Legal Eagle XL Buildlog

Building a Legal Eagle XL Ultralight Airplane

Add wing leading edge

Add wing leading edge

After picking up a bunch of straps to hold the leading edge in place while gluing I got to work finishing the leading edge. I was very nervous about this process and did a bunch of research as to how others were doing it. I saw a lot of different processes some of which were very complicated with elaborate jigs and what have you.

After some thinking, I decided to stick to the basics and what others were doing and just used tie-down straps along with clamps and staples.

For my process, I started out up-side-down gluing, clamping and stapling the sheets of ply along the entire length to ensure the plies were lining up correctly. In order to keep sheet material consistent, I ended up ripping them lengthwise to the correct width using my table saw with about a half-inch of excess. This turned out to work really well.

I did have a couple of issues with plies not quite lining up quite right and in one case the bottom of one-ply did not pull into place on the rib correctly. I have found that straps work well but they do not quite push the ply into place along the bottom curve of the rib, as you would want. To resolve that I just used additional staples along the ribs on the bottom side while adding them.

I also found I needed to be careful sanding around the rib joints – it was easy to sand too much and get the leading edge very thin in that location. I ended up having to put some backing material in place to fix one of the locations where this occurred (lessons learned).

One response to “Add wing leading edge”

  1. This is a ‘Next Level Build’ KUDOS, Steve K… Thanks for the file ‘Sharing!’

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