Reinforcing a GWS Formosa (aileron came off at ~70 mph) - RC Groups
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Jan 23, 2007, 04:34 PM
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Reinforcing a GWS Formosa (aileron came off at ~70 mph)

I just had someone radar my Formosa. Previously I radared my Stryker out of a dive at 83 mph. (The dive was about 30 degrees from about 500 feet out.)

The same gun showed my Formosa going 64 mph out of about a 10 degree dive. I'm guessing it's going 55-60 mph level.

I have a JustGoFly 400DF with a 5.7x3 propeller on it.

Then I took my Formosa up to see how fast I could get it going out of a long, steep dive.

It looked like it was going slightly faster than it was when radared at 64 mph. All of a sudden I heard a snapping sort of noise and saw some foam flutter to the ground. I gave it slight up elevator. The elevator was still there. I gave it rudder. The rudder was still there. I gave it aileron, it banked, but just enough for me to see it was missing most of the left aileron. (I've still got about 2 square inches left.)

The plane still flew fine (but felt like it was on low rates with 100% exponential), so I came in for a landing.

Now I think I'm going to build another one, and really reinforce it.

How do you reinforce your planes? Should I try covering it? Glassing it? How do you glass planes?
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Jan 23, 2007, 04:36 PM
Got H2? Fuel Cell R/C Car
Keith43221's Avatar

One of the many Formosa threads:

Hope this helps.
Jan 23, 2007, 08:37 PM
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Jan 24, 2007, 01:46 AM
I promise, just ONE more order
CSI's Avatar
I have glassed several of my GWS planes and had ok results. While they are a bit stronger, a regular crash still caused significant damage.
I have since been using low temp iron on covering and there is no comparison. The airframe become like iron and the weight increase in minimal...less than my glassed planes. I'm not kidding, the iron on film becomes part of the foam and it is STRONG. No way to pull that baby apart. It takes a bit of time to get it all ironed down, but well worth it. Crash survivability went up 75%. Even the standard "finger dents" in the foam are hard to make. Like I said, takes time, but the foam is like iron. I have only used the $6.99 rolls of Tower Kote from Tower Hobbies. It is low temp covering.
That's just another suggestion to toss your way.
Jan 24, 2007, 01:55 AM
Registered User
Thanks.. I'll try iron on covering. I don't care about crash durability - I don't plan on crashing it if I've spent time covering it. As long as the control surfaces don't rip off in mid flight I'm happy.
Jan 24, 2007, 02:58 AM
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perttime's Avatar
Did your hinges break or come off?
What sort of hinges did you use?

Also, make sure your aileron linkage is solid, if you plan to fly fast. Or use separate servos, mounted in the wing.
Jan 24, 2007, 03:08 AM
Registered User
The hinges didn't break. The far left and middle hing pulled out of the wing. The right hinge pulled out of the aileron.

I used the stock hinges, which was probably a mistake. When I built the model I knew I was going to stick a real power system in it and not some underpowered junk that would barely get it to go 30 mph.
Jan 24, 2007, 03:40 AM
Registered User
All right, what sort of iron do I need to order with that TowerKote film to cover my new Formosa? I'm ordering as soon as I figure out what I need.
Jan 24, 2007, 03:41 AM
Registered User
I was just looking at that TowerKote stuff and it says the rolls are 6 inches by 26 inches? How do I cover a whole plane? Just use strips or squares of the stuff? Do seams form where it overlaps or does it just sort of "melt" together?

Edit: Also, about how many rolls will I need to cover my Formosa? From my guesstimates it looks like 7. A $30 airframe with $50 worth of covering and a $100 power system...

Edit again: Never mind. That's 6 feet by 26 inches. One roll ought to be good... lol
Jan 24, 2007, 03:51 AM
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perttime's Avatar
Sounds like the hinges were not glued well enough. The stock hinge material is not that bad, although I am not flying my GWS birds fast.

You need an iron that has adjustable temperature. You do not want to melt the foam...

"6 inches by 26 inches" sounds very small, like some sort of trim material. I think something like 26 inches by 6 feet is more like it.

There was an article on covering a Formosa in Model Airplane News (not real recent) and the guy did the fuselage in two parts of film: left and right. Getting the foam smooth first seemed like the biggest job but he really knew how to handle the film and iron too.
Jan 24, 2007, 03:54 AM
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Probably true. I used the stock GWS glue to attach them, which was probably a mistake.

Anyway, what iron do you use for covering?
Jan 24, 2007, 04:18 AM
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perttime's Avatar
I do not remember what brand/model my iron is. Something like this:

In that MAN article the guy also had a really tiny iron for some tight angles.

...I have used GWS glue on my hinges too. It is a bit hard to get glue into the slots without making a mess...
Jan 24, 2007, 07:29 AM
Don't watch this...
CooHead's Avatar
Maybe it WAS the stock GWS glue? I have an over powered Foammosa and use the standard hinge material...but two part epoxy. I'm sure mine goes over 70MPH with 11x8.5 prop and 2025-4200 motor in a Cobri GB. No flutter issues.

I covered mine with leftover Solite. It's a real hack job. I just wanted to get it covered and not have to paint it because I don't like the raw foam look. Once I got it done I noticed how much stronger it made the plane.

I have a lot of experience covering laser cut kits, so this hack job didn't take to long and looks alright.

(this is the only pic I have of the SoLite covered Foamosa)

Jan 24, 2007, 07:36 AM
Don't watch this...
CooHead's Avatar
I guess I could take a couple more pics of just the plane.

Jan 24, 2007, 09:03 AM
Are you one of these
rcboatnut's Avatar
I use Dubro hinges and a mix of polyurethane glue and white glue it expands to fill the voids in the slot in the foam you cut to put the hinges in and is very sticky and bonds well to the foam you could also drill a whole perpendicular in the wing to the hinge and put a carbon rod through the wing and hinge to lock it in. Just a thought

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