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E-Flite Pulse XT 25e on floats wrinkling covering question

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Old 12-22-2011, 08:25 PM
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Farmer Ted
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Default E-Flite Pulse XT 25e on floats wrinkling covering question

I put an E-Flite Pulse XT 25e on E-Flite's 25 size fiberglass floats this fall (new build) and have mainly flown it off of water with the occasional grass field take off and landing in there as well. The plane probably has 20 or so flights off of the water with no incidents. This is also my second Pulse XT, the first being a land plane that had several hundred flights on it before I killed it.

I have noticed that the covering on this plane really wrinkles up in the days after I fly off of the water with it...mainly the ailerons and horizontal stab/ elevator. I always iron it back out but it seems to wrinkle up again after being on the lake. Is this because water/ moisture is getting into the plane and causing the wood to do funny things? Is this normal with built up seaplanes? The only other seaplane I've had was a foamie Seawind and I obviously didn't have this issue with that one. My other Pulse XT never did this but it was also never flown off of the water. This plane does get a lot of water spray on it when taking off, landing, and taxiing on step. Most of the spray is directed by the floats to the underside of the wings, rear fuse, and stab/ elevator. It flies fine and it still looks straight but I'm wondering what's going on. the stab/ elevator is probably worst off and I'm considering just buying a new one and putting it on since it is a bolt on setup.

One final thing: I don't notice any liquid water in the plane/ wings/ or stab after flying so there's no huge leaks. I also live in Colorado which is a very dry- nearly desert climate for the most part so things tend to dry out very well and very quickly once they get wet.

Thanks for any tips, this plane is a blast to fly off the water and looks like an old Schneider Cup plane with the floats on it.

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Old 12-24-2011, 04:21 PM
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Default RE: E-Flite Pulse XT 25e on floats wrinkling covering question

IK never encountered any unusual wrinkling in any of my ultracote covered float planes...
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Old 12-25-2011, 08:55 AM
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Default RE: E-Flite Pulse XT 25e on floats wrinkling covering question

I'm having the same problem with my H1 25E cub. I have ironed it 10 times this summer, and it still looks like crap. I'd like to recover it this winter but it's one of my only 2 planes now and I have the ski's on it for winter flying. Besides the fact that I'm not sure I can handle the task of re-covering it.
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Old 12-26-2011, 11:17 AM
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Default RE: E-Flite Pulse XT 25e on floats wrinkling covering question

You are correct. What you are experiencing is water getting into the wood and loosening the covering. It only takes a drop of two and the moisture will travel along the wood. Unfortunately, each time you iron the covering down it will stick a little worse until eventually you will not be able to get it to stick down at all.

The cure is to be fanatical about sealing out the water. Buy a roll of Scotch "Gloss Finish Multitask Tape" or "Satin Finish Gift Wrap Tape" (not the regular scotch tape, it is not water proof) and tape over all of the covering joints that are likely to get wet. In particular, go all the way around the edges of the tail sufaces and wings and along the bottom edges of the fuselage. If the control surfaces are not already attached, tape along the trailing edges of the wing, stab and fin and the leading edges of the ailerons, elevators and rudder before you hinge the surfaces. If the control surfaces are already attached, you will need to use the tape to seal the top and bottom of all hinge gaps.

Then look over the entire airplane and try to imagine where even a single drop of water could work it's way in. Use the tape or thin CA to seal anything you find.

And finally, after each flying session, look over the plane for loose covering. If you find any, figure out where the water was coming from and seal the leak.

I have several float plane ARFs with three or four years of water flying on them and they still look new. It takes constant attention, but it is worth it.

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Old 12-26-2011, 02:14 PM
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Default RE: E-Flite Pulse XT 25e on floats wrinkling covering question

Good Post, Jim! 
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Old 12-26-2011, 04:52 PM
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Default RE: E-Flite Pulse XT 25e on floats wrinkling covering question

Thanks Jim!

I've been so busy that I haven't been posting much recently, but I'm glad to see that you and some of the other old regulars are still here.

Happy float flying!

Jim
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Old 12-26-2011, 07:31 PM
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Default RE: E-Flite Pulse XT 25e on floats wrinkling covering question

Thanks for the info. I guess that confirms what my suspicions were. The covering on my tail is pretty ugly at this point but fortunately, the guy I fly with has an extra set of tail feathers for the plane as he dunked his this summer and decided it was too far gone, so he bought a new one. I'll check those over and seal them up. I won't be flying off water for a couple of months but in the mean time it flies great off of the snow.
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