MOUNTING THE ORIGINAL GLUE-ON TAIL SURFACES
You can avoid a lot of hangar rash by leaving the tail surfaces off the model until the end of assembly.
While installing the tanks, turbine, ECU and radio system, you are constantly flipping the fuselage from
right-side-up to upside-down, so it's nice to not have to worry about banging the tail. However, this is
an important step that is critical to the airworthiness and structural integrity of the model. This is no
place to be stingy with the glue!
- The general procedure for attaching the tail surfaces is to sand the mating surfaces, wipe them clean,
then glue with epoxy.
- Use 80-grit sandpaper to sand away most of the paint. It takes a lot of sanding! Keep going until you start
to see the fiberglass show through. If you keep sanding at this point, you may remove a bit more paint, but
you might also start cutting into the fiberglass, which is something you want to avoid. The sandpaper will
leave deep scratches, which will help the mechanical bond. Vacuum up the dust, then wipe the surfaces with
alcohol or acetone to clean them.
- Use a high-quality epoxy like BVM Aeropoxy or 30-minute epoxy mixed with milled fibers for extra strength.
Wipe away any epoxy that oozes out with alcohol or methanol.
- There are guidelines molded into the surfaces to help with alignment. It is still a good idea to take
a few measurements before the glue sets to be absolutely certain the surfaces are aligned properly. I like to
have my wing installed when gluing on the horizontal stabilizer so I can do an "eyeball alignment" of the
stab and wing.
<Back to previous page