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Jul 23, 2012, 07:45 PM

tow hook plates


At least I now know where all of the little pieces go

Actually, the plates may come in handy. I am not there yet. But, I may try to install tow hooks in the wing that could be moved forward or backward a bit. If so, the slot in the plates might work for the adjustment zone. I am thinking about some type of wood block with a series of holes that a hook can be screwed into.
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Jul 23, 2012, 09:48 PM

fuselage/wing fairing

The fairing is coming along. To get an accurate alignment and fit, I drew parallel lines 4 inches apart with a midpoint center line. I drew a center line on the top of the rear canopy former and on the end of the fuselage bottom. I blocked the fuselage in place upside down with the center line of the fuselage on the center line that I drew. I trimmed the inboard edges of the fairing blanks until the top of the outboard edges lined up on the outer lines that I drew, meaning that the blanks were a uniform 4 inches total width from front to back (2" from the center line). This was done with the fuselage upside down because I am using the top of the fairing blanks flat on the bench for alignment.

In order to drill the holes for the wing rods, I tack glued one fairing blank in place. Then, I carefully put a 1/4" drill bit through the main wing rod hole in both fuselage sides and then drilled through the blank. I did the same thing for the 1/8" rear wing rod.

Next, I tack glued the second fairing blank. I have a long 1/8" drill bit. So, I carefully put it through the first wing blank, then through the holes in both fuselage sides, and then drilled through the second blank. I popped the first blank off and drilled the 1/4" main wing rod hole in the second blank, using the holes in the 2 fuselage sides as guides.

To carve the blanks to shape, I used the wing rods to put one of the 1/8" plywood cap ribs on each side of the blank. I can only carve the bottom now because I need the square top for proper alignment when I epoxy the blank to the fuselage. Relying solely on the wing rod holes would be less accurate. I will carve the top after the blank has been epoxied to the fuselage. I used to use a long straight xacto blade for carving. Now, I use a Flexcut knife which is faster and safer. The long xacto blade can bend. Carving with the plywood cap ribs on each side is fast. I am angling the shape a bit so the inboard edge will be a bit larger than the cap rib outline. It looks like a little more mass may be needed at the rear end of the fairing where the cap rib comes to a point.

Looking at the first rough carved blank, it is hard to believe that the blanks used up an entire sheet of 3" x 3/4" x 36" balsa.
Jul 23, 2012, 10:03 PM
Registered User
The tow hooks on Ken's original are just regular L hooks. They are threaded and secured by a nut.
Jul 24, 2012, 09:14 AM
Originally Posted by lsf810
The tow hooks on Ken's original are just regular L hooks. They are threaded and secured by a nut.
That would be easier and lighter to install than an adjustable hook. I still have some of the old Airtronics aluminum rails and hook arrangement. I cut the rail into shorter segments and use them on some sailplanes. But, every now and again, I need access to the rail inside the fuselage. That would require cutting covering on a hook installed in a wing. So, I probably will not use the old Airtronics setup on this model.

If anyone has a Windlord, is the hook location in the wing on the plans a safe bet or am I likely to need the ability to move the hook to find the right spot?
Sep 01, 2012, 09:19 PM
Building has been delayed due to work and a visit by Hurricane Isaac. I got some building done by candle light while Isaac was visiting and for a few days after it left. I will post pictures next week. Power is back on mostly now, but I still have a few days of house repairs to complete before I can resume building the Windlord.
Sep 26, 2012, 09:12 PM


Work has progressed on the fuselage. Attached is a picture that shows what has been done. I decided to carve a main hatch from a balsa block. I like to carve. I used a brass rod and a dowel to line things up.

I made the rudder linkage from a carbon rod with pieces of nyrod inner glued at several inch intervals. I will post a picture in a few days.

I am going to build the wing before closing the top of the fuselage. I want to make sure that I do not need access to inside the fuselage to fit the wing to the fuselage before closing the fuselage.
Sep 26, 2012, 09:25 PM


The wing parts take some adjusting before assembly. The aft part of ribs W-4 through W-7 have to be trimmed down to accept the sheeting called for on the plans. I used rib W-3 as a pattern for what to trim.

Ribs W-7 and W-8 are in the middle of the spoiler bays. Both are notched in the shape of the spoiler. But, for some reason, the notch is on the bottom of the ribs, not the top. At first, I wondered if I am mistaken as to which side of the rib is the top. Then, I thought maybe the notches are for the optional flaps, not the spoliers. But, the flaps extend into other bays where the ribs are not notched. I think the spoiler notches are inadvertently cut in the bottom of W-7 and W-8. So, I cut new notches in the shape of the spoiler. My recut W-8 with notches in the top and bottom can be seen in the attached picture.

