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I need to store a damaged aircraft away rather than leave it exposed to the weather and elements on a tie-down at an airport. It is a Cessna 172. If I remove the wings and horizontal stabilizer (from the tail), I can fit all lengthwise into a 40 foot shipping container.

However the span of the landing gear is just over 8 feet and won't allow fitting width-wise into a standard container. I suppose the landing gear can also be removed, but not desirable. Are there extra-wide containers suitable for storing small aircraft?

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    $\begingroup$ If it is just over 8 feet, you could try removing the tires. And put it on some little dollies or something. $\endgroup$ – Roger Aug 26 at 17:07
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    $\begingroup$ If the search for a wider container comes up dry, would it be possible to build a cradle that can hold the fuselage with enough roll on it to make the gear fit diagonally in the container? If my math is right, there's something like 11' on the diagonal. $\endgroup$ – Wayne Conrad Aug 26 at 18:15
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    $\begingroup$ @0tyranny0poverty The point of having standard shipping containers is that they are standard. The height can vary within a certain range, but if the length* or width varied, they couldn't be stacked. (*Okay, there are two lengths, but one is exactly twice the other, so they're still stackable.) $\endgroup$ – StephenS Aug 26 at 19:56
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    $\begingroup$ Have you looked at the sort of shrink-wrap plastic that I see used for winter storage of boats? $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Aug 27 at 4:10
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    $\begingroup$ Be sure to check whether "cost of storage + cost of repair" < "cost of selling as-is + cost of buying a replacement". Sometimes the cheapest way to store a vehicle is to sell it then buy a new one later. $\endgroup$ – Dan Pichelman Aug 27 at 14:56
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A "dry van" (nonrefrigerated) 53 foot trailer, commonly towed as a "tractor trailer" sports an extra 3 inches of inside diameter (8 foot 3 inches) to go with 9 feet 3 inches in height.

You could also build a custom crate either onsite (storage shed) or portable (on a flatbed). Transporting it to a local barn or unused building is also possible, better than leaving it to the elements.

I would look into local storage options, with the wing removed, there should be many.

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Finding a barn is better choice as it has a lot of space in it. You need an escort traffic police to close certain roads in order to tow the plane on a flat bed trailer truck to the barn. However, bear in mind, the cost of renting the barn is key to keeping it there. Otherwise, if it can sold away, you might as well do it, too. There is no point having a non-functional plane when it could be sold to another interested party for the safekeeping of it.

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