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Thread: Fly Baby Made of aluminum like a Aerodrome WW-1 Replica?

  1. #11
    robert l's Avatar
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    [QUOTE]
    I dunno. 0.025" 2024 weighs about 0.36 pounds per square foot, just about the same as 1/8" plywood. The capstrips will add a bit of weight in comparison, of course. But scratch-building a plywood rib is easier than a metal one.
    [QUOTE]
    I don't know Ron W. I followed the plans for the 701 to make my pattern and used a router to cut several at a time, cut the lighting holes with a fly cutter on my drill press then formed the ribs between two wood patterns then used dies to make the flanges. Seemed to go pretty quick at the time. Just seems easier than all those little pieces of wood. But there again, I've never built a wooden rib, so basically, I'm just babbling ! Lol. OK, I see now the ribs are cut from plywood. Sorry !
    Bob
    Last edited by robert l; 09-02-2018 at 01:47 PM.

  2. #12

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    WOW! Thanks for the replies. They are all great. If I did make a new wing of aluminum I would build three and set up one for a destruction test with sandbags and log all the weight added very carefully (Double check). I would build the fuselage like the Aerodrome Plane but shape it like the Fly Baby's fuselage. I also have all the Flying and Glider Manuals from the EAA store with all the planes people designed in the 20' and 30's. I like the Mid wing version of the Fly Baby and I bet it even flies better. I read the article about how Church built the Mid Wing Heath, from a high wing Parasol, and stoked a little more speed out of it.

    Question for Frank Giger, do you know if the designer of the Aerodrome planes ever just put the aluminum tubes diagonal in the wings instead of wires? Like this Crude example: [/|/|/|/] Imagine the top with a horizontal line like the bottom.

    I wouldn't try to modify the Fly Baby original plans. Just use the basic lines so it will look like a Fly Baby.

    There is a couple of Bi-plane plans in the old Flying and Glider Manuals that I like also may just make one of them.

    I had a Skyraider ultralight. It had Aluminum tubes like an Aerodrome plane for the main spar and aluminum diagonals instead of wires for support of the wing and a few verticals like a latter. The ribs were made of 1/4 inch plywood cut with a USA27 airfoil (possibly modified by the designer) and a 48 " chord or so, maybe it 44" or 46". They (the ribs) were epoxied in between the front and rear spars about a foot apart or so.
    With this wing, I had a rate of climb of 700 ft a minute, with a 447 Rotax. And I am 6'2" and was about 225 lbs at the time.

    I was thinking of using stamped ribs (with verticals and diagonal reinforcement and some horizontal also) about of .020 thick aluminum and attach them like the Aerodrome Plane wing. I also would put a .040 thick u-shaped main spar at the highest lift point on the airfoil and it would be as thick as needed for a USA27 airfoil with a 48" chord. Also, I would have a U-shaped secondary spar .040 right ahead of the ailerons. Plus use whatever diameter round tubing on the leading edge like the Aerodrome plane uses for its main spar, to blend in the USA27 airfoil. Yep, I know overkill on the spars...better than underkill (Spell checker says Underkill is an unknown word...LOL) if you know what I mean!

    And like I said everything will be sandbag tested. I will invest in a parachute for the first flight!!! Well, actually all the flights...LOL.

    Thanks again for all the replies, I'll think of something but for now I'll have to just have fun in my Quicksilver MX1 with a 440 Kawasaki in it.

    Take care all,

    RonK

    PS...That Aerodrome EIII Fokker looks like the one to get, and the price is probably better than if made one from scratch. I'll check into it. It seems like the manufacturer stands by his product after reading Frank G's build vlog.
    Last edited by RonK; 09-02-2018 at 08:05 PM.

  3. #13

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    Here's how the wings look (less fabric):



    Of course I took them from the end where one can't really see the drag/anti-drag wires - there is one set on the top wing, and two on the upper:



    The thing is that these really need to be wires, IMHO.

    1) That way one can adjust tension on them to ensure the wing is true. One can do this fairly easily on even a less than perfect build table or jig. Indeed, I set mine with the spars on saw horses.