More problematic is the absence in the partial kit of any ribs for the elevator. I emailed Ray Hayes at Skybench Aerotech today to ask if they are supposed to be in the kit. As you can see from the picture, the elevator ribs vary in length along the elevator. Five of the elevator ribs should be the aft parts of ribs W-2 through W-6. The elevator, like the wing trailing edge outboard of the elevator, has a built up trailing edge with 1/16 sheet top and bottom. The notches for 1/16 sheeting top and bottom are hard to cut accurately freehand. So, I am hoping that Ray responds that the elevator ribs are supposed to be in the kit.
Sep 27, 2012, 12:29 PM
Registered User

Regrettably, the kit does not have laser cut elevator ribs.

Sky Bench ... Woodys Forever
Sep 28, 2012, 09:04 AM


Ken bates, who designed the Windlord, says in an email:

<<The spoiler slot on the bottom is correct, I called them "splaps" as they had flap like qualities, but I later changed to top of wing spoilers per NOS rules because it is then a RES.>>

I am going to put the spoilers on top. My landing field has bumps and a spoiler on the bottom might catch a bump if it is not closed before contacting terra firma.
Oct 27, 2012, 09:54 AM
Registered User

A scratch built Windlord

A picture of a Windlord I built from AMA plans.
A few um alterations were made as always even when I was building kits, however the changes were not structural but cosmetic. One exception to the above statement is the hatch.
I extended the hatch about 2 inches farther aft. Also I left out the little winglets at the end of the elevators.
Otherwise I built it pretty much as Mr. Ken Bates detailed in a build thread from 2008 (I think). Carbon Fiber added to spars etc.
Sorry I post a photo of the fuselage only.
This aircraft is not complete as I still must add the final trim nose weight. I finished it last week to this point.

Mr. Ray Hayes, rest assured I will be buying from your fine firm. In this case I didn't for lack of dollars in 2009 when I started collecting materials.
From an Oly kit I saw the quality and craftsmanship of Skybench is exemplary. Just outstanding IMHO.

I too love woodies, not just because the ARFs are beyond my $$$$, but to me building is a major part of the enjoyment of the hobby.
I take pride when someone asks what is that plane. Who kits it?
Yes I do tell folks of the kit Mr. Hayes offers, but explain I scratch built all my planes except a Bird of TIme kit built when I "came back" into the sport 2008.

Woodies Forever indeed.
Best Regards
and thanks Mr. Bates for a 'plane to try the flying wing deal.
Nov 12, 2012, 08:29 PM

wing - main spars

Well, I have not had much time to build lately. But, I have made some progress.

I started the wing by laminating the spruce spars. I used aluminum circular saw rip guides on a building table to make a jig so the spars would come out straight. I use the same rip guide to align the bottom spar on the plans. I pin balsa blocks on each side of the spar to make sure it stays straight.

Note the tabs on the bottom of the ribs. This is big plus of the partial kit. The tabs allow the wing to be built right side up on the plans and true. The shear webs were cut on the band saw and glued in plane before the top spar is epoxied into place. I used small barbell weights, driver drill batteries, and a can of pennies (from my RC scale) to hold the top spar in place while the epoxy dried.
Last edited by jdveirin; Nov 12, 2012 at 08:48 PM.
Nov 12, 2012, 08:38 PM

wing - balsa bottom spar

The rear balsa bottom spar is not essential unless you install the splaps (bottom air brake). I am not doing that. But, I decided to install the spar anyway. Note that this spar has to be shimmed from the workbench to be glued into position. I have a set of shims from 1/32" to 1/4" I use for wood working. They come in handy for shimming anything, including a bottom spar. I used weights on top of the rip fence to hold the ribs in position while I glued the spar in place.
Nov 12, 2012, 08:45 PM

wing - trailing edge

The shims also came in handy to attach the trailing edge. The structure is kept weighted down during construction to make sure it builds flat on the board without warps.
Nov 12, 2012, 09:11 PM

wing - joiner tube

The forward part of the W1 and W2 ribs made aligning the wing joiner tube easy. I glued W1 and W2 into position, shimming them for the bottom sheeting. Then, I slid the brass tube through the holes in W1 and W2 and voila, the tube was aligned as per the plans. Blocking was cut on the band saw and epoxied into place. I cut a second set at the same time to make sure it comes out the same angle on the second wing half. A 1/16" plywood web will be added front and back. W1 and W2 will be cut at the vertical laser cut line and then reattached after the forward web is in place.
Nov 12, 2012, 09:15 PM

wing - leading edge

I am using a balsa building board clamped flat on a large maple top building table. The large table has casters. So, I can rotate the table if I want. But, to make things easy, I turned the balsa building board around after installing the trailing edge. That will make it easier to install the leading edge. The leading edge is spruce. So, my next project will be to pre-shape the leading edge before I glue it into place. Otherwise, it is very hard to avoid gouging the much softer balsa ribs when shaping the spruce leading edge after it is installed.
Last edited by jdveirin; Nov 13, 2012 at 05:12 PM.

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