Just wing it'

Day 2 of wing build (I think)

So a lots been going on and its hard to keep up with the days and progress and what I'm working on. I have terrible A.D.D. and get bored easily mixed with being a one man shop, I am constantly juggling multiple projects going back and forth. Given the new shop is 40 minutes away and I have not moved into the new house yet (needs renovation), I've kept some stuff to work on at my current house for days like today when I can't make it to the shop. So onwards with the wing!

First up was de-molding the foam plug. I unscrewed the wood walls from the mold and began prying off the foam from the wooden base. Although I use wax/mold release, it did take some massaging to break loose -- my guess is because the foam is so porous it still stuck.

Next I began to rough out the shape with a saw and foam shaver. Typically a hot wire cutter would be the best tool to use at this point but the one I made was not working very efficiently (I think I need to replace the wire) and I don't think this foam cuts as easily as the insulation foam I used on the first prototype.

This is pretty tedious work, however it began to take shape!

As I kept shaving down the foam, I was searching for my wooden rib cage pieces. These pieces are important because this is where the wing changes planes and these are my guidelines. Also, now you can see where the metal rod in the back lip plays a huge role. Not only does it create an equal arc, but it gives me a guide edge to for off of. (IE running the foam shaver along the metal rim takes away excess foam but the metal rim prevents me from taking away too much material)

This is what the wing looked like after a more refined "roughing out." Since the wing does thin out towards the rear, the foam is a more fragile and I was a little overly aggressive and took out some extra chunks, it's not a huge deal as I can still fill them in later on, however I did add more work for myself. Be patient and work carefully! Especially on fragile plugs!


Lastly, I began the layer of body filler. This is done to smooth out the foam since its still pretty porous. This is what a gallon of bondo looks like... Hahaha just kidding, there's not that much on it, and its just a skim coat. I probably should have use the cheaper stuff since there is a lot more refining and finishing to be done but I was impatient and I only had the good stuff on me as 99% of all my stuff has already made its way to the new shop.

Also just for those concerned about strength and integrity of this wing, note this is just the plug. (A plug is a representation of the part you are trying to make and can be made up of a Frankenstein variety of materials.) Once the plug is made, then the mold will me made off the plug. Then the actual part will be made from the mold and the plug is usually destroyed/discarded in the process.

As she sits:

Wing Dings and Things

"Design and Fabrication is only limited to your own imagination"

Round 2. For those who have been following me the past years knew I already attempted making a 3D wing with mild success. The form came out OK, but after numerous hours and visible flaws still apparent that it would not make sense to continue making the mold for an imperfect product. Plus I went a little crazy with some angles and dimensions!

Now there are no guide books or tutorials on how to make your own 3D wing so there was a huge learning curve. I researched a lot of the techniques use in hobby air planes, air DIY air planes and some automotive wings (straight wings). The approach I took was the method my mind deconstructed and reconstructed the wing. For my second attempt I am simple refine the my craft and doing things slightly different to make a more accurate representation.

Top Right: Prototype 1 Mock up

Bottom Right: Comparison of my wing and an APR GTC200 on top

Bottom: One of the reasons why the rear wing is crucial. The rear wing stands will also provide support for my cargo box which will allow me to travel to shows, meets, and events with my tent, tables and some merchandise! No trailer-ing here!

Round 2

This time around I had a friend help me with some CAD work, this allowed me to visualize what the wing would look like prior to building it. This allowed me to get the proportions and measurements down. With a rough idea of what it would look like, I began building by CNC'ing out the profile of the ribs. Each rib is where the wing changes width, angle and direction.

Next I added rods through each rib, this gave the wing the wingspan and the multiple rods prevented the ribs from twisting thus holding its shape better.

Below: Measuring the distance between each rib according to my drawings. Also note the right square to make sure the rib is perpendicular and squared -- not twisted and cock-eyed.

Right: The wing core all glued up with Norton's speed grip 2 part epoxy. I also added an aluminum wired to the trailing edge to give the center that "bow" look. This will leave me a guide to run the hot wire cutter and keep things symmetrical. The other trailing edges were left open as those parts will be straight across and by using a long sanding block I will be able to achieve that straight edge.

Next it was time to make the rib structure a solid. I made a form out of melamine wood and cardboard and gave it a few coats of partall #2 paste wax to ease the release of the foam. The form is very crude and is only meant to act as a barrier for the foam so it doesn't spill out.

Right:  This is the 2 part pour foam I used. Once the foam is shaped I'll be spraying Duratec primer over the wing to prep the plug and get ready to make the mold.

Bottom: Stages of the pour foam. In the last picture I had to add extra foam where the first run did not cover. This foam has a 45 second pot life so don't mix too much and work quickly.

And then there was an FC

On a side note, We also just picked up an FC! I've been waiting for space to start taking in new cars to start developing products for. After over a year of searching I've finally found and moved into our new shop which allowed us to go on the hunt. After tip from a friend and an 8 hour round trip we got this baby back to our shop! (Thanks Jack!) It will be a few weeks before we get to it, but the first thing on the list will be an aluminum race dash everyone has been asking for!