Today I joined together the inboard and outboard sections of the right wing plug. I did the structural joining between the sections at the carbon stiffening ribbons. Next weekend I'll do a scarf joint on the skin at the joint. After that, I'll be able to handle the wing plugs about as easily as if it were a real sailplane wing.
I also did some work on my HP-18 tailfeathers, getting ready to fly it this season.
This update's photos:
This dihedral check is the first step. Here, I've placed one of the wing spars on the bed formed by lining up the bottom shucks for the inboard and outboard sections. As I'd hoped, the spar touches the bottom shuck all the way along. If I'd mismanaged the template heights for the foam core sections, there would have been low areas where the spar didn't touch.
Here I'm preparing the structural splice where the inboard and outboard sections meet. The black sticks are the pultruded carbon fiber ribbons like the ones under the skin of the plug. When I was embedding the ribbons in the plugs, I sanded the trenches extra deep in the area of the planform break. Then, when I epoxied the ribbons in the trenches, I filled in the deep areas with removable stubs that were coated with mold release. After the epoxy cured, I removed the stubs, leaving tunnels for these splices. In this photo, I've just glued the splices into the outboard section with 5-minute epoxy. Also, it doesn't show in the photo, but I've placed some of my paving stones on top of the inboard section to hold it in place.
Here, I've coated the splices with regular epoxy, buttered the mating faces with epoxy and microballoons, and drawn the two sections together. After a few final alignment nudges, I locked the outboard section down with more paving stones.
This view shows the whole mess. It is starting to look like something that looks like a wing.
Another similar view. These last two photos start to show off the planform that I've chosen for the wings.
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page updated 21 March 2004 all text and graphics copyright (c) 2004 HP Aircraft, LLC