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Home > Our Planes > Jim Maher: Dyke Delta

These photos are of my Dyke Delta JD-2 project. This project took about 8 years. Each photo shows the progress for approximately one year. It finally flew in the winter of 2006. During the forth flight I had fuel flow problems that were traced to the fiberglass fuel tank being dissolved by the fuel(Mogas w/ethanol). It's now back in the shop while I replace the fuel tank. You can see more detailed descriptions by clicking on the photos.

After the first year of construction the basic airframe primary structure was completed. This airframe is shown in the first photo sitting on sawhorses. The cardboard in the background contain sheets of aluminum and galvanized steel, which were used in subsequent construction. Behind the cardboard are 2 wing panels from a "junk" Delta that I purchased for parts at around the same time as the airframe was completed. As it turned out most of the purchased aircraft was un-useable.
Year 1
It took another year to get the aircraft sitting on its landing gear as shown in the second photo. Also completed at this time was the landing gear retracting mechanism (painted blue and white), as well as the flight controls and pilot's seat frame.
Year 2
In the third year the firewall (not shown in photo), instrument panel and basic wing structures and wing attachments were completed. Also the nose gear steering was designed and installed.
Year 3
After the 4th year the wing secondary structures (ribs  &  capstrips) along with the wing folding struts were completed. A totally modular, removable, electrical panel was also constructed but is not shown in the photo.
Year 4
The 5th year most of the time was spent fabricating the engine mount, and designing and building the T-tail and control mechanism for it. Also during the 5th year the fuselage secondary structure (ribs that hold the skins) was completed, the entire airframe was stripped to bare metal, primed with 2 part epoxy primer and finished with a gloss white enamel. The landing gear and controls were re-installed and the main gear wheel wells were fabricated. Then on New Years day the fabric covering on the belly of the aircraft was completed.
Year 5
During the 6th year the engine along with all of its components was installed as well as the electrical system and instrument panel. On a cold November afternoon the engine first came to life.
Year 6
Year 7 saw the fabrication and installation of the forward belly skins, upper fuselage skins, and the turtleback with integral fuel tank. The windshield and canopy were also fitted with Lexan and their fairings fabricated. The vertical fin was covered and painted.
Year 7
During the 8th year the wing skins were fabricated, installed, filled and primer painted. The fuselage upper skins and turtleback fairings were completed and the final paint applied. The cowling was fabricated, filled and fitted to cover the engine compartment. The fuel system was also converted from a carburetor to electronic fuel injection.
Year 8

October 2003. It's getting close

A sexy beast

Ready for liftoff

Not your father's Piper

Loading it on the trailer

It does fit

Nice the way the wings fold

The hinge brackets are removed for flight

Does your plane have a license plate?

Preflighting N11XD with Garry Kingma and Stan Chaffin helping out
Preflight for Flight#1
One last photo by Janet Kingma just prior to my first flight.
Ready for first flight
This is N11XD during climbout after first take-off. The first flight was perfect and almost an hour long.
First Take-off
This photo was taken just after engine shutdown following a great first flight.
One elated pilot

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