[WWI] FW: Tapes, ribs, and battens

Diego Fernetti dfernet0 at rosario.gov.ar
Wed Feb 9 15:38:41 EST 2005

> (Third time trying to send this)

First time I see it. Anyway, I find that I have less "rejects" when I use 
the mail address of the list I have stored on my computer than using simple 
the reply button. Maty this give you a hint on what to check, Al?

> Bleriot had started sewing the fabric
> to the wing ribs of SPAD VII's with string as opposed to fastening it to
> the ribs with small tacks. (Does this mean using battens?  I think so.)

Not always. French airplane practices used tacks instead of sewn fabric to 
ribs, as it was preferred in Britain or Germany. This caused the fabric 
ripping off the ribs from time to time. To prevent this some used wooden or 
cane battens, but some just reinforced the fabric with cloth tapes. Morane 
Saulniers often used these battens, but I guess that Nieuport doesn't always 
show them. Were they stitched opposed to tacked? Chi lo sa...

>   Now, looking at images of SPAD VII and XIII wings will show them
> taped, and with very little, if any, of the ribs standing out.  This is
> in marked contrast to a good many Nieuport 11/16's and 17's where, on a
> great many at least, the ribs are very prominent.

That is related to the spacing of the ribs. The Spad ribs were closer, so 
there was less room for the fabric to "suck" in between. Of course, the aim 
was to have the smoothest surface possible, but more ribs meant more weight 
(thinking about that the opposite happens in fashion models, but I digress, 
as usual)

> I am wondering
> now after reading that quote from the report if ALL Nieuports had their
> fabric attached to the wings in this way??  Most??

All I can say is "some". If you chack the datafile special #1 you'll see at 
least one pic of an italian machine with battens at the underside of a few 
of the central ribs of the upper wing. I asked Alberto about this, but he 
didn't knew for sure. I also checked the Macchi-Nieuport book, to see if 
this was a special Italian design feature, but the author doesn't say, and 
the drawings doesn't show anything special. I suppose (fantasize?) that 
being the centre section, it may have had more windflow stresses from the 
propeller and therefore they added the battens.
Who knows, just check the pictures of the machine you chose to build.

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