*****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

To receive email notices of new posts just enter your email address in the block at the left. It will be confidential, only Google will know!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Yellow Wing #2

Just for the record, the second wing is now in yellow.  Two more to go!

Two brushed coats and four sprayed coats of Ekofill grey primer, Four sprayed coats of EkoPrime white primer. Sanded a minimum of three times  depending on how well I shot the primer. Usually, not so hot! Then five crossed coats of EkoPoly Federal Yellow.  No sanding thank Goodness!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Landing Gear Complete

#88 is back on its gear along with the floor board skin which must be installed before the main gear. The center section will likely be installed next.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Painting the Main Gear

Grounded! The fuse sadly waits while its landing gear is prepped and painted.

 The gear has been primed with PPG DP-40 epoxy primer and the fiberglassed fairings prepped with hi-build primer. I mounted both gear legs on one arm of the wing rotisserie so that they could be rotated to get to all of the weird angles.

All ready for the final top coats.

 Painting with the brake lines installed was a big PITA. I would not do that again.

Ready to install on the fuselage.

Here the gear strut is prepped and re-primed with DP=40 prior to adding the final top-coats.

Done! I plan to put #88 back on its gear tomorrow.

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.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Fiber Glassing Landing Gear Fairings

Today I added fiberglass wraps for the landing gear /brake line fairings. I used medium weight biax glass cloth and West Systems 105/205 resin. I wrapped the brake lines with clear packing tape so that the epoxy would not glue them in place. Hopefully the fairings will survive the upcoming abuse a little better. Note that I have added flanged adapters to allow bolt on axles. THis mod is covered in earlier posts.

 Balsa fairing glued to landing gear tube.  A little body filler has been added to smooth the joint.

 Fiberglass cloth attached to fairing.  No resin yet. I used an old modeler's trick of using CA instant adhesive to tack the cloth in place.

 Here the ends of the cloth have been trimmed and tucked, again using CA to tack in place. No resin yet.

Saturated with West systems resin. Almost makes the cloth invisible,  I hope to get the gear primed and painted tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Painting Center Section

I shot the white Ekoprime early this morning followed by the Federal Yellow EkoPoly this afternoon. I am slowly getting a little better laying the paint on.  Also I was talking to Ken at Stewart Systems yesterday and he gave me new mix ratios for the EkoPoly. It is now 4:1:1 EloPoly/catalyst/water which is quite different from the old numbers that I had been using. I think it works better with the new ratios. I will eventually learn to paint, just about the time I finish this project!

 Tank skins in white EkoPrime.

 Bottom view of tank.

 It's yellow now.

 The formed trailing edge skins show well in this view.

Sight gage made from a Stearman part.

Fuel outlet.

Center Section Detail Photos

Just a few shots of the center section with the top cover removed. The design and construction of the aft section of my center section including the grab handle is not per plans.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Center Section Prep

I have decided to paint and install the upper wing center section before I paint the remaining wings. This will allow the installation the wings as they are painted.  I am apprehensive about putting newly painted wings in the storage rack, I fear that they will get impressions in the paint as they sit

There are some older posts showing the design and construction of the aluminum plate handle.  The top skin was extended rearward to incorporate and tie in the handle.  More weight but slick and strong.

My buddy Tom is helping me close out the aft bottom skin.  We thought it would require several breaks to form the concave bottom.  Tom discovered the skins would conform with no breaks.  I will try to get a better shot to show this more clearly. The compound curves of outboard aft skins make the trailing edge very strong and stiff. If all goes to plan this will soon be yellow.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Yellow Wing

I painted the 1st wing yesterday. It turned out pretty well although I still tend to apply the paint a little too heavy. No runs or sags just more weight added to the airplane. Having said that, I am not certain that the yellow would cover with any less paint. Don't even think about painting yellow over  anything but white primer.
 1st. Wing in white EkoPrime ready for finish coats.

Federal yellow EkoPoly.

In the daylight.

The rotisserie is indispensable. If you don't want to make a cantilever rotisserie then you will need to provide some sort of support at the wing tip. I guess it could be in the form of a nav light mounting pad.