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Sunday, March 23, 2008

DLG Plan: Part 2, Cutting out the flying surfaces

At long last, I had a chance to put scalpel to balsa today and cut out the wing, stab and fin. Wing is from 1/4" (6 mm, ~ 6.5 lb/ft3), stab and fin from 1/16" (1.6 mm, ~ 8 lb/ft3). The first step was to print ellipses of the right size on to thick paper and cut them out to use as templates. In keeping with the design objectives, I will not be sanding the stab and fin to aerofoil sections, but will round the leading edges and lightly taper the trailing edges.

In the photo, hardwood strip has been glued to the leading edge of the wing with waterproof PVA. I use rubber bands and masking tape to clamp it while the glue sets. Normally, I would use spruce or bass wood for LE reinforcement, but this time I used walnut D strip simply because it was there and it was long enough - I used one piece for the whole LE. The walnut bends well using steam from a kettle and the dark colour makes a nice contrast to the balsa. Should be strong too.

Thanks Stevie B for the encouragement!

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