Another Old Kit Question

I have some very old kits including a Bridi Kaos and an Aeromaster dating
back to the early 60s. Will balsa lose strength over time? It looks OK and
seems to be flexible. The plans are rolled and are so brittle they crack
when I try to unroll them but Kinkos will solve that problem :) I also have
an early (60s) Lanier ARF. It's a plastic F-86 sport scale model. The
plastic doesn't seem brittle. What do you think?
Reply to
Ed Forsythe
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I can't say with any authority, Ed. Sorry.
However, I do believe that balsawood, like any other wood, is more prone to splitting when it drives out from age. If it dries out. It depends upon your local storage conditions.
Spraying the balsa with a fine mist always helps to get wood around corners when it is too stiff. But I'm sure you knew that. I doubt that the wood is any weaker. But I don't doubt that it is less flexible if it dries out.
Glad you found a way to save those plans. Please tell us what Kinko's has offered to do for you.
I just reread your post. You did say that it was flexible. I doubt you will have a problem with it.
I am not a fan of Lanier's early ARF efforts, so, with that said - I doubt it could be any worse.
I have seen brand new plastic Lanier ARFs split around the firewall with little provocation. But, there was a time when one of those things could get you back in the air while you were waiting for your Titebond or Ambroid to dry. They did serve a function.
Ed Cregger
Reply to
Ed Cregger
Wood gets brittle as it dries, not just age. Pines and most other woods will loose a bit of natural resine plastisizer, or turpentine and other sap residue, which gives the wood its strong odor. But balsa has little if any of this so its basically it is how dry your storage has been. You might want to cut away a bit of scrap from one of the sheets and compare it to some fresh wood.
Reply to
Sport Pilot
I recently built an Eyeball from a kit that was purchased in the late 60's - stored in unairconditioned environment in Florida. All the wood was good, much better shape than the plans which I also "Kinkoed" to build from. Still flying it after 4 years. The early Lanier ARFs were not all that good to start with, as I recall they were ABS, so unless they have been exposed to uv light or something they should still no worse than the were to start with.
Red S.
Reply to
Red Scholefield
Wood kept dry does not age appreciably: It stabilises to the mean annual humidity.
Build it. It will be fine.
Loads of models are being flown that were kitted and/or built in the 50s and 60s.
Covering is waht seems to go mostly, and sometimes glues age.
But a new in box kit builds just fine.
Reply to
The Natural Philosopher
"Red Scholefield" wrote
(snip)
Red, I'm proud of you. That was the most diplomatic that I have seen you write in quite a while.
Ed Cregger
Reply to
Ed Cregger
Back then they gave you a lot of experience in trimming. Remember the only trim we had was another servo on elevator (flying reeds). Early morning flight when it was cool you trimmed for that, then when the sun warmed up you trimmed again, high noon and another trim as the fuselage grew a bit more. Kind of evened things out at a meet, if you were fast at a trimming and good at flying you still usually won. Trying to hide the trimming on your straight flight out was made even more difficult when they had a monitor on and everyone could hear the quick beeps.
A bit of a rough landing and you had a nice wrinkle in the fuselage right behind the wing.
Those were the "good old days".
Red S.
Reply to
Red Scholefield
I became interested in R/C during the reed days, but by the time I could afford to fly a multi ship, reeds had disappeared and proportional was there to stay.
My first "multi" rig was a Micro Avionics XL-IC four-channel rig with tiny PS-4 servos on 27.195 MHz. I made two mistakes buying that rig, the band and the small servos. But, all turned out well as I flew that rig in a much modified Goldberg Senior Falcon, powered by an OS.58 R/C engine, for a couple of years without incident.
I ended up clipping two wing panels off of each wing and doubling the chord of the ailerons. Then it had enough control authority for a young previously active control line combat pilot.
I bought a Lanier Bronco at one point, in order to have a back-up model, but half way through construction, Don Brown and his team visited our flying field and put on demo flight after demo flight of his new ARF creations. I sold the Bronco and bought/assembled a DB Beta low wing model. What a sweet flyer, for a rubber duckie.
Ed Cregger
Reply to
Ed Cregger

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