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Volksplane wing question.

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Bigshu

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I've been seeing VP-1 projects on the internet for good prices, so I bought a set of plans to see what I'd be getting into trying to complete one. One question I've got is, can the wing struts be fastened to a single attachment point, rather than running parallel to two attachment points. Do you have to run them to separate bulkheads, or can you run them to one, and beef it up to take the combined load? Obviously, I'm not an engineer...
 

cluttonfred

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Theoretically possible? Sure. But it would require substantial recalculation and likely a lot more redesign than you realize. Better to build the VP as designed or go with a design that already has such the strut arrangement or no struts at all rather than redesign the VP. Off the top of my head, maybe you could look around for a Bobcat/Supercat project?

 

Bigshu

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Thanks for the suggestion. The VP-1 has some design features I like a lot, I just think a different strut attachment would facilitate getting in and out of the cockpit. I wonder if comparison of the other designs would show substantial differences in the strut attachment points. If I went for a Bobcat/Supercat, I'd want to incorporate the rudder and stabilator from the VP-1, so I'm right back to a big redesign...Since the VP-1 project I'm interested in (Chiefly for the VW engine) has already been flown successfully, I won't be inclined to make rash changes. How hard is it to find an engineer who could vette such changes? Evans isn't available for VP-1 input, and I suspect that journeyman aeronautical engineers aren't too common.
 

cluttonfred

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What sounds like a small modification is really going to be a fairly involved project that will likely impact wing structure, fuselage structure, strut attachment points, and require a whole new strut design. It really seems like an awful lot of effort for limited return. Spend some time watching YouTube videos with Volksplanes and I think you'll find that stepping over a strut is not a big issue. If you have limited mobility and it is a big issue, then a high-wing design would make more sense. Maybe a TEAM HiMax or AeroMax projects would be a better fit?
 

Bigshu

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Just another question. Since EAA members have access to Solidworks for free, would I be able to get load analysis of the current VP-1 design, and then see what the actual difference in loads would be when taking both struts to the forward bulkhead attachment? That might give me an idea of how extensive the changes might be. It might be that the forward bulkhead has plenty of margin to handle both struts loads, and Evans went to two attach points for some other reason. I wish his son was in a position to support the design more than just selling plans etc.
 

Bigshu

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Well, a bird in the hand...since the project that's available is a VP-1 that needs some work (wing recover, and replace the instruments that went to another project), I'm inclined to roll with it as is. This is all contingent on the engine being in good condition. The worst case scenario is that I take a good VW conversion off the VP-1, and use it for the Hummel H5 that I picked up plans for a couple of years ago. I'm still cutting out parts for the H5, so a little fabric work and a few VFR instruments (that I'll need for the H5 anyway) that gets me a flyable something while I toil away on the Hummel is very tempting. Again, thanks for the advice!
 

TFF

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If it’s already a built plane, not worth it. Designing is designing. Finding someone, to do it that’s not a buddy and understands what you want, would jump the cost up enough to have bought one not needing any work or more. And then you would need to implement it.
 

Bigshu

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That's what's so problematic. The VP-1 is likely too small for a guy my size to comfortably fly, but it's what's available, and for a price that is decent for the engine alone (depending on condition). It looks interesting in the pics, and I do like a lot of the design, but it might end up a parts plane, or a project for some smaller VP enthusiast. Now, if a VP-2 project would fall in my lap like the VP-1, that would be a different story, although it sounds like the VW engine isn't sufficient for the VP-2. for a few grand more, I can get a new, built and tested VW with nikasil cylinders, and stick that on the H5.
 

FritzW

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Getting in a VP-1 is very easy and the rear strut actually helps you get in. If you wanted to make it even easier you could put a step on the lower longeron right behind the trailing edge.

If you converted a VP to V struts you'd be changing the load paths to something that no part of a VP was designed to handle. You could probably make it work but you'd be adding a whole lot of work, weight, cost and PITA.

If the VP-1 is too narrow for you, building a wider fuselage is actually not a that big of a deal (it's a whole lot simpler that converting one to V struts).

Here's a quick, easy way to build a wider VP fuselage. Disregard all the lowered seat stuff, ...that was a major change.
http://www.zianet.com/fwagoner/opus2/index.htm
 

Efliernz

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Slightly off topic (but I didn’t mention it first lol) I’m looking at the Supercat at the moment and I’ve found one in the Czech Republic that looks like a full-case VW.
As for size-wise, I’m seeing some with an open cockpit so height isn’t an issue...

