No work has been completed on the upper wings. It may not
be until the fall/winter of '07 before I get around to starting
March 11, 2007
Getting started on this earlier than I thought I would.
Buidling of the "newer" 3-pc wing will be plowing through new waters. Not many builders out there have been down this road yet. I know of two guys that have tackled this job.
I've been in contact with one who has built it from the new CAD drawings that were put out by Steen Aero.
I spent a large part of the day comparing one set of drawings to another set of drawings, the original Skybolt drawings I got from Hal Wallace, the "R" version that I purchased
from Steen Aero with the hand drawn 3-pc wings by Curtiss Pitts and now the new CAD drawings from Steen Aero.
One drawing builds upon the previous. I need to compare all three sets
in order to get the "BIG" picture. Talk about several ways to screw something up. It's challenging to read and understand one set of prints at this point.
August 16, 2007 Yeah, nothing written ...but not forgotten
Nope... you were wrong !. I have been working on the three piece wing. Just haven't had anything really to add to this page. I've been working on the fittings
for a few months now. You may have read about it on here. If not... you're really missing out on some good writing. : )
I recently picked up quite a bit of Sitka Spruce lumber and Birch plywood from Gus. Just taking a quick look at it, it appears that I just may have what it takes to make the center section
of the 3-piece wing.
The trend with me lately has been to mix it up a bit. You know... practice welding, making fittings, drawing CAD drawings, bending tubing... keeps me from getting
stagnant with one task. Jim, one of the guys on the biplane forum, keeps a few things going at once too. His theory, when things get monotonous or frustrating they move on to a different task. Good advice.
A lot of times when a builder gets fustrated with a task they throw down their tools and walk away for a day or two (at best), maybe more. And that ain't no good (yeah I know its inproper English.) Time away from
working on the Skybolt is time tacked on to the end of the project, in other words... it's going to take you longer to get your biplane in the air.
This all being said, looks like I'm going to dive into cutting the wood for the 3-piece's center section. This also means I'll either be buying the fuel tank or, most likely, I'll be fabricating it. Looks like another chapter of learning
July 23, 2009 Nothing written, in a long time... almost forgotten...
Not long after writing the statement in August 2007, I began working on the fuselage... didn't actually forget about the wings, just pushed the completion date on them back a few... years. Things are starting to finally happen on the wings.
I now have the eight Douglas Fir spars. And... I'm just about finished with cutting, routing, filing, sanding and drilling the 12 Internal Flying Wire plates. I'm just starting the wings... but still haven't finished up with the fuselage yet.
September 23, 2009 I don't like this... juggling two totally different parts of the airplane.
Am I asking for trouble ? working on two totally different pieces of the biplane at the same time; the fuselage and the center section of the Delta wing ?
I guess, if I can wrap my mind around the entire scope of the Delta wing... I'll be OK. Good thing is... JimW and Pelican, from the biplane forum, have already walked down this path. Scottly is walking this path now too. Jim has thrown out a few "watchits" in early posts on the forum.
Tonight, I confirmed a few of those with a question posted to the forum. Instead of asking JimW, Pelican, or Scottly in an email... thought I'd throw the question out so that others would benefit from their answer too. Jim came back with a reply within minutes. Pointed out a few other things, in addition to what I posted, that I should be on the look out for. (thank you Jim!)
Go to the forum and look under Skybolt/R and D for answers about the Delta wing. Good reading.
So... I have the forum to refer to. I have pictures of JimW's center section, in the biplane gallery, to refer to. Pelican sent images a few years ago, that I can refer to. And Scottly made a post showing how he made one of the larger, complex fittings for the Delta wing. All-in-all, I should be able to wrap my mind around this pretty easily. Easier said than done... but I'll do it.
About a week ago I made a list of all the components for the center section and marked what had been made already and what still needed to be bought (raw material) and made. The list of "to do" farrrrrrr out weighs the "done" list.
I have quite a large stack of Sitka Spruce in the basement, that I got from Gus. Tomorrow I'll see what I can use then I'll make that list up for Aircraft Spruce and get some raw material in here so that I can get moving on it. I have enough raw material to keep me busy for a few days... weeks...
Back to making saw dust.
September 24, 2009 I don't like this... juggling all these different sets of drawings.
I'm so use to looking at three different sets of drawings to draw one conclusion... that when I had the corrected (newest) set
tucked away in a tube... I didn't realize it until asking questions on the biplane forum. JimW pointed me in the right direction.
(thanks again, Jim!)
I spent four hours today figuring out the raw materials that I needed to buy to make the upper wing center section; the Delta Wing design.
