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Structural integrity

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:02 pm
by stephunk
The fuselage is nearly complete, minus any metal parts - no landing gear, etc. How can I test the integrity of the build at this point? I'm satisfied that it is square where it should be, and level where it should be. The reinforcement pieces, plywood sides, etc. are in place. It's sitting on sawhorses. I've sat in it on the sawhorses, and it didn't break - that's a good thing. But, I'd feel much better if I knew it was airworthy to this point. It appears sturdy, but frankly, I don't know what "sturdy" means.

How can I test the work so far?


Plano, Texas

Re: Structural integrity

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:25 pm
by Steve D
Just to reassure you. I didn't find any Pietenpol accidents that were attributable to the fuselage or wing breaking in the safety study.

Re: Structural integrity

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:14 pm
by taildrags

If you build using the materials that are called for in the plans and if you employ best practices in the assembly, assuring yourself that you're mixing, applying, and curing your adhesives in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations, that's about the best you can do to assure yourself that your construction is sound. Of course you could take your fuselage and support in on sawhorses or a table and load it with sandbags, but how many? In which orientation? To what shandard? By all means, make up some sample joints and clusters with wood scraps and gusset material and adhesive similar to one or more of what you've constructed on the actual fuselage, and then try pulling apart the glue joints, load them in bending and shear, and convince yourself that the assembly is satisfactorily joined together before proceeding.