Fuel-proofing styrofoam

I'm fuel-proofing the styrofoam wing for my Duraplane-40 using epoxy.
Geez what a long process. Takes overnight to dry, sand at least the
edges, then do the other side.
Plastic iron-on film is quicker but it eventually pulls off at the
edges. Then try glueing it back down after it's got fuel/exhaust on it -
yecch!
How about paint? Is Rustoleum fuel-proof? Do I really need to fuel-proof
the styrofoam?
What do you guys use? I'm not trying to create something beautiful - I
just want to get it in the air!
Best - LeeH
Reply to
LeeH
Loading thread data ...
Ted shuffled out of his cave and grunted these great (and sometimes not so great) words of knowledge:
You are in somewhat of a "catch 22" situation. Epoxy is very heavy and the film coverings (even low temp ) will loosen.
What you can try is polyurethane.
The oil base polyurethane is FUEL PROOF, however, it will yellow with age AND I would test it on a piece of the scrap foam FIRST to be sure of compatibility.
Water base polyurethane is FUEL RESISTANT, but it does not yellow and being water base, you should not have any compatibility problems.
Hope this helps.
Reply to
Ted Campanelli
Why are you wasting your time doing this? The whole purpose of covering the wing with Econocote (or other low heat covering) is to protect the it from fuel. If you apply it carefully and overlap the seams correctly, it won't come up.
Also epoxy is a gooey heavy sticky mess that is hard to sand to give a reasonable appearance. Also you have to paint it if you want some color which adds weight. Foam, on the other hand, can be easily filled with several low weigh materials, sands easily, and low-temp covering adheres extremely well.
You need to read and pay attention to your Duraplane Manual!
Mr Akimoto
Reply to
Mr Akimoto
You can cover foam with Ultracote, which can be applied at low temperatures and is fuelproof.
Also the brand X Cheapo-kote that Balsa USA and Hobby Shack used to sell ten years ago was low temp stuff, and once it stuck it was never coming apart. Unfortunately, if it ever doubled over and stuck to itself, you couldn't get it apart to use it and you'd have to cut another piece. I don't know if you can still get this stuff. Wasn't it called Superkote or something like that? It would be perfect for this application.
Putting epoxy on a wing is a can of worms that you don't need to open. Put some low temp film on and be done with it. If you wanted the plane to stay nice, you would have started with a nice plane. The Duraplane is supposed to be a beat-around airplane that gets you safely to the nice plane later.
How far have you gotten with your epoxy project so far? Has the whole thing turned into a disaster? If so, maybe you could get a replacement wing from the company for a reasonable price and start over. The Duraplane is already brick-like enough without all of that extra epoxy weight. You'd probably be better off starting with a fresh wing.
Reply to
Robbie and Laura Reynolds
Mr.Akimoto, you are so right! It's a huge waste of time and I promise not to do it again.
Right again, Mr.A - next time, the film.
By the way, have you ever visited Paul Johnson's site? He has a technique of squeegeeing most of the epoxy off -
Best wishes - LeeH
Reply to
LeeH
... If you wanted the plane
Robbie, you hit the nail on the head - this is a trainer in the purest sense of the word - I just want to learn to land with it.
I may have to start with a new wing, but at this point I'm almost done mutilating the old one so I may as well go ahead and try it. I'll let you & the group know how it turns out :-)
Best wishes - LeeH
Reply to
LeeH
With iron on covering this plane flys like a rock. With epoxy on th
wing it will fly like two rocks. Save your time and some money scra this plane and get something else
-- I_FLY_C ----------------------------------------------------------------------- I_FLY_CL's Profile:
formatting link
this thread:
formatting link
Reply to
I_FLY_CL
Don't give up on the old wing yet. BTW, Tower sells a wing replacement kit for around $25.
Here is my advice, and it will take some time to do. First start sanding the wing with some medium grit sandpaper to try to level the surface. After you get it fairly smooth, you can use a finer grit to get a smooth finish. Whatever you do, don't sand into the foam.
