*****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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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Landing Gear Mod for Toe Adjustment

The photo above shows the unmodified axle along with the flanged adapter and the Grove axle.

The outboard section of the axle was sawed off flush with the existing brake torque plate and ground flush.

I hope to get the gear back on the plane this weekend and begin the alignment process.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Landing Gear Toe-in Correction

From the beginning we considered using Grove "bolt-on" axles so that toe and camber could easily be adjusted. Hawkeye has explained the rational for this mod in some of his previous postings. In the end, we decided to take a shot at using the straight tubular steel axles per Pete's plans knowing that we could always cut off the unwanted portion of the axle and add a flange for the bolt-on type axle.

In spite of our best efforts, we wound up with a few degrees of dreaded toe-in on both my and Glenn Bridges Skyoties. Glenn reports that his is a handful on pavement so it looks like a fix is in order. We had originally planned to just weld on the new flange after cutting off the old axle. Robbie Grove of Grove cautioned that the flange needs to be nice and flat to provide a good seat for the bolt on axle. With this in mind, we decided to use a bolt on flange adaptor. This allows the face of the adaptor flange to be machined flat after welding. The CAD rendering above shows how it all comes together.

The brake torque plate will bolt on the outboard face of the Grove axle flange so the Skyote landing gear track will increase a little.

The Grove axles are "in the mail" so I will post some pictures of the actual components soon.

Friday, December 10, 2010

David Teel Visits

Good friend and renowned Skyote builder/test pilot, Davide Teel came by for a visit yesterday. David flew up from Eastman, GA. in his beautiful Waiex. David had to put toastie toes packs in his boots as the VW powered Waiex has no heater!

Wings Installed and Rigged

Well it's been almost 6 months since I posted to this blog!There are about 50 reasons but no good excuse for such an extended lapse. Actually there has been a little progress during the past few months but no time for posting.

As you can see from the above photos, the wings are mounted and loosely rigged. The main objective here is to make sure everything fits. I also want to weigh the airplane sans covering and paint. I can estimate the weight and c.g. of the covering and paint and arrive at a reasonably close estimate of the final weight and balance. If I get a surprise and find that it is going to be less than ideal, it will be easier to make changes prior to covering.

I recently reworked the fuel system again which I will cover in the next post.