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Preferred Elevator Hinge Method?

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Preferred Elevator Hinge Method?

Old 01-10-2018, 04:50 PM
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Default Preferred Elevator Hinge Method?

I'm finishing my first .35 sized plane. The kit came with CA hinges. I'm tempted to use the "stitched" style string hinges to make the hinge more flexible. Any experienced suggestions?
Old 01-10-2018, 08:50 PM
All Day Dan
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Dubro makes hinges that are ideal for your application. Dan.
Old 01-11-2018, 04:43 AM
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Well, CA hinges work very well. I have them on airplanes up to 50cc and have never had a problem. Dubro, Robart, and Great Planes all make good hinges, just beware that the trade off is that you may have to do some adjusting of the control surface and the trailing edge if you decide not to go CA. This is not a simple drop-in operation. For example if you use a hinge (Great Planes/Dubro) with that little metal rod in it, you will need to trim each surface to recess the hinge joint. Otherwise you will have a large hinge gap along the length of the elevator that may need to be sealed. But none of these are complex operations. But all of these work better before you cover or paint your airplane. One thought is to just go with the CA hinges and work the joint back-forth gently a couple of dozen times. This will loosen up the surface. You don't need to have complete 100% friction free "flopping" for things to work right. Just make sure you use the appropriate slotting tool for the replacement high you purchase. Makes life much easier.
Old 01-11-2018, 06:32 AM
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I like the fabric hinges, and use a nylon/polyester shirt like material. I glue it on criss cross with Sigment usually. It is a bit hard to use shrink films that way because it goes directly on to the balsa. Monocote hinges are ok too, but not as strong. I criss cross those too, overlapping 3/16" in the middle. They both give a nice free action.and look better than sewn hinges which I find that they always shift.
Old 01-11-2018, 07:52 AM
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CA hinges can be stiff, decreasing the smoothness of control inputs. I like either the pinned hinged flat nylon or the Robart hinges.
Old 01-15-2018, 01:17 PM
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Thread hinges can be the freest and have absolute minimum gap between fixed and moving surfaces. They are not particularly 'pretty,' tho.
The kind I refer are actually thread, sewn through holes punched by the sewing needle. These are also called 'figure-eight' hinges. because the thread travel forms a Figure-8.

Example: stab to elevator, wood sheet surfaces: thread the needle with heavy button thread. Between 1/4" and 1/2" from the hinge gap, push the needle through, say, the stabilizer, from bottom to top. Pull enough thread through so you can lead the needle over to the hinge gap and pass the needle down through it. Go about the same distance from the hinge gap onto the elevator and push it up and through. Continue this pattern of over-and-under "stitching" separated about 1/8" until you have say 6 or so passes through the wood. The surfaces should be in contact at the gap line and the thread pulled firmly taut. NOT too tight, but snug so the surfaces stay in line. Snip off the thread where it comes out. A drop of CyA, or even model cement on the pierced holes and the end will keep things honest. Button thread shouldn't become brittle even after doping over it. These do last. They strengthen the surfaces they're on.

Sew another sequence a few inches away. You don't need more than two or three such hinges on each side from center.

Last edited by Lou Crane; 01-15-2018 at 01:22 PM.
Old 01-24-2018, 05:06 AM
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Plain ol' cloth hinges have worked great since I was a kid and I'm 70 now. That's what I'll use on my current Nobler build, anyway.
Old 01-24-2018, 06:09 AM
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I have used every common type of hinge or hinging method out there and each has its place. I would never suggest one size or method fits all. However sewn hinges have one advantage over all other types that the others cannot even touch. And that is ease of rapid field repair. This is a huge asset when one travel hundreds of miles to an event and you suffer a broken hinge of any kind.

It takes only perhaps fifteen minutes to do a sewn hinge repair to get you going agine and it makes no difference controlline, RC or whatever the other hinges on that surface may be. All you need is some heavy thread a small drill bit in a pin vice and some CA. Doing a sewn hinge does not require complete removal of the surface like most other methods do.

As all other types the sewn hinges do have some disadvantages as well. First depending on the type thread, cord used they are subject to rot over time. Use of fishing line helps in this regard but make the assembly and sewing process much more difficult. Also they are most usefull on two surfaces that are relatively flat in nature, for instance use on ailerons is not practical where the wing is very thick at the hingeline.
Here are pictures of my very elderly little Ringmaster Jr where the cloth/doped hinges have failed and it was very simple to sew the surface back on and the freedom of movement is just as good or better than the cloth/doped hinges.

As far as the uglies go, well to each his own, I love the look of sewn hinges that are not painted over in an attempt to hide them. Even have used them unpainted over new surfaces that are monocoated.

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Last edited by JohnBuckner; 01-24-2018 at 06:36 AM.
Old 01-25-2018, 08:44 PM
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I’ve given up on CA hinges, too many failures.. I usually catch the broken hinge while cleaning my plane, but did lose a very nice Ringmaster due to a CA hinge failure at the bottom of a wing over. Never again.

