Little Wing Booster Progress....

mcbirdman

Gold Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
1,237
Location
Grand Ledge (Lansing) Michigan
Aircraft
lw3 sp long, lw3 2place long yami
Total Flight Time
150
I recieved the following update email from Richard Lidke, one of the other 2 builders in our group. I have been driving down there on Sundays doing a marathon work session and Rich works some weeknights in addition to his matching marathon session. We are having fun building in a group as it keeps us motivated and progress oriented. Evidently the pieces we fit and tack welded made it to the welding shop (Bob). Thought you might like to know our progress.

Here is the enthusiastic email :

"Flash--It has been heard that in Northern Indiana several Booster Men worked last nite until 9:30 PM welding and doing other sundry work on three Little Wing 2+2 Auto-gyros. Headline News has it that two of the regular 3 man booster group performed exceptionally well doing excellent work and accomplishing goals such as completing the welding of all the 5/8" upper cross tubes with bushings and the single !" cross tube with its ancillary bushings. In addition the group accomplished the finish welding of three sets of landing gear struts. Headline news has it first for you! Tune in again for further updates. It has also been heard that now that the cross tubes have been completed more work on the second jig air frame can be completed on schedule, in budget, and according to plan! This record setting goal oriented work is once again moving forward fast and furious by the FAMOUS LITTLE WING BOOSTER AVIATION group."
 

mcbirdman

Gold Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
1,237
Location
Grand Ledge (Lansing) Michigan
Aircraft
lw3 sp long, lw3 2place long yami
Total Flight Time
150
Powerplant

Powerplant

Hi Joe,

I am liking the rotek radial engine right now. Plenty of time to reconsider. I may also look more into the rotax 912. Ron recommends in order: Rotax, Radial and Sub 4. I don't know what we will end up with for sure. There is going to come a time (hopefully soon lol) that we will have to make the decision. Right now we have been busy making all the small parts but realize that once they are done all you have to do is just put them together. Heck - that should only take the better part of an afternoon you think?

There is a high horspower VW manufactured in Florida that is over 100 hp. price is much more moderate but I have seen postings about the company that cause a bit of concern. Since this machine is going to be around for quite a while I just figure that I will just have to pay the money for piece of mind and quality.

I have taken some photos but havent downsized them yet of our progress. At this point in time it isn't a lot to look at as the parts are just laying there. Hoping to get some photos soon of the frame sides being joined and then it will be more fun to watch. Thanks for the interest joe, jtm
 

donshoebridge

Gold Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2003
Messages
813
Location
Huntington, IN
James,

I had a chance to see where the LW's are being built this past weekend. Quite the operation! Everything about the construction of those LW's is first rate. Nice job. I hope to be driving back up to northern Indiana in a few weeks to see the progress.

Keep up the good work!

Don
 

mcbirdman

Gold Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
1,237
Location
Grand Ledge (Lansing) Michigan
Aircraft
lw3 sp long, lw3 2place long yami
Total Flight Time
150
Little Wing Booster Group

Little Wing Booster Group

Hi Don,

I heard you might stop by after the meeting in Valspiro (sp?). The credit for progress and the quality that you saw in the parts really is a tribute to the exacting expertise of our engineering department head Richard Lidke. He knows metal and makes it look easy. He started laying out the jigs in November and after a visit up to see my single place little wing said you know.... It isn't that hard to make the parts for one more since it is mostly in the setup...... So here I am building a second Little Wing before I have finished the first. The opportunity that he has offered has slowed down the first but I always wanted a two place anyway..

The three of us work at different times of the week but we are always moving ahead. We are going to get this done and it isn't going to take years....

I will post a few photos but realize this.... I am a proffesional photographer but when I am not "on the job I often use this little camera with all automatic features and so if the photos are blurry it is because there is no focus and much limitation. I just let it do what it wants and I can't help it. I do actually shoot better than these show....

Well, lets see if they post. There will be a few overall, some parts such as the landing gear for all 3, the many tabs that have to be cut, brackets etc. Notice the big crane he built so that we can hang test (lol) It is on a track that lets it roll the length of the barn.
I think it is so great and we are enjoying the build as we are learning and accomplishing something I think is historic. Anyone seen 3 Little Wings built in production before? Thanks again, if anyone has any questions we probably don't know but can ask (lol) jtm
 

gyroblackwell

designer, builder, flyer
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
442
Location
Hobe Sound, FL., and Plainville, CT.
Aircraft
flightstar ultralight, Soma U/L GyroCopter, Cessena 152
Total Flight Time
500 hrs.
Hay James,

I also got a chance to take a look-see at your (groups) work! Nice craftsmenship!
To see the fuselage up on the table is truely a site to behold (gave me goose bumps)
(or maybe it was just damn cold !) you guys keep up the good work, and we look forward to seeing a rolling frame at the July fly-in!

