Building from scratch a dream

Discussion in 'Bush / Float flying' started by Norm Langlois, Feb 9, 2019.

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  1. Feb 9, 2019 #1

    Norm Langlois

    Norm Langlois

    Norm Langlois

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    You are all familiar with my project. Over the years some asked for photos . I presume with the interest of how it got done. Since I may or may not get to fly that creation. I still want to share the how in more detail. When I began I did not find people very forward with there info. Its just as well I like braking the mold anyway. So I went it very much alone. The one mention as my test pilot and 1 other's along the way. Aside from my associate I worked with for all those years with an even better understanding in engineering than I. They were my sounding board with the internet .

    When your young you feel invincible . Well I was not young but old feeling I knew a better way.

    The first thing was to choose what type of plane . I chose the water for a few reasons I thought going it alone. I would not have an authority rebuking me , when learning to fly with out formal training.
    I was right no one cared . and there is lots of room out on the lakes.

    Then came all the choices of how to construct that dream light enough to qualify as a 103 Ultra light where ,the how and what with, plus the way you build, is your choice.
    Scary, but its the truth, you are your own worst enemy. So that is why I went down that road. and the rest is how I made the parts and or did it all over again.
    It Starts with the roll former and a year spent building it .This is a 6 stage roll former that could make a U channel from 1.375 wide slit 6061 stock on a coil . It can be run off at any length. and I have 3 die sets for different web width the legs get shorter, the wider. Meant to do a 1/2 inside web dim. and 1/2 wide outside web dim. for rib construction. The other set is for even wider 5/8 ID.
    but never used.
    Before we go to far into the whole story there was a special build .I had been involved with an online flying sim Microsofts combat sim CFS2
    I made a very special control system for the game . It was far more than a plastic joystick , ruder pedal with integrated flight yoke. This actual trained my motor skills for the real thing trying to out fly those trying to kill me or me them . sim controler1.jpg the motion is the same as any yoke system . I spent a lot of time in training ,even if it was a sim I had to master the moves.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
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  2. Feb 9, 2019 #2

    Norm Langlois

    Norm Langlois

    Norm Langlois

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    IMG_0288.JPG IMG_0287.JPG

    This machine was the key to the whole project. Though I thought originally the ribs would be a whole different thing. A rectangular spar option encapsulated truss. That was the first set back the truss was not going to work for a par.
    I tried a very thin .015 3000 aluminum flashing the kind you buy at the hardware store. I made channel from it okay. I just was not comfortable with that thin, for any parts. I even made a crimp-er to form nose ribs. IMG_0320.JPG IMG_0321.JPG IMG_0314.JPG
     
  3. Feb 9, 2019 #3

    Norm Langlois

    Norm Langlois

    Norm Langlois

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    The thin metal and the fact that it was more like an accordion. This was unacceptable. There was some delay while I thought over the commitment to find and purchase , a minimum order of slit stock . My first real expensive purchase . for something I was still uncertain I had it in me to make a real flying airplane.
    I was running on self confidence in my ability with metal to make anything the boss wanted, Why cant I make anything I wanted. Of course I had him where I wanted too .The use of all that machinery. He having all his eggs in 1 basket ME . 3 trades in 1 person. the machinist the welder the sheet metal man. 40 years experience gathered and a very knowledgeable co worker that has a pilots license, and loves air shows.
    I believe this was about the time he dragged me off to Oshkosh 2007
    I came back with a renewed fever for building the plane.
    There had also been a year building a remote controlled model plane from polystyrene. It tool was a failure. It looked like a canard flying wing seaplane .I could not get the balance right without adding an unreasonable amount of lead weights . sorry pictures are unavailable and I destroyed the model.
     
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  4. Feb 9, 2019 #4

    Norm Langlois

    Norm Langlois

    Norm Langlois

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    After the airshow I bought the slit material and ran off stock to make some experimental pressure bend.
    This began the plane. Once I figured how to form the channel .The door was open for all kinds of shapes. IMG_0114.JPG IMG_0115.JPG
    There is a lot more if you all want to see and have them explained say so.
    I know its my story but its for all of you to see and do if you can and wish to.
     
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  5. Feb 10, 2019 #5

    TFF

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    What is that forming machine called and what industry usually uses it?
     
  6. Feb 10, 2019 #6

    Aerowerx

    Aerowerx

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    I don't know what it is called, specifically, but it is used all over the place. Anywhere they want to form a shape out of a continuous roll of flat aluminum.

    Some that come to mind are continuous rain gutters, and aluminum window screen frames. Just depends on the size and shape of the dies. The trick is to not bend it too much at each stage.

    Actually seems like a neat idea---making a part 103 ultralight with one. Ill be waiting to see what he comes up with.

