Göppingen Wolf Project Diary

I first spotted Chris Williams's prototype of this model at a scale slope day and then shortly afterwards read about the fun he'd had aerotowing it. I've got a bit of a soft spot for vintage gliders but the standard 1/4 scale ones (at about 4m wing span) are a bit ponderous for some of the slopes and landing sites we frequent and can also be rather unweildy to store and transport. However, this one was different. Being built to 1/7 scale, it comes out at just 2m in span.

There was just one snag - fearing that I am becoming sensitised to balsa dust, I had resolved not to build anything over the winter of 2018/19 in order to give my airways a bit of a break. Then the Wolf appeared as a free plan in the December edition of RCM&E - temptation! Well, my resolution related to the Winter and, according to the Met Office, Spring begins on the first of March so, towards the end of February, the plans were laid out and a shopping list drawn up. And on March the first, I put in the order for the wood. . .

March 2019
The wing build is pretty conventional. The main change I made was to build the wing in two pieces for ease of transport. The plan was cut up and laid out on the board so that the two wings could be built simultaneously, starting with the 3mm square spruce lower spar, the laminated trailing edge and the ribs.

The aileron spar, false leading edge and upper spar come next.

I had initially planned on making a plywood wing joiner. However, it's quite a thin wing and so I felt that something a little more solid might be wise. Eventually I remembered that there were some rusty old steel blade/brass box joiner offcuts lurking in a corner of the workshop and, as luck would have it, the smaller of the two sizes was a perfect fit in between the spars. Sometimes you just get lucky!!

Lengths of the brass box tubing were faced with plywood to bring them up to the width of the spars, then fitted between the spars, secured by ply shear webs front and back.

Once the joiners were securely in place, the root ribs were fitted. The plan is to have a ply 'keel' piece projecting out of the wing saddle on the top of the fuselage. This will be slotted and drilled for the joiner blade and a couple of incidence pegs.

With the framework more or less complete, it was time to do the underside sheeting and cap strips. .

. . . before flipping the wing over, setting it on the jigs, and repeating the procedure on the top.

Of course the above description glosses over all the really time-consuming little preparatory jobs of making sure that the aileron servos will fit, re-profiling any slightly misaligned ribs, sanding back the aileron spars and false leading edges, fitting blocks for the aileron hinges and incidence pegs, etc., etc..

I suppose that, at this point, I should really press on and finished the wings - they still lack wingtips, leading edges, ailerons, root facing ribs, incidence pegs, strut fixing points etc.. However, I fancy a change of scenery so have cleared the bench in readiness to make a start on the fuselage next month.