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Steel tube aircraft wing

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cheeka

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Hello everyone, I happened to look at the wing structure of a Stinson Reliant and am curious as to how they were manufactured? The structure looked to be built out of welded steel tubing and are the ribs steel too? Are there any other aircrafts that were built in this manner and how did they deal with the heat treating? Are there any similarly sized homebuilts that used a construction method like this? If it's an all metal wing how would they fasten the sheet metal to the structure? Thanks guys.
 

TFF

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All steal tube welded. No heat treating is done. If you need to fasten anything, you weld a tab where ever you need a fastener; you can screw, bolt , or rivet whatever on. A fuselage has lots of space to get to all the sides for welding. A wing is thin; hard to get in the nooks and do a good job without being good or above good.
 

lr27

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I think there were some Russian planes with steel in their wings. Not sure how much of it.

If buckling is the mode of failure, there's no point in heat treating. Heat treating doesn't make steel any stiffer.
 

Kyle Boatright

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Hello everyone, I happened to look at the wing structure of a Stinson Reliant and am curious as to how they were manufactured? The structure looked to be built out of welded steel tubing and are the ribs steel too? Are there any other aircrafts that were built in this manner and how did they deal with the heat treating?
The Beech 18 has a welded steel spar structure which goes from the outboard end of one engine nacelle to the outboard end of the other nacelle. Rust and cracks in that structure are the "big ugly" in that airplane. You'd have to disassemble the entire airplane to replace or make a major repair to that structure.

The Messerschmitt Me-323 has a massive steel tube spar structure. Here's a picture:

http://axis.classicwings.com/Luftwaffe/relics/images/Me323_mainspar.jpg

I don't know whether or not either the ME or the BEs' structure was heat treated.
 

PTAirco

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A.E.G Fleugzeuge built airplanes in WW1 that were completely made of steel; spars ribs, fuselages etc.

I toyed with the idea for a biplane design of mine. Went as far as bashing out some wing ribs (they formed beautifully with no fluting required), but could not find 4130 in the exact size I needed for the spars. The idea was to roll them into flat sided ovals on a special tool.
 

Tiger Tim

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Kyle Boatright

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So we're just going to gloss over the fact that at some point post-WWII there was a Me-323 spar at an airshow?

What's the story there? Surviving original taken out of museum storage? The beginnings of a full scale replica? The beginnings of a full scale flying replica?
It is a surviving spar that belongs to the German Air Force Museum.
 

Mcmark

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I'm pretty sure the Reliant did have heat treated spars.
A friend put his on its back and doing the repairs the spar repairs had to be built to be bolted/clamped in place to avoid welding. The repair specs, if I remember correctly, were supplied by the Feds based on history.
The memory is a terrible thing to waste, but somehow I have.
 

oriol

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I remember an article in a magazine (EAA perhaps) some years back about a homebuilder who welded the main spar of his airplane.
The structure was something close to that image below from an unknown airplane I found on the net.

IMG_0155.JPG

Although the material of the picture seems aluminium a similar structure made out of chromolly might work, with the inevitable extra weight penalty.


Oriol
 

WonderousMountain

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There's a lot to be said for the simplicity of the previous example.

That 3D truss can be used for aft or ride-on fuselage. You can also do a biwing with one dual tube and one monospar.

You have three mounting points for an engine, as a strut in a pinch. Stamped sheet metal has been used mostly by people comfortable with brakes and flaring, swaging tools.

Millions of unfinished planes are begging you to do it :ban:
 

WBNH

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The structure was something close to that image below from an unknown airplane I found on the net.

View attachment 60930
That's the wing interior of an early Backyard Flyer Ultralight. They used to weld up aluminum spars in that triangular truss format. Sometimes installed triangle point-side-up, as pictured, earlier ones were point-side down. Later they hanged to welded separate front and rear spars in "I" format, top and bottom tubes connected by a truss of smaller tubing for the front spar, stacked tubes with little or no web/truss for the rear.

IMG_0013.JPG

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CEBTE0nyRs
 
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SpainCub

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Better view of the Reliant wings:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCHKzCoceT8

A single center spar going out after the strut attach point made for a light (190lbs) structure. :)

I almost made a mistake to go out and buy cheap V77, glad I din't; It would have been very expensive to restore. Most have lot's of corrosion on them, albeit very strong I just hate to fly things in that shape.... and once you take to covers of... you never know when they will go back on.
 

oriol

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Cheeka,


Matthew posted a thread about the Martin Baker 1 an experimental aircraft wich used steel tubes in the wings.
https://www.homebuiltairplanes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27102

The Hawker Hurricane wing roots were like the fuselage made out of riveted tubes, presumably to better fit the landing gear.


Although I am all in favour in using steel tubes and metal, I believe that the most builder friendly construction system is hands down alu spars with riveted ribs. Using metal spars like in the Messer glider is very uncommon and labour intensive.


skylite wing ribs.jpg


Oriol
 
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PTAirco

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That's the wing interior of an early Backyard Flyer Ultralight. They used to weld up aluminum spars in that triangular truss format. Sometimes installed triangle point-side-up, as pictured, earlier ones were point-side down. Later they hanged to welded separate front and rear spars in "I" format, top and bottom tubes connected by a truss of smaller tubing for the front spar, stacked tubes with little or no web/truss for the rear.

View attachment 60933


Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CEBTE0nyRs
They seem to have gotten themselves a decent welder at last. The first BYF I saw in person seemed to be held together with blobs of silver painted chicken manure. Applied by a badly trained chicken. This fellow at least seems it know what he is doing.

Still don't like some of the structural design, such as the butt-welds at rear spars roots. I would love to see a load test done on this wing, to destruction, just to see what fails where first.
 
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