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In the past few years, our customers have surprised us again and again with what they carried on their reacha. Extremely long stand-up paddleboards, a complete IKEA shopping trip, construction equipment including a ladder, or simply the families dog. But we were particularly surprised by Stefan Hartmann. The hobby model glider pilot has modified the reacha in a way that he can transport whole airplanes plus equipment with the reacha! This solution is so special and outstanding that it even made it to the cover page of the FMT glider magazine. We also have the privilege to feature Stefan Hartmann and his special reacha make-over.
The fascination of model flying
Model gliding is a great hobby where you can enjoy nature and the technology of your models. The range of fun-bringing models extends from inexpensive balsa wood constructions to complex mold laminated carbon fiber planes. Low weight and at the same time high stability are the criteria that a modern glider model must meet in order to achieve good flight performance. Optionally, brushless motor technology and lithium batteries provide the option of equipping glider models with a lightweight and powerful electric drive to propel them to altitude. The gained altitude can be rapidly diverted or used to search for updrafts of the so-called thermals. As with real gliders or paragliders, a variometer is used to indicate the climb or descent via telemetry sent to the transmitter. So the fascination of the hobby consists of the technical part, building, programming and adjusting the model. Later, flying in nature, finding updrafts and taking advantage of slopes favorably affected by wind and thermals to generate an altitude gain and thus flight time.
Stefan Hartmann with his transformed reacha.
The problem with model gliders
The car transport of the models to the airfield or even to beautiful model flight spots in nature does not quite fit into the picture here and for a long time I had no real alternative to transport the lengthy, but quite fragile parts. It is a good thing that I have a certain affinity for bicycles since childhood. Over and over again I can get excited about great bicycles and since they are equipped with an electric motor, I am absolutely sold on e-bikes as the perfect means of short-distance transportation. Smaller models can be transported in backpacks on the bike. But with a single wing length of more than one meter, that' s simply not optimal. A common component length is 1.5 meters, which results in a model span of about 3 meters. Here, the reacha comes into play, whose design is ideally suited to these long modell parts.
The reacha makeover to an aircraft carrier
Unfortunately, attaching the individual parts of the plane is not as simple as attaching a sturdy surfboard, which can simply be attached to the sidebar of the reacha. From the beginning, my plan was to transport a larger glider and 1-2 purpose models with the trailer. In addition to the models, the transmitter and other accessories that are otherwise carried somewhere in the car must also be transported. This all finds place in the loading area of the reacha. The airplane wings are transported lengthwise, standing on the leading edge, the fuselages forward or backward, as the case may be.
The airplane parts adapters needed for this are made of 15 mm screen printing plates, which are provided with cutouts. These base plates are clipped with 29 mm tube clamps to the reacha SPORT equipped with two brackets. The individual parts are inserted into these 59.5 x 45 cm plates and secured with clamping rubbers. The first two prototypes I have cut out still armed with cordless screwdriver and jigsaw. In the meantime, however, there are milled plates from the company TeilQ.
Since the plane parts are quite sensitive, I cushion the support surfaces with foam tube from the hardware store and the side edges with foam rubber. To fix the parts I use 5 mm rubber and velcro straps with 12 mm silicone tube. Each cutout gets its own stretch rubber, which ultimately requires the use of 6 meters of rubber and 5 meters of silicone tubing. The silicone hose cushions the clamping rubbers somewhat and effectively prevents the parts from slipping.
The converted reacha in detail
In practice, the transport of my glider models with the reacha works super well. As expected for the length, the reacha runs very true to track and quietly behind the bicycle. Of course, the unsprung trailer bounces a bit, but that is actually within limits. The 24-inch street tires and the slightly inclined caster angle of the drawbar make a good contribution here, along with the length. The maneuverability is somehow surprisingly good. Driving through narrow places requires a little more attention, since after the bike there is the reacha, which in my case is set to 82 cm wide. It's just great fun when two hobbies and good products complement each other. It' s wonderful to cycle comfortably to the slope or even to the model airfield. The storage in the milled TeilQ holders works perfectly in practice. The excellent quality and lightness of the reacha pleases me every time I use it. For me, cycling with a trailer is simply contemporary, environmentally friendly and uncomplicated. Thanks to the base of the reacha you can build a perfect transportation system. The environment enjoys less pollution in road traffic and for my sake, a car-free Sunday can now come. The reacha SPORT is absolutely worth the money, and given the price of fuel, the purchase price of such a vehicle will eventually become relative.
Who is interested in the FMT glider issue with the reacha can find it here