*****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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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Jabiru Engine Workshop

On March 14, 15 and 16 I attended a Jabiru engine workshop at Jabiru USA in Shelbyville, TN. I enjoyed the experience and found it very helpful in planning the installation of the Jabiru 3300 in the Skyote.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spar Attachment Mods

I have a personal (maybe irrational) hang-up when it comes to drilling four 0.188" holes at close proximity in the horizontal legs of the spar angles for the attachment of the interplane strut fittings. I have decided to incorporate "mirror image" fittings to completely eliminate the need for holes in the spar caps. The CAD images illustrate how this would work for the main spar. The first three images are per plans. The last three images are of the modified approach.

I do not mean to imply that there is any problem with the original design. but is interesting to note that as designed, the interplane tension wire puts the spar flange in bending by pulling perpendicular to the spar cap.
The proposed modification will add about 5 oz. per wing or 20 oz. to the airplane. I will save more than this in paint weight by using silver for the wings. Since weight added out on the wing has a magnified effect on handling, it is important that the "saved weight" also be on the wings.
The Jabiru 3300 I plan to use is about 25 pounds lighter than the normal O-200 so I have a few pounds to play with. I am confident that the airplane will come in substantially below 600 #.

Control Stick components

Most of the control stick components have been completed and ready for welding. The stick gimbal components were done in the traditional way, paper pattern, saw and sand. The aileron horns were done by waterjet.
I was not comfortable with trying to get the 3/4" hole through the longitudinal tube so I took it to my friends machine shop and he cut it using his milling milling machine and an end mill. I could see some serious potential for hanging and ripping something if I tried it with a drill bit in the drill press. It came out nice with no problem.
The 1-1/8" control stick is a real handful. I plan to replace it with a 1" diameter tube before welding. Of course that means remaking the pretty little pieces!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Fuselage out for final welding.

On Monday the 2nd I took the fuselage to Dale Doane for final welding. The fuse rode well on the racks I built for the Tundra. The weather was great so there was no worry about the fuse getting wet. Dale started welding shortly after I got there and is moving right along. The photo shows the cluster at the bottom of the firewall where the forward landing gear attaches.

I tried to get some photos of his work but my camera was acting up. I will add some more photos after my next visit. I intend to leave the fuse with Dale until we get all of the attachments made and welded on.