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  1. #1
    Jetdesign's Avatar
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    Minimum Hinge Gap

    I just got the E-flite Bonanza. This is the first ARF I've gotten that comes with surfaces pre-hinged/glued. The ailerons and elevator are extremely stiff, and the hinge gap is so small that I can not fit a hobby knife between the wing and the control surface. I spent an hour last night watching a TV show and flexing one of the ailerons back-and-forth, and it is still very tight.

    I think the hinge gap is too small to let the hinge bend through it's range of motion, but wondering how much gap is really necessary.

    The recommended servos are something like 26 oz-in of torque with plastic gears. I think I've assembled about 8 ARF's over my 3-4 years in this hobby. If I were to have glued this myself, I'd consider it a failure and would cut and re-hinge the surfaces. I'd really prefer not to have to do that myself on a pre-assemble hinge.

    Should I bring this kit back to the hobby shop? Should I call Horizon first? Should I just live with it?

    This seems like a stupid thing to be concerned about, but it is a beautiful airplane that I've waited a long time for - just want to make sure I do the right thing.

    Thanks.
    Joe Marri
    Enjoying all things aviation.

  2. #2
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    RE: Minimum Hinge Gap



    Never assume that anyone knows what plane you are talking about.  If you provide a link you will get much better and more accurate responses.

    Are these the wings for that plane?
    http://www.horizonhobby.com/products...za-15e-EFL2576

    I can't tell if there is an actual hinge in there or if this is a plastic hinge?

    Look at the manual.  What is the recommended throw for this surface.  Does it move reasonably easily through that throw?  You may be trying to move the surface too far.

    Long Island Silent Flyers
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  3. #3
    Glacier Girl's Avatar
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    RE: Minimum Hinge Gap

    Well I looked at the pictures and the manual also, couldn't find a reference to what type of hinging they used.

    Just a chance since you can't see a hinge gap, they may have done as they did on the Hangar 9 Camel. Instead of actual hinges they used the covering itself for the hinges.

    Would have worked out fine if the ailerons were chamferd on both sides, but in fact were only chamferd on the top. On my Camel I ended up cutting the ailerons off the top wing and rehinging them as the covering on the bottom was so tight it wouldn't allow the ailerons to move up.

    Worked out great for a few years, then had to redo the bottom ones also as the covering was letting go and the ailerons were just moving back and forth instead of up and down.

    Guess that why they call them "Almost" ready to fly.
    Missing Man Formation, Looking heavenward you can't help but shed a tear, mournful, lonesome, a hole that screams out at you.
    P-38 Lightning Brotherhood #75

  4. #4
    Jetdesign's Avatar
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    RE: Minimum Hinge Gap

    E-flite Bonanza

    They are CA hinges, gaps are not sealed. It's hard to tell where the hinges actually start and end because there seems to be excess glue in the gap. The elevator is the worst; there's a metal rod that joins the elevator halves, but it was not fully inserted when the glue dried (at the factory) and thus the rod is binding on the stabilizer. The ailerons bind when deflected too due to the minimal (ie zero) gap, but somehow the surfaces can deflect just enough to meet the recommended throws - probably from the wood crushing slightly. I figured I'd try to crush the wood to open some room, but really can't fit anything in there.

    It's annoying, but I guess I have to live with it. Not worth the resources to ship them back to Horizon. Maybe one day down the road I'll really have too much time on my hands and will end up cutting and re-gluing the hinges.

    Thanks for listening to me whine about my new toy.
    Joe Marri
    Enjoying all things aviation.

  5. #5
    Glacier Girl's Avatar
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    RE: Minimum Hinge Gap

    Joe, if it's that bad call Horizon. I've always had great luck with their customer support folks.
    Missing Man Formation, Looking heavenward you can't help but shed a tear, mournful, lonesome, a hole that screams out at you.
    P-38 Lightning Brotherhood #75

  6. #6
    fmw's Avatar
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    RE: Minimum Hinge Gap

    Most prehinged control surfaces on E-Flite products are stiff and tight.  If it were a 3D plane I would worry about it.  On the Bonanza I would just finish the assembly and go fly.  You'd be surprised how much power those servos have.


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