*****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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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Fitting Bender Angle Meter Addition

I remembered that I had an old Starrett Angle Finder with magnetic base and it occurred that it might be useful as an angle indicator while bending fittings. This is the AM-2 Model and sells for less than $20 all over the web.  Turns out it works great!

Here it is attached to the rotating bender bar of my trusty Harbor Freight 36" Metal Brake.
(Harbor Freight currently has the bender on sale for $189.99 normally $279.99 good until 10/17/15. So for about $210 you an have precision fitting bender complete with a "Made in the USA" Starrett angle indicator.)

As luck would have it, when you rotate the bender bar upward to bend the fitting the Angle Meter rotates up giving you a perfect view of the bend angle. There is spring back to deal with so you have to over-form just a bit. Just sneak up on it and determine the correct amount of overbend. Bingo! No more guessing and adjusting later! Sure wish I had this when I bent all of my fittings

Note that my prototype fitting bender jig is not quite wide enough causing the "ear" of the fitting to overlap the tab of the jig. I will make the next one wider to fix this problem.

 The above is a matched pair of two identical spar fittings bent 90 degrees then matched for comparison of the two bends.( In practice, the parts would not be oriented this way.)

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.