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Balsa Rib Covering


Old 07-26-2011, 03:02 PM
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Default Balsa Rib Covering

Hi everyone,

this is my first post here so I hope I am not doing anything wrong. I need to build a strong(it will lift a nearly 10 kg object and land it at a predesignated point) and light wing using rib structure as a school project. I was first thinking of 3mm(1/8") balsa but now I am thinking of using covered 1mm (1/24") balsa. For the covering material we have Kevlar, fiberglass and carbon fiber.

Do you think this is a good idea and which one of the materials I should use? We are not allowed to use the vacuum pump so will it make a huge difference and my last question should we laser cut the ribs before covering it or after?(It is advantageous for us to cut it after as it will be more easy to cover the rectangular sheet.)

Thanks in advance to everyone who took their time to answer.
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:28 AM
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Default RE: Balsa Rib Covering

Hard to really advise without knowing anything about the wing size and shape at the least. But, for the actual ribs, if you are goind with balsa, you could use both thickness. Use the 1/8th for the first couple root ribs and maybe the tip ribs. You can use the thinner balsa for most the other ribs between. With the right spars, you should be fine.

Many ribs today are light plywood, with the center's cutout for weight. If you have a lazer cutter, this may be better for your project as well. If you browse some build threads, you should see an example of this.
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