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Nov 08, 2020, 04:25 AM
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Upgrades to 2000's vacuum bagging "Phil Barnes" techniques with CAD, 3D printing...?


Short one:
I have the Phil Barnes DVDs and this is an incredible source of inspiration. He really demonstrates a complete, efficient, money and time cost effective process to build gliders wings.

Could some of tools we have commonly available today allow to upgrade that process? Some of those tools are:
• CAD tools,
• Laser cutter,
• 3D printing,
• CNC.

Targets could be to:
• Increase accuracy of the wing profile: leading edge / upper surface,
• optimize structure / reduce weight
• Ease / automate construction. Reduce construction time
• Reduce construction costs
• easy to find materials (issue with sourcing affordable mylar in small quantities?)

Would there be interest in discussing what could be an upgraded wings/glider composite construction system using tools we have now ? To work on an updated construction system?


Longer one:
I have the Phil Barnes DVDs and this is an incredible source of inspiration. He really demonstrates a complete, efficient, money and time cost effective process to build gliders wings. I say "Phil Barnes", but I imagine that credits should go to many persons that invented all those techniques and shared them. I believe that we also deserve a lot of credits to people like Mark Drela that shared researches, tools, sizing concepts and glider designs. All this originates from early 2000s, and does not seems to have changed so much since for hobbyist.

Maybe biggest evolution since is the generalization of molded wings (with or without foam cores). But this proves quite expensive and time consuming: need of a CNC, tooling materials are expensive... This does not looks applicable to prototypes, one-off, small series…

Targets could be to:
• Increase accuracy of the wing profile: leading edge / upper surface. Hot wiring / current vacuum bagging does not seems ideal for leading edge accuracy
• optimize structure / reduce weight
• Ease / automate construction and reduce construction time. Joiners, joiner sleeves, spars still need many manual operations and time: could this be reduced ?
• Reduce construction costs
• Ease sourcing materials (issue with mylar ?)

Could some of tools we have commonly available today allow to upgrade that process? Some of those tools are:
• CAD tools: we can now model complete wings in CAD software, and derive from those models ribs, files to hot wire wing segments, 3D print or CNC pieces
• Laser cutter: to cut with great accuracy ribs, templates, flat pieces...
• 3D printing: to print designed pieces from various plastic materials. Even complete RC planes are 3D printed, achieving still high wing loads for gliders (35-40 g/dm2 compared 12-15 for composite designs). 3D printing still have some (many) structural limitations, but could it start to be able to print final pieces (possibly directly derived form the CAD 3D model) ? Stratasis also has a white book on composite using 3D printed tooling
• CNC….

Would there be interest in discussing what could be an upgraded wings/glider composite construction system using tools we have now?

Some (possibly stupid) ideas:
• Wing joiners / sleeves (http://f3j.in.ua/parts-for-plus-plus...iner-2798.html)
• https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3959755  RC Sailplane Wing Joiner (Volo Sample)
• 3D printed fuselage POD (Vladimir Elf http://f3j.in.ua/elf-pro-el.html?#tab7)
• 3D printed leading edge or Dbox
• 3D printed spars

Last, when supercomputers are asked to design a wing internal structure from scratch:
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017...wing-airplanes
Last edited by JMF11; Nov 08, 2020 at 05:25 AM.
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