VariEze Wing - Proof Load      


Many homebuilders had trouble producing well shaped wings using the "glass over foam" method. Although easy and cost effective, it was relatively labor intensive and many had to add quite some "BONDO" weight to achieve the needed contours and smoothness. With Burt's approval - contingent on a successful proof load test, we proceeded to fabricate molds and fixtures for the wings and  "center box".  Here are some pictures of the proof loading. NASA paid us one dollar for the opportunity to participate. (They provided the  strain gauge instrumentation and technicians ) Burt Rutan provided the bending and shear data to which we loaded the wings. Note: the fuel tanks - strakes - which normally contribute to the torsional stiffness of the completed structure, are NOT included in this test. A much harder goal to meet. The shear web failed well above design limits and further testing was not done.




No strake used in test

Saw horse is there "just in case" :-) Strain gauge instrumentation Failure of the shear web (white area above strain gauge)  

this picture went through Hurricane IKE

it is the unofficial PROOF-LOAD



    As you can tell, we also had some fun on the project. even Paul Bikle, then chief of NASA was in on it !

From left to right:  Kevin -Paul -"BONDO MAN GARY" -Les - Howard - Myself - Darla  - Bill

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