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Glider Salvage Build-Help!!!

From a pile of rubbish to something that will fly? Unlikely, but this is the fuselage of a RC glider I bought for £10 ($17) in the Antiques Village, Manchester, UK.
Photo on 12-04-2014 at 15.44.jpg

It looks rough, but the wingspan is over 2m, and the fuselage is mostly intact, with control horns and pushrods installed and working.
Photo on 12-04-2014 at 15.44 #4.jpg

The elevator is a little bent to one side, but I think it's fixable.
Photo on 12-04-2014 at 15.44 #5.jpg

The wings have a balsa framework construction, with some form of thin plastic wrapping to complete the airfoil. It is a 3 part wing that doesn't fit together very well. Fixing it will be the biggest challenge. I wanted to ask for help on other electronics. Any help is appreciated.

Ron B

Posted a thousand or more times
Covering looks like a heat shrink film, like Monocoat found a a hobby shop or on line.
you can make a canopy out of foam and use magnets to hold it on.
Sounds like all you need then are servo's, bec, batt., and tx/rx.
Have fun with building it then flying it.
Your help is much appreciated, what foam do you think I should use, also what motor and prop combo would work best do you think? Thanks!

I found out it is a Irvine Early Bird.
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creator of virtual planes
Probably just use Depron. I hear it's cheap and easy to find in the UK. Depron isn't very strong but is flexible. You'd want it to be flexible to create a canopy and you don't need it very strong.

As far as motor and prop, I don't think you need anything crazy big. But I suggest getting a folding prop. See if you can find similar sized gliders and see what they have for the motor and prop. Otherwise I don't have much to say because I've never flown a balsa glider with a motor on it.

Ron B

Posted a thousand or more times
Ok sorry not a bec but an esc as yu are going to be using a motor. I would wait on buying those 2 items until the plane is finished and you have it's weight then make a determination on the motor and esc.


Nice score, young man! Yes, you can make this thing fly, again!

Tweak or rebuild the elevators so they aren't bent. Can you post pics of the poorly fitting wings?
Unfortunately no because I cannot seem to take a picture of the 2.3m wingspan, but if you googled "Irvine Early Bird Glider" I'm sure that would show results. Failing that, and I would have to take pictures separated. It seems the glider has polyhedral, but this could incur problems when I try to fit the wings together, as the wings no longer fit. I may need to use popsicle sticks as joiners, although I might be able to use a aluminium sheet cut up into W(8mm) x D(2mm) x L(at least 80mm). Thanks for the help and interest everyone!


Old age member
9 gram servos will do fine. Do not us a lot of throw. It is not an aerobat - 1/4" might be fine for elevator and 1/2" for rudder - but you might find a maula on the net to be sure.
You will be able to fix any warping on the stab, fin and rudders with an iron. Be careful not to use to much heat - between 1 and 2 dots (of 3) is normally fine. You can use a (linen) cloth between the iron and the coating to keep you from problem with the owner of the iron ;-) But then you might need to get upp close to 3 dots to get enough heat - try and be careful.

The iron will help you with the wings if they are warped. If you put the wing parts on a flat table and press the front against the table you will find that the outer (back) corner of the wing is sligtly above the table if they are correct (washout).


Junior Member
Probably just use Depron. I hear it's cheap and easy to find in the UK. Depron isn't very strong but is flexible. You'd want it to be flexible to create a canopy and you don't need it very strong.
I agree. You can get Depron 3, 6 and 10mm thick. Just glue some layers (with hot glue) so you have a rough shape of the canopy. It's very easy to sand so you can give it the right shape. But take your time, as you can quickly sand too much.