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Old 01-27-2014, 03:41 PM   #1
thepiper92
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Default Warping and Solite sticking

I have been trying to cover the wing of my P51, and the wing warps as soon as the covering shrinks, it even crushes and cracks the balsa. I am thinking it is because I am completely wrapping the wing, due to the fact that the solite only likes sticking to itself. I am somewhat unsure of this solite. I like the weight, but I find it doesn't adhere to a flat surface of balsa, so when I cut out the retract area, the solite pulled back and it doesn't want to stick on. Any heat seems to make the solite curl, but I can't get it to stay down. Would going to ultracote be better?
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:40 PM   #2
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Piper,
I use Aerolite from stevensaeromodel, I believe it is the same as the solite (someone correct me here if I am wrong) and that stuff is the biggest PITA to work with. It sticks to itself really well and easily. Getting the backing off, even with the 2 pices of tape method, is hard. And I regularly burn a hole through it while trying to shrink it.
Best advise I can give you is start in the middle and work your way outward. Heat the solite slowly and just enough to get it tight. I had the Aerolite warp a rear stabilizer to the point it looked like a propeller. I ended up rebuilding the stab from scratch.
Anyway, best guess, remove the covering, twist the wing slightly in the direction of the warp and look for cracks and bad glue joints. Reenforce any areas with alot of movement and try try again. I think heavier covering will make the problem worse.
There are alot of covering tutorials on youtube. I still watch them when i get stuck.

I'm either going to get good at flying em, or get good at fixin em!
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:53 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by BroncoSquid View Post
Piper,
I use Aerolite from stevensaeromodel, I believe it is the same as the solite (someone correct me here if I am wrong) and that stuff is the biggest PITA to work with. It sticks to itself really well and easily. Getting the backing off, even with the 2 pices of tape method, is hard. And I regularly burn a hole through it while trying to shrink it.
Best advise I can give you is start in the middle and work your way outward. Heat the solite slowly and just enough to get it tight. I had the Aerolite warp a rear stabilizer to the point it looked like a propeller. I ended up rebuilding the stab from scratch.
Anyway, best guess, remove the covering, twist the wing slightly in the direction of the warp and look for cracks and bad glue joints. Reenforce any areas with alot of movement and try try again. I think heavier covering will make the problem worse.
There are alot of covering tutorials on youtube. I still watch them when i get stuck.
Guess ill stay with solite. If aerolite is the same it should be easier to get. It wasn't glue joints, it actually snappe the balsa. I made a new piece. Actually it's fairly easy to get the backing off if you slip the blade through the backing without going to covering. Think a carbon strip would help? Also how do I get it to stick to a flat area
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:49 AM   #4
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Sometimes I use Micaflim which is now very hard to find.

Micaflim has NO adhesive at all. You must paint the airframe with Balsarite made by Coverite, to get it to stick where you want it to, but not where you don't.

Balsarite must be a heat activated adhesive, it is easy to get in a well stocked hobby shop.

Aliphatic resin glues like Titebond, Elmers Pro glue and other cream colored glues, have a property most people don't realize. They will melt at high temperature.

You can coat the ribs from the leading edge to the spar. and paint the bottom side of your sheeting with glue. I use a stiff bristle brush like a acid brush with a metal tube handle. Let the glue dry, then use a covering iron to apply heat from the top. The heat will go through the balsa sheeting and melt the glue and the joint fuses together.

You probably could paint glue on your wing where you want the covering to stick, and then iron it on. I haven't tried this but I am very certain it would work.

I did very high-end finish woodwork for the last 8 years of my career. On a job for the owner of Microsoft with the initials of B. G. (no not Barry Gibbs) my friend was doing some details around a gas fireplace in his family room. He had fastened a strip of wood on adjacent to a strip of Halogen lights on the underside of the mantle. He used Titebond and a few micro pins, shortly after Mr. & Mrs. Microsoft turned on the lights one evening, the strip fell off. I had to go back and sand off the Titebond, and use epoxy and a few more micro pins.

It sounds like your wing is very fragile, so don't tighten any more than you need to pull out the wrinkles.

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Old 01-28-2014, 06:01 AM   #5
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I ended up replacing both strips of the trailing edge with left over thicker balsa, although not much thicker. I then used carbon fibre strip on the bottoms of them. They are nice and stiff now. It seems some other areas came to be warped, and I need to adjust the aileron on one side, but only by a few mm. At least the warp not too bad now. Still can't get the solite to stick for the life of me. On low heat the iron does nothing really, and on high heat it wants to shrink, and doesn't allow anything to stick. I can't keep switching between high and low to keep at a medium setting.
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:27 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by thepiper92 View Post
I have been trying to cover the wing of my P51, and the wing warps as soon as the covering shrinks, it even crushes and cracks the balsa. I am thinking it is because I am completely wrapping the wing, due to the fact that the solite only likes sticking to itself. I am somewhat unsure of this solite. I like the weight, but I find it doesn't adhere to a flat surface of balsa, so when I cut out the retract area, the solite pulled back and it doesn't want to stick on. Any heat seems to make the solite curl, but I can't get it to stay down. Would going to ultracote be better?
What is the size of your P51? I've been using monocote on most of my models, but they are on the order of a 4 foot wingspan and larger. The wings on these models are not affected much by shrinking down the monocote.

Now, we've got the ARF's and who knows what they use.

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Old 01-28-2014, 06:47 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by kyleservicetech View Post
What is the size of your P51? I've been using monocote on most of my models, but they are on the order of a 4 foot wingspan and larger. The wings on these models are not affected much by shrinking down the monocote.

Now, we've got the ARF's and who knows what they use.
3 feet wing span, not a big plane. I have ultracote on the rudder, it hasn't crushed anything. Seeing as I have the fuselage already solite-ized, then that would be a lot of work recovering the fuselage and wing. In the retract area, the solite doesn't adhere well, and wrapping a small amount to the inside of the retract area still doesn't make it much better. With the retracts up though, the pressure will hold the covering on while flying no problem.
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:00 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by thepiper92 View Post
3 feet wing span, not a big plane. I have ultracote on the rudder, it hasn't crushed anything. Seeing as I have the fuselage already solite-ized, then that would be a lot of work recovering the fuselage and wing. In the retract area, the solite doesn't adhere well, and wrapping a small amount to the inside of the retract area still doesn't make it much better. With the retracts up though, the pressure will hold the covering on while flying no problem.

Yeah, I'm not certain it's a good idea to mix some of those covering materials where the temperature required to adhere them varies widely. Like putting a high temperature monocote over a lower temperature covering all ready in place.

Out of curiosity, and as a wild a***d idea, take a scrap piece of balsa, give it a very thin coating of Titebond, and allow it to dry overnight. Then try ironing on a piece of your solite material over the Titebond.

Probably won't work, but it would not take much to determine if this could help your situation.

One very nice thing about Titebond, (and epoxies for that matter) is repair work, should it be necessary. Hitting the glued joint with a heat gun, the glue joint can be separated with a dull knife. Many years ago, I had a 9 foot wingspan sailplane that had a busted spar. The Titebond glue joints to the broken area were "Disassembled", and completely rebuilt, good as new. Otherwise, that wing would have been a total loss.

(If you use the heat gun on epoxy, be sure to have a LOT of ventilation, or do it outside. Those fumes are probably not good for anyone.)

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