Next you have to fill the deformations that are a result of the manufacturing process. Use Hobbico Hobbylite Filler (a white paste). Also another tip. Put the 1/8" balsa endcaps on the wing. This will save it when you cartwheel the plane, and you will!
Assuming you have cut the hinge slots (I recommend the Great Planes Hinge Slotting Tool), you're ready to apply the Towercote (a low temp covering). Make sure your iron doesn't exceed a 2.25 setting (on a Tower Iron). Work from the middle of the wing out to both side using a fair amount of pressure on the iron. Make sure that your seams have a generous overlap. You might cover the ends first before doing the surface.
Remember modeling is all about spending countless hours doing unimportant things and accomplishing absolutely nothing!
Mr Akimoto
Reply to
Mr Akimoto
Wrong! The Duraplane only weighs 5.5#s which is typical for most trainers. Also it's like Jason - you can't kill it. The Duraplane pilot will learn to fly having more fun and less grief than the guys with the balsa models who will need plenty of them to complete their beginning flight instruction to the point they can solo. Also another important thing that the Duraplane pilot can do is take risks that other pilots won't even dare.
Captain Duraplane
Reply to
Mr Akimoto
I_FLY_CL is right, except I think it flies like a whole box of rocks, and I mean a heavy vinyl tube shaped box. But it does fly, and you can learn to fly RC with it.
Most 40 sized trainers may indeed weigh in the 5.5 pound range, but most 40 size trainers have more wing area than the Duraplane and are capable of slower flight. You can always tell when somebody learned on a Duraplane, because they think that everything needs to go a hundred miles an hour.
To the original poster, don't sweat it. If you have epoxy on it, don't worry about adding film covering. Just launch it and fly it. You'll have plenty of time later to learn how to make something pretty, to apply film, and to paint with epoxy if you want to.
Mr Akimoto wrote:
Reply to
Robbie and Laura Reynolds
- you can't kill it. I did. mk
Reply to
Storm's Hamburgers
I've seen a few of them bite the dust myself. They fly so fast that they have lots of momentum when they hit the ground. One guy had an Enya 45 on his screaming at full throttle when he hit the ground mid-roll, and parts went flying in all directions. It was quite spectacular. You may say that it was stupid to crash at full throttle, which it is, but as a beginner he just didn't have the instinct to pull the throttle stick back. And he wouldn't give up the controls because the plane was supposed to be indestructible.
After that disaster he switched over to a big Kadet.
Reply to
Robbie and Laura Reynolds
| Wrong! The Duraplane only weighs 5.5#s which is typical for most | trainers. Also it's like Jason - you can't kill it.
You most certainly can. The motor is still right in front, so any good impact with anything hard will break the motor.
| The Duraplane pilot will learn to fly having more fun and less grief | than the guys with the balsa models who will need plenty of them to | complete their beginning flight instruction to the point they can | solo.
Huh? Few planes are destroyed during instruction with a buddy box, balsa or not. Certainly, I went through the normal club/glow instruction and never once had a crash with the buddy box connected. (Crashes came later, on my own.)
| Also another important thing that the Duraplane pilot can do is take | risks that other pilots won't even dare.
I have a Duraplane. Actually, it's a Sturdy Birdy II, but almost exactly the same. I started to use it for instruction, but my instructor hated it, so I fixed up the Hobbico 60 trainer I also had but needed some repairs. He liked that a lot more, and indeed -- it flew much better, and was easier to fly.
(If anybody in Austin, TX wants the Sturdy Birdy II, it's yours for $20 -- and that's just to cover the 4 standard Futaba servos I don't feel like removing. No engine, just the plane. No, I won't ship.)
It does fly like ass, but Mr Akimoto seems to think it's the greatest thing ever.
If you want a plane that's indestructable, get an electric flying wing like the Zagi 400 or Combat Wings XE2. (The XE2 is a good deal better than the Zagi 400.) With the motor in the back and foam up front, most crashes do zero damage.
