Bleriot XI 1/2 scale build - Page 2 - RC Groups
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Feb 10, 2009, 08:32 AM
Bleriot's R Us
xairflyer's Avatar
Not a lot of visable progress, Sunday was spent adding a removable extension to my building bench so I could lay out 12ft of the plan to mark off the stringer locations on the longerons.

Was difficult to get all the longerons in the picture below, 10ft of my bench plus a 2ft 6" extension

At least I managed to get the longerons marked off for drilling, Sunday eve was spent back and forth to the computor looking at pics, as the stringers are slightly staggered to allow for the U bolts and in some places the horizontal ones are in front and sometimes they are behind the verticals.

Folded up a little jig to mark the holes just made it a bit quicker.
Last edited by xairflyer; Feb 11, 2009 at 08:41 PM.
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Feb 11, 2009, 08:37 PM
Bleriot's R Us
xairflyer's Avatar
The longerons are now cut to length and planed down to approx 7/16"(11mm) at the tail. Not easy getting a (1/8") 3mm taper over about 9ft. Discovered too that my index finger and my electric planner dont like each other, and a blood stain is hard to get out of nice clean white wood.

The Longerons have to be drilled for the U Bolts. I Bought a vertical drill guide few years back when I built my CNC and found it very useful for drilling vertical holes in wood.
Screwed a couple of pieces of 15mm high wood to its base so I could slide the longerons underneath. Only about 140 holes to drill
Last edited by xairflyer; Feb 16, 2009 at 08:05 AM.
Feb 16, 2009, 08:03 AM
Bleriot's R Us
xairflyer's Avatar
Weather has been very good so Friday, Saturday & Sunday have been spent flying so the Bleriot only seen a bit of work in the eves over the weekend.

Each stringer has a slot for the U bolts to pass through. I cut all the stringers to the correct length off the plan and sanded them slightly off square on a vertical sander to match the fuselage taper. The vertical face sander is fantastic for getting a perfectly flat end on a piece of timber, and with an adjustable table you can get every piece at the same angle, dont know why I never used one before.

I machined a guide in the jig on the CNC, and set it up to cut the 1/4" (6mm) long slot. I could’nt get a long 3/32" cutter so I have came in from both sides.

I wrote the Gcode so the cnc retracts from the wood long enough for me to turn it over before it repeats cutting the slot on the otherside. I set it so it keeps repeating so I just kept turning and replacing the stringers, about 70 cycles in all !
The slot also has a 3/32" extension towards the end only going 1/16" (1.5mm) deep, this is to prevent the wood from splitting when the U bolts are tightened up.

CNC cutting slots (1 min 6 sec)
Last edited by xairflyer; Mar 13, 2009 at 09:30 AM.
Feb 18, 2009, 08:52 AM
Bleriot's R Us
xairflyer's Avatar
Assembled some of the fuselage to check how it will all go together

The U bolts lock the stringers hard against the longerons I can see why no glue is needed, discovered the angles at the ends of the stringers are important to get right and have had to"calibrate" a few.

Fair bit of tension to pull in the tail but along with the rear post which I still have to make, the bracing wires prevent it from wanting to spread so very functional.

I have now taken it apart again and cut the longerons at the scale rear join (fullsize shown below) which will allow me to work on everything easier.

Have to final sand the stringers and make some more of those U bolts which I keep putting off ! Then I can start staining and assembly proper will begin
Mar 01, 2009, 08:25 PM
Bleriot's R Us
xairflyer's Avatar
Has'nt been much to report for the past week, most of the evenings spent final sanding of the longerons and the stringers, also applying the antique pine wood dye.
I managed to paint all the 80 'U' bolts, along with the support washers (about 100 of them), satin black. Still have to apply the Polyuethane varnish top coat to the wood parts and then I can start assembly
Last edited by xairflyer; Mar 01, 2009 at 08:31 PM.
Mar 02, 2009, 07:58 AM
Suspended Account

Followong your build with great interest.
The suspense is fascinating.
Anxious to see the progress.

After you fly it _ _ _ it should become a museum display.
Thanks for the thread and the postings.

