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Oct 31, 2006, 12:57 PM
Fun ain't cheap!
droydx's Avatar
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Build Log

Aquilla Grande Build


I usually shy away from doing build threads, done 1 or 2 before, but they usually start well enough and then peter out for one reason or anoter. This time I promise, the thread will start sputteringly (is that a word) and never have to die, because it's on life support from the git go.

Enough apologies. I am 90% a slope flier, but I've been doing it long enough to remember "the day". So I like to work with wood, but don't do it much anymore with all the composite advantages. The Aquilla called out to me for 2 reasons: 1) It was fairly high performance when it was produced in the late 70's-early 80's, with a fiberglass fuselage and thin, full D box wing. 2) It is an Airtronics kit, and for you old timers who built or still build, you will know that it means the kit will have quality components, wood and stuff will actually fit without carving knifes and 60 grit being used on all steps.

I picked up the kit on RCgroups earlier this month from sfg2598....thanks, and I think at a reasonable price. The kit arrived in great shape, all stuff still in original packing, wrapping etc. Still had the AMA application and learn how to fly gliders phamphlets too!

I could be (especially by my wonderful long suffering wife) accused of being a kit collector, but this one called to me to build it. That calling, along with a nagging OTJ back injury giving me some bench time said "go for it, get me in the air!!!)

Sorry Sailaire, you'll have to wait to be built a little longer.
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Oct 31, 2006, 01:13 PM
Fun ain't cheap!
droydx's Avatar
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It's been a while since I've put together an open frame built up wing...and my last one was a kit bash 52" Tercel that I added a full flying stab too...a great aerobatic poly, light air sloper. This AG was a much bigger ship, heck about 10' something when done. So, I guess a few mistakes are to be expected, and I sure dumbo'd a few, so far nothing horrible.

The kit has 3 great plan sheets and a comprehensive build manual, but it's not the easiest to follow as there are multiple things listed to accomplish in every numbered "step" Read carefully and study the plans before attempting any assembly or modification that you might have in mind.

The stock AG features a 5/16" wing rod, spruce spars with 1/16" shear webs, glued to the sides of the spars, with full D box in front and built up TE structure. I wanted to stay true to the original design, but maybe beef it up a bit without "re-kitting" the thing. I figured I could go bigger with the wing rod, add carbon to the TE, and spars and then go with vertical grain balsa, full span inside the spruce spar caps.
Oct 31, 2006, 04:39 PM
Freakflyin
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Lookin' good! Thanks for doing this... I know we bullied you... you were so easy...

Mike
Oct 31, 2006, 06:17 PM
Registered User
droydx go for it ! you have my full support and viewings of this post

In a few months I will also be giving a vintage original kit a life as a built up kit...(Original Pierce Aero Paragon 3m)...so will keep you company...
Oct 31, 2006, 07:14 PM
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Thanks guys.....sometimes you wonder why you are slaving away with these old gas bags....but I still get a kick out of it.

I used FlexZap II to stick the carbon to the Spars and the TE after I beveled it. The carbon is some uni that I got on EBay from some guys estate sale. It is held together with a kind of veil and turned out to be perfect for this job. I layed down a bead of the flex zap and then layed the carbon on it. I then burnished the carbon with the round end of the Zap container cover to force the glue into the laminate and flatten it out. This stuff dries very slowly compared to other ZAP stuff and seems to be the call for this application.

The carbon came out thin, but darn tough. I use quite a bit of uni and this stuff was great to work with. The main panel got 1 strip on the lower spruce and 2 on the top (one on both sides of the top spruce) The outer has 2 - 1 top and bottom. My camera died so there aren't a lot of pics from this build stage...

I jigged up my band saw for the end grain balsa shear web.
It went easy for the main panel with all the same size. I did the first 8 bays, out to the end of the plywood shear with 3/8" full span balsa. I then went down to 1/4" until the polyhedral joiner bay, where it went to full thickness(3/8"). The outer panel required individual sanding to fit....so I ended up with doing the final 4 bays as per plans with the 1/16". Not being an engineering type of guy, I just tried to build it up, but to taper the strength and keep the wing tips as light as possible. I had to adjust cut on the ribs in some areas to fit correctly, as my spar was wider, or narrower in some areas than the stock version.
Oct 31, 2006, 07:26 PM
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The wings went together fairly quickly. Have a generous and FLAT building area....this thing got large quickly.

