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Discussion area for builders of Pietenpol aircraft, both beginners and experienced folks. Share ideas, ask questions and help build the Pietenpol community.
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Chuck in Indiana
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Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2023 6:01 am

Intro

Post by Chuck in Indiana »

Sit down by the campfire, grab a beer, and let me tell you a story.. :D
Back in the 90's, Bill Lutton came to my shop and asked if he could help me build a Great Lakes Trainer. (!) I was several years into it by that time and could certainly use the help. He made a job of it, brought his lunch every day, and without his help I'd never have finished it.
After it flew away, he was "needing something to do" and helped me restore my Commonwealth Skyranger.
By this time, a lung disease that he had picked up in the lab at Delco Remy :( was rearing it's ugly head. He still wanted "something to do" though, so I said, "why not build a Pietenpol? I can do the steel work for you." He said, "I'll never live long enough to finish it.." so I said, "So what? You'll be doing something you love.." He really liked wood work..
So, he started one.
He built the ribs and pretty much had the fuselage and tail feathers assembled by the time he couldn't get out into his shop any more. My Kid, Brad, bought the project from him and took it to Wisconsin where he did some very nice work before he realized that working on airplanes every day and then coming home and working on an airplane wasn't as much fun as he thought it would be. (He runs the shop at Poplar Grove.) It languished in his basement for years.
During the pandemic, I was "needing something to do", so built a Verner powered Legal Eagle
Image
Now that it is flying, I'm needing something to do, :D and am taking over Bill's Pietenpol project. It comes with a Corvair that I'd made a prop hub for and tapped the end of the crank back in the day, but I'm not too excited about it for some reason. I would think the 5 cylinder Verner would be a good match, but I'm not finding any flying Petes with one.. is there a reason for that?
Thanks for listening..
Chuck
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KenBickers
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Re: Intro

Post by KenBickers »

Welcome Chuck!

That's a fine looking Legal Eagle. Love that engine on it. And touching story. Thanks for sharing.

As for the five cylinder Verner, the only one that I know of is owned by Kenny Crider and/or his son. Kenny is active on the Facebook group. You might post a query to him.

Meanwhile, a list of known engine-Pietenpol combinations is occasionally posted onto the Facebook group. I believe Gary Boothe is the one who posts that list. If not, he'll know who does. Whoever it is may be able to point you to the owners of Verner-powered Piets.

I hope you'll pursue this option. It would be fabulous looking and probably a pretty good powerplant for the Piet.

Cheers, Ken
Chuck in Indiana
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Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2023 6:01 am

Re: Intro

Post by Chuck in Indiana »

Thanks, Ken. My main concern is weight and balance. It would be nice to know just how long the mount needs to be, wing location, etc. and get it right the first time.
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taildrags
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Re: Intro

Post by taildrags »

Shoot. I had an excellent opportunity of providing you with a data point when I recently changed out the vibration isolators on my A75's engine mount. I had the engine hanging from my hoist, free of the mounts but with virtually everything including the wood prop still connected to it and in place except for the cowling. If I had been thinking, I could have inserted my market scales between the hoist hook and the straps holding the engine and gotten a weight of pretty much everything firewall forward on mine. I've always been curious about the all-up weight of this setup since so many planes are flying with essentially the same engine, carb, mags, and everything else like mine. Comparing the weight of another engine and its accessories, an approximate starting point for where it should be relative to the datum could be established.

But I wasn't thinking.

Oscar Zuniga
Medford, OR
Air Camper NX41CC, A75 power
Chuck in Indiana
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Re: Intro

Post by Chuck in Indiana »

While waiting for the wood to come down from Wisconsin, I drew wing fittings on CAD, filled up a 12"X24" sheet, and took the file to a laser/water jet shop. Here are the fittings plus some other stuff that I had made uhh, (gasp) 20 years ago. :shock:
Image
Hey! I'm as much an antiquer as anyone else, and if Bernard had this stuff available, he'd have used it. Cutting out all this 4130 with a hacksaw and file?
Nope.. :D
BTW, so far every question I've had (besides using the 5 cylinder Verner) has been answered with a search on this site.
Awesome.
Chuck in Indiana
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Re: Intro

Post by Chuck in Indiana »

Image
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KenBickers
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Re: Intro

Post by KenBickers »

Looking good, Chuck. One part, one task, one assembly at a time. Eventually, you'll run out of things to build and will have a whole airplane.

Cheers, Ken
Chuck in Indiana
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Re: Intro

Post by Chuck in Indiana »

Thanks, Ken. Looking ahead just a bit, it looks like I can assemble the center section. However, it looks like the lower bolt on the wing fitting that attaches to it would interfere with the wing root rib. Also, the center section fitting looks to me that it would hit the spar unless I clear the spar away for it?
Thinking about that as I continue..
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KenBickers
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Re: Intro

Post by KenBickers »

Chuck,

I'm not sure I'm seeing the issue with the interference that you are describing. The wing root ribs don't sit at the exact end of the spars. They are inset about 3/4" or 1" or something like that (the plans are at my hangar, not here at home with me).

