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Despite the PIONEER IId's light weight, it is a very sturdy aircraft stressed to an ultimate design load factor of 10 at gross flying weight. It has a stout tubular steel landing gear assembly welded directly to the wing's center section. The entire cockpit section is reinforced with a heavy laminate of 24 oz fiberglass woven roving for crash protection should the occasion arise. The wings are of an all wood construction for those who like to build from wood.
Recently the Shop rebuilt and updated the Pioneer IId with wingtip extensions and a reprofiled airfoil. This is still a great Glider!
We are currently designing a new Pioneer III due to fly in the fall of 2003. This glider will feature a 43:1 glide ratio and all composite construction. Price will be about $20,000 for the kit.
PIONEER II CONSTRUCTION
The fuselage skin is molded in female molds and fabricated from laminated fiberglass and epoxy resin. There are two primary halves, upper and lower. All ribs and bulkheads are made from fiberglass and are already bonded in place. A tubular steel frame is lowered into the shell and bolted into position. All controls are then bolted either to the shell or to the frame. When all the metal work is completed the upper fiberglass tail section is bonded into place. The instrument panel may be either bonded or screwed down. The fiberglass bucket seat fits snugly into the cockpit and snaps onto the wing's center sectiontube.The canopy is furnished untrimmed and will require cutting to fit the cockpit opening. The rudder is constructed of wood, similar to the wings structure, and is fabric covered.
SPAR:All wood, "I" beam construction for a high strength to weight ratio. Spar caps are aircraft Sitka Spruce and web is 1/2" marine or aircraft grade plywood.
RIBS:Nose and main ribs are sawn from 1/4" marine or aircraft grade plywood with lightening holes cut out.
CONTROL SURFACES: Ailerons and elevators are skinned with 1/16" aircraft plywood. Spars and ribs are cut from 1/4" spruce. All control surfaces are covered with fabric and doped.
CONTROLS: Ailerons are push/pull tube operated throughout. The elevator is torque tube operated across the fuselage with
COVERING: The leading edge D-tube is sheeted with 3/32"aircraft plywood as well as the inboard portion of the wing back to the rear spar. The entire wing is then fabric covered and doped.
Many of you will be building your PIONEER in your garage,therefore compactness is very important. Minimum working space is 10' x 20' The foam/fiberglass wing tip can be left off until the wing is ready for covering if working space is really critical. Some builders want to extend their wingspan from 13 meters (421-711) to 13.5 meters (441-211). This length wing is acceptable and may be accomplished by bonding on longer slabs of foam. Any span longer than 13.5 meters will increase the bending moment of the wing thereby reducing strength and noticably increasing wing bending deflections.
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