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Old 11-28-2005, 02:03 PM
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Default RE: *Fiberglass (Gel-coated) fuse*

Gel coats are typically some form of catalyzed resin, probably polyester. When talking about model plane composite parts, they are used as the outer coat. One potential problem with composite parts is they can pinhole at the surface when made, which makes finishing more difficult. The pinholes can be solved, but it is easier if they don't exist in the first place. A gel coat is sprayed into the mold like paint, which creates a pin hole/defect free outer surface to the part, at least in theory. The composite layers are then laid on the gel coat. When the part is removed from the mold, you end up with a "perfect" outer surface. Gel coats can come in any color, but are typically white for finished parts.

As for quality, I cannot speak for the plane or company in your link as I am not familiar with either. However, in the modeling world, composite parts are typically premo, and in the composite part world, gel coated composite parts are at the top. This is not to say that a gel coated composite part will be of high quality, or that a more traditional wood build is not of high quality. But in general, if the company took the time and invested the cash to make a gel coated composite part, the quality is probably very high.

Not sure what you mean in your last post about fin/stab being epoxied into wood, etc., but I'll take a stab at it anyway. Wings, fins, stabs, etc. can be all composite, but typically they are more traditional in build, such as sheeted foam or built up. An all composite airframe would be more common on a quickie racer or glider. Most others will have balsa/foam parts that attach to the composite fuse. These can be attached in various ways, either with mounts such as wing tubes, etc., or directly glued to the fuse. I can't tell for sure by looking at the pic, but I believe the plane you have the link for looks like the fin/stab glue to the fuse. The wing looks like a bolt on.

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