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Starduster Too, a promise

 
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SAA



Joined: 10 Feb 2013
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:37 am    Post subject: Starduster Too, a promise Reply with quote

All,

My Bride and I are about to embark on this Starduster Two project and I suspect that it will last years. We hope to become acquainted with many in this group and meet some of you along the way. This post will be in two parts; first, I will give you all some background of the project, then, my immediate need for help in an attempt to move forward.

The Starduster Too came to me as a set of plans and a partial wing kit. This was around 1987 if memory serves me. Bill Bilbo, who gave these to me, and I were on a trip to McDonald Douglas to work on the upper stage of a Delta II engine. We had been working together for a year or so before the trip. During the trip home we were talking, and as always, I would talk of airplanes. Bill told me of the Starduster he had and he would not be able to work on it because of other projects. He gave the Wing Kit and Plans to me with the understanding that I would build the airplane. Well, many aircraft projects and many aerospace projects have been completed, and the nest is now empty. It is now time to build the Starduster with your help.

I have plans serial number 12 dated August 1965, but they are missing pages 8 & 8A. I remembered, once I had laid the ribs out on the table that Bill had told me he had loaned one rib of each item number and pages 8 and 8A to someone, and they were never returned. If someone would be kind enough to copy these pages, the BOM, and any DCN’s, I will pay for costs incurred for copying and shipping.

SAA
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jsh



Joined: 19 Dec 2005
Posts: 354
Location: Burnet, TX

PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the fold. I have some suggestions as you get started. First, purchase a new set of drawings from Aircraft Spruce. 1965 is a very old set of plans. There have been many changes since then. Some of those changes are on the new(est) plans. Some are not. If you go to biplaneforum.com you can access all the copies of Starduster newsletters....many years worth. There are some recommended changes in there also. You will find much more activity and things to learn about this stuff on biplaneforum.com also......seems to be where everyone has migrated. where are you located? As you start into this, you may be tempted along the way to purchase someone else's project. Be very careful about this, there may be a gem waiting for you or a piece of junk. Do you plan on starting wings or fuselage first? much more to talk about, stay in touch. John p.s. I completed mine in 2002.
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RT



Joined: 01 Dec 2005
Posts: 58
Location: Lambert MT

PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:25 am    Post subject: Plan Reply with quote

I second everything jsh said. Some of the updates HAVE to be done. relocated landing gear and motor mount lenth. Let us know where you are, someone might be nearby. I probably am not nearby because I'm not near anybody, except all the oil workers from all over the US.
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Bob E.



Joined: 31 Oct 2007
Posts: 147
Location: Central ND

PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, good to hear there are yet some intrepid souls among us! Dito on what John and RT are saying. I have not seen the newest set of plans that ACS now sells unless they are the same as the ones Les Homan had done up on auto cad. I have a set of those and they still leave some to be desired. The position of the axle in relation to the firewall is one of the key changes you would want to make from what your early plans may show. Depending on the engine you go with and if you plan on the built up gear there are also other mods to the truss assembly and gear legs that you may want to consider. The addition of a couple elevator hinges is also a change from some of the earliest plans.

My fuselage is out for blast and paint so you could probably say I am 80% done with 75% left to go. If you want to see a bare bones project you are welcome to travel to ND and have a look. With that being said, I'm hoping to go right into some covering in the not to distant future so it may not be totally bare bones 6 months from now......I hope!

Ask allot of questions, that is the only way I could have done it. I still have lots to ask.
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Mike Harris



Joined: 01 Dec 2005
Posts: 175
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, I’ll second everything the guys above said. I started 7 years ago from a set of plans and pile of tubing and have really enjoying the fabrication process. The best thing I did (besides making sure that ALL the “honey-do’s have not been allowed to go undone) was get in contact with Dave Baxter. For the price of a tank of gas (upon which I insisted and damned near had to twist Dave’s arm to get to let me ante up) Dave took me flying in his ship, the “High Time Starduster Too.” That pretty much set the hook for me – Whatta gas!

When I took my wife out to Oregon on a business trip, we went by to visit Dave and I wanted her to see what a Starduster Too looked like. When she saw Dave’s and Dan’s airplanes, she said “Now I see why you want to build one of these; That’s a beautiful airplane!”

