeah, I think it's gonna be a much better fit for me. :)
 

The Hangar

Well-known member
#9
My old Tacoma, that I've had for over 18 years, and just recently turned over 200,000 miles, still runs reliably, carries a decent number of airplanes, and gets over 27MPG. I wonder if that old truck is going to outlast me.
It’s a Toyota - what do you expect? :LOL: We have a Toyota Sienna and as you can imagine, I haven’t had any issues fitting planes. It’s been across the country several times and still runs great. All our other cars are Toyotas as well - we’re loyal Toyota customers!
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#10
It’s a Toyota - what do you expect? :LOL: We have a Toyota Sienna and as you can imagine, I haven’t had any issues fitting planes. It’s been across the country several times and still runs great. All our other cars are Toyotas as well - we’re loyal Toyota customers!
I thought about a Toyota, but couldn't find any in the price range I wanted that would also give me the room I needed for the field (or, at least, ones that were in good condition and not "250,000 mi and needing brakes, shocks, transmission, tires, upholstery, etc." LOL).

One of my old coworkers had a Toyota Hi-Lux that he was getting rid of, but it was an "on its last legs" situation too, so I wasn't willing to pick it up.
 

Hoomi

Well-known member
#11
My Tacoma, at nearly 201,000 miles now, is still on its original clutch, original alternator, original starter (other than the solenoid contacts, which I replaced a couple of years ago). Actually, it would be a much shorter to list what parts, other than normal "perishable" parts (like batteries, belts, etc.), have been replaced. I've had less trouble with it in over 18 years, than I've had with the Subaru in less than 3 years.

I like a lot of the features of the Subaru, but I don't think I'm going to be buying anything but Toyotas from now on.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#12
My Tacoma, at nearly 201,000 miles now, is still on its original clutch, original alternator, original starter (other than the solenoid contacts, which I replaced a couple of years ago). Actually, it would be a much shorter to list what parts, other than normal "perishable" parts (like batteries, belts, etc.), have been replaced. I've had less trouble with it in over 18 years, than I've had with the Subaru in less than 3 years.

I like a lot of the features of the Subaru, but I don't think I'm going to be buying anything but Toyotas from now on.
I don't disagree that there are some good Toyotas. :) I'm just not one who can do a lot of the work on my own (my landlord frowns on us doing any sort of work in the carports short of putting in wiper fluid or changing out the blades, MAYBE a spark plug change. So for me to buy a used Toyota (because I can't afford the new ones at the moment due to so-so credit), I'm looking at something that needs work.

My parents bought a Toyota Corolla that went 168k on it before they got rid of it (there were little things starting to wear on it, like the seats - and they wanted something that was a little roomier and upgraded). When they changed it out, they got another Toyota, but this time it was a Camry...
 

tamuct01

Active member
#13
Toyota Siennas work pretty well for transporting anything. This was mine on the way to Flight Fest 2018 in Texas:

1589253148397.png


I got all my camping gear for the weekend and a bunch of planes to fly. I even came back with more planes than I left with!