If you’ve been to a major airshow like Oshkosh or Sun ‘N Fun you’ve likely seen how strict enforcement of airplane soft field tie-downs has become. There are so many ways not to tie down your airplane. We wrote The Claw C100 Aircraft Tie Down Kit Review to show you an easy and effective way to properly secure your airplane so you can enjoy your time on the ground.
There can be nothing worse than returning to a parked airplane to find that it has bounced, flipped over, or even worse, taken a little trip without you and run up some unexpected bills. It’s a fact that airplanes like to fly, even when they’re not supposed to.
The Claw C100 Aircraft Tie Down Kit Review
Considered one of the most versatile and strong kits on the market today in its price point, the Claw tie-down system has a 3600 lb. combined capacity. In the tote bag are 3 Claw anchors, 9 stakes, a hammer and a 20-foot rope. Each Claw anchor has 3 arms branching out from the central point where your rope ties to, anchored by 10-1/2-inch-long. Finally, the fully extended diameter of each Claw is approximately 21 inches.
The Claw weighs in at 8 lbs. It’s lightweight and easier to pack and stow than that box of random ropes and hardware store bits you might have been hauling around all these years.
In relatively hard soil, the Claw performs well and is popular. However, in sandy or loamy soil, the load capacity is reduced somewhat. Many video tests of this product show it failing to withstand force are pulling the Claw straight up out of the ground. The appropriate way to secure your aircraft with this system is to angle your tie-down using longer ropes to increase resistance.
Finally, The Claw has an excellent limited lifetime warranty, furthermore, its manufacturers stand behind their product and are really good about replacing any parts that break.
Most comparable lightweight aircraft tie downs on the market operate on the same 3-point anchor system but have a smaller footprint. Here’s how the Claw stacks up with the competition:
|Model||What’s in The Bag||Notes|
|The Claw||•1x Tote bag
• 1x 20’ length of rope
• 3 x Claw anchors, each at 1200 lb capacity
• 9x 10-1/2” stakes
• 1x Hammer
• 8 lbs
|• Easy to install
• Performs better than auger/screw systems
• Similar to the tie-down system recommended by EAA
• Larger footprint
|Flyties||• 1x Tote bag
• 3x aluminum hubs, each at 1200lb capacity
• 9x 14” stakes
• Extractor tool
• 3x lengths of rope
• 7 lbs 10oz
|• Smaller surface footprint
• Similar to the tie-down system recommended by EAA
• No hammer included
|Abe’s Aviation Deluxe 3 Kit||• 3x stainless steel anchors
• 3x brass wing nuts (spares)
• 6x 14” stainless steel holding rods
• 3x carabiners, 3x pulleys
• 2x 15’ wing ropes
• 1x 8’’ tail section rope
• 1x pounding block
• 1x tote bag
• 1x metal extractor
• 4x plastic anchor extractors
|• Can be set up to be used as a single or double anchor tie down system
• Smaller footprint
• Higher pricepoint
• Available in 5-point anchor system
|Duckbill Earth Anchors||• Medium Earth Anchors 68-DB1
• Each anchor holds 1100 lbs
• 30” cable length
|• Require a Duckbill Drive Steel Tool to install
• Easy to install, more difficult to remove
• Better suited for more permanent application
The commonly used “doggie” or corkscrew augers frequently fail. While they are cheap and easy to come by when you reach an airshow and realize you forgot your tie-downs, they are not necessarily the best choice.
The loop at the top will often straighten out and snap right off under pressure. These tie-downs will also loosen the soil, making it easier for your anchors to come loose.
Ropes and Materials
Along with The Claw, we recommend using only UV-resistant ropes made from braided materials such as nylon or dacron and checking frequently for damage. Manila and polypropylene ropes may be cheaper but they fray and break down. Only tie ropes to the tie-down rings on the airplane, never to the strut! There should be very little slack on the ropes to prevent the jolting motion that will loosen your tie-down anchors.
There’s more information about different aircraft tie-downs and methods published by our friends at Oshkosh. Most articles and guides concur that a three-contact multipoint system held in place by angled stakes is the most effective solution for aircraft tie-downs.
Final thoughts on The Claw C100 Aircraft Tie Down Kit:
In conclusion, your aircraft is only going to be as secure as your rope, knots, and the soil your anchors go into. The Claw’s wide reach makes it easier to get everything in place quickly and securely and keep it there
If there’s a possibility your airplane will be subjected to severe weather conditions that might dislodge your anchors, it may be better not to rely on a soft-field tie-down. However, there are times when you don’t have a choice. Having the right equipment on hand can make all the difference in protecting your investment and keeping others around you safe as well!
The Claw is extremely popular and therefore sold just about everywhere! Let us know in the comments below if you already use the Claw and how you like it, or if you are looking to buy and have questions!