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Old Jan 30, 2006, 04:13 PM
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Combat Wing Rebuild Thread. - I FIXED THE PICTURES...I THINK!

I decided to give my combat wing a makeover during the weekend and took a few pictures of what I did in case anyone else is considering a rebuild. Maybe it will be helpful. The wing is a 48" Boomerang.

Here is my starting point. I was given this wing a few weeks ago and gave it a minor update to get it in flying condition. I made new winglets and elevons out of 4mm coroplast that I got for free from a local sign shop. I cleaned it up, used clear packing tape to fix the rips and holes, and added a new carbon rod extending to the wingtips as it was one flappy little wing. It flew well at this point and I had a great time learning with it.


The wing was pretty poorly built, I assume to save weight. I began by tearing off the wrinkled and ripped up econokote. Econokote sucks by the way. I think it would be ok on a plane that lands on landing gear and rarely crashes, but on a beginners slope combat plane, it gets punctured very easily. Beneath the econokote, I was surprised to find absolutely nothing. Just Foam. There was no packing tape and a grand total of about 3 feet of old straping tape that had been torn into 1/4 in strips and run along the leading and trailing edges. No structural support at all. Also, big surprise, the front end was broken pretty badly.

Now for the dirty work. The wing had dents all over the place. I used about 4 low heat glue sticks to fill holes, rebuild the front end, and fix a few cracks in the wing. I also took this time to pot my servos in hot glue and bury my linkages. I used carbon rods as the exit tube for the likage and glued everything in.

Then I went tape crazy. I properly taped the wing with 2" strapping tape. I used about 20 yrds of strapping tape then covered the wing in about 15 yards of packing tape.

I then picked up a roll of black zagi tape and some neon colored tape sheets from the LHS and went to work. I sprayed a light coat of super 77 then I covered the plane, winglets, and elevons in black packing tape and then added the neon graphics. (Thanks to my wife for helping with layout and cutting the stars). I used sheetrock screws through the winglets into the foam. They are rock solid. I then used clear packing tape again on the leading edges and elevons to secure the graphics and provige an easily replacable "Oops" barrier for those unexpected landings. Here is the finished product.




Obviously the plane weighs considerable more now, but it is rock solid and really isnt too bad on weight. It was very light before. A few hours of work and about $25 worth of supplies, and it's better than new and ready to fly. I slid my CG back about 1/2 an inch as well during the rebuild as I have read that creates a slightly more performance oriented setup for a combat wing. I had it setup very conservatively before as I had never flown before.

All in all, worth the effort. If nothing else, the plane will last much longer as the foam is now adequately protected during impacts. That said, I will mention that I hate EPP and packing tape. It's very tough to get a good finish that will last a long time. I'm sure ultracote is far better, but it's a lot more money and I dont have an iron for it either. The tape is easy to touch and up and not worry about. My next plane will be a glass ship, but I've got this thing fixed up in the meantime. So, if you've got an old and busted wing that needs some TLC, get busy.
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Last edited by hanknmorgan; Jan 31, 2006 at 12:36 PM.
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Old Jan 30, 2006, 04:26 PM
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Also, sorry for the little furry helpers in the pictures. I cant do anything with having them all up in my way.
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Old Jan 30, 2006, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanknmorgan
Also, sorry for the little furry helpers in the pictures. I cant do anything with having them all up in my way.
Pictures?
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Old Jan 30, 2006, 04:36 PM
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You can use a household iron to apply Monokote/Ultracote/etc. I usually tack it down on about a 3 setting and tighten it up with a 7. Its a little heavy and tiring when you get to some wierd angles, and occasionally a little water from the steamer comes dribbling out. Make sure to clean the iron surface with thinner before the wife catches you...
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Old Jan 30, 2006, 04:58 PM
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I dont know what happened with the pictures. They showed up in preview, but then not when I posted. I tried it again, so hopefully they work. Sorry.
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Old Jan 30, 2006, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanknmorgan
Also, sorry for the little furry helpers in the pictures. I cant do anything with having them all up in my way.
c'mon,
i wanna see some pictures!!!!

marty
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Old Jan 30, 2006, 05:06 PM
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OK. I'm not sure what the deal is with the pics. They worked for a few minutes, then I came back to the thread and they were gone. I'll look into it tomorrow. Sorry for the confusion. I may have to host them differently.
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Old Jan 30, 2006, 05:11 PM
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gunnison colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanknmorgan
OK. I'm not sure what the deal is with the pics. They worked for a few minutes, then I came back to the thread and they were gone. I'll look into it tomorrow. Sorry for the confusion. I may have to host them differently.
Still no pics
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Old Jan 30, 2006, 05:19 PM
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Did you "upload" the pics? It's not enough to just locate them on your hard drive, you have to hit the "upload" once you've located all the pics. Then you have to click on the "save changes" button at the bottom of the attachments window before you close the window or I don't think it will work.

Doubletap
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Old Jan 30, 2006, 06:24 PM
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A note about the Iron:

I just got done with the second covering job I've ever attempted (I usually build tiny, lightweight planes with only packing tape for covering)... I have a hot-air gun that I use, and I'm totally fed up with it! It might be nice for tightening existing covering; but I am never going to do another covering job without using an actual Iron (they sell specialized ones for covering material and better temperature controls than a household iron).

Just trying to save others the pain... Take care,

--Noel
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Old Jan 30, 2006, 06:47 PM
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Hank - PM me and I'll set you up with a gallery so you can upload photos better.
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Old Jan 30, 2006, 09:58 PM
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I have all of the phots uploaded and hosted on webshots. I thought they allowed linked images, but maybe not. I am at school until late this evening, but I'll get them correcte tomorrow so that you guys can see everything. I didnt really want to mess with ultracote as I dont plan on flying foam for long. I just wanted a cheap and easy fix up and a fun project to hold me over until I can get a dart or destiny or something similar to those. Again, sorry for the picture disaster. I have never posted pics on these boards before, but dont worry, I'll get it all straightened out in the morning.
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Old Jan 30, 2006, 10:13 PM
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Pictures work for me. Nice rebuild.

Irons cost $20.00 so next time try ultracoate. You can tighten up tape with an iron also.
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Old Jan 30, 2006, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockbus
Pictures work for me. Nice rebuild.

Irons cost $20.00 so next time try ultracoate. You can tighten up tape with an iron also.
I wouldn't reccomend tightening the tape, just makes it stretch for a day or so then loosen up even more creating bigger bubbles
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Old Jan 31, 2006, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanknmorgan
I didnt really want to mess with ultracote as I dont plan on flying foam for long. I just wanted a cheap and easy fix up and a fun project to hold me over until I can get a dart or destiny or something similar to those.
One of the biggest mistakes I made was selling off my foam planes when I got into moldies. Yes, it's a different universe of performance, but there are always places where foam is the right tool for the job - whether it be testing lift, combat, flying with other planes in the air, or landing in a bad LZ...Luckily ClayH and Woody1 took good care of my M60 after I stupidly sold it, and now it's back in my hangar where it belongs. That plane is as close to flying a composite as you can get flying EPP.
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