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#1) 
 Post subject: Belly-lander advice.
PostPosted: 15 Aug 2012 16:30 
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Joined: 13 Oct 2010 19:47
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Location: Lawrence, Kansas, USA
I've been flying my foamy A-10 as a belly-lander, and have run into a problem. Normally, the grass at our field isn't too bad, but it's been EXTREMELY dry this summer. Landing on the grass is basically like landing on a field of nails.

I put a few layers of polyurethane on the bottom of my plane, but the grass is still causing it to get scratched up pretty good. I've been thinking of putting a layer of plastic on it, but I'm not sure exactly what to use. Which do you think would generally work better: gluing on some clear plastic (like a soda bottle), or using contact paper? The clear plastic would probably have more durability, but contact paper would be much easier to apply, and probably look better - at least for a little while.

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#2) 
 Post subject: Re: Belly-lander advice.
PostPosted: 15 Aug 2012 18:15 
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Joined: 16 Jan 2010 23:47
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kalain76
I have to belly land all my planes as the field is rather rough.

I tend to use a strip of duct tape on the underside for scratch protection.
Very strong, virtually water proof (for when the grass is wet) yet it easily peels off.

In a couple of cases I have actually added a shaped hard wood skid that then takes all the landing abrasion but to be secure enough it tends not to readily removable.


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#3) 
 Post subject: Re: Belly-lander advice.
PostPosted: 16 Aug 2012 10:39 
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Joined: 18 Mar 2008 10:53
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Location: Salisbury, England
When I was living in Spain I had to land on gravel, and that doesn't do foam or balsa any favours!
I glued some clear plastic to the belly of a glider, the really thin stuff used in some packaging. It worked well but popped off after a while. The downside with plastic is trying to match it exactly to the shape of the fus where there are compound curves involved. I suppose you could try a heat gun, that might do the trick :)

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My site is rc-airplane-world.com, a beginners' guide to radio control flying.


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#4) 
 Post subject: Re: Belly-lander advice.
PostPosted: 16 Aug 2012 13:44 
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Joined: 06 Dec 2009 05:29
Posts: 301
Location: manahawkin nj
any way to add some wheels ????


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#5) 
 Post subject: Re: Belly-lander advice.
PostPosted: 16 Aug 2012 18:41 
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Joined: 13 Oct 2010 19:47
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Location: Lawrence, Kansas, USA
I appreciate the advice, guys.

Although the plane came with wheels, I opened up the front wheel well to get more air flow on the battery & ESC's. And with as dry as it's been, our field has 2-inch wide, 2-foot long, 1-foot deep cracks in the ground (and those are the small ones). So wheels wouldn't really help. Plus, I prefer how it looks & flies without wheels. :roll:

I actually like the idea of duct tape - seems rather appropriate to me. :D However, a guy in my local club offered to give me a some materials for fiberglassing the bottom. This really seems to be the best option to me. The problem is mostly on the nacelles/pods sticking out from the wings. I figure I can cover the bottoms of those easily enough & add a bit more polyurethane to the fuselage. It may add a bit more weight than the other options, but this plane could use a little more stability in wind, and the weight would be right around its CG anyway.

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#6) 
 Post subject: Re: Belly-lander advice.
PostPosted: 20 Aug 2012 11:21 
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Joined: 23 Feb 2010 12:14
Posts: 1750
Location: Brisbane QLD, Australia
What about UHMW tape? (aka "Slick Tape") Tough, slippery, you can get in high thicknesses (Rolls up to 5 mm thicknesses)for good wear and large widths to make covering easier.

They use it as a tough but slippy surface for machinery/for things to slide over each other. :)

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#7) 
 Post subject: Re: Belly-lander advice.
PostPosted: 20 Aug 2012 16:13 
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Joined: 13 Oct 2010 19:47
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Location: Lawrence, Kansas, USA
The A-10 ended up crashing this weekend, so it looks like I have other things to work on before I get back to the wing pods & bottom of the fuselage. It's in 3 pieces, but not actually too bad - fairly clean breaks. I'll be playing with epoxy on club build night this Thursday...

Crash seemed to just be a range issue... I lost connection, and it didn't level out. :?

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#8) 
 Post subject: Re: Belly-lander advice.
PostPosted: 21 Aug 2012 09:55 
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Joined: 18 Mar 2008 10:53
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Location: Salisbury, England
Just a thought - is epoxy ok on foam? Also watch the weight when (if) you do go down that road, don't get too much either fore or aft of the CG :)

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Pete


My site is rc-airplane-world.com, a beginners' guide to radio control flying.


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#9) 
 Post subject: Re: Belly-lander advice.
PostPosted: 21 Aug 2012 14:07 
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Joined: 23 Feb 2010 12:14
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Location: Brisbane QLD, Australia
Here is a decent write-up on UHMW tape as a light, tough and clear coating:
https://nuxx.net/gallery/v/acquired_stuff/uhmw_tape/

Attachment:
File comment: UHMW Tape (thick)
IMG_4699.jpg
IMG_4699.jpg [ 33.68 KiB | Viewed 672 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: UHMW Tape - Impact Test (repeatedly hit with a file handle, chain whip) - no damage to underlying surface
IMG_4706.jpg
IMG_4706.jpg [ 29.14 KiB | Viewed 672 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: UHMW Tape - Scratch Test (After minutes of scratching with a metal file) - no damage to underlying surface
IMG_4712.jpg
IMG_4712.jpg [ 27.58 KiB | Viewed 672 times ]

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