If you are building the three piece wing, there is an interference that will need to be clearanced where the center section compression struts attach to the center section spar stub. I've attached a photo where, if you look closely, there is a notch removed on the aft ends of each compression strut where the fitting attaches to the spar stub. Also, the vertical intercostal pieces of the wing root ribs that lie directly against the spars will need to have a notch cut out at the bottom of the intercostals to clear the fittings. It isn't much, maybe 1/8" by about 1 1/4" or thereabouts.

Otherwise, if following the plans, everything fits fine.

Cheers, Ken
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Center Section Compression Strut.jpg
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KenBickers
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Re: Intro

Post by KenBickers »

Chuck,

After my earlier posting, I continued to ponder what you were seeing that might require removal of spar material in order for bolts to clear the spars.

My sense is that you are onto something which is lurking on the plans, but may be a bit obscure. You'll find on the plans for the three-piece winig that you are to remove a small triangle of material on the lower inboard ends of the wing spars, as well as the lower outboard ends of the center section spar stubs.

I've attached a picture, which is in my build log as part of the documentation of how I routed my 1" spar blanks. If you look closely at the lower left hand corner of the photo, you'll see the wedge that I removed (as well as the pencil outline where the wing attach fitting would later be installed).

Cheers, Ken
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DSC00994.JPG
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taildrags
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Re: Intro

Post by taildrags »

From the 3-piece wing plans, the centersection spars are 29" from butt to butt and the inboard ribs are 25-1/4" between their outer faces, so each rib is set inboard 1-7/8" from the spar ends.

-Oscar
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taildrags
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Re: Intro

Post by taildrags »

The wing root ribs are set in from the butt ends of the outer wing panels by 1/2".

-OZ
Chuck in Indiana
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Re: Intro

Post by Chuck in Indiana »

Thanks for the replies, and especially the pix. :D The interference I was talking about is the center section fittings will hit the main spar butt unless the angle on the lower spar is moved outboard a bit. I'm out in California with the grand kids for Xmas, so don't have the drawings in front of me. From memory :!: always dangerous at my age..the lower 3/16" bolt on the wing root fittings would interfere with the rib intercoastal?
Chuck in Indiana
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Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2023 6:01 am

Re: Intro

Post by Chuck in Indiana »

Back from California, and can (finally) get started on this.
Image
The interference I was talking about is the center section fittings will hit the main spar scab plates unless they are cleared for them. The lower 3/16 bolt in the main spar fittings will interfere with the root rib unless I'm missing something?

While I was out in SoCal, the Wisconsin fuselage fairy delivered the very pretty fuselage..
Image
Image
and Spar stock. Yay. :D Note to self, Do not screw up the spars..
I see when I was making up the steel parts for Ol Bill, I did the rudder bar and controls. The walking beam is there, too. About the only thing I remember is making the rudder and elevator hinges. Those must have been a PITA.. :lol:
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KenBickers
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Re: Intro

Post by KenBickers »

Chuck,

Good spar stock has become increasingly tough to find. Congratulations on finding yours. I think that routing out my 1" spars was about the scariest part of my hold build process. In the end, it was pretty straightforward.

As for the interference, note that there is 3/32" plywood under the spar attach bracket on the wing panel, but not on the center section. On the center section, the plywood abuts the spar attach bracket. It doesn't go under the bracket. The difference of 3/32" allows the brackets to sandwich together, with the wing side slipping firmly over the brackets on the center section side.

BTW, where in Indiana are you? We lived in Bloomington for 11 years. That was where I started my Piet project.
Chuck in Indiana
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Re: Intro

Post by Chuck in Indiana »

Hi, Ken.. I live on a farm near Elwood. We have a private strip..2II3. Yeah, I can see how the center section spar fittings and wing fittings fit together. What I'm talking about is the apparent interference between the lower 3/16" bolt on the wing fittings and the root rib.. and the center section fitting hitting the plywood scab plate under the spar fittings. I'm thinking about moving the lower bolt hole rather than cutting up the root rib. (?)
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KenBickers
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Re: Intro

Post by KenBickers »

Chuck,

I seem to recall years ago flying my Pacer into a diner for breakfast or lunch in Elwood as part of group from the Bloomington EAA chapter. There were two turf runways, N-S, and E-W. I thought that was just about perfection -- a diner and turf runways.

Cheers, Ken

edited to add p.s. It might have been Westfield where the diner and runways were. I'll have to dig out my old log books.
Chuck in Indiana
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Re: Intro

Post by Chuck in Indiana »

Yeah, Ken.. I was the airport kid that hung out there when my parents didn't know where I was. :lol: I was forbidden to mess around with airplanes, "All those things are good for is to get you killed, boy."
The restaurant is still there, but the girls that inherited the property decided they'd make more money from farming the runways.. and they are probably right.
I had a really difficult time getting my private strip approved because the owner of the airport didn't want me to have it, for whatever reason.
There was a *lot* of activity back in the early 50s..
Image
Chuck in Indiana
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Re: Intro

Post by Chuck in Indiana »

A little progress.
Image
I keep seeing flops made from the plans mentioned. There certainly aren't any in the drawings I have.. I'd like to make it like the drawing, no need reinventing the wheel if it's not necessary.
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KenBickers
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Re: Intro

Post by KenBickers »

Chuck,

Looks terrific. I love those routed surfaces!

