Newsletter Issue 15 – July 2015

Blackburn Flyers Newsletter

Issue 15 – July 2015

For more reasons than I care to relate there’s been little opportunity to report progress recently but, finally, we’re starting to see something tangible.

A lot of effort has been going on in the background to take much of the repetitive work out of the build by designing the wing and empennage ribs to be laser cut.

After some dialogue to sort out finances, file formats etc. the designs were forwarded to the laser cutting specialist ‘Belair’ at the beginning of the month and a box arrived in Goods Inwards today, the  29th July 2015.


Flourishing a Stanley knife Pat opened it with minimal injury to himself and the goods to reveal dozens of neatly packaged ribs.

These have been checked against the prints for quantity/profile and the order is 100% complete with not a single defective component. A fact more impressive when the numbers are considered; there are 128 components for the empennage ribs and rudders/elevators formers and 156 wing ribs and aileron formers in the box including a modest scrappage allowance.


Shown here are stacks of wing and aileron ribs being checked against the drawings.


Empennage ribs by the dozen.

The supplier suggested 3mm Poplar ply would suffice but to be on the safe side we selected 3mm Birch. 3mm sounds flimsy but having had chance examine the ribs they are remarkably robust and we’re force to concede that we may have over specified.


The edges are very smooth with only superficial signs of smoke staining from the laser cutting process.


Next Steps?

A shopping list of spars (aluminium tubes), longerons (spruce) and various sundries has been forwarded to suppliers. This should give us enough material to build the wings, empennage and main fuselage ‘box’. Hopefully we’ll be able to confirm these orders this week so build proper can get underway in July.

Still to be finalised are the engine nacelles, floats and fuselage decking formers. Now we’ve realised the benefits of laser cutting these designs are being reviewed to see how much we can exploit this process.