What About R/C Plane Repairs?
Thanks to RAMY RC/YOUTUBE for the featured image
It’s inevitable that an R/C plane owner (especially a novice) will make a wrong move, or the radio or servo will malfunction, and the plane will crash. Don’t worry – just because your plane is damaged doesn’t mean it will never fly again. In this article, we’ll share some repair tips that will work for almost 90% of crashed planes.
What Repairs are Most Common for R/C Planes?
What are the most common consequences of a crash? There are several very common ones, such as a bent shaft, dirt in the motor, stripped servos, a broken or bent prop, a loose control horn, prop, or wires, and a cracked motor angle or firewall. If the battery is damaged in a crash, it needs to be replaced. It’s dangerous to leave in.
If your shaft is bent, you should have it replaced because it’s usually impossible to bend it back the way it was. You can’t very well leave it as is, because the vibration can affect your plane’s performance adversely. In fact, it may be best to replace the entire motor in some cases.
Normally, you can fix a cracked motor angle with some hot glue. Simply remove the motor, apply glue, and reinstall the motor.
Crinkled or Broken Fuselage
This is another common repair needed in the wake of a crash. It can be repaired with tape, foam-safe CA, or hot glue. To bring it back to its original shape, use hot water. Apply a thin layer of glue (if you decide on glue) because less is more in this particular case.
Dents are usually a minor cosmetic issue. Apply a wet paper towel to dents and warm with a covering iron. The dents disappear as the steam expands the foam.
What Do I Do if I Crash?
If you crash, you need to check three main things: your plane’s surfaces, structural weaknesses, and the power system. First, check to see if all the surfaces are moving properly. Look for crinkles, tears, or rips in the body of your plane. See if the tail of the plane is straight or if it’s been deformed in the crash. The angles should be restored to their condition before the crash because this will affect operation.
Turn the motor manually to see if it turns properly. Check all your electronic connections as well.
How Can I Prevent Crashing?
Crashes tend to occur in the following conditions / situations:
· It’s too windy
· You didn’t do a preflight check
· You got distracted
· You flew too close to another object
· You flew out of range
· Your flying field was too small
If you haven’t done a lot of flying yourself, make sure an expert checks your plane before you begin to fly. They should go over every setup and connection detail. A lot of people have lost planes because they failed to perform a pre-flight check.
What do I need to check?
Before the first flight, we recommend checking the balance, weight, control surfaces, alignment, radio, and control links. Where applicable, the fuel needs to be checked too. We’ll go into each of these points into more detail below.
Balance and Weight
The plane’s left wing should weigh as much as the right wing. If this isn’t the case, the balance will be off. The plane also shouldn’t be too heavy.
Control Surfaces and Alignment
All flying surfaces should be at a specific angle to one another. There shouldn’t be any twists in the plane’s wings. All control surfaces must be safely attached. For example, it is not sufficient to push the hinges in; they need to be glued.
Before you fly your plane, perform a full range check. Check the flight pack charge with a voltmeter. The receiver’s antenna shouldn’t be detracted and covered, but fully extended. The battery and receiver require protection from shock and vibration.
Check to see if all linkage is secure. The snap-links have to be closed and the servo end needs to be equipped with them. Note that snap-links on the servo are more likely to come loose. The servo horns must be equipped with the right number of screws as per user manual.
Where applicable, check to see if the engine has been thoroughly tested and all engine screws are tight. Some engines stall when you apply full power upon ascent. To keep this from happening, run the engine up at full throttle during climbout to see if it’s possible.
The fuel tank must be at the same height as the carburetor, not above it. The fuel tank is moving freely and in the proper position.
How Can I Speed Up Wing Repair?
RC plane owners often find themselves asking this question because wings are among the most frequently damaged R/C plane components. A wing might be broken into two or more pieces in some cases!
You’ll be happy to know foam wings are very easy to repair. To get started, mix some epoxy and apply it to the exposed ends. To hold the parts together, use some masking tape. They should be resting on your work surface horizontally. Use a paper towel and ethanol to wipe away excess mixture.
Remove the tape when the epoxy sets and smooth out the area with a sanding bar. Use a 5-inch long, 0.5-inch wide piece of plywood as an internal brace if your wing is more than 35 inches long. Cut a straight line through it with a razor saw and hobby knife. Using foam-safe CA, insert the plywood to fortify the wing. Apply some accelerator and wait for the glue to set.
Then, apply model filler to the area and wait for it to dry. Sand smooth using fine sandpaper and flush with the rest of the surface of the wing.
Finally, apply foam-safe paint in the color of your choice and let it dry.
Improper maintenance of RC planes causes malfunctioning and many crashes. Always check the manual before flying. If you figure you can’t fix a given problem yourself, call the seller or manufacturer and ask questions to find out more.