My next decision was on the wing rod. The larger 3/8 size that I wanted wouldn't work, because of the needed dihedral within the thin wing. I didn't want to compromise the flying and turning ability by flattening it out to fit the fat joiner, so I went with the stock rod. It should hold up for less than monster zooms. We'll see.
I wrapped the root, and every joiner area with kevlar thread to hold it from spreading.

The instructions have a complicated 3 board set up to set the dihedral...I couldn't deal with it. I jigged on my building surface....1/4" plate glass and did it ....."MY WAY"
Oct 31, 2006, 09:32 PM
Are you serious?
Miraj's Avatar
Nice, keep it coming.

M
Nov 01, 2006, 04:08 PM
Fun ain't cheap!
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Still cranking away at the project. Wing number 2 has taken some effort and another round of CA glue bottles.

I figured someone would lend some criticism by now...come on you guys, I know there is some out there!
Nov 01, 2006, 06:15 PM
Registered User
Whats there to critisize, I think we all love a classic being built. Looking good so far..
Tom
Nov 01, 2006, 08:27 PM
auto-tune remix
slopemeno's Avatar
I always wanted one of those. I have the plans for the 99" and have cut out all the patterns from scrap 1/32nd ply. Wanna sell a copy of your plans when youre done with them?
Nov 01, 2006, 08:45 PM
Fun ain't cheap!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slopemeno
I always wanted one of those. I have the plans for the 99" and have cut out all the patterns from scrap 1/32nd ply. Wanna sell a copy of your plans when youre done with them?
Slopemeno,

I'll see what I can do at Kinkos, and see if anyone is still producing kits. I don't want to have bad mojo from duping stuff that might still be copyrighted, yadda , yadda.

They are pretty cool gliders. I'm really enjoying working with wood. I'm impressed with the design for it's time, and I'm looking forward to some lawn chair sloping with this beast on our "mean" Santa Barbara coastal slopes.

Droydster
Nov 01, 2006, 11:01 PM
auto-tune remix
slopemeno's Avatar
right, no bad juju. Its strictly a when you get around to it sorta thing. Judging the rate I build at i'll be in my middle 60's before i get around to building it.
Nov 02, 2006, 09:07 AM
Freakflyin
Freakflyin's Avatar
Andy,
No criticism from me. I've been itching to start a project since this began in the Aquila mods thread, but alas, I have to wait.... we are selling our home and I'm not allowed to "make a mess".... She's seen me build.
So, anyone want to buy a townhouse in Phoenix? It's a DRY heat...heh heh
Nov 02, 2006, 05:00 PM
Are you serious?
Miraj's Avatar
Andy
Where you have wrapped the tube and the poly section, i was thinking of cutting either some light glass or carb and laying underneath, then wrap it up the sides and joining it to the section of carb that runs the on the top spar length. Maybe about 70-80mm long and enough to go up the sides and over the top.
What do you reckon? over kill or a bit tricky?

M
Nov 02, 2006, 06:58 PM
Fun ain't cheap!
droydx's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miraj
Andy
Where you have wrapped the tube and the poly section, i was thinking of cutting either some light glass or carb and laying underneath, then wrap it up the sides and joining it to the section of carb that runs the on the top spar length. Maybe about 70-80mm long and enough to go up the sides and over the top.
What do you reckon? over kill or a bit tricky?

M
I thought about that, similar to the wrapped spars that are used in Drela's designs. I think it would be stronger, but you'd have to build the spar system first and then add it to the wings. I went the easy way, and following the plans, just built my spars on top of the bottom sheeting. Since you are pretty much scratch building...hey, your call and for an XL, you could use all the spar strength you can get.

I was concerned about adding the carbon to my spar caps and making my wing too thick for the stock ribs, etc. It did add thickness, of course, but within reasonable limits to still make a clean (enough, I hope!) build using my kit parts.

I'm still slowly finishing wing 2. Then on to the Stab and rudder.

Droydster


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