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Jul 21, 2019, 09:40 PM
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Covering first balsa plane. Top flite Cessna 182 1/5 scale. Best material?

Well I entered the world of large scale and balsa planes faster then I planned

I was at the hobby shop Friday and in the corner was totes and a balsa wing. Asked about it. Was told it was all for sale for 100$, so I snatched it up.

Itís a top flite Cessna 182 gold kit. Has full interior, tons of parts, 3 nitro engines, one new in the box.

Anyway. Looks like the owner followed the build manual as stopped right before fitting ailerons and flaps. Bottom half of fuselage is done and the tail.

I worked on the wing this weekend. Go the wing tips done, ailerons cut, working on flaps.

I was hoping to finish out the wing 100% including covering so I could store it out of the way.

The balsa is very brittle so I was hoping to add some type of strengthening to it.

I know monocote is the tried and true way, but Iím not sold on it

I am considering fiberglass but would hate to do my first attempt on such a nice plane. Have seen people using poly instead of resin/epoxy.

I know they make cloth covering you can paint but apply like monocote.

I know sig has cloth but you apply some type of heat activated glue to the balsa first.

I am just very confused over what is the best as so many options keep going off the market. I also have a 80Ē clipped wing cub I need to cover as well.

So here are my needs.

1. Good results from a newby. I have done things like this and am very fast learner.

2. Gas resistant. I am not using a glow engine. Will be 2 stroke gas or possibly electric.

3. Hopefully add done durability / strength to it with out adding too much weight.
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Jul 22, 2019, 01:58 PM
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Your finish isn't going to be perfect for a first try. You would be better off practicing finishing techniques on a smaller sport plane and not a really large scale job.

I don't like monokote for larger models. I would scrap that idea but that's mostly just my opinion.

If the 182 has any open areas/wing bays, etc. then fiberglass is out. That is for 100% sheeted only.

I would go fabric all day long on the cub. Paint with either dope or dope/paint. Fabric adds a lot of strength.

Jul 22, 2019, 05:13 PM
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The Cessna is a full sheet plane. Cub is not. Can you recommend what fabric / dope? All new to balsa.
Jul 23, 2019, 07:57 AM
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I use only Randolph Butryate dopes and uncertified light aircraft fabric. Both readily available mail order from Aircraft Spruce and Specialty, a full scale aviation supply house.

Aug 13, 2019, 09:41 AM
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There is a whole subcategory devoted to painting and finishing issues in the general aviation category..... I think if you do some reading there you will learn of options:

Michael in Ontario, Canada
Aug 13, 2019, 01:59 PM
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Because the Cessna is an aluminum sheet airplane the finish should be smooth. That is the reason I finished mine with Monokote. It was also easier except for painting the cowl. Build Log Here-
Last edited by JimboPilotFL; Aug 13, 2019 at 02:07 PM.

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