*****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, October 15, 2015

First Engine Run

Today was a good day!We rolled #88 out for its outdoors debut and started the engine for the first time. The engine start up and run went well. No leaks, good oil pressure and CHT numbers. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

One Step Closer

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.

Only two significant items left to do.  Recover the ailerons and make and install the wing root fairings.

Monday, October 5, 2015


Tom led the way again and we made good progress in getting the wires centered and rigged today. We have not tensioned the flying and landing wires yet but hopefully we can do that without disturbing things too much. We learned how important the center section is in the rigging process.  It must be made right before trying any other rigging.

We used a Bosh GLL3-15 three-plane chaulk line laser which really makes things much easier, especially with the Skyote having zero dihedral.
I didn't get any good photos but if you look carefully you can see the laser lines on the wings.  We were doing the preliminary set up at this point with the airplane sitting on the gear. Better results are obtained with the airplane supported directly by the airframe with the wheels off the floor. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

All Wired Up!

The wings are hung and all wires are installed.
Thanks to Big Tom Dubes for taking the lead in this phase.
Time to get her all rigged up!