Friday, March 10, 2017

Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Part 19, Elevon Hinge

Here's all the instructions you get to set the hinge.
The parts list calls the Y piece the "Clear Decal". It's more like a thick strip of packing tape.
Because it is a clear hinge it should be placed after the model is painted. A plastic hinge is better than a paper one. Paper hinges (like on the old Gyroc) crack after being painted and eventually peel. This clear plastic hinge should stick very well to smoother surfaces.

Center the elevator in place and lightly tape from the bottom. You'll want the elevator held still while positioning the clear tape hinge.

The inset picture shows the other side, ready for the hinge.

The supplied clear hinge is 6" long. Cut it in half for two 3" sections. Look close at the picture and you can see a faint line I embossed down the middle. The embossed line will go right down the separation line.

I lifted it off the backing paper with my knife without touching the underside and leaving fingerprints that might diminish adhesion. Leave it on the knife positioning it before pressing into place.


  1. Hey Chris,
    Two questions for you: First, in regards to elastic/rubber bands for boost gliders and such, do you keep the lines unloaded (i.e. no tension) when not flying?
    Second, as for the clear hinge, mine lifted off after several weeks sitting on the shelf. This after burnishing to a glossy surface. Do you have a remedy, like , say rubber or contact cement, with white paint on the other side for appearances?

    1. Hi BAR,
      "Do you keep the lines unloaded (i.e. no tension) when not flying?"
      Great question. If the model allows the elastic to be removed, I would. Over time the elastic on models like the Gyroc looses it's strength.
      On the Skydart it's not designed to be removed. You could probably cut a slot from the back of the elevator to remove one side and lessen the tension. Luckily, the kit gives you some extra elastic to replace the hinge if it gets old.
      Regarding the lifting clear hinge, mine hasn't shown any lift - yet. If applied to bare balsa it might not adhere well. You might have to carefully lift it (don't pull up any paint or balsa) and could replace it with clear packing tape. Packing tape is thicker than Scotch tape. I wouldn't think contact or rubber cement would work. You'd have to get contact cement on both sides, let it dry then join the two. Rubber cement could be messy.
      I almost hate to recommend this, but thin CA glue could be wicked in but might make the hinge brittle.
      I would carefully lift the old hinge and replace it with the packing tape. You could probably fly it until the original hinge is ready to come off on it's own.

    2. Geezer,

      A few years ago, when I was into flying RC, the guys building foamy planes were using 3M Blenderm to attach the control surfaces. It's not completely clear, but being medical tape, its not likely to come of anytime soon. I have used it for other things RC related, and I would not hesitate to use it here. In fact, when I was reading Chris's post, I was already thinking of using it when I build mine.

    3. Thanks metalhead. Will look into that.

  2. Damn! The clear decal Part Y is not gripping the painted surface like I think it should. While tying cord Z in place, it has lifted off both Eleron Part Q and Wing Part N. I'm afraid of a launch failure. What would you suggest as an alternative replacement? Duct tape? Electrical tape? Something with more permanent grip in the glue...

    1. Hi Kirk,
      In the previous comment response, Metalhead suggests using the 3M Blenderm tape. That might be a good alternative.
      Your surface has to be smooth for the tape to grip an stay down. My balsa is filled and smooth but still shows a small lift starting.