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Thread: Welding vs triangulated brackets with rivets

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    Registered User wsimpso1's Avatar
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    Re: Welding vs triangulated brackets with rivets

    No one should be shy of welding. It takes some practice and a coach on occaison. Once you get it, welding tremendously satisfying.

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    Registered User BBerson's Avatar
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    Re: Welding vs triangulated brackets with rivets

    Quote Originally Posted by wsimpso1 View Post
    No one should be shy of welding. It takes some practice and a coach on occaison. Once you get it, welding tremendously satisfying.
    I agree and do love welding. But most don't.
    I determined that selling a kit that requires welding isn't a good plan.

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    Registered User Lucrum's Avatar
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    Re: Welding vs triangulated brackets with rivets

    Quote Originally Posted by wsimpso1 View Post
    No one should be shy of welding. It takes some practice and a coach on occaison. Once you get it, welding tremendously satisfying.
    I have to agree
    ...If you forget this, you will be subjected to a four phase aeronautical process that dates back to the early 1900ís. Stall, spin, crash and burn. Phase 4 requires some amount of fuel on board at time of impact.

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    Registered User Himat's Avatar
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    Re: Welding vs triangulated brackets with rivets

    Bolted steel tube fuselages have been discussed before on this forum, like this thread:

    http://www.homebuiltairplanes.com/fo...ead.php?t=7286

    PTAirco made a post worth reading when it comes to bolted steel tube fuselages for aircraft:
    (I edited out a for this thread of topic part at the start of PTAirco's posting.)
    My emphasis in bold.

    Quote Originally Posted by PTAirco View Post
    ...
    I have stacks of books behind me about the British aircraft industry of the 30s and 40s and have personally known a great many people employed in the industry, from shop floor workers to design apprentices. From Supermarine, Hawker, Airspeed , Miles and many others. (Did I mention I met and talked with T.O.M. Sopwith when he was 90something years old once...?) Sadly most have now passed away.
    All these companies were very concerned with making profit, just like in the best capitalist tradition. They had to produce first class products at a reasonable price. To do that and employ people just to "give them jobs" was a concept as foreign to them as it is in the USA. (Sure, you had trade unions, but so does the USA, that has nothing to do with government subsidized "socialized" labor.) When it came to civilian aircraft, welding was employed to larger extent and yes, they were wary of the process. Not because it was "too efficient", but because of concerns about quality control and because when it came to top of the line military aircraft, they could afford to design structures far advanced beyond welded tube. They perfected the science of working with incredibly high strength steels and got amazing buckling stress limits out of them through the careful and clever use of corrugations and fluting of the extremely thin material which they developed to almost an art form. Of course, such steels cannot be welded without losing its strength and clever bolted and riveted joints had to be designed - labor intensive and costly, yes, but worth it to produce extremely light and efficient airframes to win government contracts. It is the same here and today in the USA - manufacturers trying to produce state of the art military aircraft put cost on a lower level of importance than efficiency and performance. Back then British companies had to balance books and advance technology on their own, just like any American manufacturer, with no government subsidies. Many companies went under; if you want to know how hard it was to make an aircraft company work and pay, read Nevil Shute's account of how he and some others founded Airspeed in the book "Sliderule". They lived from week to week trying to make ends meet but kept the company running and eventually started making a modest profit, but only after years of struggle. There was nothing "socialized" about the system and the only government money was received through contracts which were won in fair competition with other manufacturers. Need I repeat it - just like in the USA.

    There is no doubt that the welded tube structure is cheap and practical and fairly efficient. But the structures developed by Bristol were simply more efficient, even if only by a few percent. In age age when aircraft were obsolete in a matter of three years and there was a real threat to the national security, a few percent might make all the difference.

    There is a blueprint above my desk right now of the Bristol Bulldog - I still marvel at the elegant engineering - this was state of the art technology making use of the most modern materials and methods to produce the most efficient machine to defend the nation - it had absolutely nothing to do with "socialized" labor or keeping people in jobs.

    End of rant and back to topic.....
    Last edited by Himat; January 10th, 2017 at 04:17 PM. Reason: Formating

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    Re: Welding vs triangulated brackets with rivets

    It's not "shy of welding" it's a choice of technology that fits the need.

    If you are building in a rented garage at your condo, and the rules forbid welding, then you chose a different way. Simple as that.

    The Brits, as pointed out above, were trying for high speed production with materials & designs unsuited to welding... so they used gussets & rivets.

    The Hurricane was a transitional design from fabric covered biplanes to monocoque monoplanes. In WW2 many airplanes used fabric for control surfaces, even on front line fighters.

    When the decision was made at Vought to go from fabric covered elevators to metal covered ones, What was the reason? My guess is that it was faster to build.

