The Winglets

Wetting the glass cloth on the first winglet.

In this picture, I (where the hell did that shirt come from? ...oh yes, a Delta Chi brother, Wade Parham gave it to me. Imagine that.) am wetting the multiple layers of fiberglass cloth on the surface of the winglet with epoxy resin. The winglets are the first airframe structure that you build. They act as both vertical stabilizers and rudders on the Berkut - improving efficiency by reducing overall drag. They are relativly small, inexpensive to replace (if you screw it up), and provide something to develop skills with before starting the more complex layups on the wings. I had NO previous experience working with fiberglass, but with the aid of the exceptionally educational Berkut construction videos, written plans and a little common sense, I was able to produce virtually flawless parts!

You learn the techiques very quickly and working with the cloth and epoxy becomes a natural procedure in a short time. I even used and practiced a technique called vacuum bagging on the winglets. This yielded a lighter, stronger and truer shaped winglet! Skills learned and developed here will be duplicated in larger fassion on the wings and canard.

Short Story: Living in North Texas, I run sometimes cross paths with some very interesting people in aviation. One day, Duane Cole (VIP in the aviation world - for you non-flyer types) stopped by during a cross-country in his Caupela ultra-light. Seizing the opportunity, I asked for his autograph. He obliged and signed his name, but not on paper....I got him to sign my winglet. I know...I know, silly story...but it meant alot to me and I'll take all the luck I can get!!!! I got the idea from Wayne A., another Berkut builder who had his winglet signed by Shuttle pilot - "Hoot" Gibson.

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