*****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, December 27, 2008

Engine/Cowling Model

I refined the engine/cowling model a little. I still need to add the cooling ram air ducts and some simulation of the 6 into 2 exhaust system. Pete Bartoe is lending us the forming blocks he used to form his nose bowl. The orange part is the battery which needs to go up front to help with the CG. The battery will be supported by a subframe off the engine mount. It looks like most of the exhaust and ram air ducts will be outside the cowling.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Saw and Sand Time

Time to make a few parts by the traditional saw and sand method.

Templates for the Tip Bow Straps.


Seat Bottom

I used 3M adhesive to glue the templates over the protective plastic on the aluminum sheet stock. Just peel the plastic off when you are finished with no messy adhesive clean-up.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Avionics Console

(Ed. note: This idea was discarded in favor of panel mounted units. See post of Jan 2nd.)
This is a CAD model of the avionics console which will house the MicroAir comm. and transponder units. It will be located on the floor between my feet. It will also contain the headphone jacks and the avionics master switch. I will likely need some holes or slots for ventilation.

The second model has the cover removed. The MicroAir comm. and transponder are not actually the same size. I just made up a composite model using the larger of the HxWxL dimensions from the respective units.

This is the flat pattern blank for the face/base plate for the console. Looks like a good prospect for waterjet! Would be much easier to bend up if it were made in two pieces and riveted together

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Paint Update

The primer I used initally didn't stand up to the MEK test so I switched to PPG brand DP40-LF. It works well and has good resistance to MEK after it cures a week or so.

I dropped my 30 year old POC touch-up gun and broke it so I was forced to treat myself to a new primer gun. I find myself priming many batches of small parts so I needed a small capacity gun suitable for priming. I bought this little gravity feed gun from Lowe's for $39.95 less a $10.00 off coupon. It works just fine for primer and gets about three times the milage from the paint as the old siphon gun did.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Instrument Panel

It's about time to cut the instrument panel so I now have an excuse to waste endless hours contemplating the panel layout. My first objective is to keep it simple. The King AV80R satisfies this requirement as it can be surface mounted on the panel and only requires a 12 volt power plug to operate. The Grand Rapids EIS 6000 is desirable to help tune and manage the EGT/CHT temps for the Jabiru 3300.

The 3-1/8" instruments will be altimeter and air speed while the small instruments include G-meter, turn & bank, and compass.

The MicroAir comm and transponder will go in a small console on the floor between my legs.

Match Drilling Spar Fittings

Match drilling Spar fittings with the fitttings installed on the spars can be akward leading to inaccurate drillng. We assembled the fittings to a small piece of spar and used a jig to hold it at the 7.2 degree angle. This allowed the fittings to be matched drilled and reamed in the drill press for better accuracy.