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Despite its ability to fold up for storage or transport the Deluxe Airplane Stand easily handles my 91" Extra or my way smaller electric planes.
Click image to enlarge

Deluxe Airplane Stand

Fold-away versatility for the shop and field

Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz

Posted – 11-14-2014

Part of flying RC airplanes is working on them to prevent their falling from the sky with an unceremonious thud. Complicating maintenance is that planes are designed to be airworthy with little regard to making them easy to hold without damage while working on them. Enter the Deluxe Airplane Stand from the folks at RCairplanestands.com and this part of the RC world makes sense again.

The Basics

The Deluxe Airplane Stand is made from quality plywood with each part jig-cut to insure proper fit and function. This material choice also supports the design concept of producing a stand that is both strong and relatively light weight. To protect the Deluxe Airplane Stand from the weather and all of the things we put in and on our planes the wood is treated with a tough polyurethane stain/sealer. It’s not bulletproof but close.

The Deluxe Airplane Stand has a bunch of pivot points that are all adjustable. All of those points feature stainless steel hardware because RC’rs don’t always have the sense to get out of the rain, so to speak. To make all those adjustments tool-free the Deluxe Airplane Stand comes with large finger-operated knobs so you can lock the arms in place without tools or making unusual faces. All of those pivots also contribute to the Deluxe Airplane Stand’s ability to be folded up for transport in pretty much anything big enough to carry airplanes.

The Deluxe Airplane Stand has foam-covered, adjustable rests to secure the plane better and protect it at the same time. The Deluxe model shown in this review comes with the locking swivel casters to make it easy to move around with a plane on it. The casters are held on with finger knobs so you can remove them easily for use at the field.

The folks at RCairplanestands.com claim that both styles of their Airplane Stand will hold planes from 30-size glow/electric to 42% gas giant scale. I suspect that most 42% planes will remain on the ground for work, but we will like putting just about everything else in a solid stand that can reach up to 40” above the ground. People that don’t come in from the rain don’t like bending over either.

Assembly

Assembly consists of putting the cross-member that holds the feet on. (left) If you don;t have TorkX bits this can get a little interesting. The "jaws" (right) are padded and widely adjustable to fit just about anything I have ever seen fly.
Click images to enlarge

The good news is that the Deluxe Airplane Stand comes nearly fully assembled. All you have to do is attach the cross-mounted “feet” and install the casters. (Deluxe model) They even include screws for the foot assemblies that are driven into pre-drilled pilot holes. The one hitch in the assembly git-a-long is that the screws are designed for use with TorkX drivers which is cool if you have them, not so good if you don’t. One additional step I would advise is going over all of the friction surfaces with simple paste wax. Wood being what it is the joints are a little sticky at first and get better with a little bit of wear and wax that smooth’s everything out.

The bad news (there always is something) is that the Deluxe Airplane Stand comes tightly wrapped in bubble wrap and lots packing tape. That bundle is suspended in a box with the surrounding space filled by hundreds if not thousands of plastic peanuts. But the Deluxe Airplane Stand made it to my shop in perfect condition so the packaging did its job.

In Use

I have to admit that I fully intended to add the Deluxe Airplane Stand to my trailer for use at the field but it proved to be so nice in the shop it that it will remain there most of the time. I probably will take it along to events at other fields but it is making life in my shop much easier and more comfortable.

The adjustable contact points really do let you get a model stabilized for working on it. I tried everything from my Extreme Flight 60” Edge 540T to my Aeroworks 60cc, 91” Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L and the Deluxe Airplane Stand was easily adjusted to fit both perfectly. Accommodating the vastly different lengths of these two planes demonstrates the wide-ranging capabilities it has. We are asking something tall and skinny to hold the plane so it does sway back and forth pretty easily but I have never felt like it wanted to tip over. That includes when rolling it around the shop.

One capability I did not fully appreciate until I began using the Deluxe Airplane Stand in my shop is being able to hold the plane on an angle. Being able to put one end so much higher than the other makes lots of things far easier to do than with the plane on a bench. The ability to adjust the overall height of the plane as well as its angle allows me to work while sitting in a chair or on a stool, both of which are way easier on my back.

Conclusions

The support arms can be spread a long way (left) to support big planes with ease and stability. I love the idea of being able to put the plane at a big angle (right) as that makes working on just about any part of it easy to do without killing your back.
Click images to enlarge

The Deluxe Airplane Stand is well made and more stable than it might appear. It can be easily adjusted to fit a huge range of planes that will cover most fliers’ needs. This security combined with its mobility and angle capabilities make the Deluxe Airplane Stand uber-handy in the shop and at the field. When you don’t have good benches or tables at the flying site the Deluxe Airplane Stand can save the day and lots of hangar rash to boot.

The Deluxe Airplane Stand is not cheap at $200.00 (11-14-2014) for the Deluxe model shown in this review (comes with casters) and $175.00 for the Standard model. Their web page shows your total cost with shipping which is broken down by your living East or West of the Mississippi River. However, I have been doing woodworking for 30-some years and can promise you I was way happier paying for the Deluxe Airplane Stand than using all of my tools to try and make one myself. When you understand the tooling and effort needed to produce the Deluxe Airplane Stand the purchase price starts looking like very short money for the value you get.

Visit the Deluxe Airplane Stand web page – Click Here

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