Completed flexible wing covered in fleece fabric
Wayside Chapel winged heart project had two large wings that flapped up and down under the control of a pneumatic cylinder. For safety reasons it was decided to make foam wings so they would be flexible enough to prevent someone getting their head taken off if they happened to contact a wing when it was operating.
However part of the wing had to be structural for the correct flapping motion to be achieved. This was solved by making the bottom section of the wing with a plywood core and the rest from a sandwich of 5mm closed cell foam. The steps of the construction are shown below.
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A 12mm foam core extension is glued to the edge of the lower plywood core
A polycarbonate stiffener is glued to the foam to hold it straight while still being flexible
A 5mm sheet of foam was glued to both sides of the plywood and foam core for strength.
Both wings have the front and back of their ply and foam cores covered in 5mm foam.
Another sheet of 5mm foam was cut out to the wing shape and the lines of the feathers were cut. Narrow strips of foam were then glued along these cuts so that when it was turned over there would be a raised feather line in the foam.
Here the foam has been cut following the line of the feathers
The strips of foam glued along the feather cut lines to make raised sections
Raised feather line foam layer glued to a wing showing the raised outline of the feathers
More raised foam detail is glued to the front wing surface
Next ivory coloured cotton fleece fabric was glued over the foam wings. This gave the wings a softer look and highlighted the raised feathers and other detail.
Glueing cotton fleece fabric to the foam wings
Completed wings fitted to the wing mechanism showing the feather detail