On April 7th I worked on the floats… sanding of them already took place and so I verified and then glued the sides to the support pieces. You can see the system rigged up below to keep pieces in place along with clamps on the glue joints while the glue dried.
The other thing I did this day was glue pieces of wood the width of the teeth joint (connecting the two pieces of the sides of the fuselage together) to the inside of the fuselage to cover the seam and provide reinforcements for the joint. This can be seen below.
On March 24th there was some good and some bad. One of the bad’s can be seen above in that in shaping the nose it took on a ‘funky’ warping causing the one side to bow in. You’ll see this better in a front on shot later. Added some supports to the nose as well to help it keep its form. The other bad, which has since been corrected, is that the joints for the top and bottom main spars didn’t glue down in place. Suspect this is due to the waits shifting and not keeping things in place as they should have been. This is obviously not good and thus Peter had to break the joints and glue them again in order to get the spars down into the slots in the rib. This is needed for support and overall functionality.
Below you can see where I glued down some balsa blocks onto the bottom of the trailing edge sheet. This is to provide some support, holding power, for the back of the hinges that will be holding the ailerons (and allowing for movement) to the trailing edge of the wing.
On March 17th I got the main spar of one of the wing panels glued in place (seen below) and also got the sheeting glued to the bottom of the tail. Used hardwood strips to provide a surface to hold the sheeting in place with clamps along the bottom edges of the side while the glue dries (seen in the top photo). Used a round container, elastic’d in place, to mould the sheeting up under the front bottom plate (as there is a curve in the tail at this point). Also clamped into place the plate for the tail wheel at the very back.
Well, do to life’s circumstances I have gotten very far behind on my blog posts for this project. I’ve gotten married, bought a house, done a lot of painting and packing, moved into said house and have done a lot of unpacking and organising. This meant that over the course of the Winter and Spring I haven’t been working on my aircraft as much as I would have normally and also started work on the aircraft a lot later than normal too. So lets start by getting caught up on posts, even if due to the time lag they are not as high quality as they should be…
On March 14th I worked on the fuselage and the wing. Seen in the picture above I glued the main spar for one of the wing panels in place and used a piece of wood I waited down on the trailing edges of the ribs to help ensure the ribs stayed at the correct angle while the glue dried. I made sure there was excess wood on each side of the spar, which we can trim off at a later date, to make it easier to fit and adjust later.
Seen below we braced the front former’s in place and steamed the wood to do our best to get the wood to curve to the nose.
Unfortunately, since I know how all this goes, the fuse didn’t turn out as well as I would have liked; however, I’ve been informed it should still be flyable. Stay tuned to find out what exactly I mean!
On March 6th not a whole lot of progress was made and some backtracking and discussion occurred. Discovered that the fuselage had warped. Looking down the fuse you could see that at the tail it curved inwards instead of ‘straight’ back and at the nose it was not curving properly either. This lead to much discussion about how to fix this, which due to time I left in the hands of John & Peter.
The next session Peter informed me of what he’d done to start fixing it. He built a contraption to hold the fuselage in place after steaming it to make the wood malleable.
The only other thing I got done this day was a start on the L wing panel, seen below. I pinned the main and rear spars in place on the plans along with the cutting and pinning the bottom trailing edge in place. I then went to work on cutting and sanding the sheeting for the wing. This went way more painfully then I care to admit as I had to start over a couple times due to over sanding (the first time by quite a bit and the second time by just enough such that the sheet wouldn’t work). There were also a couple times at the beginning where I didn’t measure right and thus cut it to short. I was clearly tired this day as I measure 2 or 3 times before I cut, but I was measuring consistently wrong, oi. I eventually got my 1/4, 1/8th, & 1/16th of an inch sorted out and got the sheets to the right size and glued into place. What you see in the image below are the sheets glued and weighted down for drying.
Made it to Peters March 5th to work on the fuselage a bit and really get the R wing panel moving along. You can see the image above that I sanded, using an electric sander, off the overhang of the fuselage bottom I previously installed to ensure a smooth finish with the fuselage sides.
