Last year ended with the test flights of the Juliet2 prototype, gathering valuable information to help us improve the design. In the beginning of 2020 I finally agreed (with myself) that the design was mature enough to build a first batch of Juliet3 airframes. This meant I could finally move on with other projects and get back to the garage!
Once I saved the files in Sketchup, I sent everything to Paolo at EasyCNC to cut the beautiful parts you can see in the pictures. It’s not the first time I use their services, and it’s always a pleasure to deal with people who put passion in their job. As I received the package, I just couldn’t resist the temptation and started to assemble the fuselage. It’s so satisfying to feel the parts slot into each other without any play or adjustment necessary. All the rest of the wood required for the construction of the Juliet2 is coming as usual from Modelberg. This is another company we dealt with in the past, and probably one of the best sources of quality balsa wood (among other stuff) in Italy.
Before we could start the construction of the first Juliet2 airframe, there was some work to do. The fuselage jig I used for the A1-D works perfectly, since the two models fuselages have basically the same shape. Where the two differ a lot is in the internal structure, so I printed a new series of blueprints to glue on the support and guide the construction.
Although the laser cut of the parts is a great time saver, it has one limit. All the cuts are perpendicular to the surface. This is usually not a problem, in fact that’s usually a benefit, but in some points the fuselage requires more complex angles. Before even start to open the glue, it’s time to make all these little adjustments.
Thanks to the laser cut parts, the Juliet3 is very easy to build. All the time spent designing the model in Sketchup has paid off, with the most part of the fuselage self aligning itself even without my construction jig. The wings assembly uses the same concept of the other juliets. Strategically positioned holes in the ribs are used to pass alluminium tubes, which in turn guarantee a nice and straight part.The same holes are then used for the wing tubes. Although the “philosophy” is the same, the Juliet3 wings are tapered with fully built up ailerons, so it does add a bit of complexity to the build. To help myself, I made two “combs” out of scrap plywood, to keep the ribs aligned and in the right place during the construction.
While a lot of talented modelers exploited a bright side of the lockdown and started to produce a quantity of planes, I was super busy with my house renovation. This meant a complete stop to any progress on the Juliet3, and some concerns on how to move to the new house all the parts without any damage. One way or another, fuselage and wings survived one month storage, the moving, and two more months in a super messy new garage, unscratched. It’s now time to finish them and continue with the tail surfaces, landing gear and canopies!
Stay tuned for more updates in the coming weeks!
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