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Feb 16, 2014, 12:03 PM
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Aquila refurbishment

So after this plane sitting around, getting moved from house to house and countries in between I found a couple of build threads here of the same plane and found the motivation to get it back in the air after 20 years lying dormant...

A back story to this aircraft, It was given to me when I was about 9 or 10 years old by a fellow club member who had inherited it from a deceased estate so when it was constructed I couldn't tell you but I have had it for 23 odd years. In 1993 I managed to get 3rd in the Zimbabwe national gliding comp the 2 guys who beat me were also flying Aquilas... Soon after I turned 14 and discovered girls and quit flying for a good number of years. Till now

Needless to say over the years it has picked up a fair amount of hanger rash which will now be put right.

Some pics of the start...
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Feb 16, 2014, 12:36 PM
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On the mend

so the first thing I did was to open up the broken tail part and epoxied it up again, I had just CA'd it when it happened as then I wasn't quite sure of what I was going to do with the plane and we were due to move house in 2 months time...Renting sucks...

With it epoxied shut I then cut away the jagged edges and made a block to fit in the gap. While that dried I pieced the canopy/hatch together again - this I am going to fill with foam and make a template/plug for a friend to pull a new canopy from this was then put aside.

Then the hard work began, I rough shaped the block in the tail and started wet sanding the fuse down to remove as much paint as I could - I know I have painted this fuz twice before and I know its had previous damage that I wanted to check on as well as cutting as much weight off as possible. I have counted 7 layers of paint....

Sub note - can anyone identify the white 'glass fuz in the pics? I was given it as you see it - no wings, tail,canopy - I have no Idea...
Feb 16, 2014, 12:53 PM
Balsa breaks better
Thermaler's Avatar
What is the lenght of the white one?
What is the width at the LE of the wing mount?
What is the screw hook on the red fuse for?

Feb 16, 2014, 01:11 PM
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Hey Joe, thanks for looking in, The length of the white fuz is 1120mm and the root measures 210mm, it has a similar flat bottom section to the Aquila, slightly longer all round though. I am thinking of making some foam core wings for it in the 3m region.

The screw in eyelet on the red fuz was there for the old 35Mhz aerial to be secured to, I got it like that and never changed it...
Feb 16, 2014, 05:55 PM
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Save yourself a lot grief and trouble . New Aquila canopies are available from Isthmus hobbies on line for a few bucks .
Feb 16, 2014, 07:19 PM
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adodad's Avatar
Skinny one - the white fuselage could be a glass version of a Graupner Cirrus. The airfoil profile on the fuse looks similar to the Cirrus, the aft end and overall shape is also very Cirrus-like.
Feb 16, 2014, 07:57 PM
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whacker's Avatar
I will Second that Graupner Cirrus thought

May even be the plastic version of the Cirrus
The ferrule that I see for the stab pivot is the same as what I have seen on two other plastic Cirrus fuses.

Feb 17, 2014, 03:37 AM
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Thanks guys for the ID on the fuz. I'll google some images as well now I have an idea what to look for...

@Jetmaven Thanks for the idea, however the canopy they have listed is $12 and to ship it to South Africa would probably be at least $15, now take into account that the SA Rand is hovering around R11 to $1 I'd like to think it is more economical to fabricate one...I'll sleep on it
Feb 21, 2014, 08:14 AM
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Hi all, so not much to report, just that the other evening I was sanding the fuz some more and decided to take ALL the paint off - only to discover that the previous paint jobs involved automotive body filler which is not lightweight at all... so having removed all that mess the fuz for one feels a lot lighter and I could see underlying damage to the balsa, so I stripped off the lower sheeting and replaced that as well.

Now its just filling and sanding to do - A LOT of it...and no filling with body filler...
Feb 21, 2014, 10:43 PM
volare est vivere
ray foley's Avatar
hi there from Toledo

Rehabbing a classic usually takes more effort than building a new version but it has its own rewards. Sand, sand, sand, repeat as necessary.

ciao -rjf
Feb 23, 2014, 12:40 AM
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Hi Ray, thanks for the look in, I agree the refurb route is more labour intensive but I couldn't bring myself to throw it out, plus having bought a set of plans for it I can build a new one at any time now- but this one holds a special place in my heart...too many Sundays at the flying club maxing out...even if she becomes my hanger queen and just hangs from the roof.
Feb 23, 2014, 12:43 AM
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On another positive - I may have found someone in need of the white Graupner fuselage, I have posted the identical logs on a local South African forum site and he has the Graupner Cumulus where the ABS original fuse has become too brittle to use any more...
Feb 27, 2014, 10:21 PM
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doc993's Avatar
Some of my best planes are old and restored,I continue to up date and maintain there air worthiness.It's well worth the time.
Mar 01, 2014, 04:36 PM
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The Aquila I flew today was built in 1978 . New fuse built 2 years ago , original Monocoat stripped a few months ago and replaced with Ultracoat . I love it now more than ever .
Mar 16, 2014, 12:05 AM
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latest update

Hi All

I have been away for work the last two weeks or so, but before I went away I managed to build up a new set of tail feathers and fill and sand the fuz some more. I also covered the rear of the fuz with tissue and dope - old school to give the new sheeting some strength.

I have now painted the fuselage black so I can see the high and low spots more clearly when I start to sand it again. I am going to try to get the tail feathers finished off in the next week and hopefully finish the project off in the next 2 weeks...just in time to start our winter here...

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