DEC 2014

Experimenter is a magazine created by EAA for people who build airplanes. We will report on amateur-built aircraft as well as ultralights and other light aircraft.

Issue link: https://experimenter.epubxp.com/i/434207

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Page 19 of 44

20 Vol.3 No.12 / December 2014 KEEPING UP A FAMILY TRADITION "The truth is that I didn't get serious about the fuselage until I was about 15 years into the project. I started out building small pieces of both steel and wood because they looked so good hanging on the wall; and I was polishing my skills as I went. I learned to weld in A&P school but hadn't welded in years, so I practiced on the small pieces until I had the time, money, and space to attack the fuselage." The project was further complicated because Randy said the plans only addressed about 75 percent of the airplane. A lot of things such as forming sheet metal and cosmetic details were left to the builder's imagination and creativ- ity. Plus, there was no building manual, so there, too, the builder had to think far ahead while figuring out how to jig and build the different components. He said, "One thing about the plans is that they were very professionally drawn. But there were a lot of them, and you had to do some head-scratching to figure out how things related to one another. Plus they were written in French with rough English translations. Also, they were all metric, which was actually no problem. In some ways, I like working with metric better. For the most part, I made no effort to convert measurements. I just used metric and had the right measuring equipment." Randy constructed the big parts last due to space con- siderations, and that applied especially to the wing. Typical of wood construction, the parts count of the wing is ex- tremely high, and to make matters worse, most of the parts are only repeated twice because of the shape of the wing. Randy explained, "You didn't get a rib template; the shape of the wing, with every rib being different, made it imprac- tical for Claude to do templates. So he gave you the X/Y coordinates and you plotted the airfoil yourself, which is no problem and is probably more accurate than working with Photography by Tyson V. Rininger The fuselage of the Beryl is much more complicated than most tubing structures of the type because it isn't square, so the sides can't be laid out and then stood up. Plus, the longerons are made of numerous sizes. Randy says wheelpants may be installed someday, but he's having too much fun fl ying to put them on.

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