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Old 07-21-2015, 11:58 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by mandolindave View Post
You asked " Here's a question - the stringers and ribs don't appear to go into the curved ends - what does the inner skin mount to - or is the window from the only anchor point for both skins other than the C channel at the bottom? "

I don't fully understand the question, and I hope not to insult your skills, or knowledge base.

Both the inner and outer skins are riveted to the ribs. ONE rivet goes through both. It takes two men at the factory, one inside, one outside the trailer. It's airplane construction technology called "monocoque". Airstream uses Olympic rivets. After the rivets are installed, they need to be "shaved ".
Sorry - I didn't explain myself very well.

I understand that the air stream is a double skin construction with an inner and outer skin riveted to ribs and stringers.

But using the below picture for reference....





On lots of restoration and build threads, I see the ribs and stringers don't go beyond the start of the nose or tail curves.

On a Wee Wind or similar 13 panel end piece, are there any ribs or stringers between the two skins on the 13 panel roof section or round the curved nose/tail?

I've just never seen on any picture out there any ribs / stringers round the nose on these fully curve ended units.

For example, is there a stringer behind each of those 13 panel sections?

Hope that makes sense?
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Old 07-22-2015, 08:53 AM   #30
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Ribs

I believe this picture of a frame may be of use to you.
The older units had the outer skin buck riveted together and placed on the chassis before the ribs were put in place.
Interior are common rivets. Olympian rivets are used on the exterior for repairs if you do not want to remove inner skin for buck riveting.
After being around the aviation industry I would not use Olympian rivets as you have to increase the hole size. Plus with buck riveting you get a visual inspection of the rivet.
Insure that when ordering the rivets you order the hard aluminum rivets and not the soft ones.
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Old 07-22-2015, 08:56 AM   #31
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Picture

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Old 07-22-2015, 01:10 PM   #32
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Unsure why picture did not load. Trying again.
Thanks for the picture - I see what they've done on the later flat fronted designs, but what is behind the 13 panel nose and tailsections of the these?

Is there a stringer behind each one of those joins between the inner and outer panel?



If that outer skin was see-through, where would the ribs and stringers be in that nose section?
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Old 07-23-2015, 02:41 PM   #33
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Any clues anyone?

Are the ends double skinned?



If so, where are the ribs and stringers?
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Old 07-28-2015, 03:31 PM   #34
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From the pictures I have seen their is a frame going up to the window then only a short frame going up the wall half way before the arch on both sides about half way between the window and side wall. ill do some digging and see if I can find a picture of inner skin removed. With the science between an arch you would not have to reinforce the skin as the weight would be evenly distributed across all connection points. Think of the nose or tail of the trailer like a geodesic dome. I have constructed Domes before and self supporting. That this the beauty of the round surface, weight or force is distributed.
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Old 07-28-2015, 03:37 PM   #35
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13 Panel Support

The dark spots on the seams is just the weather proofing sealant, unsure if new or original.

As you can see their is no additional support for the domed structure.
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Old 07-29-2015, 12:10 PM   #36
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The dark spots on the seams is just the weather proofing sealant, unsure if new or original.

As you can see their is no additional support for the domed structure.
That's really helpful, thank you.

I see that AS use .040 sheet. A couple of coach builders locally have suggested that is too thin and vulnerable and I'd be better using .048 or even 0.60 for a strong and more dent resistant skin.

Any thoughts?
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Old 07-29-2015, 03:00 PM   #37
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The current AS do use a different alloy then in the past. The original AS used 2024 aircraft aluminum. I have heard Airstream used 6061 and 3003 aluminum on them after the 1980's. I can not confirm this though. I know the vintage units better than the new ones. AS is sacrificing quality over price. It is a shame. If you were to use the 2024 then .040 would be great. This is what current planes are using. Surely your trailer would not be subjected to the same stresses .
For a quality comparison AS sells their small units for approx $50K. Roadchief still utilizing 2024 Aluminum sells for over $100K. Not every one can afford a new AS. A lot less can afford a RoadChief.
Custom build is the way to go. I have several plans drawn up on how I want mine to look. Will be different for sure. I do like the concept of the RoadChief with the front entry door in the nose of the trailer. Makes for a more functional smaller space.
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Old 07-29-2015, 03:29 PM   #38
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The current AS do use a different alloy then in the past. The original AS used 2024 aircraft aluminum. I have heard Airstream used 6061 and 3003 aluminum on them after the 1980's. I can not confirm this though. I know the vintage units better than the new ones. AS is sacrificing quality over price. It is a shame. If you were to use the 2024 then .040 would be great. This is what current planes are using. Surely your trailer would not be subjected to the same stresses .
For a quality comparison AS sells their small units for approx $50K. Roadchief still utilizing 2024 Aluminum sells for over $100K. Not every one can afford a new AS. A lot less can afford a RoadChief.
Custom build is the way to go. I have several plans drawn up on how I want mine to look. Will be different for sure. I do like the concept of the RoadChief with the front entry door in the nose of the trailer. Makes for a more functional smaller space.
I'm not familiar with the various grades - I was recommended to uses grade '1050' in 1.5mm

