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.
Saturday, December 5, 2015
Thursday, October 15, 2015
Saturday, October 10, 2015
We fitted the engine cowl and the boot cowl today. It took just a little trimming here and there as this was the first time everything had been on the airplane at once so we found a few small spots of interference.
Monday, October 5, 2015
Friday, October 2, 2015
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
The "Matched Hole" Spar kit is an out-of-the-park home run! The spar cap to spar web fit is perfect and the pre-bent spar mounted fittings do the same. With the exception of trimming the spar caps for the tapered tip these photos could have been made 5 minutes from the time the spar components came off the water jet table. The extrusioned spar caps make a much nicer spar compared to the formed spar caps. Wish I had them on #88!
This is a "shorty" demo spar made for ease of transport and show and tell. All of the critical features are retained from the full 9'-6" spar. Just the long sections with nothing but rivets have been eliminated. I created all of the CAD models for these components anand built this exact assembly in virtual space so I had a good idea of what the real thing would look like. Even so I wasn't prepared for how simple and elegant it is when actually in hand
The tapered tip uses features cut into the spar web as a template for trimming the legs of the spar. No measuring or layout of any kind is required. It is "automatic". I will post more detail on this soon.
Saturday, September 19, 2015
Well, the fourth wing is finally painted and both top wings have "Cruiser Orange" stripes.
A little vision hiccup kept me out of the paint booth for about three months but all is well now.The stripes turned out nicely. We pulled the tapes at just the right time so the edges healed over nice and smooth.
The lower wings are hung , just waiting on the upper wing stripes to cure. Actually due to schedule conflicts, we likely won't hang the upper wings before late next week. No matter, there are plenty of details to look after. My hangar buddy and friend Tom Dubes (that's his RV4 in Team AeroDynamics livery in the background) has been a tremendous help keeping the fires burning while I was down for maintenance.
Much has been accomplished since my last report Mostly by Tom with me helping a little.
- The elevator and rudder controls rigged
- Brakes topped up and pressure tested
- Fuel tanks flushed and leak tested.
- All avionics wiring completed and tested.
- Engine breather piping installed.
- Fuel tanks flow tested (again).
- Prop mounted.
- Primer pump installed.
- Belite fuel gauge for fuselage tank installed and wired. This uses the new pressure transducer which makes for a very easy installation.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Note that the edges of the opposing parts and the hole line up almost perfectly. The shiney spot in the hole is from inserting a cleco. It has not been drilled up yet.
Thursday, July 23, 2015
Thursday, June 18, 2015
An upcoming "Group Buy Production Run" of water jet cut parts for other builders has inspired me to develop a more practical method of achieving accurate bending results.
Anyone building a Skyote needs one of these anyway. This is a 36" brake. There are many options but smaller brakes don't generally have the backbone required to bend 4130.
The operator is responsible for achieving the proper bend angle. A simple angle gauge for 97.2 degrees and 82.8 degrees will be provided with the fitting kits.
With a little practice you can get really close every time. Adjusting fittings which are a little over bent is easy. Also, you can C-clamp a stop onto the frame of the brake.
Only one jig is required for the 4130 kit parts because I made small adjustments (0.015"+/-) to all of the fitment models so the the bend offset from the edge of each fitting is identical. This method is considerably faster than my precision ram type press brake.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
I sure will be happy when its done.
Saturday, May 30, 2015
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
Covering and painting the fuse on the gear with the engine in place was also a big mistake. I wish I had covered and painted the fuse on a rotisserie. It would have been quicker, easier and I could have done a better job overall.