Rikki – An Affordable New Glider Trailer from Germany

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“Rikki” was born when I took over an ASW15B sitting in a trailer that was severely in the need of being scrapped.

Well, there aren't exactly a terrible lot of options between brand new trailers (which are all perfectly fine but can cost more than some club-class planes) and the “sh*`!” that was in front of me. I also didn't feel like paying more than 5.000 Euros for a 20-plus year old clam shell trailer, but calm shell still was a must. So, I decided to get to work.

The outcome is an aluminum clam shell trailer that is slightly larger than Cobra & Co. to better suit club-class gliders, that is distinctly lighter due to its design and that can be constructed from a kit making it somewhat easier to afford compared to the above.

Rikki Trailer photos

It also comes with features that bring an end to things I could never get used to on other trailers. Available space was one of them, cumbersome loading and unloading another one. Hence “Rikki” is different in many ways and the website gives explanations in more detail.

After some fellow sufferers had been handing in their inquiries I now have to deal with the drama of whether or not batch or volume production is the right thing to do. Inquiries are welcome, however it should be mentioned that the goal is not to bring cost down to the ultimate minimum. My aim here was a light-weight and long-lasting trailer made from high-quality parts that uses smart technical solutions to ease handling. In order to keep acquisition cost within reason one can - if desired - put in a significant amount of work by oneself; if this is not desired a factory-built option is available as well.

The most outstanding feature of “Rikki” is that its clam-shell top as well as the internals can be constructed from a kit. Assuming average craftsmanship the whole procedure can in fact be accomplished during the course of two full weekends with almost no help.

Then sequence for the clam shell is as follows:

First Day:
- Preparation of Sheet Parts
- Construction of Fin Cover
- Construction of Base Frame
- Rigging of Dome Struts

Second Day:
- Installation of Skins
- Installation of Fin Cover and Front End
- Installation of Gas Struts

The box-shaped lower part including tow bar, jockey wheel, axle, shock absorbers and brakes is readily made by us and already TUV-certified (i.e. German roadworthiness certificate; lights installed temporarily). After registration and installation of the plate, it is initially used for cost-efficient transportation of bits and pieces. For the clam shell pieces a full blown CAD-CAM design ensures PERFECT fit of all pieces. All aluminum parts are cut, bent and ready for installation with all rivet holes already in place. When adhering to the manual you will not have to drill a single hole during construction; if you think you should drill a hole somewhere it is likely you did something wrong in the first place and we suggest contacting us.

So, if you can manage Lego and the assembly of an IKEA cabinet you can also manage construction and assembly of “Rikki”. As mentioned earlier: Clam shell parts over the first weekend and the remainder over the second.

Click here for more information about the design, construction, options, and cost.