Tag Archives: Aileron

Building 4 Star 60 Day 32: Hinged Ailerons + Tail Touch Ups

L Hatch Cover Installed

Saturday I got over to Peter’s for another building session.  We started by going over what Peter had done.  In order to not ‘waste’ my time on some of the easy but tedious stuff Peter will do some of it for me when he has a chance so that those things don’t hold us up in the project.  He then goes over how he did it so that I still gain some exposure to the task.

One of those things was attaching the hatch covers to the bottom of the wing, seen at the top and bottom of this post, and the other was running the leads from the servos out the two wholes in the top of the wing.  He used the previously run string to pull the wires through, since covering is now applied.  By tying the string around one end of the wire (ensuring you go along the connector and between two of the wires so the string doesn’t slip off while being pulled).  You then slowly pull the string through, working the string and lead back and forth if it catches, until you are up and through the hole.  Repeat for the other servo.

You can then connect the leads to a receiver to test the servos with your transmitter.

Testing Servos in Ailerons
Testing Servos in Wing

Hinging 101

Hinges are used to connect control surfaces (i.e. ailerons, rudder, elevator) to a main part of the aircraft (i.e wing, fin, stabilizer).  How I learned to do this is as follows and I will be using the context of installing the ailerons.

First I use a motorized hinge slotting tool (i.e. Great Planes Slot Machine, Fig. 1) to make the hinge slots into the trailing edge of the plane and ailerons.  This was done, and matched up, prior to covering.  Then once covered you can use the back of a scalpel to gently poke around about where the hinge slots should be.  Once you’ve poked through and found the slot you cut along its length exposing the slot.

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Building 4 Star 60 Day 30: Left/Center Top Wing Covered + Ailerons

Saturday was another great building session.  John stopped by for a visit to check out how things were coming along and contrary to the ‘hack’ job he voices I believe he thinks I’m doing a pretty decent job :).

Thanks to Peter for trimming off the excess of the top left covering I didn’t have a chance to finish last time as well as along the leading edge and sealing that down.  Both Peter & I learned something new yesterday from John, which is how to cut a pretty straight/clean edge.  After covering the top of the left panel, sealed all around the edges and using the blow drier to shrink of the center need to fold some over the leading edge to prevent wind from getting under and peeling it off.

Once adhered the time came for the trim trick demonstrated by John.  Depending on where you want the line you allow the side of the blade to rest against the ‘natural’ curve at the desired angle and follow it along the length of the wing while you are making your cut.  Ideally you want to do the entire cut from the same position as changing position can alter the cut reducing the visual straightness (for lack of a better word) of the line.   This also ensure that it is cut to the same length throughout. Once cut you then use the iron to roll over the top of the leading edge onto what remains after the cut to adhere to to the wing.

The last part was cutting a piece for the center of the wing.  Had to mark the wholes for the dowels, which I then cut out, and once fitting the covering over with the dowels through marked the two square wholes where the cables will come out.  I then applied the covering to the sheeting on the wing keeping the iron level (sides to the bottom/top) and working from the center out to the left, followed by center out to the right and vise versa.   Always want to start in the center so you work any air bubbles, wrinkles or other imperfections out to the edge in hopes they disappear :).  Once done I found the two square holes, generally marked via the string previously pulled through the marking wholes.  I made sure the covering was adhered firmly around the edge prior to cutting out the covering to expose the holes.  We still have the string coming out, don’t want to loose it, as the string will act as our guide when running the wires for the servo in each wing panel.

I did my best to line up the bottom edge of the L panel yellow covering to look similar to the R as well as the center to be lined up with the L & R wing panel.

To wind up the evening you can see I started covering the ailerons, just the tips so far, which will be done fully in green.  Before starting that next time I am going to go over the wing to make sure it’s done as best I can get it.

The aircraft is really starting to come together and will be starting to cover the tail soon and working on the fuselage.  As a fun aside I need to find my pilot, which can be about 2-2.5″ tall with a fairly wide base as will want to glue and screw into place.

Top Left Wing Panel and Aileron Tips Covered
Top Left Wing Panel and Aileron Tips Covered