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How to: Repair a Vertical Stabilizer & Rudder

I’d like to benefaction this essay as one some-more instance of how doing repairs to your favorite warbird can be finished if we take it one step during a time, and “eat a elephant in bites” rather than fretting over a whole unhappy picture.

I will also contend it was a payoff to work on such a professionally built and finished hulk scale RC warbird. we have not met a builder, though acclamation to him for such a staggering building task! we am hostile of his skills and courtesy to details.

A associate RC bar member bought a pleasing FW-190A from Vailly Aviation skeleton with 113 in. camber that was intensely good built and prepared to fly. At Warbirds Over Texas, 2014, he took Best WW II Warbird honors with a Butcher Bird! He flew it unequivocally good a series of times off pavement, though drifting it on a home weed field, on landing, it dug-in on a soothing area and flipped over. Ugggghh! Well, these things happen, though to occur with this positively excellent warbird was a genuine shame. The owners was disgusted of course, and didn’t know what he was going to do about a damage. we told him if he’d sequence a skeleton we would tackle a repairs for him. He was gratified to hear that offer. Took a few months to get a craft over to my shop, though he delivered it with a skeleton and tools reduction a engine that severely reduced a weight of a model. The many apparent repairs was to a straight tail and rudder tops that had damaged off. Also, a left wing outdoor row aluminum punch (3 square wing) and left categorical redress were focussed when a craft went over during a flip. we told him I’d do a repairs though ever carrying seen a indication (wasn’t there for a mishap) and was indeed relieved that a repairs wasn’t as bad as we had imagined. Had we seen a craft first, we could have saved him a cost of shopping a set of skeleton as we unequivocally didn’t need them.

 

Close adult of a rudder/stab damage. Much reduction repairs than we had expected.

Close adult of a rudder/stab damage. Much reduction repairs than we had expected.

 

To start off a repairs, we tackled a repairs to a rudder and gash as that looked like a easiest job. As most as we hated to flay off a rudder covering with a German kill marks, it had to come off to take a look-see during a repairs underneath. Other than a tip of a rudder being gone, it looked flattering healthy underneath there. we didn’t do a same review to a gash as it was apparently solid, though only took a 80 courage sanding bar and evened it adult as most as probable to accept a new balsa top. Same for a rudder top. The new balsa tops were cut to figure on a bandsaw and trustworthy with CA. Once secured, they were sanded to a contours of a gash and rudder with blue painter’s fasten practical to strengthen a indication as most as possible. But, a few damage outlines always seem to happen. Oh well, going to be repainted anyway. we bent out of doing any paint repairs. ha.

 

 

Bare rudder. Well built. Note a hinges --massive!

Bare rudder. Well built. Note a hinges –massive!

Rudder and gash spotless adult to accept new balsa tops.

Rudder and gash spotless adult to accept new balsa tops.

 

 

Stab gets new balsa top. CA works excellent here as a balsa to balsa and will be glassed for combined strength.

Stab gets new balsa top. CA works excellent here as it’s balsa to balsa and will be glassed for combined strength.

 

Blue fasten over a rudder to keep sanding outlines off those areas while moulding a rudder top. Also blue fasten to keep rudder ideally inline with gash while sanding.

Blue fasten over a rudder to keep sanding outlines off those areas while moulding a rudder top. Also blue fasten to keep rudder ideally inline with gash while sanding.

 

Balsa repairs sanded to shape. Be clever to not oversand a soothing balsa! With an 80 Grit sanding block, we can get carried divided quickly. Note center-of-rudder anxiety line, noted in ink, to keep sanding even.

Balsa repairs sanded to shape. Be clever to not oversand a soothing balsa! With an 80 Grit sanding block, we can get carried divided quickly. Note center-of-rudder anxiety line, noted in ink, to keep sanding even.

 

Balsa repairs primed with Z-Poxy Finishing Resin to prop adult a balsa before being glassed. Sand easily before adding potion cloth.

Balsa repairs primed with Z-Poxy Finishing Resin to prop adult a balsa before being glassed. Sand easily before adding potion cloth.

 

Stab and rudder tops glassed. Rudder lonesome with Yellow Solar Tex. Rudder/stab all finished and prepared for paint. Also note that a potion cloth overlaps a balsa onto a straight stabilizer for strength. Rudder pull-pull cables bending adult and prepared to go. we am utterly gratified on how good this remade area looks! Solar Tex is my favorite iron-on covering material.

Stab and rudder tops glassed. Rudder lonesome with Yellow Solar Tex. Rudder/stab all finished and prepared for paint. Also note that a potion cloth overlaps a balsa onto a straight stabilizer for strength. Rudder pull-pull cables bending adult and prepared to go. we am utterly gratified on how good this remade area looks! Solar Tex is my favorite iron-on covering material.

 

No shots of a covering process, though sufficient to contend a rudder recuperating incited out good regulating some yellow Solar Tex we had on hand. It needs to be primed and painted, though could be flown like she sits. The owners still has not flown it again due to a margin being soothing in places. We had some fill mud combined to level-out portions of a margin a integrate of months ago to improved empty a water, so, maybe this Fall he will move her out and set her giveaway to blast a skies once more. The other repairs will be lonesome in a destiny correct article.

BY LANE CRABTREE

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