Quick and Easy Wing Repair

Quick and Easy Wing Repair

Sooner or later it’s bound to happen, you move something and your built-up wing falls and hits a sharp corner, or, you’re moving your model out of the workshop and misjudge the width of the doorway–Instant hangar rash!

Quick and Easy Wing Repair

This happened to my Florio Flyer 60 wing while cleaning up my shop. The dent isn’t so bad, but the damage was enough to cause the covering to sag and it had to fixed.

Quick and Easy Wing Repair

The dent wasn’t so bad, but the underside sag was not a good thing. I’ve learned from experience, that just trying to reshrink the covering won’t fix the problem.

Quick and Easy Wing Repair

Quick and Easy Wing Repair

For this repair you could use CA glue but I decided to use a water-based adhesive from Gorilla Glue. Back when I was a kid, my Dad taught me that Yellow Wood Glue is our friend! Why, a couple reasons are that they provide more working time to get the parts properly aligned, and being water-based, they penetrate into the wood grain to produced a very strong bond. Also the wood swells a little to help further tighten your covering.

Quick and Easy Wing Repair

The repair is fairly easy and starts with removing some of the covering. Since I have a lot of decals on the top of the aileron, I removed the covering from one bay on the underside of the aileron. Use a sharp knife blade.

Quick and Easy Wing Repair

After exposing the structure you can see what the damage actually is. With this one, the trailing edge was badly dented, and the glue joint on the rib was cracked.Quick and Easy Wing Repair

Cut a doubler to size and glue and pin it against the existing rib. Position it so it is flush with the covering but does not psuh the cover up forming a bulged appearance.

To deal with the dent, you have to remove a bit more of the covering but not enough to cut into the decals. Cut the damaged material away and glue a small piece of balsa into place pinning it in place until the adhesive dries.

Quick and Easy Wing Repair

When the glue has dried, remove the pins and cut the replacement piece roughly to shape.

Quick and Easy Wing Repair

Now cover the covering around the repair with tape and sand it to blend into the rest of the trailing egde.

Quick and Easy Wing Repair

Remove the tape and clean the control surface. Take the piece of covering you removed and use it as a guide to cut a new patch. It should be about 1/4 inch bigger all around.

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Before patching the aileron, go over all the surfaces around the opening and seal the covering down tightly and smoothly.

Quick and Easy Wing Repair

Now iron the patch in place and working from the center tack it in place, and pull the ends tight and tack the ends down. Work all around and seal the material down.

Quick and Easy Wing Repair

Now to tighten the upper covering, use a heat gun and slowly heat the area until all the slack and wrinkles pull tight.

Quick and Easy Wing Repair

Here’s the finished repair. With a little work and by taking care, you can’t even see the repair unless you look really really close. Do not try your covering iron over vinyl markings! They will melt and would look good at all!

Quick and Easy Wing Repair

Updated: July 27, 2015 — 2:47 PM
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