*****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

To receive email notices of new posts just enter your email address in the block at the left. It will be confidential, only Google will know!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Throttle Quadrant

If you have ever set in the cockpit of a Skyote you know that space is at a premium. In some Skyotes the throttle/mixture controls become knee knockers. I originally considered using panel mounted push/pull controls to keep them out of the way. I finally decided that panel space was too valuable to devote to throttle/mixture so I decided to use quadrant controls but minimize the intrusion into the cockpit. I came up with a compact quadrant design that works on the "pony brake" principle to provide friction adjustment.

In operation the adjustment knob squeezes the split tube down on the cylindrical bodies of the two flanged bushings ( blue and orange parts). A 1/4" flat head through bolt holds it all together but it is not shown as I am just too lazy to do it! The ends of the bushings are machined to receive the flat stock throttle and mixture handles. Moving the handles causes the bushings to independtly rotate against the friction of the split tube. The split tube will be welded to the diagonal fuse tube near the pilot's left hand. The throttle control cable will actually be outside the fuselage tubes in the area provided by the stringers. This will hold the cockpit intrusion to a minimum.

A version with handles rather than knobs.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Turtle Deck Progress

The turtle deck is beginning to shape up. We made the forward deck skin somewhat longer than the plans to accommodate an extended headrest ala Hawkeye's Skyote. I also plan to install the windscreen in the aft position per Hawkeye's recommendations. Dale Doane is responsible for the beautiful woodwork!