Monday, July 10, 2017

Different approach to the pit box - The Pit Cooler!


After a good run with the pit box I started getting cut 2006 it was time for a fresh look. The pit box served several design needs first of which was starting the engine with the lid closed to keep out dirt and sand. Next was a solid home for the necessities like tools fuel bottle syringes lines etc. The box underwent a few revisions and then for a moment was the star of the concourse contests with competitors adding wraps paint even lights and speakers. 

I did not want to change the primary idea but with travel being a major part of flying these days I added smaller and lighter to the design criteria. Allen DeVeuve came up with a much smaller box that really looked sharp. I knew it was time to get to work. 

With the original box 6mm plywood Allen and I had discussed going to 3mm light ply for the smaller box to save weight. Having access to a laser cutter it was a natural flow to design the box in CAD and cut it out and see the final project. Around this time I needed a new airplane bag and the shop asked if I needed any other custom bags for F2D? Hmm wonder if they could make a custom bag for pitting? I could design in all the right pockets and get the size right. All was doable so I sent the specs to the shop. $120 Wow!, didn’t see that coming. 

After a couple of web searches it looked like Wally World had a cooler that was close to the right size. In person it was just right and for $7 even if it only lasted a few contests it was worth it. I adjusted the drawing a little and decided to switch to 6mm corrugated plastic. Since the bag was going to be “flexible” I wanted the liner to be mostly rigid but flex and bend without breaking if it got smashed in transit or squashed in the back of a packed rental car trunk. A little refitting due to the bag shape flexing but it was coming together. The pockets are magic! Knowing that my small shim container was in a pocket locked with a zipper and wasn’t going to fly out during a match is really cool!


I can say that after switching to a soft bag it is tough to carry a hard box. The pockets are very helpful and the smaller overall size travels great! Looks like this will be the new direction I will continue with for the near future.   

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Monday, March 20, 2017

Stuff you would not do without access to a CNC Laser

Ribs keyed into the plywood - check, then keyed into the shear web - check, then ribs laminated with pre cut tape - check, tape removed from areas that are wood to wood joints - check.





Sunday, February 26, 2017

Rib Tape

For the 2013 Team Trials I did a run of planes with Kevlar tissue on all the ribs hoping to help keep the plane together after a collision. The tissue is non continuous fibers. The performance was improved but not as much as I would have liked. The ribs stayed together something like 40-60% better but not 100%. One unforeseen benefit was that when making repairs the fibers overlapped the break most of the time so when I CAed the wood the Kevlar was again acting as a reinforcement.

The Kevlar is expensive and laminating the tissue is a pain on a large scale. So what about tape? More than a few planes available from the EU are coming with clear tape on the ribs so someone other than me has had this same thought. Looks cool too!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

My rack is HOTTER than yours!

MIC DROP


May 2013 UPDATE

So a long term trend in my shop has been custom graphics for the F2D planes that I build. Being limited to the leading edge has been challenging to say the least, yes I have my AMA number and my name on the LE but true graphics are tough on the limited canvas. May 2013 I posted and Photoshoped picture of full plane graphics using a stencil to paint on the inside of the covering. So this is the progress of this train of thought- 
This is the wing design from the 2013 post.

Stencils cut on the laser.





Stuff...

The blog has been a bit quiet since Nash was born, he is 3 now and picking up speed fast. 


Here are a few things going on in the new shop. First is well... the new shop.

 We had an opportunity to make this part of the air conditioned space but with lots of chemical fumes frequently associated with building we opted for the garage treatment. I had the floor painted and put my old benches back in for now. AC/Heat door insulation and new benches are on the list. At least I didn't have to remove the plane rack....