Archive for the ‘Building a Ragwing’ Category

I must be crazy to think I can do this in such a short amount of time, but I have a goal to have the plane ready for Oshkosh! My Dad and I decided that we are going to shoot for Oshkosh this year. We tried to go last year in my Sonex, but our trip was cut short when an oil leak developed when we were 2/3′rds the way up from Texas. This time I’m living in Connecticut and I’ll drive there with my family. My Dad will fly from Seattle to Milwaulkee and meet us there. Hopefully I’ll have a Ragwing Sport Parasol being trailered up with me.

I don’t move into our new condo (with a garage) until March 1st. I’d like to have the plane done by the first of June so that I have a month and half to do all test flying and work out any bugs before trying to take it to Oshkosh at the end of July.

Here is my plan:

  1. Finish all wing construction 1st half of March
  2. Finish all fuselage construction 2nd half of march
  3. Do pre-assembly including preliminary weight and balance w/out engine to determine best  engine package by 1st part of April.
  4. Cover fuselage and wings by 2nd half of April.
  5. Paint airplane the first half of May
  6. Install engine and instruments 2nd half of May
  7. Finish all final details of airplane as needed in the first week of June!
  8. Start Flight Testing in Early June!

I haven’t been able to do much lately on the airplane. Back in October I found out that my Sonex which I 1/2 own, had developed a crack in the Aerovee engine case. This required a full rebuild. Then in mid-November I learned that my employer was transferring me to CT from Dallas in light of a position change. We’ve been swamped ever since then with tasks repairing the house and rebuilding the Aerovee engine. I just finished the engine this past week and it runs great. Now the airplane is being sold. I’m moving to CT next week. The airplane is coming with me.

Once I get to CT I’ll re-setup shop and get back to work.

So as luck would have it, I sold my weedhopper that I rebuilt from the ground up. I put a Rotax 277 on the plane that I took off of a Minimax that I sold. Oddly enough, the fellow who bought the Weedhopper doesn’t need the engine as he has a 37 hp 1/2 VW engine. I sold the weedhopper less the engine. Now I have an engine for my Ragwing!

I have some reservations that it may be underpowered. However, that 277 was on the front of a minimax before that weighed 350 lbs empty. This Parasol better not be close to that. I might be able to live with 280-290, but not 350. I’m actually hoping I can meet Ultralight weights at 254 lbs. I know it’s unlikely unless I spend the big bucks and go with a 28-30 hp Hirth F-33 that weighs only 45 lbs. Too bad that engine wasn’t around years ago.

I’m building to meet ultralight weights, but preparing incase I’ll need to register it Experimental AB.

I haven’t done anything to the plane since I picked it up. I’ve been working too much on restoring this Weedhopper Model C. You can learn more about that at http://ereksonfamily.org/weedhopper/. I fear that if I divert my attention to working on the Ragwing, I’ll forget to work on the weedhopper.

I don’t have ADD like my wife, but when it comes to building projects, at times I sometimes wonder.

Well I’m overall pretty pleased with how the project has held up. However, I know now why it was being sold. The guy who I bought it from didn’t have the slightest idea what  he was doing, and at some point finally figured it out. Pretty much all the extra work done by him since I gave up the project back in 2002 will have to be re-done.

  • The turtle deck is too heavy and built in front of the rear cabanes rather than behind them.
  • At some point he or another person thought that the elevator push rod (3/4″ tube) was not the way to go, and so they fabricated some crazy mess of a mechanism that was 1/2 way down the tail and crooked. I posted some pics under the “controls” area of this website. You can see why I didn’t like that idea.
  • He used non-AC grade 1/4″ plywood in various places, most of which don’t require 1/4″ plywood. These included the ailerons, the seat back, the turtle deck, the firewall, and the instrument panel. The seat back is supposed to be 1/4″ plywood, but AC grade not some cheap craft store version with a foam core of sorts.

other than that, it’s pretty much the same plane. I should be able to get these items corrected shortly and get back on track.

So I located the project. I don’t want to say where it was, but lets just say it wasn’t Texas and it wasn’t Washington where it was started. I ended up renting a u-haul trailer and towing it behind my XL7. It worked just fine. I was very surprised to be able to bring the plane home in such a small trailer.

I would say that a 1/3 of the plane was sticking out the back of the trailer for the entire trip (I tied the door open). It didn’t rain until a few minutes after I pulled into my driveway at home! However, that little rain left a few water stains that I’ll need to clean up before I seal the wood. I don’t foresee a problem though.

After searching and searching I have located the same Ragwing Sport Parasol (RW6) that I was bulding as a teenager. I don’t want to say where it is, or who is selling it, but I will say that I’m looking to buy it and bring it home.

The plane has the wings mostly built, the fuselage built, the gear up, the tail feathers built and covered, and part of the fuselage covered. It also comes with a 1/2 VW engine and prop. The fella who is selling the plane says it’s the 37 HP version. I’ll have to take a look and see if I can convince the wife to let me go pick it up!