The CNC machine is not ready yet, but it is now getting so close to completion that I have started thinking about the CL-415 again.
There are two aspects of the project that I no longer like. I was OK with this earlier, but I have reconsidered. These are:
1) The plans that I was using were IP of somebody, and though I did try to contact him, I never succeeded. Besides the plans are kind of “yesterdays technology”. Not too bad, but not what I really wanted.
1b) I would like to be able to help others to build their own CL-415. And with the current plan that is simply not possible (IP-rights).
2) I really wanted a 2.5m plane, not a 2m plane. And since the CL-415 has a wingspan of 28.6m it would be even “nicer” to do a 1:10 scale. Yes this is just a number, but its an attractive number to me ;-)
3) (extra) I want to use the CNC machine to cut out the parts, so I needed to transform the paper plan to G-code anyway. Making a new CAD-based plan makes that step obsolete.
The most obvious solution is to create my own plan. But then I need the original dimensions… I cannot use the current plans because A) IP-rights and B) There are no guarantees that its dimensions are scaled correctly.
So after failing to find the necessary dimensions I finally opted to contact Viking Air (the owner of the CL-415 design) for some help.
I was very pleasantly surprised when a Technical Support Representative mailed me back with a couple of nice outlines, including all mayor dimensions.
With these dimensions it should be possible to derive the exact dimensions of all smaller elements simply by “scaling” photographs. I.e. when the size of N is known but we need the size of M and both element N and M are in the same picture, then we can determine the (approximate) dimension of M. (Note: This may be slightly more complex when N and M are not orientated in the same way, but it is still possible when the relation between N and M are known from the real plane)
100% scale accuracy cannot be had this way, but using multiple photographs it should be possible to get very close.