Monday, February 20, 2012

A bird is an instrument working according to mathematical law,

which instrument it is within the capacity of man to reproduce with all its movements.

— Leonardo da Vinci, Treatise on the Flight of Birds, 1505.

Round circles in aluminum forms riveted together is like pure distilled "airplane" to me. The little section of wing pictured above is my favorite single visual element of a Lazair.

A great deal of progress was made on Saturday. Gabe and I finished stripping the second wing and fuselage.

Dale's wing stands came in handy again, here's the wing when we got started on Saturday.

This is the original logo on the port wing. Sadly the winglets are in pretty bad shape, and we're repairing and recovering them, so the old covering was cut away.

Here's a closeup of the aileron control rod connection. I've taken some pictures of each assembly as we break the aircraft down, so we can be sure to re-assemble in the same manner. In truth the design is quite simple and we have the factory assembly manual to double check, but it never hurts to be thorough. The wings are filthy from their time in a barn. I'm certain I don't want to know what some of that staining is from.

The covering has been pulled/cut away from the wing now, and to get at the last fiddly bits we have to remove the aileron. Next we'll be pulling the ribs, so the trailing edge rod needs to come off also.

Each rib is held in place with rivets. To remove them you have to punch out the center of the rivet, then drill it out, leaving a nice hole for a new rivet later. (That's the plan anyway)

Once denuded the wing joined it's brother hanging beneath the eaves of Gabe's house. We're going to finish cleaning the wings and make some repairs in the coming weeks, but for now they have a safe place to wait. In the boxes are all the other parts we have removed so far. It's a pretty small package when it's broken down.

Aluminum swallow tails.

About the time we were finished with the second wing, the sun decided to come out. Since all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, we decided to break out the Alula and play with the seagulls in the breeze. (

The Alula is a hand launched, hand catch flyer. You toss it by one wingtip to get airborne, then try and find some slope lift, or a nice breeze. Flying doesn't need to be complicated.

Playtime over, we headed in to the garage to finish the fuselage stripping.

We needed to remove the last of the control assemblies, the odd "brake" arrangement, and the old nose wheel. We won't be reusing any of the landing gear, as we're fitting a wider tricycle configured gear, with a steerable nose wheel.

Now we just need to clean the fuselage, and it's ready for paint.


  1. Shoot me an email when you get a chance; I'd be interested in those engines. My housemate and I have an ultralight project of our own underway, and have taken a good bit of inspiration from the Lazair, so I think they might work perfectly for our project:

  2. Suppose it would help to include my email: