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The Ranger, an easily built high wing LSA runabout

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FritzW

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Yes, just about anything that will cut wood will cut aluminum.

Lowrider2 cnc milling 1/4" aluminum (this guy is cutting way lighter than he needs to. Even on a light machine like this that should have been a 20 minute cut, not three hours)
 
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Dillpickle

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Piny Woods, Tx
Fritz, just looked up the aluminum spars that Carlson has listed. They are more than reasonable. Which ones would you spec for your foam rib/aluminum spar wing? www.carlsonaircraft.com/spar.html
And although the pod and boom is the most pleasing to my eyes, the sheet--wood OR aluminum--is probably more affordable for our foreign friends. Either way, this may be the impetus I need to move forward. I bought plans for the Airbike, tandem Airbike, legal eagle Xl, and would have bought plans for the AreoMax if they were offered, all with the intent of churning out some derivative of an aluminium AeroMax, suitable for a 6'4" 250 pounder. Studying plans is cheaper than a degree in aeronautical engineering. I even bought plans for the BD 4 to see what I could learn about tubular spars and light weight angle carrying wing and fuse loads, And anyone who doesn't think 1/16 angle or lighter can carry landing loads from a tailwheel aircraft needs to stick their head in the tailcone of a Cessna 140!

I looked at your oak and ply sandwich for anchoring a boom tube to the wood fuse. How would you do it for the aluminum forward fuse? ChroMo hoops and tubing? I can see a few ways to accomplish it, but having mig, tig, and torches to hand would have me reaching for those first. but that would be counter to your cnc philosophy.
Thanks for all you have contributed,
Dillpickle
 

FritzW

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I'm going to start on the printed parts and take it from there. I'll probably use separate motor controllers and break out board, and a big, cheap, Chinese power supply off ebay.
 

FritzW

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Dillpickle,

I'll have to fire up the big computer in the morning and see which Carlson spars I used in the drawings. I know I picked spars for folks our size. If your thinking about a sheet metal wing you might get more bang for your buck using something more like a Zenith 701 spar.

I like the looks of the pod and boom better also but the aluminum boom is pretty pricey over here to, about $600 after shipping. I think a wood rear fuselage (very MiniMax'ish) would be more in the $50 range, and just as simple.

To mount the tube on a aluminum bulkhead I was thinking about some angle with some gussets on each side (size TBD), kind of like the ones on the front of the tube in some of the drawings.
 

daveklingler

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The real point of all this IMHO is that there is a CNC panel router with reasonable accuracy and material capacity within a two hour drive from the majority of us watching this thread. Not all of us of course, but most of us. So a fairly large number of us can take the open source files and have parts cut, whether that is in our own grage or whether that has to be done at a vendor.
Or, even better, at your local Makerspace (called a "hackerspace" in some countries), of which there are a whole passel in Los Angeles, and even a few in Brisbane.
 

rtfm

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rtfm, will that "lowrider" cut through thicker or more dense materials? Will it cut sheet aluminum?
Hi.Yes it will. It's a fully fledged CNC router. Runs on SS tubes rather than extrusions. Visit their forum, and see for yourself.
https://www.v1engineering.com/forum/

Cheers,
Duncan
PS I've just ordered an Ender3 3D printer, so I can print my parts. I could wait for them to re-stock the shelves, but I don't want to wait. Can't wait to start building my LoneRanger.
 

FritzW

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I got a little work done on the long nose, wood tail Ranger:

Ranger 2 long nose.jpg Ranger 2 long nose exp.jpg The fuselage skins are three piece. I was able to re-use some of the parts from the tube version but most of it is going to have to be redone. (yes VB, there will be proper longerons.)

20190404_204956_resized.jpg 20190404_204216_resized.jpg Blame Duncan. I've been messing with the parts for the CNC machine he turned us on to. I printed a few parts in gray just before my yellow filament showed up. I'll probably start over and do it all in yellow...
 

rtfm

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Hey, that printing looks great. Yellow is way cool, too. That's the colour I ordered...
Are you planning to use printed parts in the Ranger? If you are, I'd be happy to print parts for the group. Just pay for postage. I'll cover the cost of materials. Happy to help where I can. They can have any color, so long as it's yellow. Ha ha.
 

