Repairing a model aircraft
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Repair a Model Aircraft

Model airplanes can be damaged in a number of ways, the majority of radio control model airplanes are damaged at home, in transit to or from the field or by movers, and then there are those which crash on the field.

Any damage can be repaired, whether the repair is worth doing is for the builder to decide himself.

There are five things that factor together to make the decision:

  1. How much did you like this model to begin with?
  2. Will the airframe be as straight as it was before?
  3. How much weight will the repair add to the model?
  4. Will the plane look like a patched-together mess or can it be made to look like new?
  5. How much time will the repair take compared to building a new component?

Take The First Steps

Take your time in assessing the damage. Don't make any rash decisions in the heat of the moment. Some people in the heat of the moment will throw any their crashed models, engines, servos and all. There will always be parts that can be salvaged, especially engines parts and servos.

Regardless of the type of repairs needed to be made, there are some things that you should always do:

  • Search the area of the crash carefully and retrieve every piece of the model that you can find. You may be able to reuse them even if they look trashed. Avoid breaking off splinters that may help lock the piece back in place
  • Drain the fuel tank immediately.
  • If the outside of the model is covered in oil and you have loose pieces from inside the model, keep them away from the oily parts.
  • Remove the engine and fuel tank to prevent dripping fuel and oil on the model.
  • If the engine is covered in dirt, then do not turn it over. Blow off as much dirt as possible using compressed air or use a soft brush.
  • Attend to cleaning out the engine as soon as possible, as the raw fuel may cause the bearings to rust.
  • Check the inside of the airframe for raw fuel.
  • Remove components that will be in the way while making the repair such as landing gear, pushrods, radio switches, etc.
  • Peel back just enough covering to get at the damaged area(s).
  • Remove pieces that are completely detached but any part that is still hanging on should be left in place at first. Often a piece can be moved back into its correct position and glued.

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