Does that sound reasonable?
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Old 07-29-2015, 04:12 PM   #39
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I'm not familiar with the various grades - I was recommended to uses grade '1050' in 1.5mm

Does that sound reasonable?
This would be a .059 aluminum. 1050 is an almost pure aluminum. This being 99.5 Minimum pure aluminum. A few binders but not much strength capacity.
at this thickness, this material may work. I would check with a local trailer shop or aluminum distributive center and ask their thoughts.

I have only worked with 2024, 3003, 6061, and 5052 aluminum.

2024 is a more rigid aluminum with the ability to flex without fracture.

Will you be utilizing 1050 for the ribs also or only the skin? It does have a mirror finish.
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Old 07-29-2015, 04:50 PM   #40
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This would be a .059 aluminum. 1050 is an almost pure aluminum. This being 99.5 Minimum pure aluminum. A few binders but not much strength capacity.
at this thickness, this material may work. I would check with a local trailer shop or aluminum distributive center and ask their thoughts.

I have only worked with 2024, 3003, 6061, and 5052 aluminum.

2024 is a more rigid aluminum with the ability to flex without fracture.

Will you be utilizing 1050 for the ribs also or only the skin? It does have a mirror finish.
My requirements from the skin are that I can form it easily over the ribs and stringers, it has a little bit of 'give' as I take the 13 panel 'finger ends' and bend them to the curves of the ribs once they've come round the corner from the nose and resists denting as much as possible. A polished finish is also desirable.

Other than that I'm not bothered.

The ribs.... no idea - whatever will bend through the rollers and stay bent?
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Old 07-29-2015, 05:37 PM   #41
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Check out this link:
MANUFACTURING ROAD CHIEFS - Bowlus Road ChiefBowlus Road Chief

It is a picture of their frame and also describes their types of aluminum used. I am also planning on using same materials for my trailer construction.

Once you see their design the 13 panel will not be an issue.
Gallery - Bowlus Road ChiefBowlus Road Chief

will you be using a motor driven roller bender or manual turning bender? I have a hydraulic one. Works ok though building a manual one. Your aluminum will hold its shape well and will bend easily.

This is what I am going to build shortly. This will arch your aluminum with no problem.
I have another project I may post with this weekends project so I can haul 24' beam on my 8' box truck.

https://gordsgarage.wordpress.com/ca...and-equipment/
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Old 07-30-2015, 12:59 PM   #42
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Check out this link:
MANUFACTURING ROAD CHIEFS - Bowlus Road ChiefBowlus Road Chief

It is a picture of their frame and also describes their types of aluminum used. I am also planning on using same materials for my trailer construction.

Once you see their design the 13 panel will not be an issue.
Gallery - Bowlus Road ChiefBowlus Road Chief

will you be using a motor driven roller bender or manual turning bender? I have a hydraulic one. Works ok though building a manual one. Your aluminum will hold its shape well and will bend easily.

This is what I am going to build shortly. This will arch your aluminum with no problem.
I have another project I may post with this weekends project so I can haul 24' beam on my 8' box truck.

https://gordsgarage.wordpress.com/ca...and-equipment/
Thanks for that. I do like the 'boat cabin' design and 'front door'.

I'm currently looking at flush fitting brass rivits....

Also looking at stringers as the more I think about it, the more issues using box section creates, as the cost of Oly rivets is enormous compared to solid ones and I like the idea of bucking them all.

Z section for ribs I guess is fine, but how might one get section through a set of rollers to bend it - what would support the Z section correctly as it goes through them?

Or are other other suitable solid rivet friendly sections for ribs that allow interior panel mounting?
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