I've been hard at work figuring up what tubing I need to order for the Radial version fuselage. They have a material list for the Standard but nothing
as of yet for the one I'm building.
I originally looked at the drawings and thought that some of the angled tubing needed some sort of mathmatical whiz to figure it out until I posted a second message
to the biplane forum where a few of the guys said... all you need to do is either 1. Use a few formulas (old school) or 2. Use the DeltaCAD program you have. You can read all
about my tales on the Drawings Page.
OK... back to the present... I've figured out all the tubing I need, or at least what I think I need, and I've totaled up all the tubing that I've purchased from one of the
local guys here (at less than half the usual cost and in full lenghts.) So I'm ready to place the order tomorrow for the tubing. It'll be welded up and on "wheels" by the end of
November 21, 2007 Gettin' ready to build a frame...
soes I can make me some airplane noises.
Faxed over my order to Dillsburg Aeroplane Works yesterday. I wrote out the "form" a little wrong and Charlie Vogelsong called and left me a message. I called him back
and straightened it out and now my order of 4130 tubing is on it's way.
Just a slight note about ordering from Dillsburg. The BEST source for 4130 tubing and a lot of other metal and hardware that you'll need to build your biplane/airplane.
There are a few builders out there that think that Charlie won't sell them any tubing because the order is too small. If you read the few sheets that he has for a "Material List" you'll see that he'll
sell you a minumum of $10.00, yeah that's ten dollars. Thing is... you just need to know how to order it with him. He's not into talking... he wants the order so that he can get it filled and on it's way.
If you're buying 4130 tubing, know that it's sold to him in random lengths between 17 to 24 feet. He'll sell you small lengths at a 15% premium, but he'd rather sell you full lengths. I just placed an order for the following tubing.
Here is a partial list of the tubing that I needed:
Note: If you need lengths longer than 8' they cannot be shipped VIA UPS and will need to go VIA common carrier, which is much more expensive. Shipping to a business instead of a home address will bring down the
cost of either shipping method.
I was lucky enough to get the longer pieces that I needed from Gus, one of the local builders. I instructed Dillsburg to cut it to 8' lengths so that it could ship UPS.
OK... back to ordering... this is what I need.
1" x .049 9 feet
7/8" x .049 60 feet
3/4" x .035 20 feet
Here is how I placed the order: Note: If you want 4' order 4'. I figure that I'll be making a few bad cuts so... order some extra. Drop is any excess tubing left from the cut.
1" x .049 16 feet plus drop
7/8" x .049 64 feet plus drop
3/4" x .035 24 feet plus drop
Here is what I'll receive:
1" x .049 (2) 8' and (1) 1' piece
7/8" x .049 (9) 8' pieces
3/4" x .035 (3) 8' pieces
Yeah... I've ordered extra, but Dillsburg has one helluva price on tubing. I was looking at my last invoice from them, just to compare costs. 7/8" x .049 is $1.50/ft from Dillsburgh. That same tubing
from Aircraft Spruce... $2.75. Grant it, you can get three feet from ACS, but it cost just about twice as much.
I'll get off my soap box now... back to makin' a biplane. I'll be painting up those two wooden tables that I have so that I can draw up the fuselage and get
to cutting tubing. I'll have this together in no time. Well, if you consider about 100 hours no time, I'll have it on it's wheels in no time.
No, this isn't out of sequence, I've just discovered this and I thought I'd give you a heads up since I seemed to have missed the boat on it.
At stations 49.06 and 51, where the sides of the fuselage are bent in towards the tailpost, you need to know the following. When building the fuselage sides in the flat, station 77 isn't 77 inches behind the firewall when you bend it in, it's more like 77.25 inches behind the firewall.
The same goes for the rest of the stations when the sides are bent in. They're not all a 1/4" different, the difference becomes greater as you go back toward the tailpost. Like I said, I didn't read this anywhere, but it was in the Skybolt "manual," a few pages that are sent with the plans, and I'm sure that it's well know to other builders.
It's also well known by those like me who didn't realize it at first and made the mistake of putting the instersection of the tubes at station 77 instead of station 77.25 .
I looked at the plans and it pretty much looks like the back end of the fuselage was divided into three sections with the tubing evenly spaced out between, that is, all except the very last station. My thought... the fuselage can shrink anywhere from 1 to 2 inches. I'm also building so that part A fits onto part B. I don't think that it's critical enough for me
to rip apart the sides and move the tubing fractions of an inch. And I'm not telling you this and saying that you should do it. You're building your own plane. Hopefully this insert will keep you from missing the station 77 mark by a quarter inch.
January 7, 2008 a year of learning... past
another year of learing to come
Reflecting back over the past year I've really accomplished a lot. One of the most obvious to me is my ability to weld.
If you had asked me a little over a year ago if I would be cutting pieces up and then welding them together to make an airplane I'd have to say you didn't know
who you were talking to, 'cause I hadn't a clue about welding. With a lot of soot flying, holes being burnt and some snap crackles and pops... I've got a pretty good handle on
what to do and what not to do with a weld joint.
Just today I was talking with John, a friend at work, about welding. He asked me how you knew if a joint was good or not. I told him, after a lot of practice and seeing what breaks apart and what stays together, you just know
if the joint is good or not when you're welding it. Thinking about that question tonight... It's pretty obvious to yourself when you haven't made a solid weld. And that's from A LOT of practice practice practice.
Today... I've reached another milestone in the creation of my biplane. I'm a little over a year into the project (closer to 18 months) and a lot of these smaller "bits and pieces" are begining to form larger shapes... a rudder here, a set of pedals there. I've stepped across that line where things are actually starting to come together, starting to form biplane parts.
I'm at the stage of planning and laying out the frame work of the fuselage. Tubes are being cut, formed and fitted. Actually, I'm getting ahead of myself a little. What I've done so far is transfer the drawings onto the fuselage table. Of course, double and triple checking my lines so I won't end up with something that looks like the
facetmobile. (not a bad thing if that's what you started off building in the first place, but....)
Tonight, the positioning blocks were attached to the fuselage jig. It's hard to describe the feeling. Hell, I originally started this puppy back in December of 1993. I've been chasing this moment for over a decade. Once I get it tacked up and welded I'll have to take a picture of it and carry it around
and show it off like it was my only child.
Another one of those Zen moments for me... like my first flight in a small plane, my first solo, getting my pilot license. It's hard to sum up and describe. And that's just from me making the jig ! What's it going to be like when it's all welded up
and sitting on it's mains ? I'll probably be making airplane noises for a week.
We're not building biplanes here ! We're building dreams !