*****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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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Comm Antenna

I have been researching antennae suitable for fabric airplanes. It is difficult to find anything approaching the ideal location/orientation for the comm antenna. I first looked at the 1/2 wave dipole antennae from AAE. I then discovered the Miracle Air Whip antenna which is my choice of the moment. I plan to provide mounting points for 2 or 3 alternate antenna locations/orientations prior to fabric covering. Then I can easily experiment to find the best position.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Possible Paint Scheme

My good friend Gardy has a neat airport bicycle which is painted in an unusual gray and yellow paint scheme. I never would have thought of that combination but it actually looks good on the bicycle. Here's how it might look on the Skyote.

Hawkeye thinks it looks better with no stripes and big numbers. It does have that vintage look.

The last biplane I had was red all over. I don't recall seeing an all red Skyote. Not bad!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Head Rest

The fiberglass head rest is complete. We made it extra strong in case someone sits on it climbing in or out. Dale had suggested that we use it for storage. It's a good idea but if we keep adding details we will never finish!

New Strut Design - First Look

Got a chance to fit the the new design landing gear compression struts yesterday. All-in-all I was very pleased with the first look. We just used a kluged-up mixture of urethane bushings to see how they reacted. The amber bushings are of soft durometer and the blue are somewhat harder. You can see the bulge in the amber bushings yielding about 1/2" of compression. We did not use any pre-load of the bushings but some will be required. We won't be able to choose the proper durometer, number of urethane bushings, and preload until the weight of the complete airplane including pilot and fuel can be applied.

This strut design provides the following features:
1. Tunable "spring rate" and possible progressive spring rate.
2. Adjustable preload of strut.
3. Adjustable ride height.
4. Fail-safe relative to bungee breaking.
5. More compact than bungees.
6. Much simpler to build compared to the bungee strut.

As a matter of interest, the left strut in the photos is set up for maximum spring rate and zero travel as it has no bushings. Might be a little on the "hard" side!