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Jan 05, 2013, 11:47 AM

second half of wing

The plans for the Windlord only show half the wing. So, I started a separate thread to get ideas on the best way to build the second wing half. The thread is at:

The best suggestion turned out to be to put the plan on a window and trace the plan onto the back side. It took a few hours to get all of the lines drawn. The plan should be exactly the same as the first half.

Now that I have plans for the second wing half, I am back to building and will post pictures as I go.
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Jan 05, 2013, 02:23 PM
Registered User
DGrant's Avatar
Subscribing.. this is a killer design.... I'm liking this plane more and more.. even moreso that its a full woody.. very cool.. and you've done a great job with it.. congrats.. keep up the good work.. can't wait to see it done.
Jan 13, 2013, 09:12 PM

tow hook support

The plans call for a releasable tow hook in each wing. The type of tow hook used on the Ken Bates original has not been available for many years. In most fuselage mounted tow hooks, you can access the hook mechanism inside the fuselage. So, if you need to move the hook or tighten the nut, you can get to it. The Windlord tow hooks are not going to be accessible inside the wing. That would require a curved hatch that screws in place. So, I decided to use an installation similar to the hook on a Paragon. Basically, you mount a block of wood into which you screw an "L" shaped curtain rod hanger.

The Skybench partial kit has 1 (should have 2) plywood plate for mounting the type of hook used on the Ken Bates original model. I used that plate and made a duplicate for the other wing half. I glued a small wood block onto the plywood plate. I drilled 3 very small holes in the wood block all the way through. I will enlarge the holes once I get the hooks and know what size pilot holes I need. I glued a spruce frame onto the first 2 ribs and the plywood covering the spars and webbing. I glued 3 pieces of triangular balsa in the seams for added support. That should handle the load of a light to moderate winch launch. I drilled the 3 holes through the wood block from the top and through the bottom wing sheeting after the plate and block were installed. I will draw a diagram to locate the holes through the covering.

Note the hole in the first rib. That hole was designed for a spoiler string tube. I will be installing servos in the wing for the spoilers. I will use the holes for an antenna tube so I can run the antenna in the wing instead of trailing it behind the short fuselage. I use this technique on my Hobby Horn Sensoar and it works fine.
Jan 13, 2013, 09:20 PM

trailing edge

The built up trailing edge has webbing. After I took the wing half off the board, I turned it over and installed the webs. Cutting the webs on a band saw speeds up the process.
Jan 13, 2013, 09:40 PM

second wing half

Good progress is being made on the second wing half. As with the first half, the aft part of the Skybench partial kit 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. I laminated the spruce spars and cut the trailing edge to shape when I made those parts for the first wing half. I also cut duplicate parts for the wing tube shims/webbing and tow hook installation. So, the second half build is moving faster (perhaps less slow is more accurate) than the first half.

As with the first half, the main spruce spar is aligned with a metal straight edge and wedged into place on the building board. The ribs are glued in place using an alignment plastic tool to make sure they are at a right angle. The shear webs are cut on the band saw and then the top spar is installed. I keep the panel weighted down to avoid warps and having to use a lot of pins.
Jan 13, 2013, 09:45 PM

bottom wing spars

Shims are used to install the bottom wing spars. I prefer to install the bottom spars while the wing is weighted down on the board to make sure I get good, warp free, alignment. The shims allow this without having to turn the panel over. I inadvertently used a 1/4" web in a bay where I meant to use a 1/8" web. So, you will notice that web has been thinned down a bit to save weight, accounting for its odd shape.
Jan 13, 2013, 09:49 PM

leading edge

The spruce leading edge was shaped before it was installed. The holes in the ribs for the spoiler string tube will not be used on this wing half.
Mar 29, 2013, 09:25 PM

wing to fuselage fit

There was a gap between the inboard wing rib and the fuselage wing fairing on the bottom of each wing panel. The solution I chose was to shim the inboard balsa rib with a wedge of balsa between the inboard balsa rib and the plywood rib that gets epoxied to the inboard balsa rib. It took a while to sand the wedge to make a tight fit along the entire rib, top and bottom. But, it was time well spent as the fit is now tight at all points. The shim did not change the alignment, which was checked with both wing panels in place.

