• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Building a Junior Ace

Tench745

Active member
#1
I haven't been very active here since I got back from FFEast. Part of this was burnout. I haven't been idle though.
I decided to one-up myself. I spent around 300 hours on my Spirit of St Louis model and came to the realization that rather than building one big model at 300 hours a year, I could devote that effort to building a real airplane. At 300 hours/year I could have a 1200hr aircraft built in 4 years. With that reasoning I started down the path toward homebuilding.
CorbenJrAcelanding.jpg

For various reasons I elected to build a Corben Junior Ace. This is the two seat variant of the Baby Ace. It's a wood wing and a welded steel fuselage covered in cloth. Often referred to as "rag and tube" construction.
I'm a theatrical carpenter by trade, so the wood work doesn't concern me too much, I just need to work to tighter tolerances than usual. I am a passable MIG welder, but for aircraft TIG or Oxy-fuel welding is preferred. I have an Ody-acetylene torch I'm practicing with here and there, but I'm no where near competent enough to weld the thin tubing in a fuselage yet. I plan on talking to a guy at my local EAA chapter about welding lessons.

I have a blog http://aviationcomingeventually.blogspot.com and a thread over on the EAA forums http://eaaforums.org/showthread.php?7943-Corben-Jr-ace-build to document my progress and process. Right now I'm 100 hours in and I have all 26 wing ribs nearly completed. The lower capstrips still need to be tapered for the trailing edge.
IMG_0683.JPG

IMG_0684.JPG
 

foamtest

Toothpick glider kid
#4
I wish I could see your blog on my school laptop but everything is blocked. It took me two years to get the forums unblocked.

Either way I wish you luck with this build!
 
#8
Building an airplane is a dream of mine as well. I love when people share their build logs so I can see what goes into each of these, as I plan where I want to go myself.

Those ribs look amazingly light, this one might not be for me. I'm more for welding than finish carpentry!

You mention issues with cutting slots on your blog, I picked up one of those "oscillating tools" last year after a friend loaned me his. I always thought they were a gimmick, but they are a fantastic plunge cutter when something needs a slot in it.

Thanks for sharing and best of luck with the project!
 

Tench745

Active member
#9
Those ribs look amazingly light, this one might not be for me. I'm more for welding than finish carpentry!

You mention issues with cutting slots on your blog, I picked up one of those "oscillating tools" last year after a friend loaned me his. I always thought they were a gimmick, but they are a fantastic plunge cutter when something needs a slot in it.

Thanks for sharing and best of luck with the project!
They ribs are pretty light, about 180-190grams each depending on the rib. They go together just like a big balsa model. Cut to rough size and grind the angle to fit on a disc sander. (Mine are actually cut square as the gussets add the strength, not the bevels)
We've got one of those oscillating tools at work, I call it "the angry mosquito," but it does work well. Too much of a specialty thing to be worth the investment for me right now. There were definitely times it could have been useful though.