On May 2nd we did a fitting of the wing into the fuselage and figured out where the wing hold down bolt holes needed to be drilled. My first drill was a little off, which is why we do some test drills with a tiny bit to see where it lines up with the wing bolt down blocks glued into the fuselage.
Once happy with the angle and how everything will fit I drilled the hole with using a bigger bit right into the wing hold down blocks. The final result can be seen in the picture above with the bolts started in the corresponding wholes to ensure they line up and will work.
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 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. 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.
Last Tuesday I got to work on my plane again and been so busy since I’m only now getting around to blogging about it.
The first thing we did was install the wire for the tail wheel. This involved first bending the tip of the wire into a 90 degree angle and ‘sanding’ the wire to rough it up a bit which allows the glue to stick better to hold the wire into place. Then needed to drill a hole into the button of the rudder for where the end of the wire (the part bent up at an angle) will slide into. This provides a sturdier fit into the rudder, since this wire steers the tail through the wheel/rudder connection.
The remaining part of the wire that goes along the bottom of the rudder needs to be recessed into the rudder itself so that it is flush. In order to accomplish this I first lined up the wire and traced two guide lines along the bottom. Using the guide lines I drilled tiny wholes along its length to carve out a groove. I then alternated between using a drill bit to run along its length a tiny file to sand out the inside. I alternated and repeated until upon one of my checks the wire sat down into the rudder to my satisfaction. Note that we used the plans to figure out how far back the wire needed to go and also need to ensure that not to much sticks out at the leading edge that would interfere with rudder movement.
Once that was done and glued into place we then cut a piece out of a fiberglass sheet such that it would wrap around about 2 inches on each side. I then brushed glue over the fiber glass, ensuring to role any air pockets out of the fiberglass over the wire and down the sides. Once this was done it was left to dry.
The fiberglass provides additional support / reinforcement to the tail wheel assembly.
Next I went back to working on the wing and installed the invasion stripes on the bottom of each wing panel, seen in the feature picture at the top. Placing covering over top of covering can lead to an excessive amount of air bubbles forming as air gets trapped between the two layers. In order to help mitigate this issue I used the Top Flite Woodpecker Perforating Tool: