Ranger, open source ultralight (I hope)

Discussion in 'Member Project Logs' started by FritzW, Jul 25, 2019.

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  1. Jul 25, 2019 #1

    FritzW

    FritzW

    FritzW

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    There's some recent discussion and details about the airplane on the Ranger Thread

    The idea for this one started a few years ago. Back then it was the Columbus Explorer (named after the town in New Mexico, not Christopher) but the name was too awkward. It started out sheetmetal, then foam and glass, then two different wood ideas, then wood with an aluminum tail boom and finally back to wood.

    The design is optimized for quick build, CNC "tab and slot" construction. The idea is, if it turns out to be a good airplane, to release the CAM files so anyone can build one. Hopefully the idea will catch on and there will end up being lot's of designs floating around the internet with free CAM files. ...it's not for people trying to make a fortune in aviation, it's for people who play with airplanes as a hobby and just want to have fun.

    R2 2.JPG
    It'll look something like this.

    R2 9 small.jpg
    There's a prototype of the wing here

    Ranger 2 Geo 3V.png
    Version number 174,873 has a geodetic rear fuselage and will have a cut case 1/2 VW (sadly, not the Verner shown in the drawing).
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
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  2. Jul 25, 2019 #2

    FritzW

    FritzW

    FritzW

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    Finally got started on the Ranger yesterday, ...a whole 15 minutes of real building.

    Ranger 2 Assem DAY 1.jpg
    These are the parts that got glued (not obvious in the pictures below)

    Ranger day1 1.jpeg
    I won't mention what kind of glue this is, that way I won't have to climb through my ethernet cable and choke some internet expert who doesn't know what he's talking about ;)

    Ranger day1 2.jpeg
    Goes together really fast. Blue tape is a reminder of which side gets the glue.

    Ranger day1 4.jpeg
    Clecos are a much easier and faster than clamps and nails. I wish I'd followed through with the idea of using them for all the glue joints. (a tiny dab of Boelube on the clecos makes them glue proof)

    Ranger day1 7.jpeg
    The outside came out great, I'll fill the holes before the fabric goes on)

    Ranger day1 8.jpeg
    Two of the clecos had some sort of gunk on them that surface stained the inside. It's no biggy but I'll rinse all the clecos in MEK or Acetone before I use them again. (some of these clecos date back to Icarus and Daedalus)

    Progress won't be as fast as I'd like because of other projects but it'll get there.
     
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  3. Jul 27, 2019 #3

    FritzW

    FritzW

    FritzW

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    I got a little work done today...

    20190726_114506_resized.jpg Glued up some sticks to get pieces big enough for the lower (belly) longerons.

    20190726_172421_resized.jpg Easy way to cut scarfs (the ones on the back are pretty steep)

    20190726_174344_resized.jpg

    20190726_202353_resized.jpg Simple jig to cut all the sticks.

    20190726_202904_resized.jpg The four pylon 'sticks' and the belly longerons.
     
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  4. Aug 1, 2019 #4

    FritzW

    FritzW

    FritzW

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    My decision to save an hour or two by not pre-drilling (CNC) cleco holes in the ply and longerons is going to cost me a hundred hours of measuring, aligning and clamping. I spent most of the day figuring out to fix that bad decision. I think I've got it figured out and it'll be a pretty easy fix.

    20190731_104231_resized.jpg
    After messing with getting this piece aligned by hand I realize I have to back track and go back to the self-aligning, self-clamping, jig-less roots of this design.


    20190731_104742_resized.jpg
    I was able to sneak a few clecos in to keep the belly longeron aligned just right (back drilled through the machine mounting holes). No parts are "cut to fit", they're all CNC'd so all the parts have to go in exactly the right spot or it's a mess.


    20190731_200752_resized.jpg
    Side note: I also printed some <test> rudder tube bushings and dug a piece of VP-1 rudder tube out of the scrap pile. The plan is to come up with some sort test method for 3D printed rudder bushings. ...these bushings are just to setup the test fixture, they were printed on the coarsest (and fastest) setting I could use. The Ranger bushing will be a little different but the tests will be similar.
     
  5. Aug 3, 2019 #5

    FritzW

    FritzW

    FritzW

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    I spent the afternoon redoing the cutting files to add all the cleco holes. ...I got lazy and left them off the first set figuring it would be easy enough to just align the sticks by eye and clamp them. Big mistake.

    I cut the left side fuselage ply with the new files and I'll use this side as a drilling guide to drill the right side that's already glued together. ...lesson learned: Stick to the Plan

    20190802_220932_resized.jpg
     
  6. Aug 5, 2019 #6

    FritzW

    FritzW

    FritzW

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    Yesterday: I stacked the fuselage halves together (outside faces together) and used the CNC drilled half as a drill guide to hand drill the other side.


    The splice and doubler on both sides were already drilled so I clecoed through all four plies and everything lined up perfectly. Drilling out the rest of the holes went pretty quick. 20190803_114438_resized.jpg

    20190803_114407_resized.jpg

    Today: I cut out a bunch of the "sticks" for the front half of the fuselage. If all goes well I'll have most of them glued in tomorrow.
    20190804_183859_resized.jpg
     
  7. Aug 5, 2019 #7

    FritzW

    FritzW

    FritzW

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    This "cleco'd wood" method is really turning out to be the bee's knees. Right now I'm limited by our chapters humble clamp collection (a situation that's easily fixed with a giant Bucket-O-Clamps from harbor Freight). And I need some 2x4's to raise the cleco's off the table.


    No muus, no fuss, no tape measure, no pencil marks, the clamps are just there as a precaution (I'm still building trust with cleco clamping pressure, I may need to put them closer together on the next one). Today I had to hang the glue job off the end of the table to make room for the clecos, I'll fix that with some 2x4 stand off's, that way I can do a whole fuselage side in about an hour.

    20190805_114948_resized.jpg
    20190805_115015_resized.jpg
     
  8. Aug 13, 2019 #8

    FritzW

    FritzW

    FritzW

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    The last few days have kinda been "ground hog day": glue, cleco, clamp and repeat. But it's still a lot of fun.

    The next step is to put some temporary extensions on the table so we can put the back end of the fuselage sides on. It's going to be interesting to see how the geodetic "lattice" goes. I'm betting it's going to be crazy simple and fast, we'll see.

    20190805_115042_resized_1.jpg
    20190809_112507_resized.jpg
    20190807_114555_resized.jpg
    20190810_120157_resized.jpg
    20190812_101329_resized.jpg
     
  9. Aug 16, 2019 #9

    FritzW

    FritzW

    FritzW

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    More ground hog day... Cut a few parts at night when the garage cools down, glue them in in the morning before the hangar gets too hot. I want to glue in the rear longerons next week so I need to get the little stuff wrapped up this weekend.

    I cut a pretty good stash of parts tonight that I need to glue in tomorrow. Saturday is our EAA meeting and the hangar will be a mad house.

    20190815_205200_resized.jpg
     
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