RC or CL, CA hinges are not reliable enough for me.
Old 02-02-2018, 06:48 PM
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JohnBuckner should like this.
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Old 02-03-2018, 05:42 AM
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Yes indeed grotto I do enjoy the look of sewn hinges. In the vernacular of kids these days, a 'Steampunk' look

Old 02-09-2018, 02:53 AM
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I taught my grandson to use sewn hinges on his 1/2A control line models. I use em on all my single channel stuff....Gene
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Old 02-13-2018, 08:37 PM
Tom Nied
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I bought a Flite Streak from a friend back in 1980's. Sewn elevator hinges. I still have it and the elevator still moves freely. Sewn hinges rock. They may look archaic, but they work just fine. Would use the method again.
Old 03-03-2018, 08:01 AM
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I use hinges that I can REMOVE the metal pin somehow. Or a piece of THIN plastic material.
I have vise that clamps a Moto drill with a THIN cutoff wheel in it. I clamp a guide piece of wood so I can cut a CONTINUOS slot in all hinge slotted pieces. I use a 36" long piece of wire thru all the 1/2 hinges in 1 surface piece. Slow epoxy is used to get total floppy action. That rod ....IS THE SAME DIAMETER AS the original pins in the hinges. I do all surfaces that way. A slight 90 degreed bend on all of the....Brass..... rod ends. Done You can put bevels on the wood edges to help air flow over them. I see no difference in control response.
Old 08-20-2018, 06:12 AM
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good thread for sewn hinges is spectra or dynema fishing line or a few threads from an old bow string.
Old 09-14-2018, 05:22 AM
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Interesting to see this thread. <-Pun???

I, too am an oldie, in my 70s, and have been flying on and off nearly that long.
When I started building control line as a young kid I thought the string hinges were the neatest thing. I had seen pictures and thought that was what all the pro’s used. Of course, there was no internet to research, but just looking at a picture it wasn’t hard to figure out how to do it. I don’t remember using it often in my building, but I had used it some.

It has been years since I used string. Reading an article today made me remember the string hinges and I began to wonder if anyone still used it as I haven’t heard of it in years. It’s nice to know it is still in use.

I agree with John,
Originally Posted by JohnBuckner View Post

As far as the uglies go, well to each his own, I love the look of sewn hinges that are not painted over in an attempt to hide them. Even have used them unpainted over new surfaces that are monocoated.

I, too love the look, it brings back my early days of model flying.

I have a GP Ultra Sport 60 kit (one of two I bought when they came back a few years ago. The other died a result of an elevator servo failure) ((Really. For once it wasn’t pilot error.)) and it hit me that it would be fun to make it “retro” and use thread hinges when I build it, along with a unique covering scheme. When I do get around to building it I am going to do some experimenting on reinforcing the hinge area and different type threads so it won’t pull through, or break easily. It should be a fun project.
Old 07-02-2019, 09:35 PM
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Default CA Hinge Method is NOT good for CL A/C

1. PLEASE do NOT use CA hinges in your CL A/C. They are too stiff for our mission.
2. Just when you get into trouble overhead in windy conditions and you have very little line tension to give you control, the CA hinges will not move freely enough to give you the control you desperately need to avoid disaster. This factor applies equally to the beginner CL pilot and the seasoned contest flyer.
3. Contest Precision CL flying requires small light "feel" corrections and inputs from the pilot with the entire control system working as smoothly and effortlessly as possible. The beginner CL pilot needs to learn the "touch" required to fly CL planes, a stiff control system will prevent this learning to take place.
4. ALL the other methods mentioned in this thread are good for CL planes, as long as the result is a smooth movement of the control surface and a hinge that allows the control surface to drop down from its own weight with little to no resistance to its movement.
5. I flew my 1st CL in 1952, and my 1st RC in 1970. I think I have used every type of hinge along the way, my favorite by far is the Robart style hinge, they make them in every size we need. I use them in small foamy park flyers up to my 36 lb. IMAC planes, and in all my CL planes. They are the smoothest and strongest hinge I have found. They are also very easy to install accurately if you use their wonderful hole guide system and use epoxy AND read/see their install instructions on their web site. I have thousands of flights using them on all types of planes with ZERO failures. Even the individual planes that have more than 1,000 flights on them still have the controls move smoothly and as effortlessly as the day they were born. :-)

PS: CA hinges are Ok for sport flying RC planes. The servo is always there to push them past their stiff resistance when needed, but they are fighting the servo to do this. From a production standpoint, they are a brilliant creation for ARF manufacturers. They are very cheap and easy to produce, and they work OK for most sport RC flyers.
Old 07-03-2019, 05:28 AM
Tom Nied
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Geez imacone, 15 years a member here and this is your 3rd post? That was well written. I pretty much agree with you but have yet to try the Robart style hinge. 66 here and my first CL flying/building was in the late '60s. I've installed the DuBro nylon hinge on many planes, but they're really a pita to get them right. Don't know why I haven't tried the Robart style hinge yet except for ignorance and I'm usually very open to new products and techniques. I will have to try them on the next build. Thanks and looking forward to your next post in 8 years. Chime in more often.
Old 07-03-2019, 12:51 PM
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" they are a brilliant creation for ARF manufacturers". The discovery and application of DMD (Dacron, Mylar, Dacron) came from Gail Helms, Steve Helm's dad. I like them for RC applications, but not so much for control line.The control line application produces many thousands of more cycles. I've had them fatigue, and break on control line models.

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