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Old 03-09-2013, 08:59 PM   #1
earthsciteach
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Default Balsa Repair Advice

I maidened my Maxford USA PT-17 in very windy conditions last weekend. Now, I am in the process of repairing.

I have two damaged ribs on one wing that I need to access through the covering. I have no experience working with covering, so I'm seeking advice.

Can I somehow detach the covering from the wing and reattach or do I cut and patch the particular area I need to access?

Thank you!

All of my landings are three point landings if you count the spinner, too
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:28 PM   #2
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You are going to have to cut and patch to fix the ribs. Just had to do that myself to a plane. I don't know what they use for glue with the Maxford but check out the glue joints on the fuselage also. Mine was a easy crash, but i was surprised on how many glue joints popped in the fuselage even though wing looked like it had the most damage.

Mine was a GP Electric Stick they use a glue that almost resembles hot glue that doesn't hold well.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:01 AM   #3
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Thank you Gramps! I've cut open the wing and CA'd the ribs back together. I'm going to scab the two broken ribs with thin balsa. I'll give the fuse a good check - I definitely appreciate your advice!

All of my landings are three point landings if you count the spinner, too
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Old 03-10-2013, 01:53 AM   #4
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Now the key question is can you find the correct color covering to match the original one. Hardest thing to do with some of these ARF'S is finding a matching color.
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:46 AM   #5
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Yep, that is my concern. Looks yellow to me, but which shade? Argh!

All of my landings are three point landings if you count the spinner, too
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:48 AM   #6
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Oh man, one thing about bipes, you get good at repairs...

Ask me why your DX5e is doomed... and how to fix it.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:39 PM   #7
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My way is to carefully slice the covering and peel back. Bit of tape to hold it out of way.

Take thin balsa or thin foam and create a doubler to sit alongside the broken rib ... glue in place with white PVA glue. I only use CA as a last resort - it makes for an brittle repair.

Once set - I then lay covering back with a narrow section of clear tape upside down .. a piece of masking tape on top to allow me to pull the covering before sticking down to the clear tape. Do for both sides of cut - often you can get the edges to meet again and a quick waft of hot air over and bingo.
If not - then a patch of same covering with no sharp corners ... best is the oval shape ...

The old trick was of course to add another Decal ! to cover it up.

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Old 09-29-2013, 08:19 PM   #8
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Remove covering over wing bays with sharp X-Acto, leaving the edges tacked down to undamaged ribs. Check wing spar, leading and trailing edges, for any cracks/flexing fix by sistering with hard balsa, ply or basswood using epoxy. Find best match for iron-on wing covering, maybe contacting Maxford for advice. Remove plastic protecive sheet from covering. Cut patch to overlap removed covering by 1/4 "(+). Tack down new covering around the edges of the repaired area with covering iron so that covering is snug, no wrinkles. Seal covering down securely but carefully around outer edge of the perifphery. Avoid shrinking covering away from edges due to working too slowly or too high temp setting while sealing the patch down. Once patch edges are secure, shrink covering with iron in center area of patch, avoiding the edges. Hope this helps. If you mess up, you may need to remove patch and redo. Covering neatly after repairs is harder to do than covering new wing panels.
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