Well it all had to start somewhere so sometime in April 1994 I started building all the wooden parts. I started with the ribs for the tail and progressed onto building the wooden frames for the fuselage and the spars for the tail.

Ribs.. oh boy there are lots of them !!

The start to the whole thing!!. The first few ribs

If I was doing the wing ribs again I would seriously consider the Frati mod to the rib profile that improves stall characteristics. I think it probably makes a very small impact on speed but improves stall greatly to prevent the tip stall. The mod is very small and only involves the 3 outer ribs. If you are interested in this change, the Frati drawings are here. Sta12, Sta 13 & Sta 14.

The frames are built up from 3mm strip laminated in a jig. I screwed small blocks of wood to a baseboard marked with the frame shape and used this as a jig to laminate the frames in.

Frame # 8 in the Jig

This is frame 8 in its jig as I glued the crossmember to the laminated frame ring. It was about now I was starting to realise that you can't have too many clamps when you build a wooden aircraft.

Frame # 4 in its jig

Frame 4 - The top half is the canopy frame and the bottom half has the wing spar glued to it !!!

The only complicated part here is that the glue contracts when dry and pulls the top on the frame in but if it is clamped up OK then it doesn't pose a real problem.

Adding plywood to the fin spar

Making the forward fin spar which is also a fuselage frame.


Generally the wood parts are very easy and a lot of fun to make but they do take up quite a lot of time. The next step had me a little worried.... time to build the spars