And while they aren't the best fliers in the world, they fly way better than any Duraplane. And they're light enough that you can even turn off the motor and fly them in thermals ...
Reply to
Doug McLaren
... Certainly, I went through the normal club/glow
FYI, club/glow instruction is not the norm anymore, I thought we've been through this. Electric self-taught would be considered "normal" now, and as such demands a more indestructable plane.
Reply to
Steve Banks
I find the Duraplane to fly as well as any model. I can do anything with it that can be done with any trainer. I don't know where you get the idea that the plane can't be slowed down either. I can slow flight it a foot off the runway, and I love to do touch and gos with it. About the only difficult manuever is flying inverted; however, I can now to that for extended periods of time after some practice.
But of course, I once was a military pilot, so I have a lot of stick time (12,000 hours). But even given that, I too can make an occassional mistake such as the other day when I amazed my friends flying inches off the deck at full throttle. Unfortunately the next pass was a little too low.
I have hit trees (sun in the eyes), cartwheeled it many times (my friends think this is my favorite stunt), and flown full bore into a heavily wooded area but the Duraplane survives! It's just a great plane to have fun with. All the other people copme to the field with their fancy high-buck models, and they are afraid to fly them or take any chances with them. I say long live the Duraplane!
Captain Duraplane formerly know as Mr Akimoto
Reply to
Mr Akimoto
| ... | Certainly, I went through the normal club/glow | > instruction and never once had a crash with the buddy box connected. | ... | | FYI, club/glow instruction is not the norm anymore
You removed what I was referring to, where Mr Akimoto said --
The Duraplane pilot will learn to fly having more fun and less grief than the guys with the balsa models who will need plenty of them to complete their beginning flight instruction to the point they can solo.
Using terms like `flight instruction' and `solo' (and Duraplane, for that matter) suggests that it's a club environment. (Nobody, especially a newbie, should try to fly a Duraplane out of the local park unless it's very remote.)
| I thought we've been through this.
Maybe you have. Me, I'm fully aware of how people learn to fly.
In any event, I did not say that `club/glow was the norm'. I said that `I went through the normal club/glow instruction'. The two statements may look very similar, but they mean very different things.
| Electric self-taught would be considered "normal" now, and as such | demands a more indestructable plane.
I hope you're not suggesting that the Duraplane qualifies?
Really, they could fix the Duraplane (Trainer) so easily -- make the wing bigger. That way, it would fly slower and be far more sutiable as a trainer. Putting a 60 sized wing on it would probably work nicely.
If you read their instructions --
The DuraPlane Trainer 40 is intended for intermediate to expert level pilots. Beginners can enjoy flying the Trainer 40 also, if they have had experience flying trainer models.
Cute that their trainer requires experience with a trainer.
Reply to
Doug McLaren
Lee The foam does not need "fuel proofing". Of course you can improve its appearance with some covering or finish, but fuel shouldn't disolve the foam.
Ed
LeeH wrote:
Reply to
Ed Smega
I may be in Austin thurs. What servos are they? mk
Reply to
Storm's Hamburgers
| I may be in Austin thurs. What servos are they?
The standard cheap Futabas, probably S3003s or similar.
Email me if you'll be around. (I'd email you, but don't see a valid address ...)
| > (If anybody in Austin, TX wants the Sturdy Birdy II, it's yours for | > $20 -- and that's just to cover the 4 standard Futaba servos I don't | > feel like removing. No engine, just the plane. No, I won't ship.)
Reply to
Doug McLaren
Nope. He's not wrong , you are. You're forgetting the most important thing concerning weight.....and that is wing loading. These things are a brick. 24-25 oz wing loading.....thats heavy ! Most scale models , even many warbirds have less WL than this.I quit trying to teach anyone how to fly on these years.
Sure you can. Most that have came to our field died a quick death.
I've never seen it , only seen more grief among those who bought Duraplanes.
other pilots
Why ?
Ken Day
Reply to
Ken Day

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.