Progress Report—February 2012

If you’ve been following the Concordia reports here in the Café, you know that Heinz Weissenbuehler and his team at M & H Soaring spent about six weeks finishing the fuselage at their workshop in Elmira, New York. Like all of you, Bill and I had seen photos of the finished fuselage, but when we saw and touched (nee caressed) the fuselage in Dick’s shop last weekend, we were blown away by the quality of the finish. I’ve never seen another sailplane with a finish that matched Concordia’s. Heinz and his staff did an extraordinary job on the fuselage. The photos and videos below don’t begin to do it justice.

Painting the Fuselage

In November, Heinz Weissenbuehler of M&H Soaring drove from New York to Tennessee to pick up the Concordia fuselage and transport it back to his workshop near Elmira for filling, contouring, painting, and polishing. Click here to read the Soaring Café report. Since then, Heinz and his crew completed the filling and contouring work and … Read more

Finishing the Fuselage

Heinz Weissenbuehler of M&H Soaring had a long weekend with an out and return from Elmira, New York to Manchester, Tennessee to fetch the Concordia fuselage, driving over 1,800 miles and 26.5 hours. With structural work complete on the fuselage it is now time to enter the next phase of the fuselage construction–to finalize aerodynamic contouring and then painting.

Ailerons, Flaps, and Winglets

On Thursday, October 20th, your editors traveled to Dick and Sarah Butler’s hilltop aerie in Middle Tennessee to catch up on the latest developments in the Concordia project. We were also eager to see Christian Striefeneder, whom we met last year while he was in Tennessee helping Dick with a critical phase of construction.

Visit to Dick Butler’s toy shop

I’m down here at the U.S. Sports Class Nationals at Chilhowee Gliderport, Tenn.  Sunday was a no-fly day, so I took the opportunity to visit Dick and Sarah Butler at their home near Manchester, Tenn – about 2 hours by car from Chilhowee.  As everyone in the soaring world knows, Dick Butler is building the … Read more

Building The Wing Control System

No one could have predicted the time and complexity involved in designing, building and installing the Concordia flight control systems. As discussed in preceding chapters, very few compromises were made in the Concordia wing design from the viewpoint of aerodynamics and handling qualities. On paper it was a lot of fun designing a supership and not having to worry about production time, associated costs, and being able to market the plane at a competitive price. In reality a lot of the design choices that were made to maximize competition performance came back to haunt us in the building and installation of controls.

Building The Wing Spar Shear Web

The most critical area of shear web construction is the region between the main wing pins. Between the main wing pins the entire wing load must be counteracted through the shear web. Resolving this enormous load not only requires many layers of glass, known as “windings,” around the spar but also requires a large amount … Read more