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View Full Version : Gap Seal Tape - Should I use it or not?


AEAJR
08-27-2006, 09:25 PM
I just completed building the Polecat Thermal Dancer 3.1 M sailplane
http://polecataero.com/products/thermal-dancer (http://polecataero.com/products/thermal-dancer)

I am doing the final prep and asked some folks about the use of gap seal tape. I got mixed responses, so I thought I would ask the community its opinion of the use of gap seal tape.

1) If you use gap seal tape, tell me why. Any input would be appreciated. Do you use it only on top of the wing gaps or do you use it on bottom of the wing gaps too? I am talking hinge gaps on ailerons and flaps.


2) If you don't use it, why not?

Have you ever tried it? Had a bad experience? Don't feel it helps? Feel it hurts? any input is appreciated.


I am open to any comments at all.:)

EZ1
08-27-2006, 10:24 PM
I just completed building the Polecat Thermal Dancer 3.1 M sailplane
http://polecataero.com/products/thermal-dancer (http://polecataero.com/products/thermal-dancer)

I am doing the final prep and asked some folks about the use of gap seal tape. I got mixed responses, so I thought I would ask the community its opinion of the use of gap seal tape.

1) If you use gap seal tape, tell me why. Any input would be appreciated. Do you use it only on top of the wing gaps or do you use it on bottom of the wing gaps too? I am talking hinge gaps on ailerons and flaps.


2) If you don't use it, why not?

Have you ever tried it? Had a bad experience? Don't feel it helps? Feel it hurts? any input is appreciated.


I am open to any comments at all.:)
I might be a complete newbie to RC but do have kind of a grasp of aerodynamics. You fairly summed it up at the end of your query. If the plane flys well ...why bother? As far as top or bottom application...Methinks either way will seal the gap to prevent misdirected airflow

ragbag
08-28-2006, 10:46 AM
I just completed building the Polecat Thermal Dancer 3.1 M sailplane
http://polecataero.com/products/thermal-dancer (http://polecataero.com/products/thermal-dancer)

I am doing the final prep and asked some folks about the use of gap seal tape. I got mixed responses, so I thought I would ask the community its opinion of the use of gap seal tape.

1) If you use gap seal tape, tell me why. Any input would be appreciated. Do you use it only on top of the wing gaps or do you use it on bottom of the wing gaps too? I am talking hinge gaps on ailerons and flaps.


2) If you don't use it, why not?

Have you ever tried it? Had a bad experience? Don't feel it helps? Feel it hurts? any input is appreciated.


I am open to any comments at all.:)

There is a very good article on trimming aircraft in MA. This month he covered sealing joints and covered it very well. His explanations make a lot of sense. He is for sealing joints.

Too much info to sit down and retype into the thread.:)


......

Warden
08-28-2006, 11:20 AM
That series of articles has been some of the best I've ever read in MA!

fdix
08-28-2006, 11:00 PM
If sealing joints reduces drag also depends on the transition point of the used airfoil. The transition point is where the boundary layer changes from laminar to turbulent. Normally on the bottom of the airfoil flow remains laminar all the way, on the top depending on type of airfoil, Re numbers and coefficient of lift the transition can occur anywhere from 30% onwards. In stall condition the transition occurs on the leading edge.

I would seal joints regardless of the airfoil, the boundary layer will stay thinner and high speed performance will be better. The only slightly ridiculous argument against I can see is weight.

Great looking plane by the way!