Welcome to a work in progress

This blog is dedicated to the restoration and modification of a Glasfl├╝gel Standard Libelle H201B, and a tribute to those who have dared to do the same, and to those who are helping with seeing this dream take flight.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Winter 2014, The New Year - Lets start the year horizontal! "Part I"

It's also three months away to the close of the forth year on this project!

Where has the time gone!!!!

With the project funds exhausted again (which I thought would be enough to wrap this project up, once and for all), we find Joseph and myself are back to doing work in my garage. Any large tasks are now being planned as a set of small assaults on the glider while we still have it at the airport.

The "Things to Do" punch list is getting smaller, but we have many details to address, but only if we can get the glider assembled for at least three days (of which, two days will need to be on a weekend).

For now, the first weekend of the new year was devoted to the re-repair of the repair to the damage on the left lower skin on the horizontal stabilizer. For those who don't remember the barn door repair, please refer to this photo. The main reason for redoing the repair was due to the stabilizers balance was way off due to the repaired side being too heavy!

A couple of years ago I wrote to Streifeneder about acquiring a replacement skin, and tail fairings, but was told that those molds no longer exist.

Without a source of replacement materials, I would need to improvise.

Since the upper and lower halves of the horizontal stabilizer are symmetrical. I made a mold off of the upper right skin. Of course, this was done over two years ago.

The mold was waxed, and with the drawings provided by Streifeneder, we were able to replicate the skin with the correct fiberglass lay-up schedule.
This photo shows the initial lay-up with the balsa prior to the final inner ply.
After the first 24 hours of curing, the skin popped out cleanly for inspection. The skin will have a 15 hour post cure before being installed.
During all of the skin lay-up and cure time, Joseph and I focused on the other side of the repair. on the upper side, there was an area of damaged that was about 5" in diameter. The repair was glassed over, but there was a depression that was full of bondo.

After the cleanup of the damage repair, we decided that we could do a better job and without the deep depression.
So, I opened the area to be repaired, and found that the barn door repair was made using blue foam ribs, cemented in place. There was also a load of debris that was never cleaned out during the first repair.

No wonder there was so much rattling inside!

A patch was made following the instructions per the drawing and was epoxied in.  The top layers of glass were applied according to the fiberglass lay-up schedule

Now we are in the second week of January and its time to replace the old repair with our NEW stabilizer skin.

Due to the way the old repair was made, the old skin had to be cut into sections to allow access to the foam ribs that were inserted.

The old repair was made of balsa, with layers of bondo to build up the shape from the underside, with layers of glass on the bottom and top of the skin.

Compared to the new skin.

There is NO comparison! The replacement looks great!

This re-repair was incredible. The old repair weighs in at 597 grams (with some material mising during the removal),  and the new replacement skin weighs in at 308 grams prior to being glued in.

Joseph had to carefully grind out the old 2-part epoxy used to glue in the old repair.

The lip to support the new skin was created by grinding out the remaining material from the old repair.

Here the new skin is being test fitted prior the trimming of the edges for the final fit and cementing to the stabilizer.

Robert dropped by to inspect what the wizards were doing and made a few suggestions. So, we packed up the traveling glider project, and back to the airport we went. This way, Robert will be able to keep track and instruct Joseph before we were to get too far, and then redo it halfway through.

Part II to follow!

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