To Repair a Flying Model Aircraft
Model airplanes can be damaged in a heart-breaking variety of ways.
The majority of my radio control model airplanes are damaged at home,
in transit to or from the field or by movers. On rare occasions, one
actually survives life in the hangar giving me the opportunity to crash it
at the field.
I would guess that the number one reason a person new to the hobby quits
is a crash that destroys his first trainer. The agony of seeing his
hard work and TLC reduced to splinters scattered across the field can be
devastating - especially if this is the most significant work they have ever
Any damage can be repaired. Whether the repair is worth
doing is for the builder to decide.
There are five things that I factor together to make the decision.
- How much did I like this model to begin with?
- Will the airframe be as straight as it was before? If the answer
to this question is no, then that's my answer.
- How much weight will the repair add?
- Will the plane look like a patched-together mess or can it be made to
look like new?
- How much time will the repair take compared to building a new
I can build pretty fast when I put my mind to it and more often than not
I can build a new component in about the same time as it would take to make
a major repair. The end result will be new - not "like" new.
Therefore I usually limit my repairs to minor damage and build a new
component when the damage is more severe. While I'm at it I can modify the model if there were things I would have
liked to be different than on the original.