Removing broken longerons on Piet?

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Al_Bane

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Aug 12, 2009
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Troy, IL
I'm in a group of relatively novice builders who are just getting started on rebuilding a Pietenpol Air Camper. The two inside longerons that run the length of the bottom of the fuselage are broken and need to be replaced. They are glued and nailed with triangular blocks. What is the recommended method of removing these pieces without damaging the rest of the fuselage. I assume this would apply to the removal of any such wood piece that is glued in.

Thanks for any suggestions.
 

Dana

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Apr 3, 2007
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Depending on the location and nature of the damage, might it be better to make splice repairs on the existing longerons and leave the other attachments undisturbed?

-Dana

When only cops have guns, it's called a police state.
 

wally

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Mar 31, 2004
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Location
southwest TN.
Hi,
Another way of doing it is to use a fine tooth hand saw and trim away as much as you can. I have sometimes used a hacksaw blade and some masking tape wraped on the end for handle to get at tight areas. Fix it to cut when pulling or pushing whichever works best.

Then use a small grinder/sander and slowly work your way back to the bulkhead. It is possible to grind away plywood doublers and any other little pieces of damaged wood. It just takes a steady hand and some time. Then you can put back some new wood and any ply doublers. A well executed splice or two is not a problem either. Using a work-friendly epoxy like T-88 will make it fun, or at least a "that wasn't too bad to do" project.

FAA advisory circular AC43.13-1B has a lot of information about approved wood repairs as well as other repairs and maintenance. It is a huge .pdf and is available free at FAA.gov.
Wally
 

Amsafetyc

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Joined
Sep 2, 2009
Messages
7
Location
Lititz, Pa
Al,

I am building my Piet from scratch and from that perspective you do not want to try to remove the longerons form the air frame. Fortunately the longerons are long and initially ave to have a scarf joing in the to get the length.

You can locate the scarfs on the lower longerons cut along the glue line and that gives you one natural splics either befor or aft the damage. Then recut an additional scarf on the ohter side of the damage and replace that element with scarf jointed longerons.

try to duplicats the long scarf joint as to vreat more of a lamination rather than a joint, the longer the scarf the better but should be no less than 8 inches I would imagine and more lie 10 or 12" with good adhesive and clamping I suspect you should be fine.

John
 

Amsafetyc

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Sep 2, 2009
Messages
7
Location
Lititz, Pa
Al, FYI ther is a site dedicated just to Pietbuilders great board and lots of builders with loades of experience. Here is a link if youre interested:

pietenpol-list@matronics.com there is a large data base of archived messages to recall for advice. I would recommend you let there too! I been on it for years, tis a great resource and the gang is the best.

John
 

PTAirco

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Sep 20, 2003
Messages
3,509
Location
Corona CA
I remember fixing broken longerons on a T-21 vintage glider (ex-RAF) - it was tedious!. I always laugh when I see an article claiming that one of the advantages of wooden aircraft is the ease of repair! Yeah right...

I used every sharp and abrasive tool I had, from chisels, tenon saws, hacksaws, rasps, files, you name it. There is no simple or easy way to get all the damaged wood, plywood gussets, corner blocks etc cut away - you just need to find out what works where. It's amazing how far you have to cut into the rest of the structure just to fix one small area of damage.

The new breed of rotary tools would have proved useful back then, but you need a steady hand.
 

bmcj

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Apr 10, 2007
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Fresno, California
Depending on where the damage is, I would think that you could use doublers instead of having to cut and scarf.
 
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