Dave’s watches this board and I suspect that he’ll post some comments as well. Get to know him. He used to work at Starduster and has built TWO SDIIs, and is completing a Skybolt. Dave has saved me MUCH grief in trying to figure out how to build the plane. THANKS DAVE!

Like a lot of guys my age, I’ve had a chance to do a lot of things in my life and the most artistically satifying project I’ve undertaken is watching a hand-made, custom- built biplane take shape in my small shop. It’s starting to look like an airplane now and it’s just way damned cool.

The people who post here have been a source of tremendous insight and useful peer-preview of some of the ideas I’ve tried. I look every day just to see what they have to say about their ships and what they are doing. Also cool.

Enjoy the process!
Mike
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bmcj



Joined: 05 Dec 2005
Posts: 810
Location: California, Fresno

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a little late to this party, but welcome SAA!!! Glad to have another builder here.
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Bruce

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jsh



Joined: 19 Dec 2005
Posts: 354
Location: Burnet, TX

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

.......hope we didn't discourage him.....
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Starduster History



Joined: 30 Nov 2006
Posts: 736
Location: St. Helens, Oregon

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:58 pm    Post subject: Starduster Too Promise Reply with quote

Saa I have the drawings you are looking for, I also have C/Ds of building the Starduster Too as well as a lot of incite. Please Pvt Message me with a phone number and best time to call so that we can chat about all of the above comments.

It is my goal to help others with building and flying these beautiful airplanes so that they enjoy them and do not get hurt, both physically and in the pocket book! Dave
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Dave Baxter
Starduster History
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SAA



Joined: 10 Feb 2013
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a great response, yes I do feel welcome.

You have spoken of a couple of issues, but not how you have overcome them. Please expand on this.

No JSH ual have not discouraged "HIM".
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jsh



Joined: 19 Dec 2005
Posts: 354
Location: Burnet, TX

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oops....sorry.....need to learn to use "him/her" to cover the bases. the above posts had some very good advice for starting this project. while a current set of plans will allow you to build much of the airplane, there are many things left for you to seek on your own. as I mentioned before, all the back issues of Starduster magazines are most helpful. if you have not taken advantage of Dave's offer, most strongly suggest you do so. the two big changes are the relocated gear , which current plans will show and the use of a longer engine mount (usually 26 inches). suggest you plan to start on the wings first......you will find a lot of work to do i.e. wing fittings for a relatively small expense of materials. many resources available at EAA website on how to accomplish many of the tasks involved as well as all 3 of Tony Bingelis' books. bottom line, this airplane is far removed from the "insert Tab A into Slot B" method of many of the kit airplanes. individual tasks are not difficult and you will learn the skills as needed as you go along, but know going in that this is a MAJOR endeavor.
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SAA



Joined: 10 Feb 2013
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL

OK JSH tell me more of your airplane and how you solved these problems. What was your plan when you started your project? Did you make a formal plan, with milestones as decision points? How did you determine the correct mount length for your airplane and where did you end up putting your axle? You suggest starting the wings first, why? What did you use to cover the leading edge of your wings? I see you did not opt for the wing tank, why? Did you install brake pedals in the front cockpit? With all the variations of systems and options can you describe the configuration of your airplane?

I am about a third of the way through the Newsletters and find them very entertaining and seeing/remembering the fashions is a kick.

I was looking for help in starting this project and if we stick to the baseball analogy several batters have stepped up to the plate, but Dave was the first to step up and disseminate the knowledge to overcome some of the issues presented. Thanks Dave.

Bob E. I am happy to hear your view and am looking for the gear truss modifications. I agree that a third hinge point is a good addition. Seems like a good design feature.

