Getting the tail of the Stearman up in the air for the level position, so that it will be stable for the time it takes to do the rigging is a slam dunk.

You just need to stack up a 55 gallon drum, a one gallon paint can, a Los Angeles yellow pages phone book, a piece of two by four, and several issues of the Flying Wire to do the final vernier adjustment in height. This rig sometimes draws some weird looks from “droppers by.”

These same individuals also make questionable comments while you are in the middle of rigging which makes you forget where you are and causes “reset, reboot and start over.”

Another solution to the tail stand is pictured in Fig.1. This stand has four casters on the base, two pieces of nested square steel tubing as an upright, and a mounted screw jack that lifts the center square tube up. On the top of the center tube is a steel plate with an indentation that received the jack point on the tail.

The handle that operates the screw jack is clipped to the side of the frame. This stand is also fairly easy to mount on the rear scale for weight and balance measurements (not so with the 55 gallon drum and the stack of stuff on top).

Fig.1

Fig.1

 

Fig.2

Fig.2

 

Fig.3 - The screw jack in the retracted position.

Fig.3 – The screw jack in the retracted position.