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Rex R

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been having problems with the elevon hinges on my Estes sky dart II. namely the tape kept pulling loose. so I went online and using the search terms 'control surface hinge material' got an answer (the first result, pls note that it is a commercial site/forum with a fair amount of hobby adverts), I used some waterproof medical tape and thick CA to make some new hinges...for now they appear to be staying stuck(touch wood).
Rex
 

K'Tesh

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been having problems with the elevon hinges on my Estes sky dart II. namely the tape kept pulling loose. so I went online and using the search terms 'control surface hinge material' got an answer (the first result, pls note that it is a commercial site/forum with a fair amount of hobby adverts), I used some waterproof medical tape and thick CA to make some new hinges...for now they appear to be staying stuck(touch wood).
Rex
CA has a really bad habit of making fibers brittle (don't ask me how I know (read: Ruined new shirt)). You want to make sure you keep it away from where you want it to flex.
 

ratchet01

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Please correct me if I'm wrong,but if the med tape is cloth,wouldn't you be able to actually sew the tape to the balsa? Putting a second smaller piece on the opposite side to create a sandwich? I think the wood fibers would be strong enough to hold the thread as you would have the tapes adhesive working there as well.
 

Amsterdam

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I'm going to be making hinges pretty soon on my summer project, I've already primed the surface, is there any reason why scotch tape on a painted surface wouldn't work? Are you going for durability?
Seems like adhesive tape would be easy to use, easy to replace.
 

Rex R

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scotch tape might work, but you will need a fairly smooth CLEAN surface. the hinge on the sky dart is under constant load from the elastic(gets worse when in the boost position), for me the adhesive just kind of 'creeps' loose. I just got tired of having to re-stick the elevon.
Rex
 

Amsterdam

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Thanks for the quick response Rex, stickier the better.
 

Gary Byrum

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I remember the problems I had with my first Gyroc, and those hinges were the worse. When I rebuilt on the upscale, I opted for some super thin brass hinges I bought at Lowe's. You do have to carve a space in the fins and flaps for those. But once they're installed, (you have to make sure they are cut deep enough), you can fill with full strength filler putty and sand smooth. Never gave me one problem at all.

DSCF3180.jpg
 

Micromeister

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scotch tape might work, but you will need a fairly smooth CLEAN surface. the hinge on the sky dart is under constant load from the elastic(gets worse when in the boost position), for me the adhesive just kind of 'creeps' loose. I just got tired of having to re-stick the elevon.
Rex
Rex: My "Normal" standard size model Hinge material is white adhesive backed vinyl (usually Calon or 3m, 3m has the better adhesive).
applied to sealed balsa elevators. If I have an area that doesn't seem to want to stay down I'll run thin CA under the corner or lifted area.

I've used this method on The SkyDart, SpaceShuttle (2-glider- KC-6), and several other sport flying and competition RG gliders.
When I want lighter mass I'll use Chrome trim monokote or 3M Chrome adhesive backed vinyl which is MUCH thinner. This is what I use on Micro RG Gliders as well.
 

Rex R

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I have some of those ca hinges...the instructions for them would have you putting a slit in the edge of the wing/control surface, which is a tad bit of a challenge when the wing is only an 1/8" thick.
Rex
 

LW Bercini

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As Gary noted above, if you want to have something that acts like a hinge, why not use, I don't know....a hinge?

Model airplane people have been using pre-manufactured hinges for their control surfaces for what, decades?

Don't many competitive helicopter duration rockets use actual pre-manufactured hinges for their rotors surface mounted to the rotor and to the airframe?

Once kind of commercially available, lightweight hinge is pictured below.

 
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MaxQ

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As Gary noted above, if you want to have something that acts like a hinge, why not use, I don't know....a hinge?

Model airplane people have been using pre-manufactured hinges for their control surfaces for what, decades?

Don't many competitive helicopter duration rockets use actual pre-manufactured hinges for their rotors surface mounted to the rotor and to the airframe?

Once kind of commercially available, lightweight hinge is pictured below.

+1 Absolutely.
Brass hinges look nice, but I suspect there is a weight penalty with those.

