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fiberglass leading edges


Want to build a Legal Eagle XL in Costa Rica. We don't have thin plywood for leading edges. Has anyone experimented with fiberglass cloth for boats or surfboards? THAT we have. We have epoxy resins and polyester resins.Thanks. John

i had that same thought but never pursued it.  It would entail the construction of a mold which is more than most would tolerate...

I know a couple of people have made fiberglass to fit the aileron "cove" in back of the wing using molds. If they could do that and get it right it can't be much different for the leading edge, since it's an outside curve vs. the inside curve of the aileron cove.

Roberto Verbera made fiberglass leading edges for his Double Eagle wings. If you search on Facebook's Legal Eagle Ultralight page for "fiberglass" the photos and explanation should come up. He used E-glass but made the following comment "But if I were going to make more, I'd probably consider 4 layers, 6 to 8 oz S2, two of which would be in an opposing 45* orientation."

With regard to a mold. Home Depot & Lowes sell 1/4" thick blue foam insulation in folded sheets. Wrap that around your nose ribs, cover with plastic film and lay your fiberglass over the plastic. The fiberglass should cure to a shape that should easily conform to the nose ribs, once the blue foam is removed. Another method would be using cheap, super thin, aluminum roof flashing over your nose ribs. Cover with plastic film and apply fiberglass. This method would make the fiberglass leading edge conform perfectly to your nose ribs. Anybody wanting to do this should research for epoxy resins that withstand high temperatures. It would be a "Bad Day At Blackrock" to see your leading edges start to sag on a 100° day while sitting on a blacktop ramp. I think some epoxy is affordable that withstands 250°F.


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