Mike good idea on the honey-do list I will always keep this in mind. What is the configuration of your airplane, if you do not mind expanding on this?

bmcj, one of the guys at work showed me some pictures of a biplane fly-in in your area May of 2012. Were you there?

saa
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jsh



Joined: 19 Dec 2005
Posts: 354
Location: Burnet, TX

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

basic plan was to keep it simple, inexpensive, light, easy to maintain. no formal milestones, etc ....although I am well versed in flow charts etc. I was still employed thru all of the build, so the goal throughout was to enjoy the journey, learn new skills and someday there would be an airplane to fly. I started on the wings first because of the ability to do a lot of work for not a lot of $$. plus I was more comfortable with woodworking. some good advice I can offer is to start something you are comfortable with....it is important to have some early success(es) to feed the ambition to keep up with this endeavor. I built my wings in the dining room in a rent house in New Orleans. you gotta use what you got. I was most fortunate to be in San Diego during the fuselage build, when Starduster corp was located in Riverside and Bill Clouse was in charge. Bill was the one who first told me about using the longer engine mount, as well as much other good advice. I covered the leading edges with plywood ......you will see an article I wrote for the Starduster mag detailing the process. it is more work but I highly recommend it vs the alum leading edges. in keeping with keep it light and simple, I left the center section tank out......I can go as long as I want to before refueling with 26 gal in the main. yes, the front has brake pedals, only because that is the way the plans are. some pros and cons on this, but I have never had a problem. the prototype is 1000 # empty weight, with no electrical. mine came in at 1060# with radio, xponder, battery and starter,....so I was pleased with that. I have an O-360 Lycoming and I would not want anything less.
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Starduster History



Joined: 30 Nov 2006
Posts: 736
Location: St. Helens, Oregon

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:15 pm    Post subject: Building the Starduster Too Reply with quote

Stuart The Original truss called out in the plans is built from 1" x 058 4130 and is fine for a four cylinder powered lycoming airplane that weighs around 1000 # lbs empty. However most do not, as most with a center section fuel tank electrical system and creature comforts like heat usually weigh between 1200 and 1300 # lbs empty! Some are light and like jsh has commented his is one, but one must pay particular attention to every possible way to keep the build light and simple!

If one ends up with an airplane weighing in at the higher weights then a truss of 065 x 1' 4130 might be a better choice. And if the airplane is powered by a radial or 540 such as an angle valve IO-540 that weighs at least another 100#lbs and add a C/S prop and prop governor another 50 to 60 # lbs then one should consider at least 1 1/8 by 065 or 083 4130 tubing to build the truss out of! Also the gear needs to be beefed up! My opinion!

As for the center section fuel tank, to build and install one or not, is certainly up to the builder as to what he is going to do to and with it. I can not speak for others as they all have their reasons. But If you are going to actually go somewhere with the airplane IE: over them their mountains and them their other ones called the Rockies then I can assure you that a center section fuel tank would be in order!

It does add to the empty weight, especially if built to the plans, but having the extra fuel with some substantial head winds can make a 2 1/2 hr flight into a 3 1/2 hr flight especially when their are no airports close by!
I have flown my airplane to Oshkosh 8 times from Oregon and would not want to do so without a center section tank! If one is only going to fly locally and never go anywhere then a single main take would be fine.

Going east bound one usually has the prevailing winds in your favor, however coming back west it is usually just the opposite as I have seen my normal cruise speed of 105 kts decay to as low as 65 kts!

The May 2012 Starduster Fly in was hosted by Bruce AKA bmcj so yes he was there. Dave
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Dave Baxter
Starduster History
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Mike Harris



Joined: 01 Dec 2005
Posts: 175
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Mike good idea on the honey-do list I will always keep this in mind. What is the configuration of your airplane, if you do not mind expanding on this? "

Stewart (I’m guessing that’s your name since Dave used that form of address), you asked about the configuration of my airplane. Right off the bat, I have to say that I am not building this plane for aerobatics. I want a beautiful open cockpit biplane that I can fly comfortably and use for short trips. Since I am a life-long motorcyclist and live in a warm part of the country (Louisiana) an open cockpit works for me.

Also, I really like to build things. As a consequence, I am enjoying building the airplane. I always have the finished project in mind but I’m not trying to just get it built so I have plane. If one wants an airplane, one would be better off buying one. If one wants to be able to strut one’s stuff and say “Yep! I built it. And there is no kit for this custom built airplane.” then building an SDII is the way to go.

