How difficult is it, really?

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Papakeith

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Joined
Oct 12, 2005
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33
Location
KPVD, Rhode Island USA
Lately, I've been trying to gather as much information as I can about the Vision airplane. The design appeals to me. If it can perform as promised in the literature it actually seems like a decent fit for me mission wise right now. Of course the Bearhawk fit my mission when I started that build.
I liked the Vision enough that I even ordered up the demo plans to see what I could glean from them. I found them well laid out even with the omissions. From what I can tell, it looks like a very doable project for someone as long as they are willing to put the time in.

I have thumbed through the composite links in the sticky thread a couple of times and read what I could as time allowed. But I have no points of reference; so much of it is lost on me.
The Foam chart has lots of numbers, but overall I can't really tell whether one would be better than another. There are threads here regarding Last-a-foam and how it isn't a good match for airplane building, yet the designer stands by the stuff? I can read the banter back and forth, but unless I get a firmer understanding of the subject matter and actually work with the medium I doubt that I'll "really" understand.
[FONT=&quot]I’ll keep reading and trying to get a better understanding of the medium. But, apart from just ponying up the money and getting the plans and diving in; where does someone start when they want to learn how to properly work with fiberglass?

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Tom Nalevanko

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Oct 10, 2007
Messages
1,340
Location
Alpine, WY
The best action you could take is to find someone working on a fiberglass plane and offer to be a helper. You will pick up relevant knowledge quickly.
 

billyvray

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Joined
Aug 17, 2005
Messages
899
Location
Newnan, GA
It is not a primer on composite construction and design, but Rutan's "Moldless Composite Sandwich " book and the practice kit that Aircraft Spruce sells is a decent start. I got it it really helped me feel much more comfortable with the medium. I could not find someone working on a composite aircraft so this was my best option. I had minimal exposure to composites as a kid building RC models, so considered myself a true greenhorn. I now feel much better about it.
Also, buy a copy of Rutan's video on how to build with composites, or maybe Mike Arnold's (ar5.com).

COMPOSITE MATERIALS PRACTICE KIT from Aircraft Spruce
 

stevetosh

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Joined
Dec 25, 2010
Messages
199
Location
brisbane, Australia
Well Vision is a great plane and am seriously considering building, but onething about this plane is, not lots of informations are avialable on the internet even the builder network is not open to those who never buy the plan, though there is a yahoo group which you can join but its not really active aswell. I do always wonder why there are no single video of this plane flying either by the designer or those who have completed building, though according to a current builder, some are under constrictions and some are about to be completed.

About Last A foam, i think that shouldn't be a problem though the experts like ( ORION ) suggested to use more good quality like PVC. But as to my awareness most kits manufacturer out there are using Last A foam.
 

wsimpso1

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Oct 18, 2003
Messages
8,598
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Saline Michigan
Last-a-Foam is potentially bad stuff. I had laminates coming apart in handling - foam and glass-epoxy coming apart. We have talked it to death elsewhere on this forum. Consider yourself warned.

Billski
 

Topaz

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Orange County, California
I would have recommended Rutan's Moldless Composite Sandwich kit but I could not find it....
Last time I tried to pick up one of these kits from Aircraft Spruce (about three years ago), it was still in the catalog but they weren't carrying them in stock. They offered to make one up for me for something like $72 (about double the catalog price), but I declined that 'generous' offer.
 

Papakeith

Active Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2005
Messages
33
Location
KPVD, Rhode Island USA
I know of at least one of my local EAA chapter members that has built with fiberglass. Visiting someone who's been there, done that is probably the best first step I can make.

Whether or not I get the kit Rutan's book is on my "to get" list.

Another question is about the epoxy. Lets say that I choose to build using some other foam besides last-a-foam. Would I need to change the epoxy choice too? Or, is the type of foam immaterial to the epoxy choice?
 

wsimpso1

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Epoxy and foams all work pretty well together, as most epoxies have low solvent effect.

Now if you go over to vinylester resin (strong, much higher Tg, gasahol proof) you can not use polystyrene foams - vinylester has strong solvent effects (styrene) and will melt polystyrene foam.

Bill
 
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