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Old Jul 21, 2003, 03:02 AM
Jack Womack
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[RCSE] Some thoughts on Wood Construction and our contest...

I received a question of eligibility about the Ava
sailplane. I have never seen one so I don't know about
it's construction. Primarily of concern are the
D-Tubes in the wing. Are they molded, or are they
ribbed and sheeted like the Bubble Dancer? In my
opinion, the Bubble Dancer is about the epitome of
built-up sailplanes. They will be welcome, unless they
are bagged, or contain any bagged parts. I've seen
some with bagged center sections, and built-up outers.
I will not allow any sailplanes with foam or molded
wing / tail parts, other than a molded fin on a
fiberglass fuselage. Some of the European stuff with
molded D-Tube and balsa rib construction is really
nice, but doesn't fit with the spirit of what's being
fostered by the woody movement. I want this to get to
all interested parties because I don't want someone to
show up with something, expecting to get to fly, and
be turned away. That would ruin my day, as well as
theirs. Anyone with direct knowledge of the Ava,
please respond off the board, so I can make an
intelligent decision...(there's a first time for
everything, you know!)

Jack Womack
Woody Roundup CD

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Old Jul 21, 2003, 03:02 AM
tony estep
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Re: [RCSE] Some thoughts on Wood Construction and our contest...


--- Jack Womack <schrederman@yahoo.com> wrote:
> I received a question of eligibility about the Ava
> sailplane. I have never seen one so I don't know about
> its construction. Primarily of concern are the
> D-Tubes in the wing. Are they molded, or are they
> ribbed and sheeted like the Bubble Dancer?


Ah, Jack, if you saw an Ava you'd weep in envy, in esthetic
appreciation, and in the knowledge that balsa could never be this good.

The D-tubes appear to have ribs inside, but they are free-flight
construction, i.e. they are sheeted with carbon fabric that is laid up
inside a pre-machined mold. The ribs are made by taking thick balsa,
maybe 1", capping it with carbon, and then slicing them to about 1.5 mm
thick with some sort of special slicing machine.

The t.e. is a strip of carbon about .025 thick and about 1/4" wide. It
is fitted into a little slot at the t.e. of each rib.

The covering is put on in one piece, top & bottom. It's fastened to the
bottom of the spar, wrapped around the t.e., then back to the top of
the spar, and shrunk in an oven. There are no seams in the covering. I
kid you not.

All in all, it's a masterpiece of built-up construction, like a modern
Wakefield or A-2. But a woody it ain't. Its wings are 8.7% thick and
can easily take a full pedal launch and zoom. Mine weighs 38 oz; this
is for a plane with nearly 1100 squares. It uses a Drela composite
airfoil, not the flat-bottom AG35 used on the BD. Its penetration ain't
bad for winds up to maybe 8-9 knots, and after that there's always
ballast.

The huge mono-spoiler and large dihedral provide unusual landing
characteristics for a big RES. And of course, it thermals like any 127"
HLG would be expected to.

As to whether or not to make it eligible, that's your call. But I know
you're a lover of beautiful planes and elegant design, and this plane
exemplifies a lot of cool stuff. It's true that real men scratch build.
But to make the molds and jigs required to build this plane is really
out of the realm of the average guy's workshop and time commitment.

So find somebody who has one and check it out, or send your money to
Barry
bmkennedy@volt-telecom.com
and become a happy Ava owner.



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