Cheers, Ken
Chuck in Indiana
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Re: Intro

Post by Chuck in Indiana »

Thanks, Ken. I'm not a woodworker, and the only router I have is a little trim router. It was making wooga wooga noises just as I finished the last pocket. I've been surfing the net looking for a bigger one for the main spars. :D
Chuck in Indiana
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Re: Intro

Post by Chuck in Indiana »

Couldn't put it off any longer and started gluing.. :?
20240206_154240.jpg
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KenBickers
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Re: Intro

Post by KenBickers »

Chuck,

That's a great looking shop. I especially like your worktable ... a smart way to keep assemblies square and true.

Is that an old library card catalog against the wall? I'd love one of those to hold the bits and pieces that are in too many little boxes in my hangar. I may have to do some sleuthing in our local flea market store.

Gluing is good. It means you're making progress!

Cheers, Ken
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taildrags
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Re: Intro

Post by taildrags »

About not being able to resist gluing some things together, I was going to reply with "OK, but just don't let it become a habit!"

-Oscar
Chuck in Indiana
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Re: Intro

Post by Chuck in Indiana »

Is that an old library card catalog against the wall?
That it is. :D It holds end mills from 1/32 to 4 inch dia. Drills, reamers, counter bores, taps, dies, tap & die wrenches, etc. 60 years (gasp) of machine shop stuff. I'm turning the machine shop into a wood shop as we speak. :D They don't coexist very well..
Chuck in Indiana
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Re: Intro

Post by Chuck in Indiana »

Compression struts and flop spar glued up..
20240226_153448.jpg
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KenBickers
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Re: Intro

Post by KenBickers »

Chuck, it's looking great. Nice!

Cheers, Ken
Chuck in Indiana
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Re: Intro

Post by Chuck in Indiana »

Thanks, Ken.
My little Japanese pull saw made quick work of separating the flop from the center section. I've since glued on the spar caps. Still need to install 1/16" gussets on the ends of the false spar and flop spar. Then..I think I'm ready for the big job.. fitting up and gluing the 1/8 birch ply bottom.
Attachments
20240229_093618.jpg
Chuck in Indiana
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Re: Intro

Post by Chuck in Indiana »

Sometimes, worrying over a problem is worse than actually doing it. :D
Nothin to it..
20240302_164326.jpg
Chuck in Indiana
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Re: Intro

Post by Chuck in Indiana »

Waiting for the T88 to set up
20240308_114532.jpg
Turned over the flop and added the 1/16" ply.
20240308_093414.jpg
Time to start on the wings, I think.. :D
Chuck in Indiana
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Re: Intro

Post by Chuck in Indiana »

Image
Chuck in Indiana
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Re: Intro

Post by Chuck in Indiana »

Adding some lightness..
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20240318_154638.jpg
Chuck in Indiana
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Re: Intro

Post by Chuck in Indiana »

Here's where that lower fitting and bolt interfere that I was talking about a while back.
20240322_144851.jpg
I wish the west coast site was up so I could look at what others did. Move the hole, or just cut up the rib?
Finished adding 2.4 lbs. of lightness to each spar today..
20240322_103127.jpg
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KenBickers
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Re: Intro

Post by KenBickers »

Chuck, now I see the conflict to which you were referring several weeks ago. Yes, I had the same thing. I left the holes where the plans showed them and cut a notch in the rib gussets (and if I recall part of one of the interstice braces). It all fit together fine in the end. Though my recollection is that it was a pain to insert the bolt in the hole and get a wrench on the other end. Cheers, Ken
Chuck in Indiana
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Re: Intro

Post by Chuck in Indiana »

Thanks for the answer, Ken. That seals the deal for me. I'll do the same way as I did the center section.. varnish the fitting area, install the fittings for the last time, and do whatever it takes to get the rib on. Beef it up as necessary, or "Hammer to fit in field, paint to match." :D
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KenBickers
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Re: Intro

Post by KenBickers »

Chuck, I went back through my pictures. I found this one. If you look closely, you can't really see it in the pict, but the vertical interstice braces are half thickness where they pass over the wing attach brackets. Be sure to radius the notch, so that the brace doesn't want to split where the cut out is located. Also, I had to notch the fore-aft compression pieces. There are similar notches cut on all four corners. Cheers, Ken
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Center Section Compression Strut.jpg
Chuck in Indiana
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Re: Intro

Post by Chuck in Indiana »

Yeah, the center section is pretty easy because the rib is more inboard than on the wings and you just have to clear the fittings. I've done essentially the same on the CS.
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