Recently in Libelle Category

New trailer for the Libelle

My old trailer was slowly falling apart, awkward to use, leaky. You name it. This spring it spontaneously decided not to fully open its brakes anymore. It was time for retirement.

I found a new one (well, a new used one) that used to be the home of an ASW 20. After a full weekend of remodelling the fittings, it was safe to drive the Libelle back to England.




Back home I continued working on it. It's all those little things that take forever. For example the ASW 20 has a large tail skid, while the Libelle has a small tail wheel. So I had to fabricate a new floor recess for it. My first attempt to make a mould using expanding foam failed miserably:


Instead, I went to the lathe and made a fresh mould in the size and shape of my tail wheel, epoxied a rim around the original recess in the trailer, and finally glued the two pieces together with lots of flox. Came out very nicely. I thought I had made a picture of the finished product, but I can't find it, so probably not. This is the tail wheel plug on the lathe:


The trailer still needs some work. I want to build a new ramp (the current one is crap), the outside needs a repaint, and the wingtips need new support blocks on the floor. But overall I'm very happy with it. It tows well, is mostly watertight, and fully insulated. Much much drier than the old one, even in rainy England.

Tow out gear for the Libelle

Moving gliders on the ground can be a bit of a pain. By far the easiest way is to hook them up to the car and tow them. So this week I started making a tow bar. It's almost finished, I just need some long bolts before I can make the final adjustments at the glider.


The next project is a wing wheel, so that nobody needs to walk my wing any longer.

Installing the TRX-2000 collision warning system

This winter I finally bought a FLARM. I opted for the new Garrecht TRX-2000, which includes not only a FLARM device with graphical representation of the traffic situation, but also an ADS-B and Mode-S transponder receiver. A nice piece of equipment.

Both the ADS-B and the FLARM antenna need a ground plane. In my Libelle the only possible location for the antennae is behind the instruments, and since the antenna cables have straight connectors, I needed to elevate the ground plane a bit. Some scrap aluminum was quickly converted in what some might consider overkill (nobody will ever see those flush rivets):


Refurbishing my glider's seat back

During the last few weeks I didn't work on the RV, but nevertheless spent quite some time in the workshop. So why not document it here? Then at least you know why the work on the RV is stagnating.

One of those projects was the refurbishment of the seat back in my Club Libelle. The cable for the seat adjustment had to be changed (sorry, no pictures for that), and having the seat back on the work bench was the perfect chance to fix the rotten piano hinge holding it in place. Here is the old vs new comparison:


The reason why it cracked so much is that it had been riveted to a wavy surface, so I decided to make a fillet with flox (epoxy with flocked cotton), but of course not on the old paint. Perfect excuse to get rid of the horrible dark green paint and strip the whole thing:


Using an aluminum angle as flat surface to form the fillet:


Nice new rivet holes, shown after painting the seat back with smoke grey epoxy paint:


Here I'm fitting the new piano hinge. What would life be without clecos?


And the final product. Note that in this picture I didn't drill the screw holes in the bottom part of the hinge yet. That was done at the airplane, to get the alignment right.


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