Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Czech Mate Wing Nomination

First flight of the new wing. Photo: Victor Archer (link)
Mojave Experimental Fly-in
Award Nomination

Title: Czech Mate wing inspection/engineer/rebuild
Experimenter: Bryan Kreimendahl and David "LD" Hughes
Category: Design/Build
Aircraft: Yak-11 N5943
Date: Apr 2010 - Sept 2013
Author: Elliot Seguin

Description:  In April of 2010 Don "Bucky" Dawson posted some pictures titled "Air Racer Air-frame & Wing Stress Clues..." (link).  A fantastic example of the small community that is air racing, those pictures triggered an inspection of the air-frame, then a tear-down, and eventual rebuild.  What other corner of aviation has a team of photographers there when the aircraft reaches its design point to capture the response of the vehicle? Very cool.  Bryan and David tore into the highly modified Russian aircraft, reverse engineered the existing structure, came up with a way to add new structure, then rebuilt the airplane around that added structure.  Drawings of the structure are limited. The materials and origins of the pre-existing structure are as storied as any airplane of this vintage, yet, they were able to find a solution. 

Argument: This is an exceedingly rare blend of skills and talents.   Determining what the new structure would be, and incorporating it into the existing structure required many disciplines. The result was proven with the aircraft back on the course in the race environment without the troublesome buckling in the skins.

Wing Skin Buckling Photo: Don "Bucky" Dawson
Wing in Jig Photo: Ifixit.org

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