    [Edit] It's called a Roll Forming Machine.
     
  7. Feb 10, 2019 #7

    Turd Ferguson

    Turd Ferguson

    Turd Ferguson

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    Roll forming is used in 1000's of applications. Most pipe used in the millions of miles of buried pipelines in this country was roll formed. I once had to do a 2 week apprentice training stint at stupp corp where they roll form pipe from flat steel stock. Saw them form 36" pipe on that line. That place was gawd awful loud inside -- standing next to a jet engine at 100% is much quieter.
     
  8. Feb 10, 2019 #8

    pictsidhe

    pictsidhe

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    How did you form the channel like that?
     
  9. Feb 10, 2019 #9

    cluttonfred

    cluttonfred

    cluttonfred

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    Thanks, Norm, for sharing some of your lessons learned over the years. Great stuff!
     
  10. Feb 10, 2019 #10

    Norm Langlois

    Norm Langlois

    Norm Langlois

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    Your replies tell me your all interested. I don't want to bore people tooting my own horn . That's not why started this thread.
    The way I formed the channel to the leading edge curve. Was the 2nd greatest challenge in this long road to build. Amos is my co-worker and mentor. He had faith in my abilities . He did not only be a sounding board for my ideas he kept prodding me to do it better . I made a stamping mandrel . to press the channel into the leading edge curve. I have no picture yet and can not produce that right now. I am in Florida, that stuff is in NH.
    That die was made of steal and the male part the bullet had a guide slide. and fitted to the ID. of the channel The bottom section was the same outside curve with side plates.and the female centering guide slide. one side was a fixed plate with the guide attached like a guillotine. Not made to cut. The other side of the bottom was on dowel pins . When put into a vice clamping them together I could control the side way distortion of the channel legs.I had to shave small amounts of the female die thickness until I got the correct amount of side way pressure when clamped hard in a vice. this was then placed into a hydraulic press and formed. Even I was surprised that I could get that much compression of the aluminum with no ripple to the channel legs.
    This was the beginning of the wing rib. After getting the most difficult bend out of the way. I thought at this point , it was a limit to the nose radius I would be able to achieve. Years later I would find ways to get any radius By reducing the leg length. Yes years later because it was after the plane was built and covered as a V tail. When I decided that the V tail was a dangerous concept.

    Lets stay on track with the time line we are still in 2007 with R&D here. I had solved the wing rib nose shape.
    I was ready to make another commitment. I needed a place to build an airplane. I didn't have one. I owned my mobile home and land but no garage. Canvas tubing garages wouldn't do. So time out for building a steel 30X28 garage for everything and so I did that, before going any further. new tail finished plane 004.jpg
    Now I had to build more machines, and make more tools.
    The channel can be formed more easily by stretching the the legs, So I built at home another sort of roll former. This one is a sort of rolling bender.
     
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  11. Feb 10, 2019 #11

    Norm Langlois

    Norm Langlois

    Norm Langlois

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    photo evidence says I built the garage in 2008. Though the garage was justified for more than an airplane. It was needed for the build. I created a long bench to one side and it had a bumped out section for added devices. Into which I built the other roll forming . A sort of driven ring roll machine. Sort of what is used to roll up rings of angle iron. Since I had seen and used such machines. it was not hard to design my own. 20190210_131752.jpg 20190210_131827 - Copy.jpg this machine has done other things as well . Its was first for making the gentle top curve of the air foil 0obsoletebrace.JPG
     
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  12. Feb 10, 2019 #12

    Norm Langlois

    Norm Langlois

    Norm Langlois

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    Since I needed to maintain uniformity I purchased plywood for making form blanks or as I call them mandrels. The ribs are a continuous channel merging at the trailing edge. I also decided on a tapered wing. I had to make 14 different cord sets. As you can see above the cut out is also used as a tool for setting the shape with the truss. That is the first type. I only put a few together. This was before I chose to make the triangular mono spar.They were also heavier, than the final rib.
    This is another turning point with more tooling and experiments. The mono spar with the rib change required more stamp work and die fixtures were made . If you ever saw why an aluminum lawn chair has a coined dent at the bends to prevent kinking . I used a similar to coin and form my new internal ribbing. 1brace with rib.JPG 3braceinstalled1.JPG 3braceinstalled2.JPG
    Notice I am getting sharper bends
     
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  13. Feb 10, 2019 #13

    Norm Langlois

    Norm Langlois

    Norm Langlois

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    Shaping the rib was a multi step. after the initial pressing of the leading edge there is a set of wooden shape forms traced from the same internal mandrels each rib was hammered into a wood form [ nose only] so they would match the contour of the airfoil .Then they were formed over each specific rib mandrel and the trailing edge cut and shaped for assembly.
    The internal bracing was also difficult since each one had to be drawn and created to match the taper. I chose to maintain a straight line at the spar and on the leading edge and allow the trailing edge to taper forward 12 inches
    5 ft root 4ft at the tip hull modification 002.jpg
     
