Construction of the Monash UAV 'Duigan' Airframe

by Ray Cooper

Created and Last Updated December 8, 2002

Construction Photography - Ray Cooper

Ray Cooper is chief pilot for the Aerobotics@Monash team. He is also the designer and constructor of the Monash UAV 'Duigan' airframe©

Ray has vast experience in both fields and the Aerobotics@Monash team is very lucky indeed to have his skills and experience available for the UAV 'Duigan' project.

Below is Ray's documentation of the fuselage construction process. More images will be added soon. [Ed 081202]


click images to enlarge


Fuselage 1: Sides and full length battery tray ready for assembly Battery tray cut from 9 ply, sides are 3mm balsa with spruce stringers and 12mm balsa triangles in corners for rounding


Fuselage 2 : Formers slotted into battery tray ready for sides to be glued


Fuselage 3 : Same as above, but at rear

image not available

Fuselage 4 " The pressure is on! Sides, tray, formers glued and clamped


Fuselage 5 : Top and bottom sheeting (3mm) fixed and corners rounded, canopy cut and clear PVC nose cone fitted


Fuselage 6 : Mould used for forming PVC nose cone. PVC is held between 2 pieces of MDF and heated in oven, when hot enough, removed from oven and forced over mould


Fuselage 7 : Bracket/mount for wing retaining bolt. Battery can be slid beneath for CG adjustment


Fuselage 8 : Wing centre panel fitted to fuselage, held in place with 2 x _" Cap head screws


Centre Panel

click images to enlarge

Centre panel 1 : Foam cores ready for balsa covering. Solid black lines are 14mm OD carbon fibre tubes, these are used for joining centre panel to tip panels

Centre panel 2 : Foam core showing spruce spoiler bay lining. Due to torsional weakness these were later filled in

Centre panel 3 : Balsa sheeting, fibre glass, carbon fibre prepared ready for laminating to foam core. This set up was used on all wing panels

Centre panel 4 : L/H centre panel in vacuum bag after bonding balsa sheet to core with epoxy resin

Centre panel 5 : Centre panels ready for joining. Main rib has bolt holes predrilled. Bent aluminium rod is glued into carbon tubes. Centre panel joint has glass cloth bandage applied for additional strength

Tip Panel

click images to enlarge

Tip panel 1 : Ply reinforcement for Elevon servo bay

Tip panel 2 : Ply ribs fitted with blind nuts for bolting on tiplets

Tip panel 3 : L/H Tip panel in vacuum bag after bonding balsa sheet to core with epoxy resin

Tip panel 4 : Elevons cut out and faced

Tip panel 5 : Finished ready for outer fibre glass skins

Tip panel 6 : Tip panel jigged on workbench and covered with 3oz glass cloth

Tip panel 7 : Same as above from other end

Tip panel 8 : Electric blanket was used to keep cores warm during curing of epoxy

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Created and maintained by russell.naughton@eng.monash.edu.au
Last updated December 8, 2001