Tim
 

mcbirdman

Gold Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
1,237
Location
Grand Ledge (Lansing) Michigan
Aircraft
lw3 sp long, lw3 2place long yami
Total Flight Time
150
Tim's goose bumps

Tim's goose bumps

Hi Tim,

It is really neat to see the tables all layed out with the blocks. There was alot of time just in the setup of these jigs that Rich accomplished. We keep cutting the parts he needs and pushing ahead.

I ordered the rest of the tubing for the 2nd and 3rd airframe several weeks ago from Dillsburg Penn. After waiting I called them to find out if he had actually sent out the order that he said he was going to work on "beginning of the week". I then got told after those weeks that it would be maybe a month before I would get the metal and he wouldn't even promise that.

It made me mad that he said he would get it packed up first of the week and after a couple weeks I have to call and then say that he is so backed up and that he is SO busy. He told me that he could cancel the order if I wanted as long as it hasn't been started and then wanted to know if he could get off the phone now (my long distance) because he has other things to do like help the people who drove to his place and are picking out their orders....etc.... It is very frustrating because we invested the time and he never bothered to tell me how far behind he was and that to cancel could cause an even longer wait as we start all over again.

It is also very frustrating that he didn't care whether we cancelled or not and was more interested in serving other people that he did not already have an agreement with. It didn't reinforce the statement in his price list that speaks of priding himself on "serving us honestly and efficiently."

He had all the reasons for why he operating this way and none of it was his fault or his own doing. Not even a sorry. I think it is a sorry way to operate.

Anyway, until we can get some more tubing we cannot start the layout of the second and third set of frames. I thought we were ordering enough tubing to matter but I guess not. In the mean time we are just trying to keep busy as there is still alot we can do.

Thanks for your interest Tim and Don, it is exciting for us also. The goose bumps we had were from working this winter in the pole barn at like 26 degrees or so..... Now, with the improved climatic conditions production should also improve. Thanks again, jtm
 

gyroblackwell

designer, builder, flyer
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
442
Location
Hobe Sound, FL., and Plainville, CT.
Aircraft
flightstar ultralight, Soma U/L GyroCopter, Cessena 152
Total Flight Time
500 hrs.
James,

I know what you mean about Dillsburg. I had the same kind of "run-in" with him. Bottom line is, he has the corner on the chrome-molly tubing market cause most of the major aircraft grade tubing manufactures have stopped making the material. This guy has a huge stock-pile of the material, and now is enjoying "running the show". He decides who, when, how, and how long.
I asked him why he did not have a website for ordering material, and he went off on me, got real nasty and threatend to cancel my order.

lesson learned .... I simply appologiesed for the comment, and made sure my material was still being sent - when-ever - !

aircraft grade tubing is going to get real scarce real soon!

enjoy the build! :)
 

mcbirdman

Gold Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
1,237
Location
Grand Ledge (Lansing) Michigan
Aircraft
lw3 sp long, lw3 2place long yami
Total Flight Time
150
steel tubing

steel tubing

Well Tim,

Thinking about your post and the steel situation I was a little anxious and a little hesitant to call and ask about my shipment. I was surprised to learn that he actually just sent it out yesterday. He said he had some labor/sickness problems but he did get it out. I am sure glad that I am through "that" Bob Randall 2of3 builder and I were looking at taking the 10-12 hour trip down there to make sure we got it and were just trying to find out how close he was to shipping. I am pretty sure it will show up next few days which will put production back to the pace we are hoping to be. (whatever that really is lol) jtm
 

mcbirdman

Gold Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
1,237
Location
Grand Ledge (Lansing) Michigan
Aircraft
lw3 sp long, lw3 2place long yami
Total Flight Time
150
Hi Scott,

Hopefully it won't matter about the 4130. We ordered about 950$ worth of it and should be enough to finish the two other frames. We only had to order some material for 2/3 because bob had already started a kit he never finished. 3/3 was the main shipment and a few parts for 1/3. We figure if we at least get the bulk of the metal if we find any shortages or make a mistake it will not put us far behind. Thanks for the link though scott it still may come in handy. jtm
 

mcbirdman

Gold Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
1,237
Location
Grand Ledge (Lansing) Michigan
Aircraft
lw3 sp long, lw3 2place long yami
Total Flight Time
150
Little Wing Booster 3-2place progress

Little Wing Booster 3-2place progress

Rich and I made a bit of progress again. We cutout the 3 sets of torque tube asemblies. There were 3 -1'" tubes for each unit that were staggered for the two joysticks and 4 diamond shapes of metal patches on each for the joints. When we tacked it all together we added the upper bushings for each joystick. All 3 sets are now over in finish welding department.

