Please treat these instructions as historical data
only, do not attempt to construct the Flea as it would be dangerous.
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The "Flying Flea," which has been successfully flown and demonstrated all over England by its designer, M. Mignet, is probably the first practicable attempt to provide the man in the street with an easy and cheap means of learning to fly and of building his own aeroplane. The "Flying Flea" may be built and flown by any home mechanic, and its total cost for engine and materials of about £75 brings it within the means of most. It is a safe machine for beginners for it has a low landing speed. a low cruising speed, and the construction does not call for a greater degree of skill nor of tool equipment than is possessed by most amateurs. Its span is only 13 ft. ! This first article deals with the construction of the fuselage. We shall be pleased to answer any questions which intending builders care to put to us.-Editor
Full list of materials appears on page 7.
THE fuselage is
constructed like a packing case. But since the plywood cannot be nailed on to itself, one
has to interpose a lath of spruce in the angles as a means of receiving the nails, and
these laths are glued over a large area on each surface. In this way, the sides of the
plywood are united to each other, not by nails, which is not a solid form of construction,
but by plenty of glue, which makes an efficient welded construction of wood.
These laths allow metalwork to be fixed to the angles of the box in places where plywood would only present a. local and feeble resistance. These angles are nodes, or strong points, which are more or less irreducible in number and are firm bases for attachments. The laths at the rear end of the box prolong its solidity to the rear, and form a very strong triangulated pyramidal construction. At the risk of being a bit heavy, the fuselage is constructed in plywood 2 min. thick.
Make the glue ready for work in advance; for four hour s in warm weather and for a whole clay in winter, powdered glue and water are mixed in equal volumes, not heaped up, but measured exactly . Stir the glue with a wooden spatula. The mixture settles down into a smooth, viscous paste, about the consistency of thick oil. You do not need a brush.
Before you start to use it, test your wood. It must be sound and must not have any green colour, reminding you of worm- eaten stuff. Each lath and strip of wood, carefully chosen, is pinched in the vice at one end, and twisted lightly in the direction of its length. It ought not to break or crack. Examine it closely. The grain should be straight or very slightly slanting. Throw away any piece which has knots and /or splits in it.
The Body Sides
Draw out the first side on a piece of plywood 3 mm. thick, following the dimensions given in Fig.1 The run of the grain is .shown by arrows. All the dimensions are given in millimetres; mark out the angles with a protractor.Cut out two sides exactly similar, with a fine saw. One lath 2 metres 40 cm. long is nailed and glued in the position shown in Fig. 2.