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Sunday, March 25, 2012

YYY Work

I have been selfishly working primarly on YYY the last few weeks to get it ready for the season.  I decided last season that I was getting unhappy with my roll rate.  Perhaps it was just my imagination but it seemed like it was starting to get sluggish.   When we recovered I used two pieces of weather stripping, one on the wing and one on the aileron, to seal the gap.  It worked well at first but my theory is that as it deteriorated with time it lost effectiveness.  So, i decided to put a fabric seal back in , which is what the glider had before I recovered it.  I also decided to go all out and add mylars to the top of the wing as well.  Unfortunately the gap on the bottom is a little larger than the top and would required going to a ridiculously large mylar.  The price goes from expensive to stupid expensive so for now we'll just do the tops.Last night I finished painting the last of the EkoFill on the seals and I think the left wing is now ready for touch up painting.  Other work I did to it was putting a silicone seal around the airbrakes and ironing down the bubbles on the leading edge.  Hopefully this evening we can get the right wing in the garage and start on it.

I've also started doing some work on making fairings to cover up those aileron bellcranks.  It's been an interesting process.  First of course there have to be two fairings, one on the wing and one on the aileron. The aileron one needs to be slightly under sized so it will slide in and out of the wing fairing when the aileron moves.  They need to be sized so that when they are they are the furthest apart they still are together.  I started out by using some thin plywood to make a rough outline of what the combined shape would look like when the aileron was fully deflected.  Then I cut what was needed for the wing side from that and used the router to cut that profile onto a double thick piece of 3/4" plywood.  I added a thin piece of plywood to the top of the original template to make the future mold a little taller than the aileron mold.  I then glued some thin plywood to the sides of the wing-side mold to that it would be a little wider.  I used a 1/2" radius and with some filler it is looking pretty good.  For the aileron side mold I realized I had a 4x8 sheet of 1" foam in the garage and I used that to make its mold which was about 200 times faster.  I did have to make a guide with the 3/4" plywood to be able to sand the foam down to the proper thickness. That worked really well actually.  The router also put a nice 1/2" radus on the foam and with some filler it is looking great too.  Soon I will be ready to actually lay up some fiberglass over the molds and then it will be interesting to see how much tweaking is needed to get thing to fit together nicely.  Then it will be time to do the bottom, and perhaps the rudder.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

YYY in the Garage

YYY's fuselage has been in the garage for about a week although I haven't really done anything to it.  Leah and I moved in the left wing tonight.  I measured the aileron gaps for future sealing and started taking some MEK to the leading edge in an attempt to fix the leading edge bubbles that have been driving me crazy since we recovered it.  I got about 4 feet of the leading edge de-painted before it was time to fly the nightly race on Condor.  Spring work planned for YYY includes better aileron seals, fixing the leading edges, and doing some sealing work on the fuselage, particularly around the canopy which has some massive gaps and I was thinking about making a cover over the wheel since it is just a big hole in the belly.  Odds are all of this will make no difference in the gliders performance but I guess it will make me feel better.  I'm hoping to do some glide test flights this spring and maybe some oil flow tests.

The wood for TTT's right wing shipped out today so hopefully it will be here for the weekend.  We're looking at a long term forecast with a lot of rain here in Wichita so perhaps that will allow some opportunities to get a lot of work done in the garage.