UpLink Construction Photos

by Jay Decker

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Learn more about the UpLink DLG at Dick Barker's web site: http://www.eskimo.com/~dickb/UpLink.html

UpLink Building Instructions (1,343 KB Adobe Acrobat file)

UpLink Airfoil Coordinates (Added 5/5/02):

To view the UpLink Building Instructions file above, you will need to have installed Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer.

The UpLink Building Instructions were provided by Dick Barker and included herein by permission.

Bagged Wings

1JSD - 3 bagged UpLink wings 01.jpg (51847 bytes)

UpLink Wings are vacuum bagged flat and in one piece. These wings have been trimmed and sanded. The white strip in the two wings to the right is a 1/2 inch wide strip Spyder foam. The Spyder foam was installed as a shear web prior to cutting the cores with 3M 77 spray glue. 

1JSD - bagged UpLink wing tip 01.jpg (39448 bytes)

A 1/2 inch strip of 1.7 oz Kevlar was applied to the leading edge of the foam cores. The wing skin laminate was wet-out with resin on Mylar carriers and the Kevlar strip on the cores was wet-out with a foam roller just prior placing the core in the laminate sandwich.

Installing Dihedral and Polyhedral

2JSD - Uplink wings installing dihedral 05.JPG (69937 bytes)

The top surface of the wing skin was cut chord wise with a razor saw. A 'V' shaped groove was sanded into the foam with Hobby Lobby's Permanent Sands (tungsten carbide grit brazed to a steel strip).

2JSD - Uplink wings installing dihedral 02.JPG (64709 bytes)

The bottom skin is left intact with this technique. The dihedral joint is glued with epoxy and later reinforced with 1/2 inch wide strips of 1.4 oz fiberglass (FG) are applied top and bottom of the joint with 3M 77 and wet-out with resin.

2JSD - Uplink installing poly-break 01.JPG (132523 bytes)

The polyhedral joints are created the same way. However, only a 1/2 inch wide strip of 1.4 oz FG is applied to the top of the joint.

2JSD - Uplink glassing wing poly-breaks 01.JPG (75221 bytes)

All the dihedral and polyhedral joints were created and then the fiberglass joint reinforcements were applied at the same time using laminating resin.

Wing Hold Down Bolt Details

3JSD - Uplink wing bolt hole detail 06.JPG (34699 bytes)

This photo shows the a piece of 7/16 inch diameter brass tubing that with a sharpened edge. This tubing was use to cut the holes shown.

3JSD - Uplink wing bolt hole detail 05.JPG (93958 bytes)

The piece of brass tubing shown in the drill press.

3JSD - Uplink wing bolt hole detail 04.JPG (111719 bytes)

Drilling the hole in the wing.

3JSD - Uplink wing bolt hole detail 01.JPG (44725 bytes)

Notice that the bottom skin is left intact. The last 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch of the hole was cut by hand so that the bottom wing skin was not cut through.

3JSD - Uplink wing bolt hole detail 08.JPG (65104 bytes)

Holes cut in all three wings.

3JSD - Uplink wing bolt hole detail 12.JPG (88166 bytes)

Each hole is then filled with a mixture of laminating resin and micro-balloons. A plastic sack with a corner cut off made filling the hole neatly much easier.

3JSD - Uplink wing bolt hole detail 09.JPG (60101 bytes)

The filler was leveled and covered with a layer of 2.5 oz FG. A piece of foam held by a clip make application of small amounts of resin more manageable.

3JSD - Uplink wing bolt hole detail 10.JPG (83790 bytes)

The excess resin was blotted off with paper towel. Isopropyl alcohol on paper towel was used to cleanup any resin.

3JSD - Uplink wing bolt hole detail 14.JPG (61437 bytes)

The filler and glass patches were allowed to cure.

3JSD - Uplink wing bolt hole detail 15.JPG (30759 bytes)

The wing hold down bolt holes were then drilled through the hardened points.

Pod and Boom

4JSD - Uplink pod & boom 01.JPG (79261 bytes)

The fuselage is a FG pod and pultruded carbon fiber (CF) tube available at kite stores. The photo above also shows the plywood plate installed in the top half of the FG pod for the wing hold down.

4JSD - Uplink installing boom in pod 01.JPG (37325 bytes)

The pod is glued together with CA and the joint is reinforced with 2 oz FG and resin. 1/4 inch dowel through the boom helps maintain the pod and boom alignment while securing the joint with CA and then a mixture of micro-balloons and resin.

Tail Surfaces

5JSD - Uplink tail feathers 01.JPG (83785 bytes)

The tail surfaces of the UpLink are 3/32 inch thick balsa. The vertical fins are reinforced with 2 oz FG, since half of the vertical fin extends below the fuse and is more susceptible to damage.

5JSD - Uplink install V-fin on boom 01.JPG (36473 bytes)

The vertical fin is attached to the boom with CA and joint is reinforced with a patch of 1.4 oz FG and resin.

5JSD - Uplink 2 tail detail 01.jpg (40607 bytes)

A finished tail showing the FG reinforcement and the plastic tubing in the vertical fin that routes the elevator pushrod to the elevator.

5JSD - Uplink 2 tail detail 03.JPG (53461 bytes)

This is a photo of the underside of the tail. Notice the 1.4 FG reinforcement of the stab, the 1/16 inch aluminum tubing attached to the elevator and the heat shrink-tubing that hold two portions of the elevator pushrod together with some CA.

5JSD - UpLink Tail 01.jpg (96784 bytes)

An older UpLink tail showing CF tow used to reinforce the vertical fin, which was later replaced by a similar arrangement of FG.

Fuse Throwing Peg

6JSD - Uplink 2 throwing peg detail 02.JPG (63425 bytes)

Installing a throwing peg is essential for quick turnaround ladder tasks. This peg is a piece of CF tubing installed after the fuse was complete, but prior to installing the pushrods.

Wing Throwing Peg

JSD - UpLink throwing peg 01.jpg (77507 bytes)

1/4" 'Airfoil' shaped aluminum tubing used as a throwing peg. Two carbon fiber rods are glued (CA or epoxy) into the tubing for bending strength.

JSD - UpLink throwing peg 02.jpg (81418 bytes)

The 2 inch long throwing pegs weigh around a gram and a half. You might need to reinforce where you intend to install a peg with a 1 to 2 inch diameter piece of bi-directional FG cloth on bias.

JSD - UpLink throwing peg 03.jpg (67058 bytes)

Place the pegs as far forward as possible, but within comfortable reach of your fingers -- you don't want the wing cutting into the skin web between your fingers on launch.

Completed UpLink

7JSD - Uplink 2 ready to fly 01.jpg (66145 bytes)

Here what it looks like when its all done! Notice the audio jack switch and charging plug.

Photos by Jay Decker, email address:

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