    2) If something bad happens in a wreck, the wires break and limit the damage to the wings. I wound up replacing one spar each on the to damaged wings when I flipped my plane thanks to the wires (but, I say proudly, not at the swag points) because they popped.

    I know Robert well enough to where he'll take my call and spend time talking to me when I bump into him (like at Sun and Fun). Indeed, he's used me as his "test dummy." If I can understand an instruction, anyone can.

    As Ron pointed out, to do it safely, one would have to go to a mid-wing design, which would answer a bunch of questions on controls. Assuming one wanted to use push-pull rods, it would actually be straight forward. Two control horns - one at the stick, and another at the aileron point. A rod comes up from that and goes to a horn attached to the aileron tube, turning vertical motion into rotation - just as it does on my Nieuport.

    For cost and ease, one could simply purchase either of the Eindecker kits from Aerodrome, fire up the belt sander and the air compressor, and start building an airplane. Paint it any way you want to!
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  4. #14

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    I'm really liking the Fokker E-III. What's nice is I can order it in sections. The wings on the E-III probably look about the same as yours, pretty simple and strong. Yes, I agree wires would be the best to true things up. Your airfoil looks like a NACA 2412, or close to it.

    Well, of course, I have to talk to my wife (Basically beg and plead.) before I started getting the kit in sections.

    Any pointers on how to handle the wife?

    Thanks for the info,

    RonK

  5. #15
    DaleB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonK View Post
    Any pointers on how to handle the wife?
    If Mama happy, everybody happy. If Mama ain't happy, ain't NObody happy.

    That's all the advice I have for you, buddy.
    Measure twice, cut once...
    scratch head, shrug, shim to fit.

  6. #16
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonK View Post
    Question for Frank Giger, do you know if the designer of the Aerodrome planes ever just put the aluminum tubes diagonal in the wings instead of wires? Like this Crude example: [/|/|/|/] Imagine the top with a horizontal line like the bottom.
    Call up the PB100 Companion Guide for the first Fly Baby construction article, and go to page 40 ("Non-Cable Internal Bracing"):

    http://www.bowersflybaby.com/PB100/Guide_1.pdf

    There I discuss some alternate methods, and the advantages and drawbacks of each. It's aimed towards Fly Baby builders, but the same advice carries to other designs. As Frank mentioned, the alternates using solid tubes have an issue with trammelling (getting the orientation exactly right).

    Quote Originally Posted by RonK View Post
    I wouldn't try to modify the Fly Baby original plans. Just use the basic lines so it will look like a Fly Baby.
    Dingdingdingdingding.... winner!

    Pete didn't so much "engineer" the Fly Baby as he worked in details of successful aircraft of the sort of configuration he was planning. To quote Pete in EAA SPORT AVIATION (December 1962):

    The wood construction was retained for simplicity and low cost and the aerodynamic layout was based on the two Story "Specials" then operating in Seattle in order to match their flying qualities, which were very definitely superior to others in the area.

    The Storys were thoroughly conservative and conventional airplanes with a distinguished pedigree. Their immediate predecessor was George Beaugardus' "Little Gee Bee", which Tom Story of Portland, Oreg., had built just before World War II as a development of Les Long's famous Longster "Wimpy".


    Note that the Fly Baby has engendered at least one ultralight "clone": The Ultrababy. It's a 75% scale Fly Baby designed for a half-VW.


    It's all wood, though...not what you're looking for. Converting an existing design to an all-new material is not easy.

    Here's something similar: I got into electronics as a teenager. This was in early in the "solid state" era, when transistors were replacing vacuum tubes. I did a lot of fiddling with them.

    A friend came to me one day, with a small table-type radio. He wanted me to unplug the vacuum tubes and plug in transistors, instead, so he could make it portable. It was difficult to explain, in terms he'd understand, why that just couldn't be done.

    You sometimes see the same thing in homebuilt aircraft. People think they can take a 3/4" square spruce longeron and replace it with a 3/4" aluminum tube. But even if the strength is the same, the method used to attach components to each other is entirely different. And the interfaces are the key.

