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Thread: Composite Aircraft -

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Minneapolis, MN
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    42

    Composite Aircraft -

    Hello all,

    I have recently come into possession of a composite aircraft project. This project has been thru 2 hands so far both men have since gone west. I have some concerns so i am asking for your input as to what you would do, or whom you would seek out for answers. The construction looks good, but I don't know that I am one to judge as I am still new to all of this. This is a plans built composite tail dragger aircraft and I have all the manuals, which would allow me to start anywhere on the plane.

    1) The builders log is an Aircraft Log book with reasonable written descriptions of what was accomplished. There are no pictures. There are time gaps. I will be reading the whole thing, but do not see information from the second builder. How will this affect my final inspection? The vertical tail is glassed in, so I have no visual for the construction of this part of the aircraft.

    2) I have a delamination issue on a firewall, maybe 1 inch wide by 3 inches long wrapping around a corner of the firewall. What type of repair is typical there?

    3) I looks like the fuselage may have been stored outside for a short while. It is not full of gunk, but there looked to be some standing water in the tail and a ring of dirt around the cockpit. No leaves or other debris was in there. How long can a raw fuselage be stored outside? I am wondering about UV damage as the fuselage is not painted.

    That is all for now. I just need to get my head around what I have an what I might not have.

    Thanks for looking and for your input.

    Have an awesome day,
    Josh

  2. #2
    Sam Buchanan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    KDCU
    Posts
    409
    You need an experienced composite builder to pay a visit to your project. This is way too complex a question to trust to "internet" inspection.

    Hope the in-person inspection works out and you have a good airframe. The builder logs are a point of concern and a DAR can give you guidance in that regard so you can be confident it will make it through certification.
    Sam Buchanan
    EAA Technical Counselor
    The RV Journal RV-6 build log
    Fokker D.VII semi-replica build log
    YouTube Channel

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by LooneyBird View Post
    Hello all,

    I have recently come into possession of a composite aircraft project. This project has been thru 2 hands so far both men have since gone west. I have some concerns so i am asking for your input as to what you would do, or whom you would seek out for answers. The construction looks good, but I don't know that I am one to judge as I am still new to all of this. This is a plans built composite tail dragger aircraft and I have all the manuals, which would allow me to start anywhere on the plane.

    1) The builders log is an Aircraft Log book with reasonable written descriptions of what was accomplished. There are no pictures. There are time gaps. I will be reading the whole thing, but do not see information from the second builder. How will this affect my final inspection? The vertical tail is glassed in, so I have no visual for the construction of this part of the aircraft.

    Perhaps the second builder didn't do anything. Read the logs while studying the plans.

    2) I have a delamination issue on a firewall, maybe 1 inch wide by 3 inches long wrapping around a corner of the firewall. What type of repair is typical there?

    As I don't know what the plans intend, it's hard to answer this. Haveyou "re-registered" the project with the designer? Doing so may be anopportunity to gain builder support and gain more history if the previousbuilders interacted with the designer. Very few places occur where glass is wrapped around a corner without shaping a curve. This is where contacting builder support is important.

    3) I looks like the fuselage may have been stored outside for a short while. It is not full of gunk, but there looked to be some standing water in the tail and a ring of dirt around the cockpit. No leaves or other debris was in there. How long can a raw fuselage be stored outside? I am wondering about UV damage as the fuselage is not painted.

    What is "a short while"? Is there any visible difference due to the sun? From top surfaces and shaded areas?If any of the structure was stored in direct sun unprotected for more than a couple days, I would think about rebuilding that structure.Building structure is usually quick once one masters composite processes.
    What compositeplane is it? There is usually a forum following the design, like CanardAviators or Vision Builders.

    There are alsomany books on composite construction to learn how construction is done. Aircraft Spruce still sells a composite practice kit.


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