On April 18th I worked on the floats and got a hard piece of wood glued to the back of the floats which will be used for screwing to the bottom of the wing, holding the back in place. There will also be a screw going through the front of the float as well.
As seen in the top pic I glued the nose to the front of the aircraft. It is nowhere near done yet. This started with a square piece of wood that I templated and then cut down to size as best I could using a table jigsaw and perhaps even some sanding at this point with the knowledge that I lot more sanding was on the horizon! The piece was then glued to the flat nose of the fuselage and clamped into place while it dries for next time.
John mentioned something yesterday in that his needed a lot of counter weight and that it would be good to hollow out the nose so that weights could be attached in there. To late for that now, so will be interesting to see what happens when it comes time to do the final balance of the aircraft.
On April 14th I did a fair bit of work on the wing and a little bit on the fuselage.
On the wing the supports were glued into place. This is top and bottom for both wing tips and provides stability for the wing tip to prevent over flexing, etc. You can tell in looking at the leading edge of the picture below followed by the leading edge in the featured image at the top that I rounded the leading edge to get the aerodynamics going. This involved a lot of sanding. Key here is to wrap the sand paper around the edge and work it back and forth pulling down and away from the edge back and forth to get the rounded effect desired.
This day I also glued the bottom, light balsa, of the floats to the sides. Eventually the floats will be fiber glassed and special paint applied to make them water proof as these will be placed out on the wings for flotation in the water.
Making sure the push rods are long enough (and casing cut back to allow movement of the inner rod) for the rudder and elevator of the aircraft to where the servos are mounted.
On April 12th I worked on the wing and the fuselage. I glued the bottom mid-section of the fuselage in place which involved using glue along the edges to hold it to the fuselage as well as along the front edge to hold the bottom the flat surface it butts up against in the front. It is then clamped and held in place while it dries.
As seen in the two pictures below I glued the two balsa wing tip forms into place. There is glue along the straight left edge of the wing tip form to adhere it to the side of the outer rib as well as on the wood pieces where it is sliding between on the front and back of the wing. This is to ensure it is glued into place and is being held by clamps while the glue dries.
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…