    You mentioned extensive ground testing, and that's good. However, keep in mind that the testing should be of the aircraft, not just the wings. Keeping the wings on my Fly Baby depends on the bracing cables, turnbuckles, steel-tube compression struts, 1/8" steel anchors for the bracing wires, the wing spars, the 1/8" steel plates that attach the wings to fuselage bulkheads of stations 3 and 5 (which consist of spruce and plywood components of various sizes, the landing gear legs, and the main gear wheel axle.

    About 40 years ago, the first Fly Baby in Finland underwent full Part 23 load testing (they didn't have an Experimental category in Finland). Here's how they did the positive G loading (from an English translation of the test report):

    So the testing isn't all that simple. (If, for some reason, you want to read the whole report: http://www.bowersflybaby.com/safety/...oad_Report.pdf)

    I don't want to discourage you from designing your own airplane...after all, that's what EAA is all about. But if you're just looking for a plane to fly that fits your budget (like 99% of EAA homebuilt fans) you'd be better off with something off the shelf. The Aerodrome Eindekker sounds pretty good.

    Ron "How about a nice game of chess" Wanttaja

  7. #17

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    On Airdrome airfoils, Robert likes the Cub/Champ airfoils, as they are very pilot friendly.

    This is usually one of the first things folks change, going to a more historically accurate thinner one. I went with what he suggested.

    When Robert says that a first time builder can make one of his planes in the space of a single car garage using simple household tools, he isn't lying. I cheated by getting an air powered rivet gun - no way I was going to put all of those in by hand!

    I would also strongly suggest spending a couple days in Holden, MO, at his shop for a builder's assist. If one hasn't ever done this sort of work it's school where one gets to take home and use the product!

    A couple words about Robert Baslee's builder assist:

    1) It can be pricey (for me, anyhow). He's upfront about his rate, which is daily. However, it is totally worth it.

    2) It is builder assist. The work pace is entirely on the builder. Want to stand around talking theory instead of slinging rivets? Fine by Robert. He'll gently remind one why they are there and point out the things that need done, but if you ain't working, they ain't working. Don't worry - you will never work faster than they can. His builder's assist is affectionately known as the House of Pain. If one is over their head, they'll go into school mode and demonstrate. But a lot can get done in short order when at the master's knee. Heck, my Nieuport was fuselage, tail feathers, and on gear done in four days with just me, him, and his helper Jim.

    3) One is paying for his time and shop time. It's not by person. Bring a decent helper! Or, as I know has happened, bring a whole team of experienced builders and pretty much complete an aircraft in five days.

    4) While safety is King in his shop, there are some OSHA cringe worthy things that happen in every build. I doubt he'll turn someone away for wearing flip-flops into his shop, but think ahead. He'll point out safety glasses and gloves for one to use, but since the waiver is thick, doesn't gripe too much about it. Then again, working with aluminum tubes, gussets, and pop rivets is pretty low threat.
    Last edited by Frank Giger; 09-03-2018 at 08:35 AM.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  8. #18
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    Oh, I thought you were talking about a replica of a (Langley) Aerodrome. I'm not sure I want to fly one of those.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by RonK View Post
    I'm really liking the Fokker E-III. What's nice is I can order it in sections. The wings on the E-III probably look about the same as yours, pretty simple and strong. Yes, I agree wires would be the best to true things up. Your airfoil looks like a NACA 2412, or close to it.

    Well, of course, I have to talk to my wife (Basically beg and plead.) before I started getting the kit in sections.

    Any pointers on how to handle the wife?

    Thanks for the info,

    RonK
    Buy the "ruder" kit. If one can make the rudder, one can make the entire aircraft, as all the skills and techniques are distilled into that one piece.

    Do me a favor if you do order it - when Robert asks where you found out, mention the EAA forums and the good folks here.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  10. #20
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Giger View Post
    Buy the "ruder" kit.
    Isn't that reserved for either Bill or Floats? :-)

    Ron "Getting into trouble early this week" Wanttaja

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