Tightening Ultracote/Monokote Before Flying - RC Groups
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Apr 14, 2012, 05:01 AM
Registered User

Tightening Ultracote/Monokote Before Flying

My apologies if this is a silly question, but I built an ARF plane from Electrifly and the instructions came with a separate insert that says I need to iron my plane before trying to fly it. I'm supposed to go buy a special mini iron and go over the entire surface of the plane, which it says should take about an hour. Is this really necessary for aerodynamic purposes, or is it mainly aesthetic, or is it a prank being played by bored design engineers? ("Hey Bob, I wrote in the instructions that they have to sing to it in order to calibrate the framjibulator!" ... "That's nothing, I told them they have to iron it! Buahahaha!"

So, if I really do need to iron it, how do I know when it's done? I think it looks fine, seeing as it's brand new, and I don't even iron my clothes most of the time, much less my toys
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Apr 14, 2012, 05:20 AM
Registered User
fmw's Avatar
Some models wrinkle more than others. You can ignore it if you like or heat the covering to stretch out the wrinkles as you prefer. Some use a heat gun but you should note that heat guns have the power to melt covering if overused.
Apr 14, 2012, 05:22 AM
222 km/hr Parkjet flyer
solentlife's Avatar
Most iron on coatings are a touch slack when sent from factory .. and a quick wipe over with an iron or heat gun just tightens up that small amount.

There's no need for a special iron ... a domestic iron set about mid-heat is fine. But make sure you clean it BEFORE and AFTER ....

Another way - which is what I do ........ take a hot-air blower that does paint stripping and carefully WAFT it over ... do NOT stay in one place or you will burn through ! Just waft it all over to tighten up ... and make sure you waft one side - then other and back again ... so yuou do not stress one side more than other.

If you are going to fly iron on film models - then it's worth getting the Model grade hot-air gun ... and a small domestic non-steam iron .... then you don't upset wife with smudge marks on iron sole !
Apr 14, 2012, 08:32 PM
Registered User
yea i say use a heat gun just be careful at first and keep moving with it or it will melt but a iron can make a wrinkle permanent cause sometimes it doesnt shrink it will just make it flat but will still have the wrinkle there so use a heat gun and just keep it far at first then ease it till you find the perfect distince and yes most manuals show a iron going over the gaps on the ailerons and certain corners of the plane but ive never done that cause i never had too
Apr 14, 2012, 08:34 PM
Registered User
Use the iron on the places where the skin touches wood/balsa. That seals it so you can then use a hot air gun to shrink the skin.

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