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Old Mar 11, 2007, 04:56 AM
Plummet Airlines
Craig Mckinley's Avatar
Perth Western Australia
Joined Feb 2004
878 Posts
Question
Weasel without covering tape?

I fly at the beach which has a lot of salt in the air and blowing sand, very harsh environment. Commonly these conditions lift the edges of the tape and sand sticks to the adhesive. Anyway, I am now thinking about removing all the tape and giving the Weasel a little paint job.
Anybody fly their Weasels without tape?

Thanks so much.
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Old Mar 11, 2007, 08:28 AM
Dirt a.k.a. Tom
Kent, WA
Joined Mar 2004
679 Posts
I can just image the comments this will generate about 'naked weasels'.
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Old Mar 11, 2007, 08:53 AM
PGR
Low AltiDude
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United States, CA, Costa Mesa
Joined Jun 2004
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The 3D community doesn't cover their powered EPP planes. I have several and some are more than a year old. They're dirty, but remain structurally sound despite the fact that they are (or were) daily flyers.

Pete
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Old Mar 11, 2007, 09:04 AM
Detail Freak
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Harbor City, CA
Joined Oct 2003
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You could use a low temp, light weight film covering, to seal in the EPP freshness...

T
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Old Mar 11, 2007, 10:17 AM
Feeling FrSky
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United States, CA, Santa Barbara
Joined Feb 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Mckinley
Anybody fly their Weasels without tape?
Yes, Michael and I have done it a fair bit. We've built Weasels without covering to see how they perform, and the very first Alula prototypes were uncovered.

It ends up making the plane a good bit lighter, but you lose quite a bit of durability and penetration in anything stronger than a very light breeze is poor. The wing is also very floppy without the torsional stiffness provided by the skin.

Molded EPP planes have an inherent skin caused as a result of the molding process which adds stiffness and some durability. These generally do not have to be given a covering. On the other hand, hotwire cut EPP planes (the vast majority) really should be given a skin of some kind, either tape or iron-on.

Since it sounds like you are flying in sand dunes, I'd recommend you consider Ultracote if the tape is getting you down. You'll have to be very careful when applying the covering to avoid warping the wing - use your wing beds when doing this so you can ensure nothing gets out of wack, and take you time. Definitely use a thermometer to get just the right heat on your iron - use the minimum possible so that you do not have to do much shrinking (shrinking excessively will result in warps you'll have to chase out). I'd use regular Ultracote (not Ultracote Lite), it's the best for EPP planes (Solartex is great too, but it's more for heavier planes - I'd use Ultracote on a Weasel).

Hope that helps,

Steve
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Old Mar 11, 2007, 10:36 AM
Confirmed Chronic
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Pacific Palisades, CA
Joined Jul 2004
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Ultracote adds a LOT of stiffness to an EPP Plane.
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Old Mar 11, 2007, 11:02 AM
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Mark Wood's Avatar
United States, CA, Bear Valley Springs
Joined Feb 2000
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Are you taping starting from the rear and taping forward? It puts the edge of the tape underneath the strip in front of it making for a lastikng covering and more aerodynamically correct. (Would that be AC vs PC?)

mw
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Old Mar 11, 2007, 11:23 AM
Detail Freak
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Harbor City, CA
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Is durability the reason you don't like the UC Lite, Steve, or something else?

T
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Old Mar 11, 2007, 12:03 PM
PGR
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United States, CA, Costa Mesa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surfimp
Since it sounds like you are flying in sand dunes, I'd recommend you consider Ultracote if the tape is getting you down. You'll have to be very careful when applying the covering to avoid warping the wing - use your wing beds when doing this so you can ensure nothing gets out of wack, and take you time.
I think I'm pretty good at covering EPP and most people who have seen my planes can attest to that. Among other things, I attribute my results to good equipment and a well-rounded familiarity with the way Ultracote reacts to different temperatures.

But I have a perfect record of failure when it comes to covering a Weasel with the stuff. It's obvious it can be done, but it's something I haven't been able to do in 3 attempts. They come out warped and any attempt at straightening them out just makes things worse.

And PGR doesn't do packing tape.

Which is why I'll probably be flying my Wing Warrior Zipper if I make it to the Weasel Fest.

Pete
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Old Mar 11, 2007, 12:14 PM
__Jackass Savant__
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United States, CA, Oxnard
Joined Feb 2005
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If you are worried about getting an accurate temp with your iron so you don't melt the foam, I strongly recommend the 21st century iron. It'll stay within 3 degrees of where you set it. I MINE! It's made covering foam a non issue.
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Old Mar 11, 2007, 12:22 PM
Feeling FrSky
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United States, CA, Santa Barbara
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Quote:
Originally Posted by target
Is durability the reason you don't like the UC Lite, Steve, or something else?
I just wanted to be specific in my recommendation - meaning I was recommending regular Ultracote, not the Lite version.

I have not used UC Lite so it may be fine, I really can't say and didn't intend to imply otherwise

IIRC UC Lite is translucent, which might be less than desireable in terms of finish.

Steve
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Old Mar 11, 2007, 12:47 PM
PGR
Low AltiDude
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United States, CA, Costa Mesa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theBOZman
If you are worried about getting an accurate temp with your iron so you don't melt the foam, I strongly recommend the 21st century iron. It'll stay within 3 degrees of where you set it.
Excellent tool, and what I've been using for a couple years now.

A good companion tool is an IR (Infrared) thermometer. I use a fairly expensive Fluke, but if you go to the fuel cars section of any well-stocked hobby shop, you should be able to find one for as little as $19.95. It may not have a fancy laser dot, but it will definitely tell you what temperature your iron is maintaining.

And FWIW, the dial markings on my 21st Century Iron are at least 30f low. As theBOZman says, it holds temperature real well, though.

Pete
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Old Mar 11, 2007, 12:54 PM
Plummet Airlines
Craig Mckinley's Avatar
Perth Western Australia
Joined Feb 2004
878 Posts
Yes I do fly in sand dunes, often the sand and salt blow in the air. I have covered it the correct way but I am seriously challenged when it comes to covering jobs. Thanks for the info it has been a big help.
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Old Mar 12, 2007, 06:27 PM
Registered User
United Kingdom
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Mine is brown paper and pva followed by Oracover
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Old Mar 12, 2007, 06:36 PM
It could happen...
InTheLift's Avatar
Torrance, California
Joined Jan 2004
7,537 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfimp
I just wanted to be specific in my recommendation - meaning I was recommending regular Ultracote, not the Lite version.

I have not used UC Lite so it may be fine, I really can't say and didn't intend to imply otherwise

IIRC UC Lite is translucent, which might be less than desireable in terms of finish.

Steve
The UC Lite is a fair bit thinner than Reg UC and is a little harder to work with...easy to wrinkle when handling. I would assume it to be less durable, though I have not found this to be the case yet on my Wiz...I used it on the bottom of the wing. Not sure of the color selection, but my roll was transparent red.
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