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Old 11-12-2019, 05:33 AM
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I have a Skywing Extra 101" coming. Should be fun.
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Old 11-14-2019, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randomguy View Post
I would!

Full-scale Pitts’ have wood wings. Last I checked, no Pitts had ever had a structural failure leading to a fatality (I’m ignoring one single example that’s not relevant here). The same was not true for any of the composites: Extra, Edge, you name it. That’s despite Pitts’ having flown many more hours.

Two reasons. One is composites are harder to work with, with less margin for error. Two is the failure modes. Wood gives you warning. Carbon is perfect til it isn’t.

Plus wood airplanes are *fun* to fly [in]. Pitts, Cubs, Champs, Stearmans. I’m starting to daydream...

No question that carbon is generally higher performance though.
Don't forget that the Lasers and the original Extra 230 had wood wings as well. ( Along with welded steel tube fuselages, another very old technology whose use goes all the way back to Anthony Fokker in 1915..) And even the Extra 300 wing is not pure CF, its a mix of CF and Wood.

Digging a bit I found this interesting read on the 230 which quotes Walter Extra himself as saying the move away from all wood construction was due to the quality of wood declining, not necessarily an absolute superiority of synthetic materials.

https://www.iac.org/files/magazines/SA-2010-05.pdf




Quote:
Originally Posted by closetguy View Post
Yeah, full scale wood planes will never hold up to that.
I know...It would be as if you built an airplane out of wood and tried to fly it over 400mph while taking machine gun fire and expect it to survive.

Obviously that could never work!
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Old 11-14-2019, 08:34 AM
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How many are flying today?
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Old 11-14-2019, 09:01 AM
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How many are flying today?
You'll have to clarify the question - how many of what are flying? And what do we hope to prove/disprove with such a number?

I assume you mean the Mosquito - a quick search finds 4 airworthy examples are still flying.

By contrast there are zero space shuttles still flying.

Maybe a better comparison is to another vintage fighter... lets skip the P51 because its unusually popular. Take the Bf109. There are something like a dozen still flying. Ok that's a lot more than 4 Mosquitos, but then again about 5x as many 109s where manufactured as where Mosquitos so its survival % is actually slightly lower.




Does any of this information actually inform a judgement that one of these aircraft is "best" ?
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Old 11-14-2019, 09:09 AM
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OK, fair enough, but I don't fly with vacuum tubes or chrome antennas either, but some do. I wish my Pantera had a little more CF and alot less wood when it exploded in mid air after some snaps.
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Old 11-14-2019, 09:24 AM
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ANd if that is not enought for you, how about a 550mph wooden jet






Lots of intersting reading on Wood construction (vs. metal and compsite) at EAA:
https://www.eaa.org/eaa/aircraft-bui...ood-for-wings?

https://www.eaa.org/eaa/aircraft-bui...h-wood-part-1?


We all get drooling over carbon and kevlar simply because they are one of the few materials that have been developed that are acutally better in terms of strength to weight ratio than woods. Probably a lot of guys dont realize that (while you cant build an airliner out of it), Balsa wood actually rates BETTER than aluminum, Steel and even Titanium on a specific strength (tensile strength divided by density) scale.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specific_strength
(sort the table by column 3 specific strength)


THe rage today is to build these airframes out of crappy hard balsa and light ply (absolute garbage) that look like swiss cheese, and then add carbon until they are no longer too fragile to touch.



If instead we started from THICK pieces of high quality contest grade balsa, with some judicious use of real birch aircraft ply only in high stress areas would probably turn out an airframe just as strong and even lighter. It would just be expensive given today's wood supply and the higher labor cost for the level of craftsmanship required.
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Old 11-14-2019, 09:43 AM
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I suppose I am biased, none of the projects I ever worked on at L-M, or ULA ever had any wood on them. Nor have I personally ever flown on a wood plane. Even in the civilian market, I don't see any wood structure on any Extra, MX (all composite) Edge, Cessna 152-182, etc.
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