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Bowlus Super Albatross

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Peter Balcombe
Posts: 1336
Joined: 18 Mar 2015, 10:13
Location: Clevedon, North Somerset, U.K.

Bowlus Super Albatross

Post by Peter Balcombe »

Another design from Jilles Smits, this time at 1:2.5 scale (5.26m span).
Estimated flying weight is 11Kg.

Due the pod & boom nature of the fuselage, the building board for the pod construction is much smaller than usual - a 4ft building plank is more than adequate.
Initial construction has just started with the main formers screwed to the board along a centreline & then the initial laser cut longeron & keel/spine pieces glued in.
At present, I have only glued Formers 1, 2, 3 & 5 to the front keel & top spine, plus what must be a ballast tray between F1 & F2. The rest is dry fitted.
The battery tray can be seen between F1 & F3
The design assumes a 34mm wide wheel, but I am fitting a more solid 40mm wide FEMA wheel. Hence the wheel attachment plates & associated rear keel pair spacing has to be widened to suit.
Cliff is currently cutting some replacement mid section formers, so the build will continue when these are available.

Initial fuselage structure
Initial fuselage structure
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Peter Balcombe
Posts: 1336
Joined: 18 Mar 2015, 10:13
Location: Clevedon, North Somerset, U.K.

Re: Bowlus Super Albatross

Post by Peter Balcombe »

With the formers affected by the wheel size now tweaked, the rest of the laser cut structure can be completed.
The lower keel pieces are nicely notched to ensure that everything is self registering.
A couple of missing slots found on one piece, but the cutting files can now be amended to fix that for future builds ;)
Just a handful of internal wing root spacers to add now to complete the initial laser cut parts assembly before starting to add strip wood stringers, joiner tubes, tow release assembly etc. followed by balsa planking.
There are also 3D printed nose & tail cones to fit.

292BEB91-3F9E-4E16-B5C2-EAA8FB00DD1D.jpeg
Dopieman1
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Joined: 09 Mar 2018, 09:42
Location: Den Bosch

Re: Bowlus Super Albatross

Post by Dopieman1 »

Great! The Bowlus Albatross is a really beautifull plane!
I follow!
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Peter Balcombe
Posts: 1336
Joined: 18 Mar 2015, 10:13
Location: Clevedon, North Somerset, U.K.

Re: Bowlus Super Albatross

Post by Peter Balcombe »

The fuselage pod build is progressing, with the upper longerons now in place.
It’s worth noting that it’s a good idea to leave the fitting of RRB (Inner Root rib section) until after the waist longeron (S2) has been fitted.

With the upper fuselage structure in place, the canopy framework can also be put together in-situ to make for a good fit at front & back. Note that there is an additional glazing frame piece to fit once the existing top piece has been profiled to take the ply skin.
5E94D0BD-95ED-4C33-9B93-2BF3898C1E08.jpeg

Canopy frame
Canopy frame

Meanwhile, the rear tail boom attachment, fin & rudder structures have been put together using the supplied laser cut parts. The tail boom attachment slides into the boom and will be glued in due course. The tailplane halves attach using a rear joiner rod & M4 bolts at the front. Long 3/32” aluminium tubes carry the rudder C/L wires from the fuselage pod along the inside of the boom to exit points near the finpost. The elevator servo cables also go through the boom.
It is recommended that the rear boom attachment assembly is fitted with the C/L tubes before fitting to the fin assembly - as the tubes can initially be straight at the rear end, then bent outwards to exit via the side slots when the finpost is added. I have opted to use the boom attachment to help position the fin LE/rib pieces, so I will hopefully still be able to tease the guide tube through the side slots later.

Note: Do not build the fin directly onto the rear boom attachment assembly as shown :oops:
The rear attachment assembly must be slid all the way into the boom (till it reaches the fin post) & epoxied in position. Then the fin LE pieces tab into slots made in the boom tube, not onto the rear boom attachment woodwork as shown in the photo. I will have to unpick my fin LE attachments.


