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Took the leap into glow and balsa


Well-known member
I've built and flown a few foam electric planes, but I was wanting to get into balsa and glow for a while. So I was keeping an eye on the classified ads, and today I picked up a Precedent T180 for a bargain price. It didn't have an engine, but I'd already got an Irvine .40 a while ago, so I'll use that.

It's looking a bit old, but no obvious damage that I can see, other than a small tear in the tailplane surface.

I'm not not sure whether to take the covering off and recover it, something I've never done. It also needs some new cockpit windows as it's yellowed. There's also some wrinkling underneath, which I assume is from exhaust. The overall surface could do with a clean, as it's speckled, but I'll be looking for advice on how to clean it.

I'm not in a club yet. I was going to join one, but due to covid, they're not taking new members or doing training just yet. Hopefully later in the summer that will change. I'll not be flying this until I've had some training, and have a club field to fly it from. But I want to get it prepared in the meantime.

IMG_20210606_160118.jpg IMG_20210606_111318.jpg IMG_20210606_111154.jpg IMG_20210606_111603.jpg

You can see the damage in the tail surface here
There also looks to have been a small repair to the surface underneath.

I should also add that I don't know the plane's history. The guy selling it inherited it from a house clearout, and hadn't flow it himself. It has an old Futaba 35MHz receiver (which I'll replace with one of my own 2.4GHz ones), but no transmitter, or fuel tank.
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Bought Another Trailer
Staff member
I'd look into replacing the covering on the wings at least. I had an older balsa plane and the covering delaminated in flight. Fortunately it was a 3D plane, and I was able to get it back in one piece, since it didn't exactly need the wings to fly.

The good news is, there's plenty of videos online that can help you with this. Including one or two from Flite Test.



Well-known member
Thanks. Now I've looked a bit closer at the covering, I think I'll take it all off and replace, as I'd like to do a better colour scheme anyway. It'll also let me see how all the frame looks. There's some suspicious epoxy around the tail that makes me think it might have been repaired. I read that this model had a weak point in the tail, and it could come off in a heavy landing.

I'm going to have watch a few guides though, as I've never done it.


Well-known member
Check out Joshua's restoration, you may find it helpful and inspiring!

Thanks for recommending that channel to me. I watched the TriPacer resto, then went on and watched a bunch of other playlists. That P47. So much detail :love:

I'm considering recording my resto build log, but I've never done anything like that, or restored a plane, so it could be a disaster :D


Well-known member
Heck if it were me being a first glow I would just go thru an make sure everything works hinges and sevos are all good take care of any loose covering or soaked wood from the glow and go fly it. Actually like the looks of the tinted windows.
Now I've inspected it a bit closer, I'm not sure if it even flew, or if it flew well. One of the aileron hinges is in at an angle, and there's very little movement in them. The control rods for them also hit the underside of the wing when the ailerons move. So I'm just going to fix things I see before flying it. I also want to put a servo for each aileron, as just now it's a single servo and pullies, and the pullies look loose or not installed properly.


Master member
Cable and pullies or do mean bell cranks for controlling the ailerons. If bell cranks it is easy enough to increase the throws either a longer servo arm or shorter control horns and turn up the throws in your radio, just an FYI.

Before tearing things apart I would unhook the servo and see how easy the ailerons actually work if they are free I would leave the hinges alone.