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The Skybolt is a much better acro mount than the S-3B Viking!
(LCDR Kurt W. Muller, USN)
 
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Aircraft Builder's Frequently Asked Questions
(Builder FAQ and How-To Section)

The FAQ section is intended to answer commonly-asked questions and provide a forum to share helpful techniques. While we obviously can't cover every topic here, we would like to hear from you on anything you wish to know. If it's of interest to others, the question and answer will likely be added here. Remember, there is no such thing as a dumb question, except the one that doesn't get asked... we're here to help. Send us your questions!

Currently showing the Skybolt / Wings category (last updated 10/26/04)
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GENERAL INFO
WINGS
  · Hale used to offer routed spars. Why are they no longer available?
  · Why are laminated spars stronger than solid wood?
  · What are the tradeoffs between built-up and routed-ply wing ribs?
  · What are the tradeoffs between aluminum and ply leading edges?
FUSELAGE
  · I bought a project and the fuselage is an inch shorter than the plans. Is this a problem?
GENERAL INFO
  · Who is Steen Aero Lab?
PITTS MODEL 14
GENERAL INFO
  · When will parts kits for the Pitts Model 14 be available?
  · When will plans for the Pitts Model 14 be available?
SKYBOLT
GENERAL INFO
  · I understand the Skybolt Radial drawings have been done for some time. It seems you guys are holding back on them. What's up?
  · What are the historical engineering changes for the original Skybolt?
>>  WINGS
  · Can the new three-piece wing be used with an existing Skybolt fuselage project or rebuild?
  · Can an existing upper wing be adapted for use in the three-section wing?
  · Can an existing wing set be used to construct a three-section wing for the Skybolt Radial having a 2250 gross weight?
  · What are the advantages of the new three-section wing for the Skybolt?
  · Can standard Skybolt wing wire sets be used with the Skybolt Delta or Radial.

SKYBOLT - WINGS     
  Wing Info
 
Can the new three-piece wing be used with an existing Skybolt fuselage project or rebuild?

  10/26/04
top
       
If yours is a project in process, and the cabane has not been welded to the fuse, you are there. If the cabane has been welded to the fuselage, rework of the cabane structure is required. (The three-section wing uses a Stearman style cabane). The surgery to the fuse must be performed with care, but should be routine for a competent welder.

 
Can an existing upper wing be adapted for use in the three-section wing?

  07/25/03
top
       
Yes. The spar is shorter on the new wing, so careful cutback and removal and some rework will result in suitable wing panels. A new center section must be constructed.

 
Can an existing wing set be used to construct a three-section wing for the Skybolt Radial having a 2250 gross weight?

  07/25/03
top
       
Yes, but skilled surgery is required. The front spar of both the top and bottom wings must be replaced with douglas fir. We have replaced several spars on customer wings damaged by ground loops using this technique.

If the wing has ply leading edges, the toughest job is carefully removing these. The majority of the LE is cut out between the rubs with a saber saw. The remainder is carefully pealed away at the glue joint, which will part by leaving some of the ply. This is easily sanded away. Care and patience is needed to avoid breaking the rib noses.

The existing front spar is cut out in sections between the ribs, as close to the ribs as possible. We use a SawsAll with a fine pitch blade. Next we clamp a steel guide over the first spar stub. The guide has a rectangular hole the same size as the spar cross-section. A right-angle drill and a 0.375 bit is used to drill out the majority of the old spar in the rib. A side cutting bit takes out the rest. Any remainder is easily broken away with duckbill pliers, and cleaned up with a small sanding block.

It takes some patience, and careful fitting of each rib using a short piece of spar as a fit gauge. The new spar is installed from the wing root, and the wing aligned on a wing table, just like new construction. We tack-glue the ribs to hold the alignment, then fillet-glue the ribs to the new spar with the wing panel suspended vertically, using a ladder to access the upper ribs. You will need to do this outdoors if you don't have high-bay overhead. Gravity and surface tension balance each other and the resulting T-88 joints are beautiful. Repeat the process for both the inboard and outboard sides of the ribs.

 
What are the advantages of the new three-section wing for the Skybolt?

  10/26/04
top
       
1) The three-section wing allows construction in a small garage or basement.

2) The wing tank (if used) goes from 9 gallons to 18.

3) It is easier to de-mate the wings and transport the airplane over land or by sea. It will comfortably fit in a short container.

4) The shorter wing panels result in much a much shorter spar span. This adds significant stiffness and strength to the wing system.

5) If douglas fir front spars are used on lower and upper wing, the new wing system is capable of a 2250 lb gross weight.

 
Can standard Skybolt wing wire sets be used with the Skybolt Delta or Radial.

  10/26/04
top
       
Skybolt Delta - Flying wires yes, landing wires no.
Skybolt Radial - Sorry.

There are also minor differences in the drag/anti-drag wire schedules for any three-section wing. Steen Aero will allow generous credit (our cost) for new condition Bruntons Skybolt streamlined wires in trade for the required new lengths.



 
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