By Matthew Gillard
With the 2007 challenge having a section on gliders, this tip is for fixing
aereolon to a glider that uses a change of wing surface from its boost to coast phase. Model aircraft enthusiasts have
a huge range of methods for joining flaps, rudders etc.
However, they don't have to contend with the speed and acceleration of a model
with we see during boost.
Having built several airplanes and rocket gliders this tip gives the best method
(in my opinion) for fixing arelions.
I first came across this method on my friend's
There are three main ways of creating a hinge.
- Tape as used in Edmonds,
- External plastic hinges a standard for model aircraft.
- Internal tape hinges. As used in Orbital Engineering
Tape is quick and easy, but does not give a strong hinge.
External plastic hinges do give a very strong hinge, as there are dozens of
different designs to choose from, including ones that have pins to separate the hinge at the joint. - but they are
relatively heavy, and look ugly.
The internal tape hinge gives strength and gives a very clean look.
This tip is similar to the instructions in the
- A modellers knife.
- Hinge cutting blade.
- Fibre glass material or mylar tape.
- Thin CA glue.
- Hinge cutter centering tool.
These can be bought as a kit.
You will need a few small hinges perfectly aligned along the centre of the balsa
edge. The centering tool is perfect for this and is worth the money.
After the centering tool is aligned the cutting blade is pushed through the slot,
waggling motion makes the blade go in easier. I was initially surprised how blunt the blade is, but it works fine.
As the blade is a v shape the rest of the balsa in hooked out using a reamer,
although you might want to use a normal blade to cut it out.
The hinge itself is made out of any flexible, strong material. Mylar work well,
although I prefer fibre glass cloth, its strong and it soaks up the CA glue, giving a very strong bond. Most model shop
will sell these hinges ready cut.
The hinge is placed into the slot.
Then using either a drill, or a pin, pierce a hole through the wing and the
hinge. The hole needs to be about 1mm in diameter. If there is a wide hinge, then two or three holes may need to be
Next fill the holes with CA glue, the fibreglass material will wick the glue
throughout its length, but you may need to work the glue in with a pin. The thinner the CA glue, the better the join.
Take care not to get and glue onto the part of the hinge that needs to flex.
Then repeat the process for the flap / arelieo
The gap between the two surfaces needs to be as small as possible, whilst still
allowing free movement.
The result is a very strong hinge that does not spoil the look of the glider.
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