I had a question or two, and as mentioned above I posted them to the forum. Before being set straight I was thinking to myself that
I've got a big chunk of learning here in front of me. Almost overwhelming; the hand drawings weren't making any sense compared to the
CAD drawings. I had more questions than answers after four hours of looking at them. But... I was determined to figure it out... and
that's what I did.
Drawing SBSPW-211 was the light at the end of the tunnel. When Jim asked me to refer to that, a drawing that I didn't have in front of
me, I knew that my confusion would be short lived. Not saying that the center section is a piece of cake... but compared to what I was
I found the drawing, along with several others. Most of them are exploded views of the completed center section. Oh... it's so much nicer
looking at these compared to the poorly reprinted hand drawings that I was looking at. Tomorrow... I need to take another look at these to make
sure that I have the correct materials listed to buy. Next week I should be making that dust I had mentioned earlier.
January 19, 2010 I found them... again!
This ever happen to you????
OK... maybe it's only happens to me... you put off ordering the material for some reason, well, hell, you put off doing anything for any reason... but then... you're ready. You're ready to pull the trigger and get that particular thing done... you're ready. I'm saying... I was ready ! I was ready to buy the material for the Upper Wing Center Section. I was ready to put my order in with Aircraft Spruce two weeks ago.
Did I say I was ready???
I was ready to buy the material. But, I wanted to confirm
everything that I had confirmed several times before. (another
ploy to push back making the Upper Wing Center Section?)
OK... so I pull out all the drawings... well, not all of them.
I... couldn't... find... all... the... drawings... for... the...
Upper... Wing... Center... Section... even if my life depended
Looked in all the drawing tubes that I have... nuthin'.
Looked in the truck... nuthin'. Looked in the garage workshop...
and the basement workshop... and the upstairs office... and...
you get the point. Looked for the past two weeks... and nuthin'.
The only thing I was finding was a pissy feeling each time I went on the search and couldn't find it/them.
Finally found them. And yeah... they were in the last place that I looked. DUH! Placed them up high... outta the way... away from the sun... in the upstairs office. A real safe place where I wouldn't lose them. Uh... yeah....
Well, they're sitting right in front of me. Gonna look them over. Gonna place that order. Gonna get started on the Upper Wing Center Section. Thought I was gonna get started on this back in September of 2007.
I'm a happy man now... found my drawings and listening to The James Gang... Funk #49.
January 30, 2010 Eleven days... a lot of "nothing." Or so it seems."
Yeah yeah yeah... been working towards getting this Upper Wing Center Section started... thinking and cleaning up... more thinking... ask a question... more thinking. Looking at my build log you wouldn't think I was progressing, eh ? Some of this stuff you just need to think through... and be happy with your final thoughts. Na... not another ploy to delay the start of it (at least I don't think).
Happy now with my final thoughts... only thought left is where I'll be shipping this HUGE crate to. Can't very well have a common carrier deliver to my house. (a thought that has passed through my head is to see if Aircraft Spruce will cut it down a little over-sized to what I need... which just may bring the size down to UPS shippable.)
My call this week to Aircraft Spruce will hopefully end in an order being delivered VIA UPS to Mantua.
February 1, 2010 A center section... is a center section... is a center section
No matter how I slice it or dice it... I'm gonna need to ship it VIA common carrier... or should I say, ground freight. The plywood needed for it... no matter how I want to look at it, or chop it up... is still purty big.
Called Aircraft Spruce today, actually did their online "chat". Asked a few questions... got a few answers. Came to the above conclusion. Had another thought... "road trip".
Called M.L.Condon, a large lumber mill known for it's boat and aircraft quality wood. They're located up in White Plain, NY. That's about 2 1/2 hours from me. They have the 1/16th and 1/8th inch ply... but not the 1/32nd. All prices are about $40.00 more per 4' x 8' sheet of ply. Need to call Aircraft Spruce back tomorrow to see if I can get an estimate on shipping. Not really into driving up near NYCity, with all it's traffic... taking off a day of work to boot. They aren't open on the weekend... if you can believe that.
Geting closer to plunking down my hard earned cash for some of that beautiful looking plywood... closer to starting that Upper Wing Center Section.
February 12, 2010 The day has finally come... And it's hard to believe... I finally placed that order for the wood.
Now it's the waiting... still.
