This article details the repair of
In addition to hurricanes, gators, sharks and other things created with
the specific purpose of destroying model airplanes, Florida gets vicious winds,
particularly in the spring.
Rustik was a little over a month old and had but a handful of flights on
it when Mother Nature struck again. The wind kicked up without
warning. As soon as I heard the howling I went around the house closing windows. Unfortunately, I
didn't get to one window in time.
Rustik was damaged when a screen blew loose from a window, across
the house and through the airplane which was assembled and standing against a
When Rustik fell over the stabilizer struck a chair which punched a hole
in the 1/32" balsa skin. A corner of the screen was embedded in the underside of a wing tip.
The wing repair will not be covered in this article. The gouge in
the tip was
filled with balsa dough,
sanded smooth and given a couple coats of clear solvent-based
polyurethane — the same finish that is already
applied to the aircraft.
The stabilizer repair was simple, but as with the
Thwing! repair, the
transparent finish poses a problem.
I don't want the plane to look patched if I can avoid it (which I couldn't).
The model sat in a corner for months for a couple reasons. I hadn't
decided exactly how I was going to execute the repair. I also had
shoulder surgery soon after Rustik was damaged which kept me out of the shop
for a while. Building with one arm in a sling is never easy.
Eventually I found a way to make a patch ok, but I'd rather it hadn't
been necessary at all.
Mike thinks I
should put the same patch on the other half the stabilizer to make it
symmetrical. Ummm... no.