Here's How We Are Building Our Nieuport 11s, Page 4 -- We really finish The Planning and arrange for tube shipments
We Start with the Tail Feathers
After we had talked with other Nieuport builders and experienced Nieuport pilots (about the tail flight characteristics), we decided to "beef up" the tail some. Many of the builders had changed the somewhat weak hinges and attachments for them. Also, we made some jigs and modified some tools so there would be no kinks in the half-inch aluminum tubing.
Ralph made this router jig to make the form for the rudder
The larger tail-curve form on the tail table
Ralph made this routing guide out of scrap lumber to produce a wood form for the large curves on the rudder. The curve has an 18 inch radius. The router bit is a half-inch half round to put a slot in the form board. The router was placed in a large vise and the guide was clamped to it.
The routed tubing form on the work table designated for the building of the rudders, horizontal stabilizers, and elevators. Since one curve on the rudder has a 17 inch radius, the tubing will be first bent on the form then hand-bent slightly for the smaller radius.
View of the modified conduit bender
Making the ribs
John took a half-inch thinwall conduit bender and placed three layers of duct tape in the groove. He then put a ten inch section of cheap half-inch I.D. plastic hose with a cut along the top section. This allowed making the two bends needed in the front of the rudder perfectly, without kinks. Since the radius of the smaller bend is four inches, the conduit bender was carefully moved while bending to accomodate the smaller radius. Rather than use half-inch tubing for the tail ribs, we used rectangular ribs similar to those found in production aircraft. Leroy used a brake to form a stack of rib blanks, each one enough for two ribs. These were cut and formed by Ralph, John, Ray and Wyman into the two different sizes needed and into mirror images of each. A Dremel tool with a grinding/cutting bit was used to form the curve that would fit around the rudder/horizontal stabilizer/elevator tubing. Each rib would then be fastened with gussets to the tubing. This takes longer but is much stronger than using tubing as ribs.


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