*****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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Monday, June 28, 2010

Safety Harness

The safety harness is about 90% installed. The lap belts were anchored to the seat base tubes using a "wrap around" mount which eliminated the need for additional brackets. The lap belts will be close to the desired 45 degree angle.

The plans call for the shoulder belts to be mounted to the fuselage structure at the base of the turtle deck. I felt that this caused the belts to be angled sharply downward behind my shoulders which can cause spinal compression problems. I raised the shoulder belt penetration point to the top of the turtle deck. I will extend a cable attachment back to one of the fuse cross members near the tail. This will let the belts extend straight back from my shoulders and avoid the compression problem.

I bought the belts from Crowe Enterprises. Some of the RV guys are starting to use belts from Crowe. They make a very nice product and the price is much less than Hooker.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Landing Gear Progress

The urethane die springs in the above picture are performing well so far. That means that they are holding up the weight of the airplane and engine with no sag over time. There is no pre-load applied so far but as the wings, fuel and pilot add additional weight some preload will be necessary to maintain full ride height. The limited pre-load will give a softer "cushy" ride for the first 1 to 2 inches of gear deflection.

I intend to experiment with one additional combination of spring diameter and durometer. The current springs are 60A durometer and 2.5 inches in diameter. The next trial will be with 70A durometer and 1.75 inch diameter springs. If the smaller diameter works as well it will save about 2 pounds of unnecessary weight.