*****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, June 7, 2008

Bending the Tip Bows

Today was the day for bending tip bows. Pete recommends bending the bows around a 13" radius block which seems to be the right number. We cut a 13" radius block with a few degrees of draft on the cut to help snug the tube down on the table while bending. Add a scrap of 2x4 and a 3/8" lag bolt and you have all you need to do a nice job of bending the tubes.

Our bending block has about 180 degrees of arc which is not enough to bend the tube without repositioning. It requires about 255 degrees of bend at the 13" radius to equal the same length of tube when it springs back to the 18+" final shape.

In the photo above you can see that Tom has repositioned the tube to get additional bending. The slider block which is screwed to the 2x4 does not need to be real tight as a little play lets the block have better leverage against the tube while bending.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Fun Time.

Last week Tom and I flew our RV8 from RocK Hill, SC to Newnan, GA and met Glenn Bridges who flew his RV4 over from "China Berry Ranch" near Dublin, GA. Dale Doane, who lives about 2 miles from the Newnan airport, came over and took us to his shop where we rolled out #88 on its gear. The pictures show the RV8 (blue) and the RV4 (yellow) at the Newnan airport. It's always nice to have an excuse to fly but when you get to fly to see your Skyote on the gear it's a real bonus. Seems like RV's are popular with Skyote builders.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

More Wing Assembly Progress

After Tom got everything well organized we managed to assemble the false ribs and leading edge spar this afternoon. The spar still needs to be trimmed to the proper length on both ends so it is just clecoed for now. I should point out that I am using a modified approach to the interplane strut attach fittings. I am using "mirror image" fittings on the back side of the spar to eliminate the need for drilling holes in the spar angles. You can find more on this in an earlier post. Check the "fittings" category.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wing Assembly Progress

Tom has been working away with the rivet squeezer and puller and we almost have a wing assembled. Tomorrow we hope to get the leading edge spar fitted and then move on to the tip bow. So far everything has gone together nicely with just a few small adjustments. The biggest challenge is getting the assembly procedure just right to avoid taking things apart too many times.