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Help needed on Bleriot covering method

Posted By:
Adam Smith
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or Craftsman
538
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381
#1 Posted: 3/23/2010 17:16:05

Our team is finishing up the replica Bleriot XI, which we are still hoping to fly this summer behind an Anzani engine dating from 1910.

Project leader Gary Buettner asked if I could help him get some information on covering methods used on original Bleriots. In particular he's interested in the types of tapes they used (if any).



Benoit de Mulder
6
Posts
2
#2 Posted: 3/24/2010 14:13:18

You can contact ACV Aero Service in France or the canadian aviation heritage centre. Both have built Bleriot Replicas. Let me know if you need help with translation in french.

ACV Aero Service in France : http://www.acv05.fr/

CAHC: http://www.cahc-ccpa.com/bleriot.php

Please notice that Bleriot airplanes were using the same covering methods than Voisin airplanes.

From the Bleriot XI technical notice, there are the following infos:

- Fabric is nailed on each rib every 2cm with a copper nail. (p13)
- On each junction surface there is a band of 2cm using "standard dissolution of para". I try to get infos about it.

I guess you have already the detailed description of the plane (in french), let me know if you need it. (pdf 11,5mb)


Benoit



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Benoit de Mulder
6
Posts
2
#3 Posted: 3/24/2010 16:57:48

One specialist can be Patrick Sigwald too:

http://classiqueaeroservice.free.fr/accueil__home__187.htm

He is expert about technics used for covering "entoilage in french"



Christopher Ford
4
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0
#4 Posted: 3/26/2010 16:18:24

The Bleriot we have at Old Rhinebeck uses wooden strips tacked to the ribs rather than tapes. I'll see if I can dig up some photos of them.



Anne McCombs
2
Posts
2
#5 Posted: 4/1/2010 19:49:16

I'm one of the restoration staff at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, and I took a look at our Bleriot XI this week to see what I could find out for you.  First, I recommend you find a copy of our book on the subject:  "Bleriot XI: The Story of a Classic Aircraft" by Tom D. Crouch, 1982, Smithsonian Institution Press, ISBN 0-87474-345-1.  There's a fairly detailed description of our restoration in the book.  It's out of print, but the usual sources of used books should be able to help.

Original factory fabric on the Bleriot XI was "rubberized Continental fabric."  Our aircraft is covered in Grade A cotton applied on the bias on the wings, as is necessary for wing-warping aircraft, and the fabric has French felled seams.  The fabric is on the straight-of-grain on the tail surfaces and fuselage.  It's held on the flying surfaces with what appear to be reed or narrow wood strips: 3/16" wd. on tail and outboard wing, 3/8" wd. on inboard wings.  The strips wrap around the leading edges and are tacked at irregular intervals of 1-1/2 to 2" spacing.  There are NO tapes on the ribs, but there are straight edged, straight-of-grain tapes around the edges.  Factory finish was varnish, but we used clear dope to avoid yellowing and potential fabric damage.  I personally would be very concerned about the use of any finish on a flying wing-warping aircraft -- I suggest you get your local FAA office or equivalent to advise you on that subject. 

I'm told there is more than one Bleriot replica in the works.  Which one is yours?

I hope this information is useful to you.  If you need further information, please contact me here or directly.

Cheers, Anne McCombs



Christopher Ford
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0
#6 Posted: 5/13/2010 01:29:15 Modified: 5/13/2010 07:56:02

Here's a shot that shows the wooden strips...


4(1).jpg

 



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