Fi & tail boom attachment
Fi & tail boom attachment

The rudder structure has been assembled & still needs to be fitted with Bala support blocks here & there. I will fit a long pin through the 3 Robart pin hinges in order to make the rudder removeable for transport, thus a 3/32” aluminium guide tube will be fitted on the front of the rudder post before the lower LE is fitted (exiting at the top of the fin).

Fin & rudder assemblies
Fin & rudder assemblies

The 1st tailplane half has also been started.
This build does not have building tabs on the stabiliser or elevator ribs, so these will initially need to be assembled with ribs vertical on the relevant spar web.
The 1st bit on the stabiliser is to assemble root rib section with servo tray & doublers. The various tabs make this assembly self jigging.
Stab root assembly
Stab root assembly
Last edited by Peter Balcombe on 18 Apr 2022, 18:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Cliff Evans
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Joined: 29 Dec 2019, 15:13
Location: Bristol
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Re: Bowlus Super Albatross

Post by Cliff Evans »

Peter, I have the canopy here ready whenever you want it.


Albatross canopy
Albatross canopy
https://lasercutsailplanes.co.uk
https://patteaklegliders.co.uk
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Peter Balcombe
Posts: 1336
Joined: 18 Mar 2015, 10:13
Location: Clevedon, North Somerset, U.K.

Re: Bowlus Super Albatross

Post by Peter Balcombe »

Cliff Evans wrote: 15 Apr 2022, 13:31 Peter, I have the canopy here ready whenever you want it.
Thanks Cliff.
Probably Will not need it until the fuselage & lower canopy area has been skinned/planked and profiled to get edges flush. Also, I expect the canopy assembly will need to be painted before it is glazed, a bit like the Oly.
Peter
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Peter Balcombe
Posts: 1336
Joined: 18 Mar 2015, 10:13
Location: Clevedon, North Somerset, U.K.

Re: Bowlus Super Albatross

Post by Peter Balcombe »

Upper & lower fin LE pieces have been carefully removed using scalpel & razor saw to remove the Aliphatic glue line :)
Tail boom now slides between the rear boom attachment assembly & the nearest fin ribs, allowing it to go right back to the fin post.

Fin LE pieces removed
Fin LE pieces removed

The tail boom has also been check fitted in the fuselage as it has to slide through several formers to get to the rear of the cockpit.
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Peter Balcombe
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Joined: 18 Mar 2015, 10:13
Location: Clevedon, North Somerset, U.K.

Re: Bowlus Super Albatross

Post by Peter Balcombe »

Stabiliser halves & Elevator structures now assembled & spars fitted.
Tailplane halves
Tailplane halves

I am using the GRP tailboom option on this build & decided to draw up a template of the various rear penetrations to enable more accurate placement & registration. The pic below shows this template stuck in place with Pritstick prior to drilling any holes.
Rear boom drill template
Rear boom drill template
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Peter Balcombe
Posts: 1336
Joined: 18 Mar 2015, 10:13
Location: Clevedon, North Somerset, U.K.

Re: Bowlus Super Albatross

Post by Peter Balcombe »

The paper template worked very well & all holes/slot centres were spotted through the template, then drilled & fettled.
Just the stabiliser joiner holes to open out to the correct size now.

The rear boom attachment assembly now slides fully into the boom, leaving notches top & bottom to accept the ends of the fin LE pieces top & bottom. The LH stabiliser securing bolt can also be seen in the photo below (Stabiliser halves have an Aluminium retention plate bolted to the root rib & fixing bolt is immediately forward of the LE at root). Additional slots on the boom side are elevator servo cable exits & the rear side scollop is the rudder C/L guide tube exit.
The Stabiliser joiner hole is between the cable slot & the finpost, but is only a tiny pilot hole at present, hence very difficult to see.
Note that the assemblies have only been dry fitted so far to check everything.

Fin Check fitted
Fin Check fitted
Upper fin LE in slot
Upper fin LE in slot
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Cliff Evans
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Joined: 29 Dec 2019, 15:13
Location: Bristol
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Re: Bowlus Super Albatross

Post by Cliff Evans »

Very nice Peter, can you draw the template out in cad, I will supply it with the kit and plans.
https://lasercutsailplanes.co.uk
https://patteaklegliders.co.uk
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