DF2EE769-60F6-4DB2-A03A-F361EDF6A1F8.jpeg
 

Ron Knapp

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Just throwing this out there. I have looked closely at the Stits Flut-R-Bug wing as a possible replacement for the VP wing. It also uses the plywood routed ribs for simplicity but incorporates full length ailerons that would provide for easier wing removal for transport. Just flip the strut attach point from the bottom to the top. Sounds crazy right??
 

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don january

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My thoughts on lift struts. I look at my root spars on the Taylor-mono and ask myself would some short struts be a plus on the stress meter on mine because I'm a bit over 20" past the fuselage sides on both sides. I would say heck yes just for the strength + and - in maneuvers but then there is the weight issue that comes with it 3-4 fittings and the struts them self. I'd say if your incorporating your main gear into the hard points then maybe worth the weight? I also feel that the inboard WAF should be tied into the hard points also. I don't see any undue stress on the air frame just that dreaded weight gain. Oh and the great luck of having 3 hard points on each side instead of 4. It does help in the weight department
 

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Bigshu

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Fritz thanks for the link, that's an awesome VP site! I think now I'm comfortable moving forward with the project plane, subject to checking the engine and looking things over. Only expecting "serviceable" from the airframe, but I don't want a bad powerplant. Are there any VP specific prebuy checklists out there? I have a ton of experience with composites from sailboating, and I'm confident in my metal working skills, but no wood construction background (an old salt told me years ago the only things made out of wood he'd be around was a house, and the furniture in it...). With the H5 project being the main focus, I want the VP to be a quick refurb, then have something flyable. Covering the wings will be a new skill set, but there's tons of experience to draw from in the EAA and video tips
 

simflyer

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Slightly off topic (but I didn’t mention it first lol) I’m looking at the Supercat at the moment and I’ve found one in the Czech Republic that looks like a full-case VW. As for size-wise, I’m seeing some with an open cockpit so height isn’t an issue... View attachment 98553
I sat in it cca month ago, as it is friends :) Volksplanes deserve to be updated - could get better airfoil and smaller wing.
 

FritzW

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Are there any VP specific prebuy checklists out there?
Not that I know of. Find a local wood airplane guy to go with you, maybe someone in the local EAA chapter or one of us HBA guys with wood homebuilt experience. Where are you located?

Take a good look at the wing tips to see if they've been patched up from dragging a wing tip in a ground loop. If they have take a close look at the cockpit gussets, bulkhead bushings and crankshaft runout.
 

Bigshu

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Ok, I'll bite...what wing is planed for the VP-3? I'm a fan of Riblett wings, so maybe a thicker wing with re-imagined spar would get rid of the struts entirely.
 

Bigshu

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I'm in KCMO, but the VP-1 is in Utah. Wings need recovering, so I'm not sure what shape the aircraft is in. Could be a basket case. No harm in taking a look, if I can get the nerve up to travel, with all the covid flare ups. I'm really intriqued by the design of the rudder. Reminds me very much of the balanced spade rudders on sailboats. It doesn't look like the post position was optimized though. Now that I have a set of plans in hand from Evans aviation, and the VP-2 stuff available online, I might just tinker with portions to get some ideas fleshed out. The main attraction of the aircraft in Utah was the engine at first, then I thought it might be a quick refresh and an easy flyer for pattern work. Too many projects, not enough time!
 

Doran Jaffas

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I am better with wood than other materials. I do well with aluminum too but steel gets welded by a professional.
That being said...a Tailwind would look great with a cantilever wing but seeing the struts in flight is comforting.
 

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Bigshu

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I'm too new at it to know what I'll be good with. Sail boating gives composite skills, auto bodywork gives sheet metal skills, but I'm no welder. And I've never tried tube and rag. I've got a set of Graham Lee Nieuport plans on the way, and Airdrome Aeroplanes is within an hour of me, so I need to look them up. I was going to go get a partially completed Fokker D8 out in California, but that's 28 hours driving each way, and I can't get anyone to quote me a sane price to truck it to KC. That's how I came across the VP-1 for sale in Utah, I was planning the drive route to avoid covid flareups, but they're everywhere out west right now.
 
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