RagWing Special #312

Link to the RagWing site


A few things I am learning that you won't find in the plans!

Including a little boat I built for my wife, it was so much fun I built a slightly taller one for myself.. links to the plans included

Please mail me if you have any questions,  comments, suggestions or gripes!




This is what a finished RW2 should look like..  and it's in my color too!

Click the picture for the "official" "Ragwing Aircraft Design" (RAD) site. 

Some other builders "Specials" click for larger size

Rick Lapinsky's fine example

Tom Jeschke's nicely finished bird

Dennis Frey's "Reds Baron" has a style of it own

David Morrow shows us this plane is elegant in the sky too

jeff.jpg (11818 bytes)

And Jeff Faith does a low pass on a hazy still morning

Carlos Gurr has a pretty detailed log with plenty of step by step pictures, I quite often take a peek for reference

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Page started 12/02/02

Last updated 07/30/11

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Not in the Plans!


OK, so I found out the hard way that there are some topics that have been pretty much thrashed to death! And I, as a newcomer am finding out what they are..  so if you have any questions please take a look down the list here first as they may well (probably have) been covered before. Trouble is with newsgroups, we get lazy and would just rather ask a question again than go dig through the archives.. Well digging through archives is not my Idea of a good time so I like the lazy approach :o)

But now we can all be lazy because I will and try to put allot of the most common useful stuff on here.

Firstly, I asked the question about glues and what types are the best BOY was that popular ....NOT!!, seems the glue wars was discussed at length but I did get some useful information, hope it helps you too, Remember this is what other people are doing, please make your own decisions about what is right for you and use the information here at your own risk.


Question I asked was "T88 or Excel One?"


Excel One

Stink Factor!



Ease of use

Has to be mixed

Use right from the pot

Finished Joint

Neat, and forgiving.

Messy as Glue Expands

 Speed of use



Shelf Life




Roughly the same so Shop around

Ok, so that's a start, all in all these two come out neck and neck, so I guess the answer is go out and try them both and make up your own mind. In fact more than one builder said they actually use both.  If anyone has any more to add I will be happy to stuff it into my little chart there., just drop me a line jeff.@boltblue.com

Center of Gravity

This is a very common topic. It is pretty crucial to keep the C of G  on a Ragwing Special within in the limits as from all reports it does tend to be tail heavy, Having said that Roger was able to do a fine job on his and after looking at the video it certainly flies strait and true, but he did trim off quite allot of weight by making the tail thinner. Bear in mind though it was  built an an ultralight.  Keeping tail weight to a minimum seems to be the general rule but  the nose section can be extended or packing can be used behind the pilot, (as I am a bit of a fatty this is what I intend to do) I am currently 190# but as this is  the Christmas season I don't expect to stay that way. I think the average 40 - 50yo male weighs 180 - 220 these days anyway (well I feel better if I say that) I forget which builder it was who said it but the phrase "Add lightness" seems to sum things up rather well.


Landing Gear

Landing gear seems to be a hot topic too! as many builders think the standard gear isn't quite up to the job. Some are using the bungee option some are just relying on tire pressure and rigid struts and others are using a design by David Morrow which incorporates small springs to act as the suspension. There are other options too, so once again, each unto their own.  More on this when I get time or when more information is available to me.. remember, I'm the new boy here and I rely on the more experienced builders for my information.





Tailsprings can bend so a few builders are using Fortal aluminum (7075-T6) instead of the 6161-T6 suggested in the plans. I was given a link to a good supplier of this. www.mousebar.com

Major Issue -- Wing incidence. Extensive dialog in the archives. Almost everyone agrees that the upper wing needs 2 to 3 degrees more than the lower, as per plans, to provide gentle and controlled stall characteristics. Most feel that both wings need a bit more total incidence to adjust the flying attitude of the fuselage to bring the tail up a bit.

The cable/strut attach points on the spars need to move outward 1 inch to allow the cable tangs to clear the adjacent rib without cutting it for clearance. The internal block must be cut longer also.

(Thanks to Lynn Dingfelder for the input)


Well this just doesn't seem a viable proposition anymore, I wanted to build mine as an ultralight but have had allot of ...hmmm  not really negative feedback, but allot of teeth sucking and head shaking. I don't want to reinvent the wheel so I will hope the legendary "Sport Pilot" License will make my life a little easier when the time comes (September 2003 last I heard) Not saying that you can't make the Special an ultralight if you don't want to though.. I'm saying my choice was the Experimental version.


Once again. I can't decide what you do with your aircraft, only relay information that I have sifted through and come to my own conclusions about. If you come to a different conclusion I really would like to hear about it, I am always open to new Ideas.

Thanks, Jeff Whitham   


More will be added as I learn it