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Old Dec 02, 2005, 03:25 PM
Island Toy
Hilton Head Island, SC
Joined Mar 2005
49 Posts
Aileron hingeing for foamies? Hinges or tape?

Hi Guys,

Just purchased my first foamy at the Hobby-Lobby after Thanksgiving sale and am curious as to how you hinge foamy ailerons. I know what the directions say, but am curious as to what this experienced bunch of electric modelers do. I have heard people talk about packing tape and others that use paper hinges. Any thoughts? Trying to get it built tonight.
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Old Dec 02, 2005, 03:29 PM
I AP'd myself again......
aviatordave's Avatar
Yawn....Iowa
Joined Mar 2005
2,500 Posts
packing tape is faster to apply and provides a gap free hinge which results in better response from elevator/rudder/aileron movement. I use it on both my electrics (mae slick & MM magpie)
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Old Dec 02, 2005, 03:36 PM
Outcast outlaw
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Tear a floppy disk apart, and cut the plastic magnetic disk surface -- use this as hinge material, and it will never fail you.

Packing tape is a good, simple alternative, but looks kind of ugly...
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Old Dec 02, 2005, 03:51 PM
Island Toy
Hilton Head Island, SC
Joined Mar 2005
49 Posts
Wow, that's an idea I've never heard of. I'll have to rip apart a floppy just to see what the material is. Thanks for the suggestions, as always.
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Old Dec 02, 2005, 04:34 PM
Registered User
Snohomish County, Wa.
Joined Jul 2004
365 Posts
I've tried both packing tape and CA hinges (with foam-safe CA, of course) on my Panic and found that high-quality packing tape works better. I really like having a gap-free connection.

-dm
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Old Dec 02, 2005, 06:09 PM
Outcast outlaw
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Island Toy -- try to tear the magnetic surface of a floppy disk; you simply can not do it. I don't know what that stuff is made of, but it's lightweight and very strong.

Just:
1) Sand the aileron control surface to a "V" shape. This bevel will allow a gap-free connection (as stated by mccrohan).

2) Using an Xacto knife, cut a slit in the aileron control surface at the peak of the "V" (bevel). Make sure the floppy hinge will fit half way into the aileron (the other half will go into the wing).

3) Glue the floppy hinge in place.

4) Repeat steps 2 and 3 to have a floppy hinge every 3 to 4 inches (usually 3 hinges per aileron, or 2 hinges per elevator half).

5) Once the glue is dry, hold the aileron up to the wing at a 90 degree angle, and draw pencil lines on each side of the floppy hinges. This is where you need to cut your Xacto knife slits for the hinges to line up properly.

6) Glue the floppy hinges to the wing.
Doing this will give you a very strong long lasting hinge, with no gap.
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Old Dec 02, 2005, 06:22 PM
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London, Canada
Joined Aug 2002
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Packing tape works well for me.

1) Sand 45 degree bevel.

2) Lay half tape on wing and half on aileron.

3) Join the two parts

Not to make fun of Red, but for a flat plate foamie all that work is pretty rediculous - the hinges would last longer then the plane!!!

Cam
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Old Dec 02, 2005, 06:34 PM
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Joined May 2005
444 Posts
Tape. It works, looks decent (on a foamie), can be repaired if neccessary. If it needs fixun, just gently peel it off or just cut it loose and tape again.
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Old Dec 02, 2005, 06:51 PM
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New York City
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I use scotch tape.
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Old Dec 02, 2005, 08:22 PM
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United States, OH, Toledo
Joined Jan 2005
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When different methods are spelled out in detail and one can understand the variations, something called learning happens, especially if you don't belittle the efforts of others with alternate methods.

happy holidays -rjf
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Old Dec 02, 2005, 09:11 PM
Outcast outlaw
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Thanks Ray -- I appreciate the kind words.

I'm okay with what Cam said -- he's right about the hinge lasting longer than the plane. I don't see a problem with that. After all, if the plane lasts longer than the hinge, the plane crashes and the plane really didn't last longer than the hinge (did it?).

By the way, I've done Cam's method of packing tape on top of a 45-degree angle bevel... ...I will admit to putting a second piece of packing tape on top of the first. It's on my Slow Stick Aerial Photography platform. It's held pretty well, but just does not LOOK very good.
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Old Dec 02, 2005, 09:12 PM
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gilford, new hampshire, usa
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Hot glue wiped on thin at the hinge line works pretty well too. I have used it on small epp wings because I had trouble getting the tape to stay on.
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Old Dec 03, 2005, 01:22 AM
Registered User
United States, CA, Walnut
Joined Oct 2004
328 Posts
Here is yet another material for gapless hinges.

I've been using "Tyvek", that un-tearable fiber reinforced paper product used by some home builders to waterproof the exterior. Also available as Fed-Ex or USPS Priority/Express mail envelopes. Just recycle you old envelopes or they are available at the counter for free.

After beveling the surfaces to be hinged as desired, cut a slit on both sides the full length of the control surface where you want the hinge to be. For a quick tool, I use a scrap piece of lite ply and CA a new #11 blade onto it. Adjust thickness (sand or add tape) as needed to position the slit in the middle of the control surface. I cut the slits about 1/2" deep.

I use 3/4" wide strips from the Tyvek envelope and cut to length as needed. Chamfering the corners makes it easier to slide the hinges into position. Even ailerons using full length continuous hinges are easy to slide into position. Actually the elevators in the picture was much harder to install the hinge as it had to be gently pushed into place. Takes patience but worth the effort.

After the surfaces are hinged DRY, and everything looks right, I run some thin odor-less/foamsafe CA into the hinge line on top and bottom and give it some time to setup.

This has produced an exceptionally strong hinge without using any hinge tape (that sometimes peels the skin off of some foams). I think that the Tyvek is actually reinforcing the LE of the control surface and the TE of the mating surface.

In the picture, the plane on the left has had over 160 flights with plenty of high speed snaps and blenders, and countless crashes, and so far the hinges have not broken. The plane on the right was just completed.

I for one want hinges to last longer than the airplane, otherwise, I would have to be repairing hinges alot as I like to fly down on the deck.

Just another method I thought I'd share.
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Old Dec 03, 2005, 01:25 AM
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United States, CA, Walnut
Joined Oct 2004
328 Posts
Pics of the planes:
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Old Dec 03, 2005, 08:36 AM
Registered User
Joined Oct 2004
52 Posts
You can buy hinge tape at the hobby shop. It is very sticky, and totally clear.
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