What are some ways you could temporarily affix an antenna to a small aircraft?

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by KC0BUS, Jun 16, 2019.

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  1. KC0BUS

    KC0BUS Ham Member QRZ Page

    What are some ways you could temporarily (or even semi-permanent) affix a ham radio antenna to a small sized aircraft, such as a Cessna 172, Piper PA-28 or 32 Cherokee, Beechcraft Bonanza, or a Bell UH-1 Iroquois ("Huey" chopper) for example? It could be just about any antenna such as a 2-meter/440Mhz antenna or even an HF antenna for that matter. But for starters sake, lets take the humble 2-meter/440MHz dual band antenna for example. Don't forget the temporary or semi-permanent routing of coaxial cable has to be considered too.
    Thank you
  2. K8ERV

    K8ERV QRZ Member QRZ Page

    Mag Mount and fly Very slowly?

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
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  3. N7WR

    N7WR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    KX4O, K1LKP and AK5B like this.
  4. K5RCD

    K5RCD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Depending on the installation, if permanent or semi permanent, it will likely need to be approved by an AI (airworthiness inspector) and entered into the airframe logbook. If any new holes are drilled or other alteration (even minor) to the airframe, it may also require a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC). Best to consult the FAA before any modification.

    For a temporary installation, due diligence must be used and commonly accepted methods (best practices) of installation must be followed. I would run it by the A&P Mechanic/AI who normally does the Annual Inspection on that particular aircraft.

    None of this is as difficult as it sounds, and can likely be easily accomplished. A current VHF aircraft radio antenna can probably be adapted for VHF, and a Zeppelin type of antenna (retractable) used for HF. There are also many other possibilities, just don't hang on without guidance from the authorities. See FAA Advisory Circular AC No: 43.13-2B

    Note: This is not to be considered as legal advice.
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  5. K5RCD

    K5RCD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Not so good on aluminum or composite structure.
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  6. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Aircraft usually have aluminum skin, sometimes composite or fabric. I've never seen one with enough steel to hold a mag mount while taxiing, never mind while flying.

    Seriously, there are FAA rules that must be met when mounting anything to the exterior of an aircraft. They don't permit the kinds of temporary techniques we often use with cars.
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  7. W1TRY

    W1TRY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Excellent idea Tom! That would indeed be very temporary... :D
    AK5B likes this.
  8. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just because it bore repeating.

    Seriously, aeronautical mobile is a thing. Google it.
  9. AF7ON

    AF7ON Ham Member QRZ Page

    Some years ago, I made a two-meter dipole from self-adhesive aluminum tape stuck to the plexiglass canopy of a glider - worked great. Cheaper than a 10,ooo foot tower!

    N0TZU, K0UO, AK5B and 2 others like this.
  10. VE7BPB

    VE7BPB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Some of those airplanes mentioned have small inspection covers on the bottom of the hull. You could get a spare cover and mount a NMO connector on it and use a standard dual-band whip. Quick and easy to replace.

    regards, Roy
    AK5B likes this.

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