The typical RC rack in any LHS ...(look for the DuBro, Great Planes and Goldberg bits and pieces hanging there) should have everything from various sized nylon hinges, from park flyers to 1/4 scale...as well as laminate strip mylar and CA fiber cloth hinge material.
 
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Mushtang

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The elevon on the Zooch Space Shuttle uses a length of Tyvek glued to the balsa as a hinge. That stuff will NOT rip, and the glue should hold it onto wood very well.
 

fyrwrxz

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The elevon on the Zooch Space Shuttle uses a length of Tyvek glued to the balsa as a hinge. That stuff will NOT rip, and the glue should hold it onto wood very well.
+! on Tyvek-you can get one piece 'clean room" suits ('bunny suits') or painting coveralls that will supply life time of hinges.
 

TopRamen

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If you PM me what length of hinge you need, I can make some from carbon fiber and rubber bands, and the mold for it would be makable on my lap top cutting board with a caliper, some sandpaper, a hand drill with tiny bits and a #11 X-acto.
I already see it in my head, and it is way lighter than anything metal, and will outlast anything not designed to be a hinge in the first place.
I'm needing reasons to complete composites research, and If I have to do it for someone else, atleast it gets done in a more efficient manner.
 
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Mushtang

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+! on Tyvek-you can get one piece 'clean room" suits ('bunny suits') or painting coveralls that will supply life time of hinges.
FedEx used to make shipping envelopes out of them, which would give you a nice supply for free also. The last time I went to the FedEx store near me for these they said they no longer used those. I'm sure some stores, or businesses, probably have a bunch still.

I ended up going to Lowes and asking them for a sample of some Tyvek used under home siding. They cut me a large piece off a roll and gave it to me, so that's what I ended up using and have enough left over for 3 or 4 more if I ever need them. If I run out, I'll ask for another sample. Heh.
 

Charles_McG

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I got a (several) lifetime supply of tyvek envelopes from Uline when I was experimenting using it for skinning foam core wings on an upscale Hummingbird. (My laser printer will print on it without melting it if set to 'light'.)

Haven't found the right gluing technique for that yet, but if I haven't 5S'd the box, I'll bring one to Bong today.
 

Micromeister

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As Gary noted above, if you want to have something that acts like a hinge, why not use, I don't know....a hinge?

Model airplane people have been using pre-manufactured hinges for their control surfaces for what, decades?

Don't many competitive helicopter duration rockets use actual pre-manufactured hinges for their rotors surface mounted to the rotor and to the airframe?

Once kind of commercially available, lightweight hinge is pictured below.

yes "Most" competition Helicopter Duration models use either Klett PK-2 or PK-3 Plastic Hinges but they are not as easily found as they used to be. They do have a weight penelty both from mass and thickness. Gliders generally need much thinner and longer hinge areas on elevators.
Tyvek is an excellent material but must be sewn on. Likewise several fabrics are usable with CA or sewn on but are a but harder to finish.
Another option is PETG (vivak) .010" thick plastic which once folded back and forth several times makes very durable light weight hinges for both HD and BG. RG work.

For sport flying I guess tiny very thin brass hinges could be used but they are WAY to heavy for any kind of competition building.

Hinges a-sm_PK-2 & PK-3 Klett Hinges_03-00.jpg
 

TopRamen

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As Gary noted above, if you want to have something that acts like a hinge, why not use, I don't know....a hinge?

Model airplane people have been using pre-manufactured hinges for their control surfaces for what, decades?

Don't many competitive helicopter duration rockets use actual pre-manufactured hinges for their rotors surface mounted to the rotor and to the airframe?

Once kind of commercially available, lightweight hinge is pictured below.


I'll try to make that type of hinge today out of carbon fiber. It looks entirely doable, I just need to devise the correct method in my head.
I have some black FG rods that were part of an umbrella, and they will be perfect for the pin. To avoid excessive play in the void where the pin needs to go, I'll attempt to mold the tubula....
Nevermind, I just figured it out. This is going to be fun!:clap:
 

tab28682

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yes "Most" competition Helicopter Duration models use either Klett PK-2 or PK-3 Plastic Hinges but they are not as easily found as they used to be.
Klett has been out of business for quite a while, now. If you see any Klett hinges or hardware you like at an out of the way hobby shop, you should grab it.

