THE BATTERY CLINIC
Where to store your models between
Some modelers, cramped for aircraft storage space, use their vehicles for hangars. Is this
harmful? What are the pros and cons?
Gas-powered aircraft and electric-powered models must be stored
differently. No matter how well you
clean up your gas- or glow-powered
model, there is still some residue that
can add to the ambience of your car
or van. Your significant other might
consider that ambience an unwelcome
If you have an odor with electric
models, it could be a much bigger
problem—even after the smoke goes
The climate where you live also
determines where and how models
can be stored. Batteries do not like
temperature extremes. If there is a
chance that the temperature can reach
20º above or below 70º, you should
store the batteries in a better place.
In Arizona, temperatures can be
significantly higher inside a closed
vehicle. A temperature of 140º is death
for Lithium packs and is not good for
What about the model? Will the
electronics be harmed? Your vehicle is
full of electronics, computer chips, etc.,
that often see harsh environments. It
is unlikely that receivers, servos, speed
controllers, or any other devices will
I have not noticed any significant
The author’s transport van is loaded with models and equipment.
problems with MonoKote-covered
models or those constructed from foam
that have been in a hot vehicle. I must
depend on readers in colder climates to
comment on the effects of cold.
Converting a Van to a Hangar
I used a raised platform and wing
bars attached to overhead handles and
coat-hanger wire to create a way to
safely transport and store my models
in a van. I used 5/8 Schedule 40 PVC
for the frame (Figure 1). The platform
(Figure 2) is made from 1/8-thick
Masonite board reinforced with 1 x 2s
and covered with carpet.
When you pick out the carpet, take
a strip of Velcro with you to see if you
can find some that it will stick to. This
will help secure your model. Indoor/
outdoor carpet is best.
Double-back carpet tape was used
to hold the carpet in place. Apply the
tape around the edges of the platform
without removing the backing on the
up side, and position the carpet where
you want it. Fold it back, exposing the
tape, and remove the backing, then
press the carpet in place, working
around the platform until it is secured.
If you remove the tape backing first
and then lay on the carpeting, you
will have difficulty getting it properly
This shows the front corner and rear corner of
the PVC in detail.
AMA works for you to protect your right to fly. The paid advertisement opposite this page references
First Person View (FPV) flying equipment. Please note FPV equipment should only be used in
accordance with AMA guidelines. Contact AMA at www.modelaircraft.org for more information.
AUGUST 2013 www.ModelAviation.com
103 Model Aviation