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  1. #1

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    Recovering Tower Trainer 40 ARF

    Hello RCU

    I feel the need to have a trainer in my Squadron for practicing when the wind conditions here are not calm (most of the time…).

    though my flight experience is better then trainers I still need to practice some maneuvers at that specific field.

    I didn’t want to learn this with highly invested kit, so what I decided is to get the cheapest trainer arf possible with reasonable quality and spare parts.

    I also don’t like the all white covering of all the arfs.
    They are all look the same and hard to spot in the sky.

    My choice was Tower trainer 40 ARF.
    I’ll strip it from its original covering and cover it with better visibility colors.

    Lets begin,
    First glued the wing joiner, then striping the wings with a heat gun on the seams.

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  2. #2
    alfredbmor's Avatar
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    RE: Stripping and covering Tower Trainer 40 ARF

    I would not glue anything before striping off the plane.

    You have two good choices here, Tower trainer is a great flier I still have one (kit version) I use it to invite some friends to my field, and it flies very well. I also have seen a good number of Tower Trainers (ARFs versions) at my field and the covering is the worst thing that I ever have seen. I also had a voyager and the covering is the same and it peels off just watching it. So your choice of recovering will worth the effort.
    Saito Club Member # 531; Ultra Sport Brotherhood #63
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  3. #3

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    RE: Stripping and covering Tower Trainer 40 ARF

    The ease of peel is one of the factors choosing this ARF.
    The wing and ailerons are stripped from covering, I sanded them a little bit too to remove splinters and covering residue.
    The quality of the build and balsa is reasonable, its not bad, its just the edges are eaten…
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  4. #4

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    RE: Stripping and covering Tower Trainer 40 ARF

    joind the wing.
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  5. #5

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    RE: Stripping and covering Tower Trainer 40 ARF

    This part is not included in the instructions manual, but:
    1) fiberglassing the wing center adds a lot of strength to the whole structure.
    2) I chose 4” wide fiberglass tape so I can put a lot of rubber bands to hold the wing without fear it will crack the wing against the fuselage.

    After I glued the wing halves I added 4” wide fiberglass to hold the center of the wing, bottom and top sides of the wing.

    Masking tape on the sided, about half an inch from both sides bigger the width of the fiberglass tape.

    Tips of the fiberglass tape with thin CA so I can hold the fiberglass tape with pins to the
    wing in order to stretch it.

    Spread 30 min epoxy on the balsa with brushes.

    Cover the epoxied area with fiberglass tape and add some more epoxy on top of it, spread it with a credit card.

    The next part is not recommended for who never fiber glassed the wing center.
    Hey I can do the whole wing top and bottom with one piece of fiberglass tape at one time…
    All this because the fiberglass tape is being held with pins and can be stretched.
    Usually I did this with three pieces of fiber glass tape.

    I should have started from the side of the torque rods…
    Oh well we learn something new every time.
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  6. #6

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    RE: Recovering Tower Trainer 40 ARF

    Though I like your effort, I feel you might be going a little too far with this trainer. Trainers are meant to fly and take a beating all at once....

    The covering I can understand you doing to something you like and for the plane to stand out. But the carbon fiber might be stretching it a little bit. The wing doesn't need to be that strong at the join, the stock method is VERY VERY sufficient to hold the wings togeter. Not only that, but if you even do crash, you'd want the wings to come apart so that the weak point can take blunt of the force and you can easily fix the wing. If the joint is THAT strong, instead of splitting it right down the middle (clean break), you'd have a well....a mess.

    Plus putting a covering on the epoxy/carbon fiber might be a little tricky.

  7. #7
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    RE: Recovering Tower Trainer 40 ARF

    With the wings uncovered, you could have retrofitted each half with a servo for the alerons and got rid of the torque rods. Just some thing to remember for the next one. I agree with the recovering, but you could have used 2oz glass cloth in the center as the joiner system is quite strong.

    Cheers
    Remember, Always look after the ORGANIC part of the model

  8. #8

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    RE: Recovering Tower Trainer 40 ARF

    I was thinking about a servo for every aileron, its just im getting into these time long loops when im trying to improve stuff…

    So I started covering the wing last night, just ailerons at this time
    Oh also made the window for the voltwatch and switch.

    Also did the fuel tank, throttle cable, servos tray, tail section with its control surfaces and antenna tube.
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  9. #9

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    RE: Recovering Tower Trainer 40 ARF

    The issue im trying to resolve is: visibility of the airplane from the ground.

    The colors I have:
    Dark blue
    Orange
    Cub yellow

    I was thinking to make the tail to the wing dark blue to know which direction the plane is flying.
    The wing would be orange with tips in blue then yellow bottom and top.
    What do you think?

    Alex
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  10. #10
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    RE: Recovering Tower Trainer 40 ARF

    I've got a Tower Trainer, and visibility really isn't a problem. I like what you're doing and I may do the same to mine once the original "wrapper" starts to really wear off. Just make sure that you differentiate between the tops and bottoms of the wing for your covering patterns.

    Cheers!