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  14. Feb 11, 2019 #14

    addicted2climbing

    addicted2climbing

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    Norm,

    I am very interested in your rib former. I need to make something similar but only the top surface. I have the rib in Solidworks and to get the shape it requires fluting pliers to cause the rib to arc with each flute. Curious if your device could make it easier to make the ribs. I will have blanks made with the profile bend and will also have a rib jig to make sure its at the correct shape. Have a look at this and let me know if you think a similar tool coudl be used to make the upper airfoil shape. Also your roll former could liekly make the rib blank and if so would be interested in more info. I could design it myself, but any advice since you already did it would be great. For now, I have a shop who can make me the blanks, but price is a bit more than I had hoped for. This is for a legacy Part 103 plans built aircraft that I want to offer sub components to builders.

    Material is .025" 5052-H32

    Rib Layout - Partial Wing Assy - Iso 2.jpg Rib Layout - Partial Wing Assy - 2.jpg

    Take care,

    Marc
     
  15. Feb 11, 2019 #15

    Norm Langlois

    Norm Langlois

    Norm Langlois

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    Marc
    To answer your question .Yes Both machines can produce the forms you need. The arc of the top air foil. As stated the bench mounted can roll a ring from an angle. My units drive roll is for channel.

    The second post I made was about my early attempts, with fluting the thin metals .015 3000 flashing . The fluting made the material unstable like an accordion. I would personally, suggest you do make such a ring roll former, to avoid fluting

    The forming of or deforming of metals requires control . to compress the flange, the compressed edge requires side way motion control thus a grooved roller to the exact thickness of you material. grove width .025 depth equal to length of flange. I would make this a 2 piece die one side with the step the other flat bolted together and applied to the drive motor the outer rollers are just arc control.
    Another option is 3 pieces two flat drive wheel and a .025 thickness spacer between. There must be a pinch point some where or the operation will just slip.
    The drive roll is larger in diameter to capture the maximum area between the disc. The deform rolls must not be very far from contact with the drive roll. Better still if the unit is 4 rolls 1 in contact, as a pinch point with the drive and the deform rolls then move additionally inward to the desired arc.The arc is limited by the diameters chosen.
    If you can't make a powered unit. one can still make it a hand crank operation.

    Over rolling is easy to unroll by hand. shaping to what you want is just a mater of forming to your template. providing its not an extreme over roll.

    Material choice. I used 6061-0 That's right soft . But I also planned to heat treat it later and I did.
    Your desire to use 5052 H32 should still form . It is a common metal used in sheet metal bending operation. But is also less likely to unroll if extremely over rolled.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  16. Feb 11, 2019 #16

    Aerowerx

    Aerowerx

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    Keep in mind that such construction could be done entirely by hand, but would not have the consistency. And would take a LLLOOONNNGGG time! Most of Norm's time has been spent developing the technique, I think.

    I recall seeing an ultralight design using hand-bent L shapes, similar to this, but don't remember what it was called. Channels would be a lot stronger I think. If I were to design and build my own ultralight it would be like this.

    Nice work Norm. Keep it up!
     
  17. Feb 11, 2019 #17

    Norm Langlois

    Norm Langlois

    Norm Langlois

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    I mentioned heat treating in the previous post.
    I had planned a professional job. Mention air plane and the door slams shut.
    So I made my own. 6061 alloy is very heat treatable it requires 350 degrees for 8 hrs and another 8 hrs at room temperature to artificially age. So its not an absolute t3 or t4 well its my plane and its UL so I don't have to certify it. 100_0057.jpg 100_0056.jpg
    Yes it is an extension to my home oven. Rock wool insulated .
    The wife loved this one.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  18. Feb 11, 2019 #18

    plncraze

    plncraze

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    Wow Norm! You're the Michel Colomban of New Hampshire. Thanks for sharing.
     
  19. Feb 12, 2019 #19

    pictsidhe

    pictsidhe

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    While I hope your plane will do plenty of flying, if it doesn't, a museum would probably love it. It is a work of mechanical art.
     
  20. Feb 12, 2019 #20

    pictsidhe

    pictsidhe

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    6061-O does not age harden, at all. At 350 or at room temperature. It would need solution treating first. That would make it 6061-W, which will age harden at room temperature so needs to be refrigerated before forming if not solution treated immediately beforehand. It's almost as soft as O temper before ageing. Maybe that's the reason for your spar troubles?
    6061-O does work harden, though.
     
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