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Builder Assistance




Build Session with Mike Schwab Vision #87  During Sun -N- Fun 2010


I had the privilege to work with Mike Schwab for a couple days during Sun N Fun.  He picked me up from Lakeland airport about 10:00am and we headed to Largo, FL where his Vision project is located.  


Here is a photo log of what we accomplished in the 2 days.

The plan was to build the horizontal stabilizer.  Mike had previously made the HS spar, and cut the reference ribs and laid up the skins.


Attached the rib supports.


Prepped ribs and spar with 80 grit sand paper.
Attached ribs. Bottom edge of rib was cored and filled with micro paste.  A fillet was made from micro paste and BID fiberglass was applied.
To speed up curing heat was carefully applied and checked.
The ribs were all cured in about an hour. Sanding began on the intermediate ribs to match the outer reference ribs.
Proper alignment was maintained along the span of the sanding board as Mike got closer the the reference ribs.
All ribs match the respective profile. The top of the intermediate ribs were trimmed to allow for placement of the leading edge foam.
Skins were cut to size and the perimeter of the skins were prepared by sanding with 40 grit sandpaper.


Note: Two sheets of foam was previously laid up with BID on one side and cured prior to the build session.

The leading edge foam was cut a bonded in with 5 min epoxy and micro then sanded to match.
Leading edge foam placed on remaining sections.
All skins were cut to size and shaped to fit.
A new method of attaching the horizontal skins is depicted here.  Using a straight board with a 1/8" spacer (a.k.a. mixing stick) the skins were tacked in with 5 min. epoxy with micro along the span. This kept the skins in the same plane with each other and extended past the edge of the rib.  The skins will be sanded to flush to the ribs after they are all tacked in place. 


This method makes for a quicker installation by eliminating the requirement for flanges on one side of the horizontal stabilizer as the skins will be BID taped with the skin in place.

Skin is tacked in place.
Long board in alignment.  Note: the board is moved up and each individual skin is tacked in place in the same plane.
Skins sanded - just a little more to go and they will all be flush with the reference ribs.
After the skins were all tacked in place.  The HS was removed and a simple jig was created to hold the HS in place and ensure the leading edges were not twisted and the top edge of the spar was in the same plane.
HS placed in jig.  Notice the skins were tacked in.  
To keep the BID tape uniform, a compass was used to make a line approximately 1" from the ribs, leading edge and rear spar.
Mike lays up the BID cloth between sheets of plastic while Scott put the fillets of micro in the corners of the joints.  A Ziploc type freezer bag filled with micro and the corner cut off made for easy application of the fillet.
All the BID strips were laid out on the plastic sheet and cut to size.  Each strip corresponds to a diagram of the HS.  Planning ahead makes the job easier using  "poor mans pre-preg".
All the BID sections were placed as required.  Bubbles were worked out and then the plastic removed.
Any micro or drips of epoxy were cleaned off with acetone making a professional looking part.
After two days - nearly 7 days of construction time by an average builder was accomplished.  If this looks easy to you then maybe you should consider ordering a set of plans and get started on making your dream of flight into reality with a Vision Aircraft..