Mar 03, 2009, 07:41 PM
Bleriot's R Us
xairflyer's Avatar
Thanks Zor,

Things are slow at the moment sanding, staining and final top coat of polyurethane varnish which I started tonight.
Made up a rack so I could do all the stringers at once, only done one longeron as difficult to hang too many up at the one time, hope to have the other three finished in next couple of days.
Mar 06, 2009, 03:21 PM
Bleriot's R Us
xairflyer's Avatar
Spent last night carving out the top cross brace for the tail wheel support. There is also one across the bottom that I have still to do and had planned making these out of ash just for the strength.
When I started this last night it was just going to be a rough version to put in place until I got some ash, however I kept carving and sanding until it was done, I love the grain and it seems strong enough, it is made from yellow pine and will probably be OK, dont expect there to be too much of a load on it unless the landings are really bad

I am going to stain it up anyway and can easily replace it as it is secured in place with one of the 'U' bolts.
Pic below and showing it in place on the fullsize
Mar 08, 2009, 10:05 PM
Bleriot's R Us
xairflyer's Avatar
Finally got some proper assembly of the main fuselage, the nature of the way it is built, virtually everything has to go together at the same time.
It can be seen in the photo the curve to the longerons at the front and the darker insert of timber where the slit was.

The main uprights for the Trailing Edge wing attachment are missing as they still have to be made, but the longerons can be sprung apart to fit them easily enough later on.

Also fitted a few of the bracing wires and turnbuckles, when all the wires are in it is going to be extremely strong and ridgid. I was going to use 1mm mig welding wire for the bracing but found it didnt like being folded backwards as needed to form part of the copper swage, so ended up using stainless steel aircraft locking wire which worked well.

The mig wire would have naturally aged better but I will add some 'weathering' to the shiney stainless wires when all done.

Not all the bracing has conventional turnbuckles, the majority of the sides and top/bottom are pulled up to approx length and then the wire is tensioned by the "Bleriot Turnbuckle" which is the 'U' bolts that also clamp the stringers.

Need now to make up a jaw for my crimping pliers as I am not getting a good crimp on the copper tube to prevent the wires slipping when they are tensioned.
Mar 08, 2009, 10:09 PM
sneezes for lack of balsa dust
great looking fuse so far, keep up the good work! I am watching this thread with particular interest because I have always loved OLD planes. and half scale makes it all the better. =)
Mar 09, 2009, 07:57 AM
Don Coe
doncoe's Avatar
Good Morning, Seamus. Thanks for the link!
Regards. Don
p.s. I have a new prop for mine & I'll post a pic of it later today. Made by Dave Pullinger, club colleague.
Mar 09, 2009, 08:08 AM
Don Coe
doncoe's Avatar
Here's the new prop. It's laminated from Ash & Brazilan Mahogany, 28 x 7, and has the correct transfers.
The old prop is now on my AVRO D.
Last edited by doncoe; Mar 09, 2009 at 08:11 AM. Reason: adding pics
Mar 09, 2009, 08:27 AM
Bleriot's R Us
xairflyer's Avatar
Nice prop Don, when do you hope to fly it, be interested to see the tailplane incedence and wing rigging after it has flown.
Last edited by xairflyer; Mar 09, 2009 at 08:57 AM.
Mar 09, 2009, 09:36 PM
Bleriot's R Us
xairflyer's Avatar
More carving of the lower suspension mount from yellow pine, actually nice stuff to work with and carves nicely with the scapel. This lower one is held on by the ‘U’ bolts as the other stringers.

Top one is clamped by the nuts on the ends of the ‘U’ bolts, on the full size there is a bit more wood each side of the nuts, mine is a bit narrow, but will do for now as I will probably still re make it in ash.

The wood on the fullsize may look a bit bare, these shots where taken during restoration and alot of the wood had been cleaned down for re varnishing
Last edited by xairflyer; Mar 13, 2009 at 09:34 AM.
Mar 10, 2009, 04:56 PM
Bleriot's R Us
xairflyer's Avatar
Made up some jaws for my crimping pliers so I could get in at the swages and get a more consistent squeeze.
The swages are made from 3/32” x 3/8” (10mm) long copper tube approx about 200 swages in the fuselage bracing so worth the effort making the jaws

Have the two centre bays all braced which is all I can do at this stage, and most of the wire just tweaked up, the 'U' bolts really work well tensioning the wires once you have them the correct initial length.
The forward wires cant be tightened yet until I do the next bay.
Last edited by xairflyer; Mar 10, 2009 at 05:03 PM.

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