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Old Jun 21, 2014, 07:06 PM
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Joined Oct 2012
19 Posts
Help!
Xplorer Fix

A young man (age 16) in our club got a letter from the AMA inviting him to compete in the ALES event at the Nats. Because he is a consistent winner and a great pilot, I allow him to fly my Supra and Xplorer 2 and I'm taking him to the Nats.

Today, at a contest in Spokane, he snagged the left wing tip on my 3.8 meter Xplorer 2. The damage appears to be limited to a separation of the leading edge and a little wrinkle in the upper and lower surfaces at the point of impact.

1. Any documented fixes for a wing in this condition?
2. Anyone have a left wing tip (preferably red and white) for a 3.8 meter Xplorer
that they are willing to sell?

The Nats are five weeks away. Any help getting this kid back in the air would be greatly appreciated.

Jim
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Last edited by James P. Loughra; Jun 21, 2014 at 07:38 PM.
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Old Jun 21, 2014, 07:50 PM
registered weapon
IHAVAWDY's Avatar
United States, MT
Joined Mar 2008
3,218 Posts
Jim, sorry to hear of this... run a want ad in the classified. Lots of traffic there....
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Old Jun 21, 2014, 09:41 PM
Thermal Sniffer
Clayton NC
Joined Jun 2005
402 Posts
I have repaired many molded DLGs that have had the top and bottom skin separate at the leading edge. If the spar is good and the halves are together but just not joined I just carefully run some ca down the joint. If it's split apart with a gap I tape over area from top to bottom to hold the skins in place, maybe every 2 inches. Then ca where the tape is not, then pull the tape off then ca there. Thin ca will run everywhere so this is very difficult to get the wing tip at the best angle as not to have the ca run all over the wing. You have to hold it vertical and leading edge down. If you try this practice with some water on the other wing first. The safer way is to use your finger to apply the ca you can use latex gloves once you get the first layer of ca on it's not so hot when it kicks. I don't think there is any foam under the skins of the x so regular ca will be best. You also can use magic scotch tape over the haves for a quick fix. Some times I ca and then tape . Nothing you can do about the wrinkles if the skin is soft you can rub some ca on to stiffen it back up. It will fly as good as it ever did but just won't be so new.
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Old Jun 22, 2014, 12:22 AM
Red Merle ALES
Curtis Suter's Avatar
United States, Mt, Helena
Joined Apr 2002
5,287 Posts
Fixed with tape for now and the skin is stiff, it will be stiffer once CA is run down the LE.
The wrinkle is cosmetic.
The squishines is a whole lot less than a monokote wing!

Curtis
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Old Jun 22, 2014, 07:11 AM
Red Merle ALES
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United States, Mt, Helena
Joined Apr 2002
5,287 Posts
After a little shut eye this is so close to the root I wonder if with the leading edge taped that if you could just run CA down the leading edge inside by dripping it through the servo access hole in the root. That would prevent cosmetic running of glue over the outside of the wing.

Curtis
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Old Jun 22, 2014, 10:19 AM
that's gonna hurt...
USA, CA, San Jose
Joined May 2005
1,096 Posts
Unfortunately, I have experience with this type of repair.
Careful application of heat from a heat gun or a covering iron can remove a lot of the wrinkle. Take it slow so you don't do more damage with the heat, and you can usually get 80% or more of the wrinkle out. Then inject a small amount of slow setting epoxy mixed with filler ( I prefer chopped glass, but micro balloons would work ) into the open leading edge, tape shut with packing tape ( epoxy does not stick to it ) and let it sit leading edge down while the glue cures.
I bought glue syringes off ebay with a large tip, but usually a hobby shop will have something similar. For a small split, about 1-2 inches, about 5 -6 grams of epoxy will do the trick.

Bruce
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Old Jun 22, 2014, 04:16 PM
Red Merle ALES
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United States, Mt, Helena
Joined Apr 2002
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The tape worked for the next five rounds!
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Old Jun 22, 2014, 06:36 PM
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Joined Oct 2012
19 Posts
Thanks for all the help.

The following is a melding of the ideas presented.
The split is very near the root rib of the left tip panel.
How does this sound?

1. Mask the wing on either side of the split.
2. Punch (neatly) a hole in the root rib near the leading edge.
3. Before taping around the LE, inject about 3 grams of MGH epoxy (thin
laminating resin) behind the split while keeping the LE down and apply some
mild heat and work the wing in torsion to get epoxy into the split seam.
4. With luck, the epoxy will wick through the split. I will then wipe any epoxy that
seeps through the seam. Masking in step 1 will help control mess.
5. Then I tape the LE closed and wait about two + hours.
6. Next I make a runny mix of MGH and milled glass and inject about three or
four grams along the inside of the LE to bridge the split on the inside.
7. If all works well, I'll plug the hole in the root rib and we're done.

I doubt if anyone could detect a performance difference as a result of an additional six or eight grams in the root of the tip panel. I know I won't.

I'm unsure of what NAN uses for skin. CA could get me in trouble and we are not in a hurry.
Thanks again for all the suggestions

Jim
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