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Decal wear on a Sterling Stearman

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Decal wear on a Sterling Stearman

Old 03-29-2003, 02:20 PM
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phuffstatler
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Default Decal wear on a Sterling Stearman

I'm the proud second owner of an old cloth and doped Sterling Stearman, powered by an old Super Tigre .75. It flies super well, and I enjoy it thoroughly. The plane is about 9 years old now, and I've got a bit of a problem with it. It seems that the right side decal on the fuselage (the number 2) is starting to get affected by fuel residue. I run 10% Powermaster in it. It's not ruined yet, but the decal area is getting gooey and sticky, and though the plane has been hanging a month now, it's still sticky to the touch.

How can I rescue this area, without having to start over? It still looks great, but I know it'll get messed up if I keep flying it...


Thanks,

phil in austin

Old 03-29-2003, 03:03 PM
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LesUyeda
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Default Decal wear on a Sterling Stearman

I don't think you are going to save it, but you might be able to stop the deterioration by laying your engine on it's side and running the exhaust out the bottom.

Les
Old 03-31-2003, 12:51 PM
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Mike Denest
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Default Stearman Decal

It sounds like the decal may be too far gone. Since you have a dope and fabric finish :thumbup: you don't want to try using anything like dope thinner, acetone or MEK which will affect the dope. Try dabbing with alcohol to remove the residue. You might even try mineral spirits. If it works, Aerogloss still sells its fuel proofer or you can use a polyurethane varnish over the decal. You want to get it as clean as possible. If that dosen't work, use a fine polishing compound like duPont's #1 compound and remove it that way. Then you can replace it with a mylar decal.

HTH,

Mike
Old 03-31-2003, 02:09 PM
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phuffstatler
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Default fixing/replacing the decals...

Ok, Mike, I'll try those items, very carefully, and see what works best. I'll let you know the results...


Les, the tank location on this airplane may not let me turn the engine on it's side. It's fairly high up now, placed evenly with the spraybar on the .75. I'm afraid if I turn it on it's side, it'll be too low, and I'll have flooding problems when level and leaning problems when inverted (though I rarely roll this particular plane over.) The tank can't really be moved, as the firewall is about 3/4" thick, and the inside formers fit the tank exactly. Would take a LOT of work to move the tank down.

Also, it's been mounted upright for 9 years... hate to make changes like that after 9 years.... Looks fine and works well right where it's sitting...


Thanks,
phil in austin
Old 03-31-2003, 02:50 PM
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Mike Denest
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Default Stearman

That's a nice looking Stearman. I forgot to ask you about it sperformance. Easy to fly, nice glide, stable, etc.? What's the weight. I have one in the box with the Robart gear legs to install. Too many projects, too little time.
Old 03-31-2003, 03:21 PM
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phuffstatler
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Default great plane!

Yes, super stable, and glides better than a biplane should. With the .75 on it, it doesn't take any nose weight. (thick firewall) Performance is what I'd call scale. it will easily loop from level flight, but will run out of vertical quick if you go straight up, which is normal. It flies on the wing.

Weight, I'm thinking is right at 10-11 lbs. I'd have to weigh it again to know exactly. Lands really slow, so the wing loading is very low, I'd say under 15 oz/sq foot, from the feel of it.

It's a great scale plane. It's not a hot rod, and the most I do with it is cruise around at 1/3 to 1/2 throttle, with some loops, wingovers, stall turns, and a 2-3 turn spin, at most. It'll do all of that really easily. I do enjoy it a lot.

phil in austin

P.S. - I *did* have a pilot in it, apparently not strapped in very well, as he bailed out on me a few weeks back, and I couldn't find him. Terribly upsetting.. He's probably in some bar somewhere, teasing the maids, telling war stories...
Old 03-31-2003, 04:20 PM
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Default Re: great plane!

Originally posted by phuffstatler
Yes, super stable, and glides better than a biplane should. With the .75 on it, it doesn't take any nose weight. (thick firewall) Performance is what I'd call scale. it will easily loop from level flight, but will run out of vertical quick if you go straight up, which is normal. It flies on the wing.

Weight, I'm thinking is right at 10-11 lbs. I'd have to weigh it again to know exactly. Lands really slow, so the wing loading is very low, I'd say under 15 oz/sq foot, from the feel of it.

It's a great scale plane. It's not a hot rod, and the most I do with it is cruise around at 1/3 to 1/2 throttle, with some loops, wingovers, stall turns, and a 2-3 turn spin, at most. It'll do all of that really easily. I do enjoy it a lot.

P.S. - I *did* have a pilot in it, apparently not strapped in very well, as he bailed out on me a few weeks back, and I couldn't find him. Terribly upsetting.. He's probably in some bar somewhere, teasing the maids, telling war stories...


I have a Big John biplane, a Bill Northrop 1963 design that performs similar to your Stearman. 76" wing span, 10 - 12 lbs. with an OS .90 4S on the nose. I do tricks at altitude as this airplane can eat up space real quick. It flies on the wing as well.

I have a friend who owns an N2S-5 with the Lycoming R-680-13 9 cylinder 300 hp radial. It was an instrument trainer that was used at NAS Olathe, KS during the war. I'm thinking of doing my Stearman in those markings, all yellow with broad red stripes running with the wing chord but I thinking of a couple of other variations like plain old silver with star and bar. I'll figure it out once I start dumping wood out of the box.

Funny you mention about pilots bailing out, I know an old CPT instructor who flew Stearmans and Fairchilds down in Misissippi. Seems he had a couple of cadets do that! Seems that they didn't set their harnesses correctly and out they went!

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