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Old 09-23-2012, 12:02 PM   #1
npowell28
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Default Covering laser cut kits with foam????

Hi, not strictly a foamie question but, has anyone bought a balsa/ply wood laser cut kit and covered it with depron foam. I was just wondering if there was still a weight saving to be made using foam instead of covering with balsa. I was considering a Tony Nijhus 71" dh mosquito kit.

Cheers
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:56 PM   #2
tobydogs
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i'm a bit confused as to what covering a balsa kit with foam would look like.how are you planning it's use? can you descibe what your thinking more clearly as the question is very interesting.

i love building kits and am covering a towers uproar today .....foam.....not today...lol,monocoat i had on the shelf and looking forward to having here back flying in the hanger.

narrow is the place to land...wide is the space to crash....choose the narrow way!
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:21 PM   #3
gramps2161
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I did a Mini TeleMaster balsa build then covered it in foam board a few years back. I wouldn't do it again wing and fuse was covered in the dollar tree, foam over a balsa frame. Nice and light you would think but then you have to glue it to the frame work start of the wgt gain.
Then add paint to it more wgt. added. Real down size to it was hanger rash just looking at it I swear it would develop a dent.

Plane like you mentioned I would go with the conventional covering you have a lot of curve parts to try and cover.
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by npowell28 View Post
Hi, not strictly a foamie question but, has anyone bought a balsa/ply wood laser cut kit and covered it with depron foam. I was just wondering if there was still a weight saving to be made using foam instead of covering with balsa. I was considering a Tony Nijhus 71" dh mosquito kit.

Cheers
What you are describing will work. For wings, I've found that comparing 1/16" balsa, covered with lightweight fiberglass and epoxy vs. paper covered 3 mm depron or Dollar Tree foam, the foam will weight 25 to 30% less (ready to paint). The weight savings is split between the lighter weight of the foam itself and the lighter weight of the finish. If you can cover the balsa with a film and not have to paint, the weight advantage of foam nearly disappears.

I've never tried to cover a built up fuselage with foam, but I suspect there would be similar savings.

However, trying to convert a laser cut kit will lead to some problems. The foam skin will be thicker so you may have problems fitting the nacelles and ailerons. Kinda defeats the purpose of a laser cut kit.

I've pretty much switched to foam skins for my scratch builds. The weight is one factor but the cost and availability of suitable balsa for sheeting is another.

It's never too late to have a happy childhood.
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:19 PM   #5
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Yeah good points particularly about the skin thickness. Really hadn't thought of that. I was just trying to keep the wing loading down. The main reason i asked is so that i don't have to do all that pesky cutting. Guess i'll just have to get on with it.

cheers guys
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