PiperCruisin

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Cheers said:
I have had an Ender 3 for about 4 months now. It has worked great. I felt it was largely worthless tech, but at that price point I was willing to give it a go. Turns out, I can now see where you can do a lot with it....along with Fusion 360. The children keep it very busy...even noticed that my power bill went up.:(
 

Hot Wings

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Why are those cnc routers always flat on a table and almost never against a vertical structure?
Makes the programing easier. If the part can slide down there is possibility of interfering with later cuts. It can also mess with the acceleration tuning of the steppers because of the weight of the gantry. When the table is horizontal it's just the mass of the gantry. This isn't as much of a problem with servos but loosing steps can ruin your whole day - and a bunch of material.
 

Vigilant1

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Makes the programing easier. If the part can slide down there is possibility of interfering with later cuts. It can also mess with the acceleration tuning of the steppers because of the weight of the gantry. When the table is horizontal it's just the mass of the gantry. This isn't as much of a problem with servos but loosing steps can ruin your whole day - and a bunch of material.
I wonder if it will soon be possible for these "homebuilder-budget" CNC rigs to use a closed-loop system to control the location of the cutter. Right now, the program commands a certain number of turns which >should< put the router in the right spot, but any slop in the system, step miscount, temperature variation, etc leads to errors--there's no feedback. A couple of lasers could do a darn precise job of determining the location of the router at all times. It >might< not cost a whole lot more, since lower quality/less precise steppers/cables/ etc would work just fine. And if there is an unanticipated bog-down in the cut speed, it wouldn't be a big issue with a closed-loop system. With an open-loop system, it >is< a big issue.
 
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erkki67

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Makes the programing easier. If the part can slide down there is possibility of interfering with later cuts. It can also mess with the acceleration tuning of the steppers because of the weight of the gantry. When the table is horizontal it's just the mass of the gantry. This isn't as much of a problem with servos but loosing steps can ruin your whole day - and a bunch of material.
I’ve been reading about a nesting milling, which keeps the span in the cut, thus the part should stay in place.

I wouldn’t be against a vacuum blower to keep the parts in place too, but I can’t afford to have the space for a horizontal flatbed cnc and an airplane.

With a vertical cnc or almost vertical a plane like the Ranger would have its space in my small workshop!
 

Hot Wings

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Missing steps can be fixed using servos or hybrids. A single step is 1.8 deg. That can be quite small in linear travel.
Lead error is insignificant on this class of machine. Some of it can be offset in the software during setup.
Slop/lash can be, at least partially, compensated for in the software.
Temperature? Just let the machine and the material set in the same room for a couple of hours - at close to the same temperature used for machine setup.

We really don't need too much precision for homebuilt air-frames. How accurate is the average person with a shop full of good wood working tools? I suppose it would be possible to add a DRO and use that for feedback?
 

FritzW

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Re 3D printed parts on the Ranger: There might be a few
Ranger 2 rudder bushing.JPG Rudder tube bushings for the VP style rudder
Ranger 2 rudder bushing exp1.JPG The top piece mounts to the bottom of the rudder, the two white pieces below that mount in the fuselage.
Ranger 2 rudder bushing exp2.JPG The red piece is a bearing, probably going to be printed in Nylon.
Ranger 2 rudder bushing cutaway.JPG assembled
Rudder bushing.jpg Test bearing (white parts) I printed a while back.
Ranger 2 model1.jpg The problem with 3D printing is: for every real part you make you end up making two parts for fun (like your own plastic model airplane kits ;) )
 

BeemerNut

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Yes, just about anything that will cut wood will cut aluminum.

Lowrider2 cnc milling 1/4" aluminum (this guy is cutting way lighter than he needs to. Even on a light machine like this that should have been a 20 minute cut, not three hours)
Years ago I was toying with a CNC mill build project utilizing a Porter Cable router but gave up being a light weight and more of a home hobby interest machine. Ended up with a 12 x 42 Bridgeport mill instead with a 10" rotating base vice plus a 10" horizontal / vertical rotary table. A $1,150 total investment. Solid machine, let the big chips fly......~~=o&o>.......
 
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