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Crash Test Hobbies - Gladiator XL


shock cord around the edge of the wing

CTH provides what they call "shock cord" to help reduce the possibility of wing tearing between the elevons during a forward impact.  To install the Nylon shock cord, first make a 3/8" deep cut around the perimeter of the wing.  Push the cord into the slit, starting at the nose of the wing, keeping it as snug as possible.  I used a popsicle stick and the rounded edge worked nicely.  After going all the way around the wing, tie the cord in a knot and tuck the ends into the slit.  I used the Multi-Grip glue in this part of the process too, running a bead of glue in the slit all around the edge of the wing.


taping and lamination of wing

I followed the recommendations of CTH regarding their use of Scotch Extreme Tape for reinforcing the leading edges of the wing and the spars.  Don't go cheap by using some generic brand shipping tape.  Saving a couple of bucks on tape, given what you already have invested in the kit, isn't worth it. 


laminating an elevon

I bought a Monokote Sealing Iron for applying the wing's laminant and followed the recommendations from CTH on its use.  After nearly completing the process of applying the laminant , I found that running a higher iron temperature produced better results.  I used a 180 degree iron for most of the entire time based on the CTH instructions in their video for laminating the elevons.  I found that an iron temperature of around 240 worked much better, although when laminating the elevons, you do have to let them cool down more frequently. That being said, the laminant stuck better to the foam, in my opinion, using the higher temperature.

I went back and went over the large areas of the wing with the hotter iron and a pin, popping small air bubbles to smooth out the laminant. The hotter iron did a better job in getting it to stick in these areas where I previously had a slight problem.  The #2 setting on the iron gave the 240 degree temperature, per my infrared thermometer.


extreme tape elevon hinge

The same tape used to reinforce the leading edge of the wing and strengthen the spars is also used for a hinge on the elevons.  As is mentioned many times in the CTH build instructions, all of the taped areas much be laminated after the tape is applied so as to provide UV protection.  If it isn't, the adhesive on the tape will break down and weaken it. 

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