And we're off!

Subsonex Jet ruddervator clecoed

Yes--the new kit is here! Our Subsonex project got underway just this weekend, starting with a complete inventory (of a very complete kit). With all of the bits and pieces stored away in ways that they can be found, I opened the plans to a reasonable place to start, and pulled out the parts for the stabilizers. My first impression was "wow - this is amazing". My second impression was "Wow - this is going to go together fast!" All parts are match-hole construction - that means that you can grab a handful of silver clecos and fasten ribs to spars, and skins to ribs, all without pulling out a drill. Continue reading "And we're off!"

Checking In - Deland, Florida

The Deland Sport Aviation Showcase wraps up our show attendance for this year, and as I leave Florida, I can think back on a good year of meeting builders and pilots of all things experimental throughout the year. I can honestly say that I've seen an uptick in shopping interest - and I believe that is reflected in sales of kits and accessories, if my vendor contacts are correct. That bodes well for the future, as new projects are being started, and old ones finished. That means more airplanes flying and more people enjoying the thrill of taking an airplane they built aloft! Continue reading "Checking In - Deland, Florida"

Tool Migration

tool migration

It could be happening right now, while you're safely at your desk or on your couch. It happens quietly, when your guard is down. Some say it is magical, others say...demonic. What am I talking about? Migrating tools! They are stealthy, these wrenches, drills and rivet guns. You place them in your toolbox, right where they belong - and the next thing you know - there they are, right back out in the open. The phenomena is unexplained, very much like the fact that a box of clecos placed in a closet will slowly disappear... but the population of coat hangers will increase... coincidence? I think not! Continue reading "Tool Migration"

Light it Up!

LED strip light

How many times have you been working in the depths of your aircraft's fuselage, a flashlight in your mouth, and a work light burning a hole in your trousers (and not providing any light while it was doing it) and wished for better lighting? I have been a cave explorer on and off throughout my life, and I'll tel you what - it was just a good preparation for working in a light airplane's fuselage! Continue reading "Light it Up!"

Mixing it Up

y-tail-xenos

There are all sorts of things I would like to know, but never take the time to learn - so much stuff, so little time... So I figure that some stuff will just have to wait until I need it. Such is the case of just how you mechanize a V-tail. You have two surfaces doing the work of three on a conventional tail - two ruddervators instead of two elevators and a rudder.

The ruddervators work like elevators in that they move up and down to control pitch - but they also move more in one direction than the other when the pilot pushes a rudder pedal. The two surfaces effectively "mix" the inputs from both pitch and yaw controls. Sounds complicated, right? So... how exactly is this done?

Continue reading "Mixing it Up"