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Lazair.com • View topic - Fiberglass Wingtips

Fiberglass Wingtips

Share your thoughts, photos and general help to all builders

Postby uscgairdale » Wed May 19, 2010 10:04 pm

I do not claim to be an expert on fiberglass work or know the exact method to install these, but I will certainly share my experience with them. I have mixed feelings about them since going through the installation process when I restored B034. One of the wingtips on that airframe was crushed and the fiberglass option made sense to me beacuse I didn't want to try and bend up the tubing for the wingtip. I was fairly certaint that I couldn't make a mirror copy of the opposite wing. On my next restoration I will not be using them. I feel that using polyfiber will be lighter and have plenty of durability.

If you have the trailing edge mod then the glass wingtips will need considerable work to blend the trailing edges to match them up. It was labor intensive, but really made them look like they fit nice. The d-cells needed to be trimmed where the leading edge tube of the wingtip assembly riveted on. That was required because the glass wingtip would not slide over that area. It's hard to describe, but very obvious when you go to slide them on. You'll see a fair number of rivets, mostly because they were needed to keep the fiberglass work flush to the aluminum. Be aware that, in my case, that the wingtips were too wide at the leading and trailing edges. I used a dremel tool split them at the seam and then to eat out the extra material until they fit nicely. I then layered glass on the inside for a strong bond. I just filled the outside with fiberglass epoxy and then sanded it smooth. Hopefully these pics will help. Again, this was how I did it, if anyone else has input, please share.

Dave
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Postby uscgairdale » Wed May 19, 2010 10:07 pm

Here you can see how the trailing edges do not line up. I used cardboard and taped it to it so that I could fill it. This worked well enough as a primative mold.
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Postby uscgairdale » Wed May 19, 2010 10:09 pm

Here it is after the epoxy is dried.
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Postby uscgairdale » Wed May 19, 2010 10:10 pm

Side view.
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Postby uscgairdale » Wed May 19, 2010 10:16 pm

So far the pics have shown how to blend the trailing edge. The real trick is to get them to just plain old fit! It was labor intensive and required a fair number of clecos. Be careful not to chip the holes in the fiberglass....it's easy to do.

This pic shows the trailing edge after it had material removed so that it fit flush on the rib. I filled in the hollow area so that no critters could crawl in. It was after this stage that I made the trailing edge match up with that of the aileron. Yea, this is a bit out of order, but hey I'm winging it here. (pun intended)
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Postby uscgairdale » Wed May 19, 2010 10:18 pm

The leading edge was the most labor intensive to remove the material and then glass it back together.
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Postby uscgairdale » Wed May 19, 2010 10:19 pm

Lay up some glass work on the inside too.
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Postby uscgairdale » Wed May 19, 2010 10:28 pm

They were a lot of work and I honestly didn't think that it was going to take nearly as much as it did so be warned if you think that you can just slide 'em on and rivet in place. Maybe others have had good luck with how they fit, but not so much in my case. I was very please with how they turned out and they are a viable alternative to the standard wingtips. Please share your experiences with these if you have done an install too. Doing a wieght comparison would be interesting....

Hope this helps,
Dave
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Postby uscgairdale » Wed May 19, 2010 10:30 pm

A final look at how I blended the wingtip to the aileron that has the trailing edge mod.

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Postby lazairiii » Thu May 20, 2010 6:07 pm

Very nice work! I had heard that they took a bid to get the fit right. I appreciate the pics and the explanation too.
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