December 19, 2005

I can already tell that I will enjoy making the ribs for the tail section. They seem much easier to work on than the messy setups for the fuselage frames. They also come together really quickly. The spars on the other hand, I expect to be a bit more difficult. I'm being pretty careful with these first ribs so I get a feel for the process.

I'm using these little metal L-brackets for shaping the airfoil. The brackets don't fit on the inside, up near the leading edge so I made these little wood wedges to get the inside-out pressure there. I've discovered it's best to place the brackets starting from the leading edge to the trailing edge, due to the harsher bend at the leading edge, then working back, placing the brackets where they need to be to keep the shape correct. I cracked a couple ends before I discovered the best method to shape the leading edge. I'm starting with the horizontal stabilizer ribs.

I also finally ordered some aircraft-grade birch plywood from Wicks. These ribs will be covered entirely on one side with 1 mm plywood (1 mm, 3-ply plywood!! That's insane) and have smaller sections of 1 mm plywood on the other side. While I was at it, I got some 1.2 mm plywood (can the really tell if it's 0.2 mm thicker?) so I can start covering the fuselage frames where needed. These plywood sheets are so thin that they are rolled up in tubes for shipping.

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