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Old Oct 14, 2010, 01:13 PM
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United States, NY, Endicott
Joined Jun 2006
162 Posts
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Sources for Carbon Fibre, Aluminum, and Cardboard Tubes.

Guys,

I'm going to build a vintage kit of an aerobatic biplane that was designed in 1973. The wing span is 55". As with many larger wings of this time period, they are built in two halves, and then glued together in the center. Then you have to add a 4" wide strip of fiberglass or polyester tape over the center section to give it adequate strength.

I don't want to use the tape. I'd like to use carbon fiber or aluminum tubes in the wings as spars, kind of like the newer ARFs do that have larger wings. This makes for a neater covering job without the bulge of the tape on the center section. It also would allow me to take the two wing halves apart for easier transportation.

Does anyone know of a source for the carbon fiber and aluminum tubes, and also the cardboard or fiber tubes that are permanently installed in the wing panels to receive the spar tubes?

Thanks in advance.

Bob

P.S. I also posted this question in the "Fuel Plane Talk Forum".
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Old Oct 14, 2010, 01:55 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Joined Oct 2002
11,316 Posts
Aerospace composites is a good one.

I'd suggest instead of cardboard that you use thin wall K&S aluminium tubing as the slip tube. At this size with 3/8 carbon rod as the joiner it'll provide a more slop free fit than some other options.

Also with the aluminium tubing you can build the whole wing as one but leave a slight gap in the center between the facing ribs and then just cut through the tubing and file it off flush. Or better yet leave about a 3/8 inch of gap so you can cut the tube and then install 3/32 birch ply face ribs that are the full airfoil shape and then file the tubing back flush to the face ribs.
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Old Oct 14, 2010, 02:59 PM
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United States, NY, Endicott
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Thanks, Bruce.

So you would recommend a carbon fiber rod, as opposed to a carbon fiber tube?

I've never used carbon products in building kits before so I really don't have any prior experience as to what works best in which application.

Bob
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Old Oct 14, 2010, 03:43 PM
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United States, AK, Anchorage
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This place has a good selection of carbon, fiberglass, and ferrules:

http://www.goodwinds.com/

-Stone1295
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Old Oct 14, 2010, 08:09 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Joined Oct 2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warthog_Fan View Post
Thanks, Bruce.

So you would recommend a carbon fiber rod, as opposed to a carbon fiber tube?

I've never used carbon products in building kits before so I really don't have any prior experience as to what works best in which application.

Bob
For the case of a 55 inch biplane wing where the space between the upper and lower spar caps will only be about 1/2 to 5/8 inch yes I do. Just because you are not looking at the same sort of thinner wall tubes as joiners as you would see on a model with a much thicker wing. If you can find some "tubing" that has really thick walls, such as 3/8 tube with 1/4 or less ID, then sure, go for it. But that is unlikely so you may as well just go with a solid rod for this case. In any case the added weight of the carbon rod over a suitable tube will be diddly squat so it's not worth the trouble of hunting down such a beast.

And that way you can get some K&S 13/32 aluminium tube for the slip tube that you embed in the wing roots between the spar caps using epoxy and micro balloons as a combination filler and glue.
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