*****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 17, 2016

Fitting Drill-Up Suggestion

Matched hole spar components are beginning to ship so I thought it was a good time to post some drilling suggestions. I have had good results using the following method to drill up fittings to intermediate and final sizes. The purpose of this set-up is to prevent the part from rotating or climbing the drill bit while being drilled.
I recommend that all fitting and spar holes be drilled using a drill press. I find it difficult to get holes of the desired quality by hand held drilling. A spray bottle of WD-40 or similar will help with drill bit life and hole quality.

My drilling set-up consists of a wood block and short piece of angle both held in the drill press vice as shown. One leg of the angle has a notch cut into it to allow access to the hole to be drilled up. I drilled a 3/8" hole and sawed into it to form the notch. The drill press vice is locked down to the table.

Use the fitting to set the gap between the wood block and the horizontal leg of the angle then tighten the vice. There should be some clearance so the the fitting slides in the gap loosely. This is important as the fitting should float freely and NOT be clamped tight. This allows it to center on the drill bit as the bit enters the hole.

Touch the bit to the part lightly and slowly at first to allow the part to center on the bit. I like to hold down on the part as the bit is retracted to eliminate binding on the bit.

This method can be used for pre-bent fittings as well.

 I get good results drilling up thin fittings with a Unibit. The Irwin Unibit #1 has the proper diameter steps and is available at Lowes. The Unibit avoids off center drilling or walking as the drill is always piloted while drilling up to the next size.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Skyote #88 takes Bronze Lindy @ Oshkosh 2016

Skyote #88 snug in its spot in front of the "Arch" on the flight line.  
A beautiful shot by Mike Kukulski.
Thanks Mike!

One old man, one Bronze Lindy and one sweet biplane!

For such a little airplane, Skyote #88 made a big splash @ Oshkosh 2016. It scored a Bronze Lindy for "2016 Plans Built Champion" and two feature magazine articles in Sport Aviation and Kit planes magazines.  Budd Davisson will do the Sport Aviation write up and Tom Dubrouillet will handle the Kit Planes piece.