Hey pilots, welcome back for another installment of Pete’s Tip of the Week! This week is a wild week with Joe Nall and RCX. We are looking forward to seeing everyone at both shows and giving everyone a close up look at all of our models including the new EPP lineup. This tip today will be focusing on the repair of and EPP hybrid aircraft with the hope that this will help you with any repairs needed on one of our EPP planes or perhaps even another EPP model you have.
So without further ado, today’s tip : EPP Aircraft Easy Repair
If you have one of Aerobeez EPP Hybrid ARF’s or have ever been curious how easy a damaged airframe is to repair, below are a few Pro Tip’s from Pete to guide you through an easy and strong repair.
Repairing damage is the first priority, but there are some things to consider BEFORE you repair a broken area on the airplane. If you had an incident with the ground like our model seen in IMAGE 1, the first thing you need to do is not bend the broken area or move the broken area too much. EPP will tend to break VERY clean, almost like a puzzle match break. This makes repairs at the field take all but a few minutes in most incidents. Of course, incidents will vary depending on your break. We all know as hobbyists, when we have a “crash”, the first thing we want to do is press the parts back together. Doing this too many times may cause the parts to not give a clean single re-glue on the areas. Also after any incident, be sure to pick up any pieces of foam laying around, as they may be needed later. We have actually glued one wing halve at the field and we were back to flying in less than 10 minutes! Key thing is to keep the broken area from moving too much. Especially if you have to transport it home for the repair.
Now, regarding the actual repairing. Certain areas of our Aerobeez Hybrid ARF’s are hollow EPP foam and certain areas are EPP Skinned over Depron foam. EPP is safe to use all types of CA’s on the market, however, Depron will require Foam Safe CA. If your repair is in an area located without any Depron foam, any CA and Accelerator will work for your repair. Refer to IMAGES 1, 2, and 3. These images show a pretty significantly damaged tail section. Notice how the broken surfaces are left as they occurred. Now let’s talk about our choice in adhesives. If you want fast, your choices are different viscosity CA’s and spray Accelerator. Pete like using Medium best. Many love Epoxy and epoxy is a great choice. Use 15 minute cure time at the minimum to give yourself enough time to piece the “foam puzzle” back to fit. Pete also uses an adhesive called Foamtac. This style of adhesive works well in areas where there may be some flex in the foam.
Here you can see a variety of glue choices (Refer to IMAGE 4).
Now apply your adhesive to the areas liberally. On the horizontal stabilizer break seen here, the EPP foam skin is wrapped around Depron foam. Essentially sandwiching the foam together. Use foam safe CA and foam safe Accelerator on the internal Depron foam areas. Be sure to apply liberal amount of adhesive to any broken wood under structure formers if any are broken.
The next step will be personal CA skill preference. Pete prefers to spray one quick spray of accelerator and then press the two areas together.
Once you have a clean area fix and you are content with the fitment, use a dry cloth and wipe off any CA that have been pressed out of the gap. Next apply pressure to the repaired area and spray a top layer of accelerator. The foam is porous and the accelerator will “kick start” the CA drying process. This same repair can be accomplished with Epoxy and is also a great adhesive of choice.
Now you can see a very clean repaired area. On the horizontal stabilizer and elevator, it is even difficult to see where the repair was made.
The vertical area finished up nicely as well, but the black color shows more of the repair area since the paint color is more dense. Allow the area to completely cure and if you wish, color touch the areas with a sharpie marker!
These steps used on our Hybrid EPP Skinned ARF’s may be applied to other areas of the ARF and other EPP models. If you have any other Pro Tip repairs you would like to see or learn about, please be sure to like us on Facebook and post to let us know!
Happy Flying Pilots!