Archive for the ‘Fuselage’ Category

I keep changing my mind, and I’m not even a woman :)

I have this perfectly good 32 HP 1/2 VW engine that I tore down and rebuilt for kicks and giggles (still have to fire it up), and now I’ve decided to go with a different engine. Though the engine works fine on similar planes like the Legal Eagle, and those guys swear by it, too many people have told me that the Ragwing just has too much drag. Hard to believe that it has more than a Legal Eagle, but I’m not going to get into that.

I’ll likely just hold onto the engine for a little while, maybe mount it on a stand and fire it up. I’ll take some video to post to the group and also put on youtube.

I’ve decided to not use the 1/2 VW as it doesn’t have enough lbs of static thrust. I know too well what it’s like to fly a plane under-powered.

I once owned a minimax powered by a Rotax 277. It was 90 lbs over weight at 340 lbs! Not sure how the builder did that with a Rotax 277, but he did (I didn’t build it). It had a Tennessee 60×28 prop. It actually did ok. The climb wasn’t super impressive, but it got up and going and did just fine.

Then I had my first accident ever…I hit a runway light going less than 5 mph while taxing. That stupid grass cutter tube that makes up the minimax landing gear caught the runway light and the plane came to a halt. Of course not before nosing over and blowing the prop to pieces!

I was not educated enough about props and ended up replacing it with a brand new GSC Prop from Canada. They claimed it was a 60×28 as I ordered. I have no idea if they were right, but it sure DID NOT perform like  the tennessee prop I had before. I barely got out of ground effect. Once out of ground effect, climbing was scary, I was always on the edge of stall. Cruising was even worse, didn’t go much faster than 35 mph at full throttle! I felt like the plane was always sinking.

I ended up selling the plane to another fellow (less the engine and prop), he was going to put on a 477. Looking back I should have just bought a new prop from Tennessee props.

Anyway, to keep on with my rambling, Roger Mann swears by the Kawasaki’s and so does Scott Land (the designer of the Cloudster, Zing, and Pinocchio) and that’s good enough for me.

So I ended up purchasing this 30hp (or 35 hp depending who you ask), Kawasaki 340 aircooled engine. It comes with a 2.1:1 reduction which I’ll be changing to a 2.8 or 2.9:1 shortly.

Recently I’ve put a lot of work into the turtle deck. The person who had the project last put on a turtle deck that was too heavy, and too far forward. It was made out of 3/4″ square pieces,  and built forward of the rear cabane, so there was no access to the u-channel on the top. I ended up pulling off the whole turtle deck and rebuilding it.

I made 1/8″ plywood formers and decided to go with a more boxy design. The stringers are laminated 1/8″ x 3/4″ strips built up to 1/4″ x 3/4″.  It was simple, and allowed for an easy storage compartment. Up to this point I’ve built the rear portion with a storage compartment right behind the pilot. It hinges, and allows storage for small items like a sack lunch, maps, emergency items, and “maybe” a small gas can. It would have to be real small and well sealed. I likely will never use it that way though. I made it small because I know there is no reason for large things to go behind the pilot.

I’ll post some pictures when i remember to do so.

I basically finished one aileron. I’m almost done with the second one. I still need 3 more sheets of 1/16″ plywood, and one more sheet of 1/8″ plywood. This is to finish everything left on the wing (nose wrap, aileron spar web).

I did get back to the fuselage though and started on the turtle deck. I decided on a squared off type deck that is flat on top then angles down on both sides. So basically it has three flat planes. The same is true for cowling area/deck over the gas tank in front of the cockpit. I did tihs for simplicity and to allow for me to have a very small storage compartment directly behind the seat.

I also am trying to sell t he 1/2 VW engine that will go on the front. It’s just not what I was hoping for, so instead I’ll mount the Rotax 277. I found a fellow who will sell me a Rotax 277 mount from a J-3 kitten.

Things are progressing well. I think it “may” be possible to be done before Christmas this year.