• The fuselage has been lengthened 6” in the rear cockpit so I can fit without having my legs at an uncomfortable angle. I have not heard of anyone else having rear cockpit legroom issues so I am concluding that my ancient back is the reason my legs are fussy about the angle. Dave seems to fit fine in his. I suggest you find an SDII and sit in it before you go modifying the airplane.

• The firewall has been moved 12” forward to:
o Compensate for moving my 200 pounds 6” aft
o Use the space that would be wasted forward of the CG by the long engine mounts. The space is used for the Aux gas tank because my wife doesn’t’ want a tank of gas over her head. The space is also used for the battery box and for a luggage compartment.

• I have run a trial weight and balance and it looks good so far. However, I am not going to fly the airplane until I put on scales and load it in various configurations. An aft CG is not a good thing!!! I have read that a lot of SDIIs are flying with a CG aft of where Lou Stolp thought it should be. I am guessing that the very large tail surface volume has a lot to do with these airplanes being flyable. I don’t know that for a fact– just speculating.

• Speaking of Lou Stolp, if you want to see what one looks like built to Lou’s plans, go to Oregon and visit Dave. It’s worth the trip. If I had stuck to the plans and built it without any changes, I would have the plane would be finished by now. While I have enjoyed the challenge of designing and fabricating things like a flip-up windshield and opening door so I can get in and out more easily, I have to warn that every little change takes about 10 times as many hours as one might think it would. Unless you are just a real hard-head like me and just HAVE to have things your way, stick to the plans.

• Because I have hacked up the fuselage to make rooms for doors. I have increased the size of the longerons to 7/8” to make up for cutting them up. Plus I have followed the traditional home builder path of adding steel until “it looks about right” to re-engineer the fuselage truss. ALL of this adds weight! Every one on the board says to try to keep it light and these changes I have made will work against that goal. But since I have got to be able to get in the airplane to fly it, I am accepting these weight penalties.

• Engine: I really wanted to go with an O-470 because:
o Mid-time engines are readily available at less cost than O-360s
o The additional weight of the 6 cylinder (roughly 100 pounds) would help with balancing my 200 pounds 6” farther aft than Lou planned.
o More power is good for rate of climb. I would not have expected much in the way of increased speed due to the forest of struts and wires and the drag generated by 4 wingtip vortices (rather than 2 as is the case with a monoplane).

• I have changed my mind and am using an IO-360 because:
o I don’t think I want the additional 100 pounds. I’m not going to use the power that much. If I were flying aerobatics, it would be a different story, I’m sure.
o I may be able to fly longer (medically) with a fixed pitch 180 HP engine due to the current efforts of the AOPA and EAA get the FAA to allow day VFR with that equipment without an aviation medical. This effort is based on the successful “no-medical experiment” of the Sport Light program.

I started with building the rudder. Then the fin. Then the horizontal Stabilizer. Then the elevator. The fuselage (Including the fuel tanks and engine mount) will be finished this year (total 7.5 years). This is the heart and core of the airplane (the wings are, of course, the soul) and takes the longest to build; LOTS of little parts to be planned and fabricated. I expect the wings to take about 2 months each.

These times reflect the fact that I still work full-time at my consulting business and I keep on top of the chores.

This is a challenging project. For me, the satisfaction that comes from overcoming these challenges and creating an airplane with one’s own hands is the reward.


Call me if you like. Since I have a website for my business, my contact info is in the public domain and there’s no reason to play coy. Here’s my info.

Mike Harris, Ph.D. CIH
Hamlin & Harris, Inc.
1728 Cloverdale Ave.
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
Office: (225) 387- 2847
Cell: (225) 229-2847
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bmcj



Joined: 05 Dec 2005
Posts: 810
Location: California, Fresno

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SAA wrote:
bmcj, one of the guys at work showed me some pictures of a biplane fly-in in your area May of 2012. Were you there?


Yep, I was there. It was a smallish, informal event that my wife (Geneva) and I hosted. We held a larger, more formal one in 2008 at Flabob Airport, with the organizing help of a few of the other members here on the forum.

Here's the thread about it: https://www.aircraftspruce.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3184&start=15&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=

Not sure where the pictures went. there were some pics posted in that thread, but I can't see any of them right now... I'm assuming the picture storage on this site must be down right now.

Bruce Smile
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Bruce

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