We also cut out 2 (x3) fittings that recieve the stab when it is slid into the airframe.

We cutout a piece that is U shaped that connects the spring to the tailwheel and the rudder. We made it thicker than specs due to the fact we noticed on my single place it seems to have bent toward the spring pull a bit.

It doesn't seem like much going on when you look at the shop overall since we just have the two sides up on the vertical jig and the start of the 3rd of 6 sideframes just sitting there being fitted in the jig. But we need all these small pieces so they are ready when it comes time to use them on the frame. I guess we look at it like we are building up inventory so we will have the "kit" ready for assembly.

Anyway, I feel great progress was made this time. Last week we recieved the final big shipment of tubing as per parts list. I sat down to make the torque tubes and found out that the roughtly 4 foot of 1" x .49 and the 1 foot of 7/8 x .049 that was needed was not on the parts list. That is too bad since I just had a truck shipment bring everything we needed as per parts list. The good news is that everytime we notice these oversights we are writing them down so that it will improve things for everyone in the future not only in regards to delays and frustration but to wasted money in repeated shipping and packaging costs as it is adding up. These things are realatively minor problems in comparison to the activity and enjoyment that also accompany owning such an aircraft and will soon be in the past. Part of the sweat equity that is placed into something we love to do

Thats it for now, next weekend is marathon work time again.... jtm
 

richard lidke

Littlewing Booster Aviat.
Joined
May 2, 2004
Messages
124
Location
Rolling Prarie, Indiana
Aircraft
Little Wing 2+2
Total Flight Time
200
Just so everyone out there is aware, we are saving nicely on the price of the wheel/brake kit by purchasing in threes. We have gotten over 15 per cent off, and free frieght by checking around and requesting bids in groups of three sets of everything. It pays to team effort this project. Rich Lidke
 

mcbirdman

Gold Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
1,237
Location
Grand Ledge (Lansing) Michigan
Aircraft
lw3 sp long, lw3 2place long yami
Total Flight Time
150
Progress as of 6-14-04. Sunday I made the trip down to Indiana ready to meet up with Rich and Bob today. It isn't often that the three of us are together all at once. Rich and I were working the morning shift when we heard a loud engine coming closer. All I saw out the pole barn doors was a flash of yellow and Bobs Sportster Harley as it went past the side door.

After a briefing of progress we all started to work. As it became lunch hour the morning shift ran into town for a quick bite while Bob (Welding Dept.) who had already ate - tack welded the 3rd side frame that was finished by the morning shift. Actually, we had a lot of it done from last week but it needed a few more pieces.

By the time we returned from lunch Bob was ready to heat up Number one's 2 side frames and draw the them together to a point aft to complete the joining of the tail. With Rich overseeing the taper, they were welded together. I kept working on another side frame and my goal was to get another tacked before I had to head home. We accomplished that and are excited because we are getting good at putting pieces together and working together. Even though we have a fairly big pole barn - we use many of the same tools and have to walk around each other a lot. It really has been working well though because we only have to more side frames to make. We have 4 out of 6 tacked now.

Rich has some of the cross members in place and the cross tubes/attatchment points in place including upper braces. He has made the pedastal for the torque tube and the brackets for the brake cylinders have been tacked in place. We are placing our order for the 3 sets of brakes now that everyone has paid and expect that to be ordered this week. We need to get the parts so we can check the layout and fit of the componants. Probably while we are waiting we can start looking at the tubing that needs to form the top edges from the tailpost up to the rear cross piece.

Anyway, I just thought I would update you on progress so that you might know the time it is taking to build these birds. We are actually enjoying ourselves during the build a lot more than you might think. Rich had worked on the project yesterday and had to get some lawn work completed. Imagine Bob and I sneaking up on Rich and passing him as he mowed while we were running the frame by him and waving out the window as we passed him. Bob was "driving" and I must say that he made a 180 turn in about 16 feet that whipped me around so I think the frames know there is no FW here....... I think this gyro thing is going to work out just fine..... lol

I can hardly believe the progress we made today. I knew it would be a lot of small part making before anyone could really see what is going on but now we can see it happening. Bob also finish welded the 3 folding seats while we were fitting tubing.

Anyway, that is the progress so far. It does take commitment but I can see it all coming together and it doesn't seem so hard as it once did. jtm
 
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Aussie_Paul

A reforming stirrer!!!!!
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
4,441
Location
Ballarat Australia
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None at the moment.
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Since 1982 Gyro 5000+ mostly instructing, and approx. 200 fixed wing in the late 1960s.
Great James, thanks for the up date.

Aussie Paul.
 
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