My Wooden Airplane
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4/3/2015 - 4/19/2015

Cover Ailerons

Several improvements here! I discovered that thinning out the glue a little bit with distilled water makes it penetrate the fabric much better! I was reading the Forums on the Stewart Systems website and learned that the glue can be thinned out by as much as 10%. This helped tremendously! One side-effect of using thinned out glue though is that it tends to soften the bottom layer of glue (and therefore the heat-sealed fabric bond). I found that after applying the initial layer of glue, I needed to heat-seal the entire joint where the fabric contacts the glue, rather than just a small 1/8-inch line as the videos show.

Also, I learned that I should abandon the old Modified Seine knot in favor of the Staggerwing knot for rib stitching. I found a couple of online video demonstrations, and learned that if I treat each part of the knot as a separate knot (rather than trying to tie it all at once), it was MUCH easier. I think I'm actually enjoying rib stitching now!

One of the unusual aspects of covering the ailerons was that the plans specify to apply the fabric at a 45-degree angle. I checked with the owners of Stewart Systems and they said they'd never heard of that technique before, but recommended that I stick to the plans. It turns out that the ailerons will just fit diagonally across the roll of fabric. This does create a couple huge areas of waste, however, but I think I have a plan for those!

Total Time: 50.0 hrs.