During lunch today I went online and plunked down close to $400.00 for some plywood. It was either buy the plywood or buy this NORDICTRACK treadmill A2750pro still in box for $575. Got my wits together and figured if I bought the treadmill it might be the begining of the end for spending money for other things. I thought right and placed the order. Still need to order the sitka spruce and the 1/32" ply for it... that'll easily use up the other $175.00 I would have spent on that treadmill. : )
The sitka spruce I figured will ship in a separate container since it's 8' long and I had them cut down the plywood to 60" (the longest piece) x 48". The 1/32" ply I need for the leading edge wrap... was on BO (back order.) Figured I'd look for another source and get enough for all the leading edges at the same time. I'll have plenty of time before I need that leading edge material anyway.
Yeah... so I finally ordered it. hmmm... guess I'm gonna have to start on the Upper Wing Center Section in a few days, eh ? Either that or look at the wood after it arrives.
February 17, 2010 Some of that old time... customer service... before that order was filled.
My hat is off to John Markely, the Sales Manager of Aircraft Spruce's East Coast warehouse. Thank you, John.
I placed the order for the plywood the other day with cutting instructions. I thought I had it cut down enough to ship VIA UPS ground. Got a call from John saying that the shipping cost would be $120.00 to ship my order VIA common carrier because it was oversized. He wanted me to give him a call back to let him know if this was okay. A phone call and a few emails and the ply is cut down to a size where it is shipping VIA UPS Ground. WooHoo ! More like a $40.00 charge than the $120.00 price tag.
NOTE: John did not have to give me a call. It clearly states on the page that if it is oversized you will be charged with a pretty hefty bill for shipping. John put a little customer service into the equation and made me a happy customer. Thank you, John.
We're quick to bash a vendor when they do something wrong but tend to gloss over times when they have gone above and beyond. (okay... off my soap box)
Still need to order the spruce and some tubing and glue to get things going. A few questions to JimW and I'm going down the right path. (thanks again, Jim)Oh yeah... had copies of the Inboard and Outboard ribs for the Upper Wing Center Section made so that I can get started on the jigs for them.
It's going to be slow going for the next couple of weeks... got the Winter Olympics going on now. I follow skiing, speed skating and the halfpipe... A GOLD for Vonn, Davis and Smith (aka Animal) today ! They only happen every few years. Well worth the hiatus.
February 20, 2010 Slow... is
better than no...
with the ordering of the material for the Upper Wing Center
Section. Better than no progress. No hours added to the build
log. Ordering = time... I don't think so.
It's the typical way I've always approached a new phase...
this time quite a bit longer approach than other times; hesitant
to get into it, making sure all the ducks are lined up before
cutting the first piece. I may make a learning mistake, but
at least I'll feel better knowing that I did as much as "I"
could in preparing for it.
Steve, from across the street, brought over the plywood I
had delivered to his place. Thank you Steve ! Kinda feel bad
now... it was cut down to the point where it was UPS shippable,
as noted above, and it could have easily been delivered here.
But, in any event, thanks for helping out, Steve.
The Sitka Spruce should be here on Monday or Tuesday of this
week. I'll start building the Inboard and Outboard Rib jigs
this weekend so I can start right on those.
Make the ribs. Route the rig to hold the ribs into position,
using the ribs as templates. I can strike the level line before
routing so that I can have a parallel line marked below to
make sure that it's straight and level on the jig... the rib
jig on the main jig. (follow?)
February 26, 2010 WHERE THE HELL ARE THEY...?! my spruce pieces... not the Mallomars!
Funny routine by the comedian George Carlin. Loved that guy. Liked him so much I bought a few of his albums. Yes... hard vinyl albums. Him and that wild and crazy guy, Steve Martin.
The last part of Carlin's Supermarket routine... "Where the hell are the Mallomars?" "Oh, we can't get them in the store. They line up at the truck for the Mallomars." There's always lots of shitty cookies. Local cookies. "Jim's Cookies- sixty-two varieties". Man, if you can't make cookies in sixty-two tries, leave me out of it. I don't want to be part of your experiment, Jim."
Brings back some good memories.
Back to building... called Aircraft Spruce yesterday to see where my wood order was. Online it was indicating that it hadn't shipped yet. Spoke to one of the customer service people, very nice woman (they're always pleasent.) Standard turn around is 7 - 9 days.
It states that when you are ordering it... my eyes just sorta glean over that... not really see it until I ask about it at a later date. Anywho... it will be here next week, not this week. But, I have the mahogany ply to finish up those two ribs I re-built.
Kinda glad that they didn't ship. If they had, I wouldn't have made this post... thus remembering good ol' George Carlin and the Mallomar routine.
I'll leave you with a part of Carlin's "Kids Are Too Small" routine: You're stuck down there and the whole world's up here. It must have some effect, huh? Everything is a stiff neck and a crotch view...