*****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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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Fabric Covering the Wings

A few photos of wing covering. They may not be in order.

This glue stripe is applied so the fabric can be trimmed without fraying.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Covering the Fuselage

What follows is a condensed glimpse of the fuselage covering process. We are using Stewart Systems Products. Detail videos of the proper technique for covering with their system can be found on their web site or on YouTube. We tried to follow their procedure as faithfully as possible.

 We covered the bottom first in the inverted position. All of the final details for the control system were checked and double checked prior to closing up the bottom side.

Anti-chafe tape was used on the bottom stringers due to the extrapounding from the exhaust pulses and prop blast.

I didn't get many good shots of the bottom after covering but inspection covers were added below the elevator bell crank. Finishing tapes were added to all of the belly stringers. (not shown here)

Now for the turtle deck.

I decided to double-cover the turtle deck due to abuse from old guys getting in and out, etc..
This is the first ply of turtle deck fabric installed.

The right side fabric came next. First drape of fabric shown here.

Here it is all glued, trimmed and tightened up. 

Now for the left side

Chief QA officer on the job!

All of the fuse fabric is now installed waiting for finishing tapes. Starting to look like an airplane!
The stool is supporting about 1lb. in this photo. Yikes! Glad the door is down, otherwise a breeze might tip it on its nose.