Rescue of a Dario Brisighella Skybolt - RC Groups
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Nov 05, 2017, 11:02 PM
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Build Log

Rescue of a Dario Brisighella Skybolt


Last August, a friend of mine was selling some model stuff he bought at an estate sale. Among the items was a forlorn looking biplane in bare bones. It consisted of a fuselage, two wings, two stab halves broken off at the fuselage, and a fiberglass cowl. The price tag was $45. Not needing another airplane, I drug my feet at buying it, but my friend told me to take it home and take a look at it. I got it home and looked at it closely and determined that it was a Brisighella Skybolt. It was built straight but it was very dirty and the wood was aged being very brown in color. The only way to remove the embedded dirt was to sand it clean. I saw promise in this potential gem and gave him the $45.
This past week, I got it out of storage I started to determine how tough a project this would be. From my optimistic point of view, I have decided to bring the Skybolt to life. It will have a DLE 55 for and engine and the paint scheme will be as the Sig Skybolt was in red, white, and blue. There is plenty of room for a smoke system, so that is a possibility.
I decided to start the process by repairing the stab. I dug the remains of the center section out of the tail section and cleaned up the now empty slot. Then I built a new center section which took very little time to do. The repaired stab slid right in.
The part of the build I don't enjoy is accurately bending the wire for the cabane struts. Been there before so I can do it again. I think the landing gear will be made for me by TNT.
I welcome any advice from Skybolt builders as I start this thread.
This should be fun!
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Nov 07, 2017, 12:03 PM
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Well???
More posts please!
Nov 08, 2017, 09:40 PM
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Though this is under a build log, it is more like a "fix what is wrong and finish what wasn't done" log.
Having taken on others' projects for repair or restore previously, I learned to be suspicious of the condition of the subject model. In this case of the Skybolt, the airframe appears to have been built straight and true, My concern is the glue joints might be 30+ years old and seem to be brittle. Some fresh Titebond II on all of the glue joints may not be totally warranted, but it will give me some confidence in the integrity of the model. When I removed the stub center section of the stab. I found minimal glue surface holding the stab to the fuselage. I think I will be looking critically at the glue joint at the firewall.
I started work on the lower wing this morning. The first item that came to my attention was the block that was supposed to secure the wing to the fuse by the means of bolts into the fuse. Two square chunks of spruce were glued to the balsa ribs. Not sure if that was intended to be the final set-up, but that was changed to short plywood ribs secured to the rear spar and the trailing edge plywood strip. This plane was built to be sturdy. Between the short ribs, there will be balsa block filler with a 3/32" plate for the 1/4-20 bolts to snug up to.
Looking ahead, bellcrank mounts for the ailerons in the lower wing will be removed. It is amazing what we got away with 30+ years ago with one meager servo in the center section running four ailerons with bellcranks. Instead, separate servos will control the left and right wing ailerons. A carbon fiber pushrod will connect the upper aileron to the lower aileron driven by the servo. One laminated wingtip is missing so that will be replaced with new. Other than sheeting the center section and giving the whole wing a good sanding to remove the "patina" and the grime, that should be about it before it gets covering.
As time allows, there will be more to come.
Nov 12, 2017, 03:45 PM
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Ok it has been more than 35+ years sense I built as skybolt but what you are doing looks good, and from memory the stock center cabane's were a PITA and if I were to build another I would go like the Weeks special with a center rod going thru short tube forward and aft, as it make field assembly much quicker. if you want some pictures just ask.

Good luck with your fix what's wrong and finish

Cheers Bob T
Nov 12, 2017, 09:09 PM
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Bob, your suggestion of setting up the cabane to wing attachment is the way I had planned. I have both a 1/4 scale Weeks Special and a 1/3 scale Pitts S2 with the same set up. I am thinking about attaching them inside the fuse with J bolts to a 1/4" ply sub frame. Since I have no plans, I am just following how things were set up in my other bipes. Luckily, the interplane struts came with the airplane and they dictate the location of the wings and the top wing has the tabs through which the center rod goes. Built into the fuse are plywood tabs which I assume are the location points for attachment of the cabanes. The tricky part comes with setting up the correct incidence in the top wing. The stab appears to have a degree or so of positive incidence and the bottom wing is zero. I would assume the top wing would have a degree or so of positive incidence. Again with no plan. that would be my reasonable guess for this airplane.
Did I mention that I have no plan? Would anyone have a copy that I could take a look at? I am an experienced builder and can work through what hasn't been built, but it is nice to see how the designer actually intended things to go together.
It is fun turning junk into jewels and I am expecting this to be one. I had a Sig Skybolt 35 or 40 years ago and it was a fine flying model. Since bigger flys better, this one should fly great.
Are there any other Skybolt fliers out there?
Nov 14, 2017, 03:59 PM
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One other thing I have had J-bolts loosen up with age ( wood crushes a bit ) and will let the upper wing incadance change, my answer was to put a small piece of double sided foam sticky tape under the wire.

Just my thoughts

will follow along

Cheers Bob t
Nov 17, 2017, 08:59 AM
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Heggen: Ck your e mail.

Race 66
Nov 18, 2017, 01:23 PM
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Thanks to Race 66, plans are coming. Any major progress is on hold until I see the plans.
And Bob T, I appreciate the tip on using double sided foam sticky tape.
More to come.
Nov 19, 2017, 10:02 PM
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Joker 53150's Avatar
Cool project. My dad and Dario were friends years ago before drifting apart, and I remember going through his basement workshop and seeing all the incredible projects 40-ish years ago.
Nov 19, 2017, 11:00 PM
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I'll bet that was a memorable trip through his workshop.
Can anyone tell me when Dario first published the plans for the Skybolt? I don't know when my Skybolt was built, but it appears to have been sitting in dirty storage for decades.
Nov 30, 2017, 11:49 PM
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AA5BY's Avatar
Such a project was handed off to me a couple of months back... a 1/5 Pica Waco. Fuselage nearly completed and the project stalled and the owner finally concluded it needed someone else to finish. With the dearth of builders nowadays, these partial build projects are springing up more often and as with this one... just looking for a builder that will finish it.

They represent someone's desires that lost either time or motivation.
Dec 04, 2017, 12:40 AM
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I, too, have a 1/5 scale Pica Waco. It belonged to a deceased friend and it was handed off to a friend who had it for years and never got to it and then handed it off to me. This goes along with the Skybolt and two or three other partially built, forsaken models which have ended up in my storage. I hope I live long enough to finish them all.
But first, I want to get the Skybolt finished and flying. I am messing with minor things on the it until the plans arrive.


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