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Building Ailerons

Old 05-02-2005, 06:17 AM
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Default Building Ailerons

Been searching and searching to no avail... I bought a Patty Wagstaff and it was cheap... cause it had no ailerons... Instead of spending $169. for a new wing set I figured I'd build a set. Can't be that hard right?
Well, every kit I've built, they were either balsa blocks shaped into ailerons (small ones) or extended ribs ya cut away from the wings. How should I go about building these?

I tried one and it came out pretty good, but feels heavy. What I was thinking was taking tri-stock and making the leading edge, then 1" x 1/2" balsa stick behind that. Make some ribs behind that to the TE and sheet with 1/16" balsa.

The last thing I want is an unsafe aileron, something that will rip out in flight.

They're 30 1/2" long, and 3 1/4" wide at the root, 2 7/8" at the wingtip, if that helps.

Any info would be more then appreciated!
Old 05-02-2005, 07:04 AM
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Default RE: Building Ailerons

There are 2 ways you can do this.

1. Get a piece of solid balsa the length, width and thickness you need and sand, and sand, and sand, and sand until you get the shape you want. (Actually not that hard, just an awful lot of balsa dust )

2. Since the aileron is 1/2" thick at the L/E, make a bunch of rib "tips" 3/8" thick and tapering down. Then glue the tips to one piece of 1/16" balsa, put in some reenforcement for the control horn (either a solid piece of balsa or 1/4" lite ply depending on the type of horn you plan to use and how it attaches), then sheet the other side and add a L/E.

If you go this route, I suggest drawing a full size pattern and marking the location of each rib tip on the pattern (I suggest spacing the rib tips ABOUT 1 1/2" apart). Then measure and cut your "tips" accordingly since each tip will be a different length.

Method 2 is a little more complicated, but will definitely be lighter than a solid piece of balsa. Instead of tri stock for the L/E, I would use either 1/2 round balsa (special order ) or a rectangular piece of balsa and sand the shape you want/need.
Old 05-02-2005, 05:52 PM
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Default RE: Building Ailerons


There are 2 ways you can do this.
Three, at least, and maybe more.

One approach is to use 1/2 round ash for the L/E. That allows you to use Robart hinge points with the hinge pin at the geometric center of the L/E, which is the way the prototype has it.

Behind that you could use shaped foam or balsa; either way use a Forstner bit to make lightening holes. If foam-cored, a balsa T/E is needed, but not if balsa 'cored'.

I also like to embed short lengths of 1/4" or 3/8" dowel horizontally in the aileron L/E to serve as solid hinge point mounts. In the wing T/E I embed short lengths of 1/4" stainless tubing, to prevent the stationary section of the hinge point flexing.

I cut the ailerons to shape on the table saw from balsa planks, and drilled 'em to smithereens.

See the photo album [link=]"Scale Hinging"[/link]

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