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Finding Engineering help

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Tim Taylor
Homebuilder or Craftsman
20
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0
#1 Posted: 4/7/2011 10:13:55

I will need to make some changes to the gliders I'm thinking about building and I need some suggestions on finding engineering help. I've looked at some of the web sites and they range from aerospace contractors to answering machines. Some shared experiences, suggestions would help a lot.

Tim



Ron Wanttaja
246
Posts
98
#2 Posted: 4/7/2011 22:13:25
Tim Taylor wrote:

 

I will need to make some changes to the gliders I'm thinking about building and I need some suggestions on finding engineering help. I've looked at some of the web sites and they range from aerospace contractors to answering machines. Some shared experiences, suggestions would help a lot.

If you're going to do it right, you need an FAA Designated Engineering Representative (DER).  They are people who meet the FAA standards and are considered qualified enough to approve engineering changes in the name of the FAA.  The FAA has an online directory  of DERs. 

If you're saying "I need an engineer to look at something I want to do and tell me if there's anything wrong," there are tons of people who will do that.  Some of them are actually engineers.   Remember, "On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog."

More'n likely, you want a happy compromise of the two. The trouble is, engineers that are worth a darn aren't going to commit themselves over a sketch and a brief online description.  They're going to want a lot more information, including structural details of the gliders which may not be publicly available.  I'm fortunate enough to live in Seattle, where our chapters are hip-deep in Boeing engineers.  They're happy to talk about changes and such, but they balk at giving casual approval.

Your best bet would be to talk to some of the folks at your EAA Chapter.   Your tech counselor may know of some qualified folks.  Also, see if the glider design has an online presence in the form of a mailing list or discussion group.  Someone else may have tried your changes and can report on them.



Ron Wanttaja
Tim Taylor
Homebuilder or Craftsman
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#3 Posted: 4/8/2011 09:28:01

Thanks again Ron. Really good answer.

Tim



Clarke Tate
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberHomebuilder or Craftsman
75
Posts
9
#4 Posted: 4/8/2011 15:45:57

Excellent response Ron!

 

I think members try to do what we can to help online, and we try not be be dogs, but that doesn't mean we are experts.

EAA ever think of creating an online tech counslor? Not that this would resolve design changes.

But building questions resolved by an expert in a field of metal, wood, or composites could sincerely help.

The Technical Counselor in many areas is at best well versed in one area and seldom more, unless truly fortunate.

I have just added a topic regarding this.



C Tate
Tim Taylor
Homebuilder or Craftsman
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#5 Posted: 4/8/2011 16:36:55

Good idea, but to avoid the problems of the gearhead sites responders would need to be qualified. Many of the gearhead sites have less than accurate information.

Tim Taylor



Dana Hague
29
Posts
2
#6 Posted: 4/12/2011 12:31:50

You might try the forus at homebuiltairplanes.com.  The usual caveats about Internet advice apply, but there are a number of very knowledgable folks there... as online fora go, it's a very good one (and the forum software works a lot better than this one!).



Tim Taylor
Homebuilder or Craftsman
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#7 Posted: 4/13/2011 09:20:43

Thanks I'll give that site a try.

Tim



David Shelton
Homebuilder or Craftsman
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#8 Posted: 4/23/2011 03:53:44

Hi Tim,

 

I'm an aerospac engineer and soaring enthusiast. Feel free to call and discuss your project: 847-651-4373. -David Shelton



Tim Taylor
Homebuilder or Craftsman
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0
#9 Posted: 4/23/2011 12:00:28

Thanks for the response I'll give you a call next week

Tim



Nick Myers
96
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11
#10 Posted: 4/26/2011 07:54:51

I don't mean any offense by this, but there is something odd about "Tim Taylor" getting engineering advice...
tongueout



Tim Taylor
Homebuilder or Craftsman
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#11 Posted: 4/26/2011 08:45:42

Yes, I am the real Tim Taylor.  I used be in industrial sales, machinery and components, and on a few occasions I had to show  my drivers license to prove who I am. It was a great icebreaker that made for some good sale calls and fun.  My gearhead stuff usually works the way I build it. However, adding an engine  pylon to a Woodstock glider and making the wings of a KR-1B long enough to fit the JAR 22 spec  means I need some help.

Regards

The real Tim Taylor



Thomas Knott
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0
#12 Posted: 4/27/2011 19:58:36

Interesting you should mention EAA creating an online tech counselor.  A few years ago I interviewed with EAA for a position, one would imagine having a DER on staff would be quite beneficial to the membership (even if not providing data approvals - many issues there).  But alas, they were only looking for a "gearhead" to use another's term.  No hard feelings; as a volunteer I have helped the flight center with engineering advice on the flyable airplanes and even provided test witnessing and data approvals on the B-17.  Glad to do so on a pro bono basis, and occasionally I'll do the same for individuals - especially if it keeps something from falling down on me (I only live a few miles from OSH, so statistically my chances are greater).





Tim Taylor
Homebuilder or Craftsman
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#13 Posted: 4/28/2011 08:53:16

Thanks for the response. Right now I am in the process of moving when I get done with that I'll get in touch about the modifications I would like to make to a Woodstock glider.

Regards

Tim



John Steere
Homebuilder or Craftsman
6
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#14 Posted: 5/1/2011 16:03:20

Tim,

I recently needed to consult with an engineering expert related to particular features of a new Ultralight I designed, and am currently building. I found Adam Morrison with Streamline Designs, LLC. Their web page is www.sportplanedesign.com.

I found Adam by accident when perusing the EAA Speakers Bureau list. After a phone call to see if Streamline Designs was a good match for my problem, we made an appointment and Adam came to my home. He thoroughly reviewed my project, collected the necessary information related to the problem I had, then submitted a professional detailed quote within a couple of days.

I had asked him to simplify the analysis report (I was thinking 1/2 page,) to minimize my cost. What I actually received was an eight page, detailed engineering report with multiple charts, graphs, and illustrations, making the analysis results very clear and understandable.  All of this for the fixed cost and lead-time we had agreed to.

The bottom line is that I was very pleased with the results Adam delivered. It provided the exact answer that I needed, and at a very reasonable cost. I highly recommend Streamline Designs for any engineering work you may need.

John Steere



Tim Taylor
Homebuilder or Craftsman
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#15 Posted: 5/2/2011 08:36:42

Thanks for the response. This company should be able to help.

Regards

Tim



Tony Condon
NAFI Member
23
Posts
4
#16 Posted: 5/4/2011 14:45:45

Hey Tim, sounds like an interesting project. And you are right you do need some engineering help for each.  I'm guessing each one is going to require some significant beefing up and/or redesign of the wing roots and center section.  Woodstock is designed pretty lightweight and usually for pretty low cockpit weights.



Tim Taylor
Homebuilder or Craftsman
20
Posts
0
#17 Posted: 5/4/2011 15:32:53

Hi Tony, we've corresponded before when I was looking for glider plans. Do you still have Cherokee II plans available? I did find Woodstock 13m plans which brings the usefull load up to 265 lbs. I did find info on the wood TST glider which looks like the Woodstock. It has a removable stabilizer design that should work for the Woodstock but  I will get the changes checked out.

Regards

Tim