*****Skyote #88 gets Bronze Lindy for "Airventure-Oshkosh 2016 Plans Built Champion"******

October, 2007

Welcome to "Skyotelog", the build record of Skyote #88. I assume that you are familar with the Skyote biplane. If not, you should visit http://www.skyote.org/ for a complete introduction to this unique but elusive biplane.

The posts are presented in reverse chronological order (newest first). Or you can click on one of the "Labels" to see all of the posts concerning a specific topic. Click on any photo for a larger image.

All my building experience is limited to Van's RV's so I have no experience with building tube and fabric or "plans building". I have much to learn so take everything I write with a grain of salt and reasonable skepticisim.

I do not intend to follow a "traditional" path for the construction of #88. I intend to employ low level technology and $ to reduce the construction time and difficulty where possible and practical. By low level technology I am referring to CAD, laser, waterjet, CNC. For example:

  • I have purchased a complete wing spar kit from Jerry Kerr.
  • A rib kit from Mr. Bartoe.
  • Brunton Flying Wires and Drag wires from Harvey Swack.
  • CNC profiled tube kits for the fuselage, tail feathers and landing gear from VR3.

In addition I have converted all of the wing fittings, brackets, links, lugs etc. to CAD and had them cut by water jet. I have designed a laser cut wing spar drill template/jig which positions the five spar components so that all of the holes can be drilled in a complete spar as an assembly. I plan to continue converting as many parts as I can to CAD so that I can reduce the "hand-made" components to a minimum.

Note: As of June 2015 I have over 100 CAD files which provide 600+ water jet cut parts for the Skyote.

While it takes a little time, converting the design to CAD is a great way to truly understand the drawings. plus a huge amount of information has been extracted from the rather complex drawings. This can be a great help to others in understanding and interpreting the design.

The Skyote is uniquely suited for conversion to CAD in that a "computer" was used in it's original design. I have read that Mr. Bartoe used a HP calculator to "compute" the design and dimensions of the Skyote. The plans show all of the critical dimensions to three decimal places for X,Y and Z axes.

Amazingly, when I put the design into CAD the resulting 3D models agree with Mr. Bartoe's thee decimal place dimensions about 99.9% of the time. I have found one discrepancy but less than 0.030"!

If you want to build your Skyote as cheaply as possible, or if you enjoy handcrafting the same parts over and over again then my approach to building is not for you!

If you want to build your Skyote in the minimum possible time with highly accurate parts then this approach may be the answer. I personally get a lot of satisfaction out of organizing the project so that it can be produced accurately. Hopefully some of this work will prove useful to others in the future.

Comments are welcome. I will respond as time permits

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Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Fuselage is Tack Welded

The fuselage is out of the jig! Dale Doane tacked welded the main portion of the fuse yesterday. After I fab the finger plates and other fuselage attachments, I will take the fuse to Dale's shop in Newnan, GA to complete the welding. I continue to be impressed by the VR3 tubing kit. The tube which extends rearward from the bottom center of the firewall looks crooked because it is! This is where we ran out of Argon and that particular tube is still loose.
Just so happens that Glenn Bridges got his VR3 fuse tack welded and out of the jig the same day!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Prepping Fuselage for Welding

I disassembled the fuselage and polished all of the weld areas this week. Acetone was used to clean the weld areas inside and out to remove oil contamination. I am a little concerned that oil contamination may migrate from the interior of some of the tubes, especially the ones in vertical orientation.

I have arranged with Dale Doane, an A&P who works for Delta to weld my fuselage. Dale plans to fly his Cessena from Atlanta and tack weld the fuse here in my shop. I will then take the fuse in my truck to his shop in Atlanta for finish welding. We had hoped to get started this week but now it looks like the weather isn't going to cooperate.

Glenn Bridges has his VR3 fuse all jigged and polished and started tack welding today. looks like he will be ahead of me for a while!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Center Section Spacers

Made a couple of sets of spacers for the center section today. The .115" and .300" spacers were too short to easily make from the purchased spacers so I made them from scratch using bar stock. The .250" long spacers were purchased from www.aluminum-spacers.com.

Next will be the 1"x 1" x 1/8" "C" channel fittings for the ends of the compression struts.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Rib to Leading Edge Clips

Made 70 angle clips to attach the ribs to the
leading edge tubes today. I taped 7 or 8 clips together and
"gang" bent them as a group to save time. The bender is so accurate I was able to adjust for the added thickness of the tape so the bends would come out exactly right.

I had to push the holes outward toward the ends of the
angle legs a little. As drawn, there is not sufficient room for
a rivet puller to operate. The drawing
references " 4 number 3 rivets". The rivets which go in
the tube must of course be pulled rivets.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Compression Strut Bushings

Tom and I made two sets of bushings for the ends of the compression struts last week. We started with 3/4"x 3/4" x 5/16"ID spacers from http://www.aluminum-spacers.com/. We made a mandrel for the lathe so we could turn down the barrel of the spacer to 0.652" leaving a 0.060" flange at one end

The bushings fit nicely in the 3/4"x 0.058 wall x 6061 tubes. The "hammered" effect on the ends of the bushings is from tumbling the parts after the spacers were made.

Priming the Spars

We had some nice weather (70 degrees) earlier this week so Tom helped me prime the spars for one wing. First we pulled all of the spar caps and webs over a 3-M wheel to polish all the edges smooth Then we scuffed every thing good with Scotch-Brite and cleand with a degreasing cleaner.

We are using RM brand DE15 epoxy primer and it seems to work very well. I used PPG DP40LF on my RV7A but that paint store closed. (Edit: See updated post as I have reverted to DP40LF)

The three cans in the picture......$335.45 +tax Ouch!

P.S. The funky looking parts near Tom's left hand are wing root strakes for our RV-8. They are reported to lower the stall speed significantly and eliminate a strong tail buffet which occurs near stall speed.

Bending Rib-to-spar clips

Bent the rib-to-spar clips for one wing today.

The following pictures show a clip in the process of being bent.
The first in the sequence shows part in position.

The second shows the ram just touching the part which is "zero".

The third shows the part at 0.210" ram travel after zero. This will result in a part with 82.8 degrees included angle.

The fourth is the finished set for one wing.