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Thread: Getting started with building a wooden plane

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2020

    Getting started with building a wooden plane

    How do most people start the fabrication process of a wooden airplane?

    This is a major project and I want some help with the project management aspects.

    The obvious things like identify a building space etc I have.

    Does it make sense to start out with building the wing ribs first?

    Order the capstrip etc from fill in the blank.
    order the epoxy?
    build the jig for the ribs.
    cut, fit and glue parts to assemble the ribs?

    I just need the accountability help from fellow builders.


  2. #2
    rwanttaja's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Take a look at the Fly Baby PB100 page. It has a number of files on preparations, workmanship, etc.

    Building sequence is usually established by the designer.

    Ron Wanttaja

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Thank you. I downloaded the free book today as you recommended. I am glad that I finally decided to commit to a project. I chose wood because a. I have the tools and b. My dad was a master carpenter. Plus I am Norwegian so I have an affinity for wood. I view my project as a modern longship.

  4. #4
    FlyingRon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    NC26 (Catawba, NC)
    Isn't it good? Norwegian wood.

    There's also the Tony Bingelis series and a book on Kitplane Construction by Ron somebody

  5. #5
    DaleB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    So what are you building? Can't believe no one asked that yet.
    Measure twice, cut once...
    scratch head, shrug, shim to fit.

    Flying an RV-12. Building a Fisher Celebrity.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Jodel D11 sky princess variant.

  7. #7
    Airmutt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    NW. Atlanta GA
    Personally, I would start with the empennage components. Treat the rudder, horizontal stab and elevator as individual projects. That way if you decide wood working is not your cup of tea you won’t have a small fortune in materials invested. The Jodels have a one piece box spar with built in twist; I would get some experience under my belt before taking on that task. By all means seek out local EAAers and builders.
    Dave Shaw
    EAA 67180 Lifetime
    Learn to Build, Build to Fly, Fly for Fun

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Thanks for the advice!

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Here are the specifications from Graham Clark. He took over from Frank Rogers who originally put the plans out to the Australian market.


    The Sky Princess is a locally (Australia) developed, side-by-side wooden aircraft based on the Jodel D11 but incorporating several desirable improved features. As it is structurally and aerodynamically similar to the D11, this description covers areas where differences occur.

    The cabin width is increased to 44" and the seat back moved 2" further aft for better comfort. The firewall width is increased, enabling a wider but narrower 13 Imperial gallon fuel tank to be fitted, thus giving greater room between the tank and instrument panel. The instrument panel is hinged for accessibility during maintenance. Aft of the seat, below the upper longeron is a large capacity baggage locker accessible from the cabin.

    The wing incorporates a strengthened main spar enabling the main undercarriage track to be increased to 8' 6" for even better ground handling. Provision is made for two optional 5.5 Imperial gallon (25 litre) wing tanks,.

    The cabin doors are hinged on the windscreen bow, but a sliding canopy can be fitted if desired. To compensate for torque, the engine is offset 1.5 degrees. Engines of from 100 to 118 hp may be fitted.

    Specifications with a 100 hp Continental O-200 engine.

    Span 26' 9"
    Length 21' 5"
    Wing Area 137 ft²
    Weight Empty 860 lb
    Weight Loaded 1,450 lb
    Wing Loading 10.6 lb/ft²
    Max Speed 135 mph
    Cruise speed 120 mph
    Stall Speed 35 mph
    Climb 800 fpm
    Range 560 miles

    Sport Association of Australia Plans No 56

    The useful load is 590 pounds. Standard fuel load is 13 us gallons. Add in the optional tanks and it comes in at 24 gal. With full fuel that still leaves 446 pounds for carrying big guy (me) plus some luggage in the aft compartment.

    Any other suggestions or alternative choices for wooden homebuilts?

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Ordered a Jodel D18 model. Build a model and then start the full size project.

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