  11. #11
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    RE: Recovering Tower Trainer 40 ARF

    nah, you'll be OK, just stay out of that freakin' sun
    CJ

    AMA #887702

  12. #12

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    RE: Recovering Tower Trainer 40 ARF

    Almost finished the wing and started to cover the fuselage from the tail.
    Well I did the top and bottom of the wing in the same pattern thinking this plane doesn’t like to fly inverted….
    If its that bad I’ll add some stickers or trims later on.

    yeah my airplane is always trying to reach for the sun for some reason...
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  13. #13
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    RE: Recovering Tower Trainer 40 ARF

    It's looking great. I think you really want to put a darker color on the bottom of the wing. It isn't for flying inverted, it's more for if you are at an angle, you can tell if you are coming or going.

    Good luck with the rest of the build.

  14. #14

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    RE: Recovering Tower Trainer 40 ARF

    too late for dark bottom wing right now, i'll see how its flying then change if needed.
    general direction i'll know by the two color fuse, maybe i'll add stars or remains on the wing bottom.

    Alex
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  15. #15

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    RE: Recovering Tower Trainer 40 ARF

    Finished the major covering going to stretch it, tough its happening by it self in the morning sun the stretching I mean.

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  16. #16

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    RE: Recovering Tower Trainer 40 ARF

    Well I’m in final adjustments to fly it tomorrow.

    the motor im gonna use is OS 46 LA with 11x5 prop, i dont want to over power it.

    Motor installed and servos too what’s left is the battery receiver and switch, I left for the end because of CG location.
    It’s a little bit nose heavy but not by much, I’ll try to fly it and see how bad it gets then maybe add some led to the tail.

    One thing that bothers me is the crooked elevator, I noticed it while installing it…

    Alex
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  17. #17
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    RE: Recovering Tower Trainer 40 ARF

    Looks good man, Sure hope it flies good for ya!

  18. #18
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    RE: Recovering Tower Trainer 40 ARF

    Rather than starting a new thread, I thought I would resurrect this old one after doing a search on my question, "Recovering an ARF." My 2 year old Tower Hobbies trainer has had many gallons of fuel through it, and the other day the top covering of the horizontal stab came completely off on the exhaust side. Flew just fine with just the bottom of the stab covered!

    The old covering left a clear plastic film on the balsa, and when I peeled that off, there is a gelatin-like substance below it on the leading edge where the oil soaked in. This was hard to remove with alcohol and the balsa feels a bit on the oily side. Tried kitty litter to remove more but it didn't seem to change the "wet" way the wood feels.

    So my question is, what oil-removal techniques do folks use to prep a model for re-covering? Any other hints (other than suggesting Balsa Rite which I can't get here) would be appreciated as well.

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  19. #19
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    RE: Recovering Tower Trainer 40 ARF

    Instead of Balsa Rite, you can use elmers white glue cut 50% w water. I usually brush it on, let it dry , sand & repeat. I use monokote for covering at times & it will adhear to areas where you had oil soaked into the wood. I still try & get as much of the oil out of the wood as possible before hand though....Gene

  20. #20
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    RE: Recovering Tower Trainer 40 ARF

    Heres a pic of a Tower Kaos re-covered w Monokote & prepped w the elmers glue. It was really oil soaked. Plane is allmost 10 yrs old ...Gene ..... Alex, your doing a nice job, ...Gene
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  21. #21
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    RE: Recovering Tower Trainer 40 ARF

    Gene, that sounds like something to try. I read on another thread that using a heat gun gets more oil to the surface so will try that too with tissue on the surface to see what comes up. After that I'll sand and use your Elmer's elixir.
    Tiger Flyer #49

  22. #22
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    RE: Recovering Tower Trainer 40 ARF

    The tower trainer sells for $80.00. I have one, and the colour scheme is fine for visibility during flight. The yellow, blue, red and white combination stand out. Not the best covering, but I'll recover after the plastic comes off again or this winter. I would have bought a less expensive trainer if I was going to recover the plane from the start. Monokote or ultrakote is not cheap.

    Jim
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  23. #23

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    RE: Recovering Tower Trainer 40 ARF

    Acetone, K2R, Talc, there are a number of things that will help remove the oil. The Elmer's glue trick works very well after you get as much oil out of the wood as you can. Lacquer hair spray also works as does epoxy after it is thinned down with alcohol. There are a lot of old tricks to remove oil from wood. I have had planes that were so oil soaked nothing helped until I replaces the parts, usually the fire wall.
    Drinking and driving are illegal, why do bars have parking lots
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  24. #24
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    RE: Recovering Tower Trainer 40 ARF

    I have a .60 size Tower trainer and it is one of the best flying trainers I have ever run across. Mine has a GMS .61 in the nose which is more than enough power for it. The elevator authority seemed to be very good (nice tight loops), but the roll rate was very slow. So one day when I was bored, I installed servos in both wings. Man, what a difference. The roll rate now is fantastic for a trainer. My only beef with this model is the covering as metnioned a couple times before. It comes off in sheets. Some time this winter, I will probably strip and recover it, but no hurry. I like this airplane.
    \"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; In practice, there is\"

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  25. #25
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    RE: Recovering Tower Trainer 40 ARF

    I'm recovering a Tower Trainer 40 ARF. I wish I remembered this thread before trying to remove the plastic covering from the fuselage. I still have some large area's with white residue. I used the heat gun on the wing, and itpeeled off like nothing. Little residue left on the wing, 99% bare balsa wood. Won't you know it.

    Unfortunately, the Koas will suffer thesame fate in a few years. Same bad covering material.

    Jim
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