Next I moved to building the wing. This involved ensuring the ribs fit (making sure I was using inner and outer ribs in the respective locations) before applying glue. Once I had the ribs glued in place I glued the main and rear spar in place across the top of the ribs and then weighted everything down as shown below:
Unfortunately, the above weighted situation wasn’t working for us as it was to unsteady causing the spars to shift throwing off the ribs (angling them) due to the weight. Thankfully we noticed this before leaving the project for the evening when we checked over things a bit later and were able to readjust as the glue hadn’t set yet. We added support (i.e. the triangles and wood block) to prevent the spars from shifting left and right as well as to prevent the wood from sliding off the trailing edge of the ribs, seen below:
That wrapped up another building session and leads us to the day we made an unfortunate discovery, but good we did at this phase of the project…
On Feb. 28th I continued work on the fuselage and unfortunately didn’t discover an issue that will come to light during an upcoming session. Perhaps it hadn’t fully presented itself at this time, or perhaps I was just oblivious. Either way this day was about continuing work on the fuselage.
To reinforce the nose of the aircraft a second F1 former needed to be attached. This was the first task that required to do some light sanding to remove the laser burn marks and then applying glue to the side edges as well as covering the back surface with glue to ensure all surfaces that will be in contact with wood will have been glued down. I then clamped this into place for it to dry, seen below.
The other task for the day was getting the middle section of the bottom glued in place, seen in the top piece is oversized. I still had to make sure I got the sheet in the correct place as there were spots where not much overlap was present no matter the positioning of the piece. I sanded the front edge of the piece that buts up against the fuselage. There was no need to sand the other edges as no wood would be touching and in the case of the two sides it’ll be sanded down once the glue dries.
To complete the day I got the piece I. Place and traced with a pencil along the fuselage to mark the sheeting, knowing the glue would have to go along the inside of that line. Peter than applied glue on the sheeting while I applied glue along the edges of the fuselage and back of the former the front edge of the sheeting buts up to.
We then clamped the sheeting in place to hold it while it dries. Had to get clever with clamping the former to the front edge of the sheeting as no clamps were long enough. We used a clamp as an intermediary to place our other clamps on.
On Feb. 27th worked on the fuselage and started the wing! It was at this point I really felt like progress was heating up 🙂
One of the tasks for the evening, now that the front of the aircraft is shaped and dried was to install the front formers (F3 to F1, that’s the order of installation). You want the bigger one, that is further back on the fuse, installed first as that starts bringing the sides together and helps ensure a proper shape.
Then proceeded to start work on the wing, specifically the right wing panel. For this needed to get the trailing edge cut and Peter already had the spruce rear spar made (smaller rectangular piece of wood). Once that along with the main spar were pinned securely in place, ensuring some overlap on both sides I cut the balsa sheeting to size such that it fits snug between the main spar and rear spar as well as between the rear spar and trailing edge sheet.
Another great building session took place Saturday February 24th. The first thing, as seen in Fig. 1 and 2 below is that the screw hole for anchoring the engine support post (is what I’m calling it) to the fuselage was drilled. The groove carved into the ‘post’, seen in Fig. 1, Peter had done at another builders place. This groove is where the wires will run down from the engine (i.e. for the throttle servo). While Peter held the support in place I drilled a hole between the two bottom tabs (ensuring I was in about the middle and below the hole where the wires will be routed for the control services via the groove) a bit smaller than the screw being used as this is what will hold the post in place.
Once that was done I glued formers F6 through F10 in place connecting both sides of the aircraft. This was done with Sig Cement and each one was clamped in place to hold everything tight while the sides dried to the formers. All the formers were previously sanded.
The last item for the day was to start shaping the front of the aircraft. The prep work for this was having two pieces of wood with two notches made in them. I then soaked the wood using a spray bottle and carefully bent the two nose pieces inwards and placed the sticks in place, top and bottom, to hold the pieces in place while the water dried.
While waiting for the wood to dry we chatted and then about an hour later sprayed the wood again and move the nose pieces in further. Then cut new notches in the wood to hold the pieces at the new closer position. At this point I had to go home, but Peter repeated this process a couple more times until the two pieces were close enough together such that the F1 former would fit snug at the nose of the aircraft.
Wasn’t concerned about the wrinkle because if necessary can slit it with a knife and glue it smooth. That concluded another building session!