Fix wings on a model aeroplane with this simple Letsfixit guide. Sometimes flying your RC airplane entails watching it land unexpectedly, often with enough force as to damage the airplane wing. Unless the damage is so extensive that you’re left with chunks of foam or splinters of wood, the wing can often be repaired. Repairing a wing requires many of the same skills, tools and equipment as those involved in building the wing in the first place. It’s also a good idea to have the plans for your airplane readily available. With the proper attention to detail however, you should end up with a serviceable part that’s capable of keeping your airplane aloft once again.
Examine the wing for the full extent of the damage. Remove any covering material percent and touch every part of the wing to determine if it’s been damaged. What may appear to the eye to be fine may hide extensive damage when giving a slight push.
Cut away the damage. Remove every single damaged part in a balsa wing for replacement using a hobby knife. On a foam airplane unless the damage is a clean break, a few gouges or a broken carbon rod, you will have to replace the wing with a new one.
Repair the clean breaks in your foam wing. Glue cleanly broken foam pieces together using polyurethane glue. Apply the glue to both halves of the broken piece in a thin layer and then press the pieces together. Hold them in place for 30 seconds to a minute to allow the glue to set and then remove excess glue from the surface of the foam using a rag. Allow the broken foam to dry overnight. Replace any carbon rods located in the broken area by removing the current rod and then placing the new 3 mm carbon rod in the slot. Glue the rod in place using epoxy glue and then place a layer of baking soda over the glue to harden it and leave an additional night to dry.
Recreate damaged balsa parts for replacement. Balsa is a relatively strong wood as long as it’s in one piece, once broken, even repair leaves it weakened. Recreate the broken parts removed from your wing using balsa sheets of the same thickness. Create a template of the part by tracing the part onto a piece of cardboard. Cut the cardboard and place it over a sheet of balsa. Cut the new part from the balsa with a hobby knife, and sand the edges smooth. Glue the new part in place of the old using wood glue, clamping it in place until the glue has dried overnight.
Repair the wing covering material. Patch the covering material by applying a piece the same size as the damaged piece removed using the same covering material used for the original undamaged wing. Overlap the patch onto undamaged wing material by one-half inch and once attached, sand the edge smooth to the undamaged surface. Fill-in any gouges in foam wings using wood putty, sanding the surface smooth and level with the foam surrounding the patch once dried. For wood panel covered wings, glue broken pieces together using wood glue, and sand the dried joint even with the surrounding wood before covering it with the same covering material originally used.
Reattach the repaired wing to the fuselage for flight operations.