Guillow’s Cessna 180 – part 3, the tail surfaces and wings

The next stage of the build is the tail surfaces. These are pretty simple (hence why I tackled them next) and yet they are also something I am keen to get right. With both the Hurricane and, to a lesser extent, the Mustang I managed to warp the tail surfaces, so I am determined to keep them flat this time around!

The tail wings are pretty basic and look quite sturdy:

2013-02-06 12.38.07

And when they’re finished and placed next to the equally strong-looking fin and rudder:

2013-03-21 18.04.00

The wings are always one of my favourite parts to build. I think they give an aeroplane its character, and stop it looking like a bizarre car. They’re often the easiest way to identify a plane too – a Spitfire’s elliptical wing is probably its most recognisable feature.

The wings on the Cessna 180 are fairly straightforward, though in the Group Build to which  I am constantly referring, it is suggested that there is a slightly complicated modification which significantly improves the strength of the wing. Essentially, it involves making a joint mid-way along the wing stronger by splicing the two pieces used together to provide a larger glueing area as well as other benefits which are beyond my novice’s comprehension.

That stage is pretty difficult to show properly, though it is shown very clearly in the Group Build thread (see part 1 for the link), so here is a picture of the nearly completed wings:

2013-03-21 14.58.03

At this point, I am further strengthening the leading and trailing edges by ‘laminating’ them with a strip of 1/16th” balsa along the entire length. This also helps rectify a small error in the plans which overestimates the width of the pieces used for the leading and trailing edges and so leaves the wing ribs with a slight overhang. Once the lamination is complete, the ribs and edges can be sanded flush for a neater finish.

After this, the whole of the model needs sanding and sealing in preparation for covering!

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