AIM Blog

FAA Career Training

Indy’s Nieuport 11 logging miles, but still moving ahead

Posted by on Jun 26, 2012

Like the Morane in Kansas City, the Nieuport 11 in Indy has been logging some miles going to fly-ins.  The Nieuport was on display with the Morane at the Air Force Museum Fly-in at Dayton last fall.  Additionally, it has made some other trips closer to home.

On display in Dayton you can see the work accomplished on the fuselage

Robert Leming installing the top former for display at the Indianapolis Air Show


 Work on the fuselage has  been going quite well, and the engine has been installed. We are still in the  process of adding an oil filter and fuel pump before we can run the engine, but

that should happen soon. We are also going to do some re-work to the seat, to  ensure that it would meet current standards for in-flight loading. The  instrument panel is also ready for installation.

Lower wings are complete and matched to the fuselage. Next step covering.

We are now in the process of covering the lower wings.  Then it will be two down, and two to go, and we start the upper wings.  By the way, the lower wings are considerably less difficult than the upper ones will be.  Nieuport used a single spar on the lower wings, and there are no ailerons.

Nieuport 17 back on track

Posted by on Jun 25, 2012

After the rapidly growing student population at the Philli school squeezed the Nieuport project out of its dedicated workspace, it was relegated to a shipping container setting next to the hangar. While this held the materials just fine, it did not allow for any work room. Everytime the team wanted to work on the airplane, they had to move everything out, accomplish what they could, and then move it back to storage. Not a real productive situation. To provide for the larger student population, a new hangar has been built, and several lab spaces have been turned into classrooms. The school finally has room to breathe, and space to dedicate to this project. A separate, and secure space has now been dedicated to the Nieuport, a new project team assembled, and once again progress is being made.

The Neiuport 17 gets a new home.

The new project teams consists of:

Fuselage Team  Corey Jones(Graduate/ Team Chief), Luis Bendezo, Martin Heck

Powerplant Team  Anthony D’Onfrio(Graduate/ Team Chief), Ernst Jean, Ainsworth Palmer

Wings Team  Alfred Gunter (Team Chief), Peter Hamilton

Landing Gear Team  Jose Camacho(Team Chief)

Tailfeathers(Empennage)Team  Barbara Rivero (Team Chief), Billy Sutherland

Instructor Scott Roberts will serve as project manager, with instructors Pete Costa and Douglass Babb as advisors.

Recent activities include,  Pete Costa and Tony D’Onofrio borescoped the Rotec R-3600 engine (which has been in storage for several years) and determined that all was well inside. Work on the new engine test stand is progressing, but we are awaiting metal for the structure, having already built the base. This will allow us to run the engine and make certain that everything is in working order before it is installed on the fuselage.

The airframe is still in process: We have encountered a compound problem with the

square tubes used for the upper and lower longerons: our regular supplier has run out of stock of the .750″ x .049″ square tubing we switched to when they ran out of the same size in .035″ stock. They are not, apparently, running another production batch at this time, so we are trying to find an alternate source. Our back-up plan is to replace the square tubing with round, then add an edge former to replicate the square outside corners for cosmetic purposes: this would entail replacing at least the upper sections of longeron, so they both match. The lower longerons are currently in process of being shaped properly to conform to the required curvature. One advantage to switching to round tubing is we would be able to more easily curve the materials using a tubing bender.

The Tailfeathers Team is working with the elevators which were previously cut and shaped, and will be constructing the horizontal stabilizer next, followed by the rudder. We are still sourcing a few of their parts, bushings, etc.

The Wings team is making their patterns, and will be beginning construction of their pieces within the next month. We believe once the templates are made, the plywood ribs, fittings, etc. should come together relatively quickly.

The Landing Gear team is waiting for their aerodynamic tubing to arrive: It has been backordered twice at this point, and they are working on the sheet metal pieces.

Keep coming back to see the progress we are making.


Comparing Nieuport

Posted by on Jun 21, 2012

Instructor Dan Jarrett instructing his students on the difference between the radial engine and a horizontally opposed engine cylinder arrangement.