Roy Klett passed away a number of years back. He was a great guy and a member of our RC club. His factory was just minutes from where I live and I visited him there a number of times.
 

LW Bercini

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yes "Most" competition Helicopter Duration models use either Klett PK-2 or PK-3 Plastic Hinges
John,

<chuckling> When I initially wrote my post, I did use the word "most". But since it's been many years since I did competition flying, I no longer know what is in use. So just to play it safe, changed my wording to "many".
 

R2RAllan

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Try Crystal Clear tape, book binders tape, or a bead of silicon. Silicon hinges are very durable, I hear. These are options, us R/C glider builders use. ...oh, and 3M Blenderm also works for small surfaces.
Screen Shot 2016-06-25 at 4.42.37 PM.png
 
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dpower

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I wonder what material Estes used back in the 70's. My vintage Gyroc still has the original hinges, and they still function fine.
 

Rex R

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looking at my sissor-wing from that era, it looks like some form of adhesive backed paper(mailing label?).
Rex
 

Micromeister

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looking at my sissor-wing from that era, it looks like some form of adhesive backed paper(mailing label?).
Rex
Rex:
Again I suggest either Chrome Monokote or any of the Chrome vinyls over any paper lable. Paper lables have never held up for me, Where as I have a bunch of Gliders with Vinyl elevator hinges that have been flying just fine for DECADES.

I used White Vinyl hinges (a bit thicker then Chrome) on my Centuri KC-6 Space Shuttle Mothership (with both parts gliding). These hinges have held up very well even with some over paint.

468c17a-sm_Booster elevators and 30deg Stops_07-07-07.jpg


468c19f-sm_elevators done_07-12-07.jpg


468c19g-sm_Elevator Elastic install 7pic pg_07-12-07.jpg
 

BABAR

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grumble..... I still don't know why no one else likes duct tape. comes in lot of colors, sew it in and it stays forever, easily available. I guess it doesn't take paint well.
 

aerostadt

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I like the hinge tabs that are put in place with CA and then the CA soaks into them, which others have suggested. I think it has worked well on my heavier models. The past year or so I have been using the Hinge tape that Frank uses on his foamies. I roll of it lasts forever.
 

Micromeister

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I like the hinge tabs that are put in place with CA and then the CA soaks into them, which others have suggested. I think it has worked well on my heavier models. The past year or so I have been using the Hinge tape that Frank uses on his foamies. I roll of it lasts forever.
Mostly because the vast majority of CA's become brittle very quickly after curing. The RC Airplane hinge pins that are CA or Woodglued into the larger control surfaces of some planes can be used but they take a good while to learn how to install but are not really workable in our very thin balsa control surfaces.

CA after a few flights cracks and needs repair and often thereafter.

While I've been flying Competition 1/8A thru D powered Gliders for decades I personally have never seen or used "Franks" Hinge tape, I'm sure it's a very good product designed for use on Large RC gas or electric powered aircraft, Again it may be on the heavy side for use on smaller size glider as we are talking about here.

Rex is talking about an ESTES Skydart. Not any kind of heavier Glider model. Since were talking about the Skydart or just about any "Estes" type kit glider, any form of adhesive backed vinyl will make permanent elevator hinges that will out-last the rocket with ease of application.

ps: Almost forgot to mention adhesive backed vinyl is what I've used for hinges on my SkyDarts...Kit, Cloned or Down Scaled.

Skydart SST-sm_1st Fleet b&w_07-13-72.jpg


623-sm_SkyDart (Scratch built)_11-30-00.jpg


MM 240a3-sm_T4 SkyDart & T4 Booster_09-07-06.jpg


MM 240p02b_Booster staged 10.5mm & 13mm to MMX_09-06-06.jpg


MM 240b1_Booster Staged13-6mm MM Skydart_09-06-06.jpg
 
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Gary Byrum

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I found that leftover hinge like what I used on my Gyroc today. Turns out they weigh 3.2 grams each. And that is without the screws that come with it. You won't need those anyway. I roughed up the brass and used epoxy to glue them in. Just food for thought.
 
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