Building a Light Set of Wings

By Terry Brox

      Welcome to my way of wing construction. I would like it to be understood that I am not saying this is the right way, but it is my way.  I have developed my technique of building from reading and talking to other builders that are far better than I. It is also the same technique that I have built all my own 2 meter aircraft, and the same technique I used to build the 2004 NATS 1st place Advanced winning airplane flown by Terrance "T-Bone" Brown. I took all the different ideas and molded my own technique. Some of the ideas have come directly and indirectly from these builders. The names of these guys are both well known and unknown to some such as: Brian Hebert, Harold Collins, Dave Guerin, Dean Pappas, Mike Dunphy, Jarold Schmidt, Jim Mowrey, Merle Hyde, Sam Turner and Bob Noll just to name a few.  Other ideas I developed because of problems that arose while experimenting.

      I firmly believe in Polyurethane for the main adhesive. Its expanding qualities lends itself well to light building. Some may argue that the porous nature of cured Polyurethane is weaker than epoxy, I believe if the parts fit right, the difference in strength is a non issue for our purpose.

  Another item of great importance is wood selection. For a stiff, straight and light wing, I feel C-grain is the only way to go.

Also, I do not like to just shove a tube socket in and glue it. I feel the wings should match each other with no offset. I have built "custom" cut wings that had the dihedral cut different in one wing core from the other. Sand the holes and make them match, even if it means the tube will not look square in the fuse. As long as the wings are square and level on the fuse, the tube through the fuse is not an issue. Some argue that if there is a wing damaged and needs replaced, the new wing won't line up with either the fuse or the other good wing. I say make the new wing match the good wing and reset the socket in the fuse. The aerodynamic importance of matching, squared and level wings can not be overstated. 

I hope that you can gain some insight on how I build wings, and do as I have over the last 34 years of building (I built my first stick and tissue at the age of 9), and take what you feel is useful to your own technique and ignore what is not.

 I also want to give a personal Thank You to Joe Dunnaway for his hard work on posting this to our website. And to Bob Pastorello for his insight and suggestions on formatting the whole thing.

The set of wings shown in this demo are for a Temptation / Focus and came out at 8.2 oz ready to cover.

Thanks, and enjoy your new wings,  Terry

Home Next