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Old 06-26-2014, 10:46 PM   #1
time bandit
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Default Hinge tape....

I'm using hinge tape on my EVA. How much of a gap should I have between the control surfaces? I laid the horz. stab and elevator flat on my table and carefully put the tape across the hinge line leaving about 1/16th of an inch gap. The elevator would not deflect down much. Am I going about this wrong? I haven't put any tape on the bottom side yet. I did bevel the trailing edge of the horz. stab.

What was I thinking?
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Old 06-26-2014, 11:05 PM   #2
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You will get various ways to do this posted ...

I rarely use tape alone - I prefer proper hinges and then use tape to seal any gap.

BUT the main error you made is the 1/16th gap and flat.

The old way to do it was : (Lets say its elevator)

Fold elevator back so it's on top of stab ... with hinge line together. This means the V will make it sit at an angle. Apply tape along the joint and press in place. Now fold elevator other way - STILL keeping hinge line closed up and apply tape other side. Once all pressed into place - return elevator to mid neutral ...

Another : The X hinge ...

Take strips of tape ... in pairs. Flip one over and stick tip to another sticky sides together. This now is stuck ie one end on TOP of elevator... down through and other end stuck UNDER stab. Take another and do the opposite way alongside it creating an X hinge. Do this at multiple points along the hinge line. It's an old method from Control Line days ..


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Old 06-26-2014, 11:11 PM   #3
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Generally as little gap as practical.

The technique for the "Monokote Hinge" serves as a good guide for any film based hinge.
This assumes the surface will be "top hinged".
1) Lay a piece of card stock on the fixed surface to act as a spacer. Typical cereal box material is good when using Monkote.(thicker material if the tape is thicker than Monokote... maybe double card stock for "Blenderm" Triple for duct tape.)
2) Lay the control surface inverted on the spacer material. (you will be looking at the bottom of the control surface (assuming aileron or elevator)
3) Line up the edges that will become the hinge line.
4) Apply the lower surface hinging material.
5) open up the result and you will see the gap between the fixed and moving surfaces (sealed by hinge material) Bring it on to full deflection opposed to the position used to apply the first hinge material.
6) Apply the upper surface hinging material.
The hinge is complete.

This works wonderfully for balsa structure with a SHARP 45 on the front of the control surface and sharp 90 deg corners on the TE of the fixed surface.

If you have rounded edges then you need more gap.

If you are combining pinned hinges with tape to seal the hinge line you need more gap.

Learning how much gap in different situations (foamie, centered < LE on the control surface, large radius to the < and backing up pinned type hinges with gap sealing tape can mean a BIG gap)

Always apply the tape/hinging material with the control at max possible deflection and get the tape as far into the hinge line as possible. Tape not fully in the gap will cause binding.
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Old 06-26-2014, 11:14 PM   #4
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There are thin parts on this plane and the hinge tape is called for in the instructions. I know a lot of others have used CA hinges on this model. I was to chicken to try them. I have used them before with thicker parts of wood.

What was I thinking?
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Old 06-27-2014, 12:06 AM   #5
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Thanks guys. I will re-work the hinges.

What was I thinking?
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