After reading a bunch of other blogs and forums I decided to take the initiative and add foam inserts to my wing lead edge nose assemblies.

I decided for me, the easiest way to do this was for me to use my CNC Co2 laser cutter. After a few attempts, I was able to get a decent cut out using the laser but found this way of cutting 3/4 inch foam to not be optional although I felt it would be ok for my needs. I think the best way to do this would be to use a wire cutter and template cutting several at once.

The main issue I had was achieving a uniform cut through the foam; the laser tends to be hotter on the top side of cut causing more shrinkage on that side than on the backside.

3 Replies to “Leading Edge Foam Inserts and Prep

  1. Chris,
    Every time I read one of your postings it reinforces my need to pay you a visit!
    I will as soon as the weather and family obligations settle down a bit. I also have decided to fill the space between rib noses with Styrofoam, hot-wire cut to profile. Do you see any drawbacks in doing it?
    A 2nd question: what is the preferred glue you use?

    1. When you say fill – do you mean to fill it entirely. If that is so I guess you can but by doing so you will be adding weight – even if it is foam, that will add up. Not sure how much that will add but something to think about – doing so would surely make it a little easier to apply the wood shell (maybe).
      I know some builders are real advocates of keeping the weight down to the minimal. I guess I am middle of the road on that opinion. I try to keep my weight down but at the same time I am trying to keep it strong too and there are a few options I want that add a little weight that in my book are worth it.
      One thought I had was if it would be feasible to instead of using wood for the leading-edge use aluminum like many other experiments I have seen. With a leading-edge made with aluminum – something like aluminum roofing flashing that comes in 20 feet or more then you would probably not need any foam inserts to keep dimples from developing.
      There are all kinds of discussions about glue but this is my preference:
      I use different glues for different things depending on what I am doing.

      • T88 epoxy for main component assemblies, ie main wing assembly of ribs to spars…
      • Hysol 9460 and/or Scotchweld 2216 for bonding different materials like aluminum to wood.
      • Titebond III for assembly of ribs, spars and what have you.

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