The 2 pictures show the gap. I will post pictures of the fit after the wedge and plywood rib was attached tomorrow.
Mar 29, 2013, 09:36 PM

elevator construction

The Skybench kit does not have ribs for the elevator. So, cutting the 22 ribs (11 each half) is the first step. The ribs start out as triangles. I am using the plywood inboard rib to cut the forward rib angle. I measured each rib on the plans. They run to 1/2" of the aft part of the trailing edge. The next step is to cut the notches on the top and bottom for the trailing edge sheeting. That will be a bit tricky on such small pieces of balsa.

I have pinned down the bottom trailing edge sheeting and laminated a picece of 1/64" by 1/4" light plywood to strengthen the edge, as I did with the wing trailing edge.

The built up trailing edge and elevator should keep the wing light. But, if I had to do it over again, I think I might use a solid trailing edge to simplify construction. This wing is good size and has a lot of area. I doubt the added weight of a solid trailing edge would be a problem.
Mar 30, 2013, 05:14 AM
Registered User
Looking good ...

from my web page " Wing Construction tips " :

Note Rib # 1 ( root rib ) has not been installed. Rib #1 is installed during the process of installing the wing rod Brass Tubes to insure the correct rib #1 angle to be flush with the fuse sides. See below for Rib # 1 info.

Apr 02, 2013, 09:49 PM
Registered User

Windlord Wood Selection Question

Sorry to hijack the thread a bit. I bought the plans for the Windlord and started gathering a list of wood I need to buy. What density of balsa did you use? Contest Grade?


Apr 07, 2013, 09:41 PM

balsa grade


I am not using contest grade balsa. I keep a supply of bulk balsa sheets and sticks from Tower Hoibbies and I bought balsa and spruce particularly for this model from National Balsa ( I bought the standard grade that they sell. I did buy an over supply so I have a selection of pieces in each size to pick from for each use. I won't know until I am done. But, my guess is that this model is going to have a very light wing loading.
Apr 07, 2013, 09:51 PM

root rib and wing fairing

"from my web page " Wing Construction tips " :
Note Rib # 1 ( root rib ) has not been installed. Rib #1 is installed during the process of installing the wing rod Brass Tubes to insure the correct rib #1 angle to be flush with the fuse sides. See below for Rib # 1 info."

Ray, your method would be quicker and easier. Other than that, what's the advantage

I glued the root rib in place to make sure the wing rod tube got aligned accurately. The holes in the root rib and adjoining ribs in your Skybench partial kit are accurate and yield a spot on alignment of the wing tubes in each wing half. So, that aspect of gluing in the root rib with the wing panel on the bench worked well. If I had to do it again, I think I would tack glue the root rib in place when aligning the wing tubes and then cut the root rib loose and connect the wing panel to the fuselage fairing to better align the root rib angle before gluing it in place for good. The wing has a large chord. So, you might still end up with a little shimming to do. But, it would be minor I imagine.
Apr 07, 2013, 10:09 PM

elevator construction

Construction begins with gluing a strip of 1/64 light plywood onto the trailing edge sheeting for reinforcement. The ribs are cut into triangles and then recut for the slot for the trailing edge sheeting. The slots in the rib in the picture had to be scraped a bit before gluing in place to get the slope right on the slots. I clamped the trailing edge sheeting down when gluing the plywood reinforcement and again when gluing the ribs in place to ensure a flat trailing edge. To attach the top trailing edge sheeting, I placed a piece of solid trailing edge on top of the sheeting and then clamped it down to ensure a flat trailing edge. it worked. The trailing edge is flat. The elevators are assembled. They need some additional sanding.
Apr 07, 2013, 10:11 PM

antenna tube

I am installing a red antenna tube in one wing half to avoid the receiver antenna hanging out in the breeze. I will balance the wing span wise to make sure each panel is of equal weight before I am done.

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