Possible to construct a Driggs Dart monoplane out of aluminum tubing?

Discussion in 'The light stuff area' started by AlistairL, Sep 17, 2017.

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  1. Sep 17, 2017 #1

    AlistairL

    AlistairL

    AlistairL

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    I have looked over the Driggs Dart monoplane light aircraft for a while.I am interested in its design but steel and welding may be beyond my skills.I was wondering though with aluminum tubing if it was possible to create a version such as that in a reliable manner.I imagine it would be lighter and a small engine would compensate for it.I understand that there are aluminum versions of older aircraft out there such as the Airdrome kits and wonder if the same could be done of the Dart.I thank you for any words and advice over it.

    http://plans-for-everything.com/downloads/aircraft/aircraft_driggs.pdf


    Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
  2. Sep 17, 2017 #2

    don january

    don january

    don january

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    I see no reason why you could not build it out of Alum. or wood. mainly because it would be a HBA and in my opinion you can go any direction you want. If built from Alum. you will have to build a dye to form each rib and that to me would take a lot of time but in the same case you would have to do the layout for each rib in wood. Your Fus. would have to be gusseted and again no different then block's and glue. Maybe find a partner who has the ability to weld and build it to plans. What ever route you go it should make you a great aircraft and with a small VW should drill holes in the clouds nicely.
     
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  3. Sep 17, 2017 #3

    rbrochey

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    I don't see why not... ask Fritz to help... he likes the tube and gusset designs too:ponder:
     
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  4. Sep 17, 2017 #4

    AlistairL

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    Very well would like to work with aluminum.The manner of gusseting aluminum tubing looks to be a straight forward task.One question that rings my mind over it is what size tubing would be necessary?Same goes for if built by wood in guessing what size to have.I have had the VW engine in mind as it seems to be a good variant for the project.
     
  5. Sep 17, 2017 #5

    cheapracer

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    I encourage people to do anything they want to take on, I do however think there are far easier ways to achieve this than what you are considering.

    I would start with a Texas Parasol for example and make the changes to make it look like the Driggs.
     
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  6. Sep 17, 2017 #6

    Jon Ferguson

    Jon Ferguson

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    Welding is not that hard, I bet with a weekend or two of practice you could produce adequate welds. Take a college course and you could be quite good actually.
     
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  7. Sep 17, 2017 #7

    FritzW

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    ...he's busy working up a snap together M-85 wing and CNC'ing an instrument panel for a SkyRanger ;)

    A tube and gusset Dart would be great, but maybe not the easiest design to convert from welded tube to tube and gusset.

    If the goal is to build a classic Driggs Dart but do it without welding then it's a great idea. But if the goal is just to build a quick and easy airplane and go have fun, then it's maybe not such a good idea (It's a whole lot easier to learn how to weld than it is to redesign an airplane to use different materials and construction methods)
     
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  8. Sep 17, 2017 #8

    AlistairL

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    Learning to weld would be a right step,and it does specify what gauge of steel it has for parts of the air frame.I figured aluminum would be a less labor and cost effective method but I can learn to work with steel if necessary.Overall I would like to find out the benefits of both materials.

    EDIT: I've pretty much warmed to the idea of steel and welding process.I have always had the notion that it was a hard task to do but with practice it can be done.I will practice the method specified in the plans with some tubing and see what results are.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
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  9. Sep 17, 2017 #9

    FritzW

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    Welding is a good skill to have no matter what airplane you build. It's one of the few skills that apply to just about every kind of airplane construction.
     
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  10. Sep 18, 2017 #10

    AlistairL

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    Sounds like a good method to learn.I was wondering though with steel construction what should I do first and what tools would be best for the project?
     
  11. Sep 19, 2017 #11

    FritzW

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    First: don't let anyone tell you that you need super fancy regulators and a crazy high dollar torch.

    I'd start with searching "oxy acetylene welding" on youtube and let you surfing take you from there. And there's bound to be some local EAA'ers with buckets of "wind chimes" (scrap) that would be happy to help you get started.
     
  12. Sep 19, 2017 #12

    samyguy

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    why not mig weld it? easiest to learn welding skill, had my EX. doing it in an afternoon.
    Of course I would not trust "HER" welds on my plane, hehe, but she did make some good panels of her horses
     
  13. Oct 4, 2017 #13

    samyguy

    samyguy

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    where do you get the wire bracing for the fuselage??
     
  14. Oct 4, 2017 #14

    FritzW

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    Unless your building a display for the Smithsonian I don't think you'd really use hardwire and Roebling splices for the fuselage. The Dart was probably one of the last airplanes to use that method. A practical modern recreation would just use a diagonal tube instead. ...IMHO
     
  15. Oct 4, 2017 #15

    dew777

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    It seems to me a truss-framework similar to the Texas Parasol would be worth considering.
    truss_view.png
     
  16. Oct 4, 2017 #16

    FritzW

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    I think a TP style Driggs Dart is a great idea! ...and it answers the OP's original question.
     
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  17. Oct 5, 2017 #17

    dew777

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    The Dart I had to be close to our part 103 ultralight specs except for max-cruise/stall speeds:

    Single person open-cockpit high-wing monoplane. 35 h.p. Anzani engine. Span 26 ft 0 in. Length 17 ft 7 in. Load 192 lbs. Speeds : maximum 95 mph, cruising 80 mph, stall 42 mph.
     
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  18. Oct 5, 2017 #18

    AlistairL

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    It indeed does help answer my question for an ease of construction on the Driggs Dart and I am glad for the suggestion.My other question is if the tubing for fuselage longerons have to be full length pieces or could it also be connected in pieces?
     
  19. Oct 5, 2017 #19

    BoKu

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    That depends on the compression and tensile loads within the longerons. Since the critical load is probably compression buckling, you probably don't need splices capable of reacting the maximum tensile capacity of the material. So it's probably doable. But you'd probably best do a bit of engineering to figure out how much effort you need to put into the splices. In general, fewer is probably better, since each splice adds a non-trivial amount of extra weight and extra fasteners.

    --Bob K.
     
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  20. Oct 5, 2017 #20

    FritzW

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    Pieces would be fine, especially if they "telescope" together. You'll have to consider how the joined tubes will bend (if required) ...but it's all very doable.
     
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