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!"

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"

Look Ma - No Wings!

Something changed radically in the shop this past week - a milestone came and passed - and so did those huge long wings for the Xenos! Notice the workbench? No wings! With the help of a lot of airpark neighbors, we had a marathon month of drilling, deburring, and riveting, and the long motor glider wings are now tucked safely in their racks, awaiting installation in the fuselage - which now comes back to center stage as we pull out the drawings and figure out where we left off. Continue reading "Look Ma - No Wings!"

Only One Way to Skin This Wing

There may be more than one way to skin a feline (I've never tired), but if you stray from the instructions while skinning this wing, you're going to drill yourself into a corner! The process for drilling the skin to these long Xenos wings is one of the few step-by-step procedures given in the plans, and the number of parts and the way they overlap and allow/block access means that following the steps is well advised. Continue reading "Only One Way to Skin This Wing"

Welcome to the Wisconsin State Fair

Have you ever held an event, perhaps for work, where a party is advertised for, say, three hours but everyone has left after two hours except that one lonely and annoying guy who just wants to hang with you because he has no one else to spend time with? And, you have to stay 'cause the announcement said the party wouldn't be over yet? Well, that's a bit how the kit vendors seem to feel about the last weekend of AirVenture. Continue reading "Welcome to the Wisconsin State Fair"