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    Re: Welding vs triangulated brackets with rivets

    Hello All,
    I'm with Bill Simpson on welding, especially TIG welding is an art in itself, but welding CM does have it's associated problems. CM being a high Carbon steel needs to be normalised after being welded or the hardened material near the weld can be brittle. Aluminum (AL) can be welded but is subject to the same localised heating making the material near the weld brittle and subject to cracking. I wouldn't weld an AL Aircraft frame for that very reason - or skins for that matter, that's why skins are glued. Personally I wouldn't use any AL in an aircraft that hasn't been Anodized. I'm not an Engineer so I'm unsure of what is stronger Round tube or square/ rectangular tube, I would think round tube would be stronger for the weight but more difficult to work with. I know Cheapracer used the square AL perhaps he might comment. I would Like to se a stronger lighter AL frame, the brackets would have to be CM steel and therefore add weight. Glass and Carbon are also a option but having the right experience with it and the necessary tools is a prerequisite. I personally can't see a hassle free option, but Cheapracer's option is the easiest for the layman, I'm just not keen on a Boxy fuselage shape.
    George

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    Re: Welding vs triangulated brackets with rivets


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    Re: Welding vs triangulated brackets with rivets

    Quote Originally Posted by Lendo View Post
    Hello All,
    I'm with Bill Simpson on welding, especially TIG welding is an art in itself, but welding CM does have it's associated problems. CM being a high Carbon steel needs to be normalised after being welded or the hardened material near the weld can be brittle. Aluminum (AL) can be welded but is subject to the same localised heating making the material near the weld brittle and subject to cracking. I wouldn't weld an AL Aircraft frame for that very reason - or skins for that matter, that's why skins are glued. Personally I wouldn't use any AL in an aircraft that hasn't been Anodized. I'm not an Engineer so I'm unsure of what is stronger Round tube or square/ rectangular tube, I would think round tube would be stronger for the weight but more difficult to work with. I know Cheapracer used the square AL perhaps he might comment. I would Like to se a stronger lighter AL frame, the brackets would have to be CM steel and therefore add weight. Glass and Carbon are also a option but having the right experience with it and the necessary tools is a prerequisite. I personally can't see a hassle free option, but Cheapracer's option is the easiest for the layman, I'm just not keen on a Boxy fuselage shape.
    George
    I don't think dissimilar metals [aluminum tube with CM gussets]in an airframe is good. Anyone know for sure?
    What we believe or do not believe does not change the facts.

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    Registered User Rockiedog2's Avatar
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    Re: Welding vs triangulated brackets with rivets

    I been just playing the torch on it and slowly withdrawing it from the cluster for about 40 years now and no problems. But that's with acetylene. I dunno much about TIG or MIG but those look to heat in a more concentrated area and might require a different technique. I wouldn't MIG an airframe but that's just me I know some do. Acetylene normalizing has been controversial for as long as I can remember...take your pick of the different techniques. You'll probably be OK no matter which one you go with. Your call as always.

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    Registered User cheapracer's Avatar
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    Re: Welding vs triangulated brackets with rivets

    Quote Originally Posted by Lendo View Post
    I'm just not keen on a Boxy fuselage shape.
    Did you know the Zenith 600 series is absolutely dead flat, straight sides and squared corners? Vans aren't far away either. It comes down to what you use for the turtledeck, canopy and nose etc. to fool the eye.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoKu View Post
    The vast majority of engineering failures are the results of failure of imagination rather than failure of calculation.

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    Re: Welding vs triangulated brackets with rivets

    Quote Originally Posted by cheapracer View Post
    It comes down to what you use for the turtledeck, canopy and nose etc. to fool the eye.
    That's so true how much the canopy shapes how we see a plane. If it weren't for the tail, would you be able to ID this as a Waiex?

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    Re: Welding vs triangulated brackets with rivets

    Quote Originally Posted by cheapracer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lendo View Post
    I'm just not keen on a Boxy fuselage shape.
    Did you know the Zenith 600 series is absolutely dead flat, straight sides and squared corners?
    Then I would guess that Lendo is not keen on the Zenith 601.

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    Re: Welding vs triangulated brackets with rivets

    bmcj,
    Yep! not keen on that one, the plane I do like is the Blakeshape Prime, I even love the name, but apparently it's a tad too small for the average tall pilot. It's a Carbon copy of the Asso-X Untralight and more suites the smaller Italian sized pilots. That's the feed-back I get from my European contact. One of the issues I don't like about (All) European Ulntralights (LSA) is they ban any Aerobatics in them and Spiral Dive recovery is seen as an Aerobatic manoeuver. They do have Ballistic Parachutes but why destroy a perfectly good aeroplane using one when you have the skills to recover - however the skills aren't taught at that level of training for Untralight, so the plane isn't designed to have the rudder area needed for recovery - pretty short sighted IMHO. I guess it's all about reducing the wetted area and Drag.
    George

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    Re: Welding vs triangulated brackets with rivets

    As a side note. One of the Zenith aircraft, the 601 I think, does not use hinges on the ailerons. The wing top skin is extended from leading edge to the trailing edge of the aileron and in fact serves as a hinge by flexing the top skin along the entire length of the aileron. It looks and sounds hokie, but if the part passed the cycle test, which a wild guess would be in the millions, its ok.
    What we believe or do not believe does not change the facts.

    The oldest, most mysterious, most published piece of literature in the universe, remains unread by most people in the same universe.

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    Registered User mcrae0104's Avatar
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    Re: Welding vs triangulated brackets with rivets

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiger Tim View Post
    That's so true how much the canopy shapes how we see a plane. If it weren't for the tail, would you be able to ID this as a Waiex?
    When I see something like that I understand why John Monnett doesn't like people screwing around with his designs.
    ​simplify.

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