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Bluner Billz Bitchin' Blune Bringin' Back Black Burb
& Inflatiator Fan Fetchin' Aerostat Recovery Module



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My basket is a FireFly 4.5 but this can be adapted to any type or brand basket I think.

I started with a '94 GMC 2500 Suburban with a factory installed Reese Hitch under the rear. I slid some steel tubing into the ends of the hitch and built from there these two platform attachments. I'll call them shelf support brackets. They slide in and don't even need bolted as the shelf holds them together when you bolt it on. Here's one left (Driver) side. Here's the Passenger side. This is a close up of one so you can see the details a little more clearly. Here it is sliding into the Reese Hitch (Passenger Side). Here it is all the way in (Passenger Side). Then I bolted on what I call the bumper shelf, the part that the basket actually sits on and is anchored to. This is completely separate from the rear bumper and is in no way attached to the cab of the truck. My basket is a FireFly 4.5 and I have some 3/4 x 3/4 inch steel welded to the shelf surface to lock the basket runners in place with holes to attach a winch strap from the shelf to the basket frame. A good look at the shelf attached to the supports. You can see the holes to attach a winch strap to the basket frame on the steel shelf.

Here is where I put the lights on the shelf supports so that I wouldn't have to explain to the cops why they couldn't see my lights with the basket loaded. You may choose your own and mount them any way you wish. I used LED's and mounted them vertically on the vertical leg of the shelf support.

Just so you can see the lights I put on it, I ran the power for the lights from the trailer plug in jack. If I ever need to take this stuff off, I just unplug the lights as if it were a trailer and they stay with me. The power for the lights coming from the trailer plug in jack. The winch and the lift gate were originally from Harbour Freight. Yes they sell Chinese stuff but I've been developing a better mousetrap ever since I got this thing. Besides it was only $200.00 on sale and I couldn't build it for that. The Harbour Freight product I used is here ... http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?function=Search and the part number you'll want is 47591. I built my own struts to keep the lift from wobbling right to left and left to right within the Reese Trailer Hitch Receiver; There is a strut on both sides. I used a eyebolt to swing the top of the struts from just in case I needed to disconnect the lift to pull a trailer. It also doubles as a bolt to connect the shelf to the supports and it's something to tie off to. I find this VERY handy. It stays tight now too.

Now to the actual platform. The original was only about 28 inches wide by 32 inches long including the duck tail part. I needed something wider; Something I could stand on to refuel as well. I built my own rack to complement the bottom of my FireFly basket.

So here's what my platform/deck looks like to hold a 4.5 TBW basket. A good overall look at it. You can see that I can stand on either side (non-skid) necessary to refuel after the flight without slipping off and busting my butt! Plenty of clearance and you can see the license plate and lights. What it looks like when I'm on the road at night with the rack folded in the up position. What it looks like folded up in the daylight. With the deck/platform in the down position. Loaded. Loaded.

This is how I carry my inflator fan.

What it looks like from the passenger side... and what it looks like from the drivers side. Mounted. Just center the rear bar of the fan frame above the 'U' shaped tube and under the license plate mount and then tilt it backwards into place. You're only lifting a portion of the weight of the fan, teetering it into place. Then hook the straps to hold the weight in place, one on each side and then attach the turnbuckles. Now all I need is the crew... and let's go fly'n!

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Originally designed by Beverly Walker of Wytheville, VA. Updated & maintained by Wm. G. (Bill) Scarberry, Jr.
Last Updated January 1, 2016. For more information contact: Bluner Bill