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How to Inspect a Rag, Tube, and Wood Project

Posted By:
Joseph Maj
#1 Posted: 10/3/2009 11:51:10

I'm going to look at a small biplane project where the major parts are fabricated already. Weld inspection is no problem (for me), but, for everything else, please advise.

How to inspect woodwork?

Tools to bring along - levels, plumb bob, straight edges, tape measure, string, and.........?

Tolerances - there are some obvious measurements - like wingtips to tailpost, to check squareness, but how square is square enough? I know how tight I can hold the tolerance, but what's acceptable to have a good flying airplane, 1% difference, more, less? I heard that Steve Wittman said worry most about getting the wings true to each other.

Thanks for your time.

David Staffeldt
IAC MemberVintage Aircraft Association MemberWarbirds of America MemberHomebuilder or Craftsman
#3 Posted: 12/29/2009 18:24:48

Be cautious with the wood construction. A friend of mine bought a project with the wood wings already constructed and he is no longer with us. The original builder used Elmers glue to glue the ribs to the spars. If you can't verify what glue was used, I'd walk away.