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Perhaps the cutest explanation for the AV-8 designation is that some clever Marine Corps officer realized that it sounded like "aviate." And that's probably the only time I'll ever be able to use "Marine Corps" and "cute" in the same sentence!
(Jeff Scott, on
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Aircraft Products
Laminated Wing Leading Edges

Steen Aero has developed a sophisticated manufacturing process for laminating and forming plywood leading edges for wings and ailerons. These products are available for nearly all biplane designs. Laminated leading edges are available in lengths to fit any airplane.

The process uses two three-ply sheets of 1/32" material, yielding a six-ply 1/16" thick leading edge. The 1/32" sheets are scarf joined at the max material width, and the joints are staggered during laminating. The result is light and strong, and the shape is permanent. To save on shipping, shorter LE sections can be supplied with a 1/32" by 3" male/female overlap which allows invisible joining in the field.

We much prefer ply leading edges over aluminum. The expansion coefficient matches the wood wing, so slip-joints under flannel are not necessary to prevent oil-canning and dimpling on a hot day. Aluminum LE's are also very delicate, and a small bump in the hangar will leave a permanent dent.

These leading edges can be used on a variety of aircraft. To assist you with determining if the aileron leading edges will work on your project, we have provided a printable, full-sized template you may use to compare the leading edge profile shape to your aileron rib patterns. So long as your aileron ribs fit between the expanded and compressed cross-sections, then these leading edges should work for you. (Since printers vary, be sure to check your printout against a ruler to ensure that it printed out to the correct scale. If it didn't, you may need to adjust your print settings. In particular, check that it isn't trying to "expand" or "shrink" the file to fit the page.)

CLICK HERE to download the sizing template

We can also make custom lengths and widths. Please contact us if you would like to discuss a custom size.

Steen's laminated wing leading edges are strong, lightweight, and won't dent Our laminated wing leading edges are made on custom tooling.
Steen's laminated wing and aileron leading edges are strong, lightweight, and won't dent. Our laminated wing leading edges are made on custom tooling.


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    Book - 'The Stonewall File' by Budd Davisson
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    - Gary Bonnell, Skybolt Builder

      Steen Aero Lab      1451 Clearmont Street NE   Palm Bay, FL 32905 USA     
    Phone: (321) 725-4160      Fax: (321) 725-3058      Contact Us